Losing Ourselves to Demons

Reviewing Episode 23 of the Dororo 2019 anime!

Need to catch up with the series? Use this link for a free 30 day Amazon Prime Video trial and support the anime legally! Check out last week’s Episode 22 review here.

So, we have arrived at the penultimate episode, folks.

I don’t know what to say. Especially since the last demon to exterminate seems to be m’boy Tahomaru, whose image is now inheriting the oni end card. It makes me really sad, that this is what it has come to.

A young boy with hopes of saving his land, and upholding its prosperity. In the end, he turned into a demon trying to fight his own blood and sided with forces set to exterminate all of Daigo’s lands.

He lost his best friends Hyogo and Mutsu, who have been with him since childhood. The two siblings quite literally followed him into the depths of hell, all three emerging possessed by demonic energies.

In the end, they only wished to do the right thing. To protect the land’s heir, and their beloved friend. Sure, there was a social structure in order and the two would never be on the same level as Tahomaru, but I don’t think the lordling loved them any less. His eyes lit up the day Daigo brought them home from their prison. The trio had been inseparable ever since, even after being reminded of their place when failing to defend him from Hyakkimaru by the spy.

The love of his friends is what grounded Tahomaru, and without them he is lost. Just as how Dororo serves as Hyakkimaru’s last remaining bond to the world of the living. I mean sure, he has Jukai, but Jukai also kind of turned his back on him. The priest Biwamaru is a wild card, only appearing when the story dictates. Yes, without his influence Dororo and Hyakkimaru would have been lost once before, but in the end game he cannot do anything.

No one can, not even Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru’s mother, Oku. I did like that she realized betting the prosperity of their lands on a bunch of fickle demons was wrong. Making a pact with a group of oni in something called the Hall of Hell was foolish to begin with, but she did her duty as the Lord’s wife.

Now she would like to complete her duty as a mother to two sons, whatever that may be. Whatever that may entail.

I don’t agree with Biwamaru’s logic on the nature of human beings. As Oku stated, are there really just those two extremes? You fight until you lose yourself, or you sit on your hands, do nothing, and hide? Because that would be the way of the Buddha? The way of the Goddess of Mercy, Kannon?

The Goddess of Mercy watched over Hyakkimaru until she could no longer. I think that is a divine sign to take things into your own hands. Especially since Oku attempting to sacrifice herself is what broke the goddess’s protection.

I am starting to see the formation of Dororo fleshing out her life goals, and what she would like to do with her father’s anti-samurai money. Maybe she will indeed start with the derelict village of weary travelers, tired of running away from the war and building only to have it swiftly taken away again. A vicious cycle of poverty, enacted by the ruling samurai class and nobles of the land.

Either way it goes, I don’t know if Hyakkimaru will be along for the ride. It’s not looking good for either brothers, although Tahomaru’s death flag has been raised and his time is over. The end cards never lie.

Then again, Tahomaru grabbed Hyogo and Mutsu’s loaned arms before their deaths. Mutsu said he will “create a land of peace” but it implies it will involve Hyakkimaru’s arms…and Hyakkimaru’s transplanted eyes remained closed during this exchange.

The death of Mutsu and Hyogo, Dororo episode 23
The death of Mutsu and Hyogo, Dororo episode 23

So in theory, Hyakkimaru’s influence will be felt, but he won’t live to see the changes in his lifetime?

I really do believe that it was a mistake to sacrifice Hyakkimaru for a false safety in saving Daigo. Especially since Daigo had malicious intent to begin with. He never cared about the lands or people, only his own vanity. He wanted his name to be known, and to remain. And I’m sure he will receive that infamy, whether is praise or a cautionary tale against curses – remains unknown.

Tahomaru to Hyakkimaru, On to the next adventure...
Tahomaru to Hyakkimaru, On to the next adventure…

Do you believe Lord Daigo is experiencing remorse for the actions against his son? Does Tahomaru deserve to die? What do you think will be the first thing Hyakkimaru sees when he gets his eyes?

What is Jukai planning? Dororo, episode 23
What is Jukai planning? Dororo, episode 23

And seriously…what on earth is Jukai planning?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Dororo 2019 episode reviews!

See you back here next Monday for another one!

最後の巻:

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A Monumental Final Battle is on the Horizon!

Reviewing Episode 22 of the Dororo 2019 anime!

Need to catch up with the series? Use this link for a free 30 day Amazon Prime Video trial and support the anime legally! Check out last week’s Episode 21 review here.

Okay, now I am convinced that the demons are simply trolling Lord Daigo and his lands at this point. I’m not sure if my theory was true regarding the twelfth demon eating Hyakkimaru’s eyes from the recent chimera kill, but they were available to be given to Tahomaru this episode. In addition to Hyakkimaru’s remaining limbs going to the siblings Mutsu and Hyogo.

I had no clue those two were actually siblings. Rather, I assumed they were two orphans from the same village who happened to wind up together and formed a pact to survive. Given Hyogo’s sudden character development and protectiveness over his sibling, I guess that was a subtle detail I missed all of this time.

So Tahomaru’s third eye is open, Hyakkimaru is riding a demonic midoro into battle channeling demon energy, and the siblings are on the end card usually reserved for youkai. This cannot be good, can it?

Then we have Oku’s surprising change of heart followed by her short road trip with Dororo that washes them up to a village of despots. Dororo may find inspiration on what to do with the money, and the priest I was sure we were never going to see again is conveniently hanging out asking her of future plans.

Dororo is also feeding the now (arguably) evil pale mare’s foal, which I’m sure will somehow come in to play.

On top of all of this, Hyakkimaru’s Mamma Jukai is making his way into Daigo’s land, whittling at a prosthetic to pass the time.

There is so much being set up for the next episode, and I know the climax to this series will either be: vague, messy, heartbreaking, or a combination of the three.

I am almost positive that by giving Hyakkimaru’s appendages to Tahomaru and his friends, the demons are trying to create discord for the reneged deal. The close up of the statue even seemed like it was smirking towards the ending scene. Mutsu had the vague revelation that the deal could only be satisfied by Daigo and his firstborn, but wouldn’t anyone of the bloodline suffice?

So in theory, if Hyakkimaru kills Tahomaru and takes back his limbs, the demons gain three new souls. When he continues on his vengeful path and kills his father and or mother, that equates to five. If Tahomaru somehow manages to kill his big bro, that is only one measly soul. Hyakkimaru is causing enough chaos as is for the demons to soak up its essence. Why on earth would they still want his lone death when they could acquire so many more?

There is ongoing speculation that Tahomaru may be possessed, and I am starting to believe it. The demons cured their ailments but also took something equally important away – their minds. I know the events surrounding the lordling have been grim, but since when did he make a habit of sitting alone solemnly staring at a wall in the dark?

Where did the bags come from under his eyes, when they were previously not there before their encounter in the Hall of Hell?

Regarding demons, I have read that since they are ethereal beings, they seek the feeling and pleasure associated with human flesh. Meaning, they enjoy the sensations of life and even its suffering because it is something tangible they can attain, rather than watching from afar. In their haste to live, they can rapidly degrade their host to the point that the body exhausts on its own. Or the sheer physical feats not ordinarily possible for the human, but the demon performing these supernatural feats within the human skin – causing the host to perish and completely degrade upon the entity’s exit.

I know I usually throw in a link or two containing related material for you readers to learn more about the topic, but it’s late at night at the time of this writing. Coupled with the fact that I hate writing about these sorts of things, I won’t try to verify this knowledge with outside sources. I am a firm believer that whatever you speak or think about is often drawn toward you, and I am not seeking those particularly bad vibes on this cool spring night.

Sigh…I think I’ll leave this here, as I just remembered Asura failed to eat Hyakkimaru’s head due to Kannon’s influence. If my favboi Tahomaru really is possessed, he ate that brother’s mind while simultaneously devouring his spirit.

It is depressing all around. See you all next week.

Dororo, waiting to save Hyakkimaru next episode...
Dororo, waiting to save Hyakkimaru next episode…

Do you think Tahomaru is possessed? Does Kannon have any influence left in Daigo’s Lands? How do you think the Dororo series will end?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Dororo 2019 episode reviews!

See you back here next Monday for another one!

次の巻: Losing Ourselves to Demons

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What Attack on Titan Left Behind

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Episode 7 (or 19) Review.

Check out last week’s Episode 18 Review here.

(Beware, show-only watchers, minor plot spoilers are below.)

Oh, this episode absolutely broke my heart.

It was a triumphant situation, but how they all got there was so bittersweet.

All of the lives lost in pursuit of reaching Grisha Yeager’s basement.

Commander Erwin Smith’s body lying in a bed of an unmarked home.

Armin freaking out over his new reality.

Sasha laying on the walls, half dead.

The bodies of the new recruits scattered just outside.

And yet, there is some semblance of hope on the horizon.

If there is anything to take from this episode, it is the important of knowledge; and its pursuit. Knowledge is the most important thing in this world. Occult, or clandestine teachings rule this realm. If you don’t know what you are fighting for, you have nothing to do but just dream. Your mind searches for a reason to the madness that surrounds.

In the end, Grisha was the savior of Paradis Island, although labeled a madman and terrorist in Marley. The photograph of Dina, Grisha and Zeke symbolizes hope and innovation, even if the union between those two leads to nothing but sadness.

In the previews however, we learn their story – through the proxy of Eren. I’m sure Grisha’s novel trilogy details intricacies of humanity’s fate, but it will be great to see the memories through his second born son’s eyes. 

I already know, but I still wonder just how deeply learning of his Aunt Faye will affect Eren.

Especially in the context of the manga’s latest chapter, where he lingers in the place of their birth…

The series only gets better from here, as we experience the wonders of the outside world through the characters we have been following for years. Arguably, the actual series does start once the crew reach the basement.

The somber credits were a nice touch as Hanji’s words mingle with Grisha’s. The little piano note and flicker in a young Grisha’s eyes as Faye wishes to watch the dirigible was an even nicer touch.

Ah damn it, this story is incredibly sad.

Poor Marco. Attack on Titan S3 Episode 19 credits.
Poor Marco. Attack on Titan S3 Episode 19 credits.

I also noticed in the end credits for the first time that Marco is watching Bertholdt and Reiner as they speak to Eren and Armin. Thinking about how clever he was, and his fate because of his knowledge is sad. Or re-seeing Eren failing to grasp the ODM gear with Shadis screaming the boy down. Only to learn that Shadis pulled a Severus Snape and that since he loved his mother Carla, sabotaged her son out of jealousy.

Or the big one that has yet to be revealed, concerning Dina Fritz and Carla Yeager in Shiganshina. Or the event that really triggered the power of the coordinate.

So many loose ends and half-truths being filled with three old dusty books.

It’s amazing, isn’t it?

I wonder how much truth is being hidden in our own world, as we idle imprisoned behind the invisible walls; looking toward the sky for better days.

If you could bring one cadet of the survey corps back, who would it be? And why?

And…

Faye and Grisha Yeager, Attack on Titan s3 Episode 19.
Faye and Grisha Yeager, Attack on Titan s3 Episode 19.

Do you believe humanity is truly free?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 Reviews!

See you back here same time next week!

次のエピソード:  

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Dangerous Situations Before the Storm

Reviewing Episode 21 of the Dororo 2019 anime!

Need to catch up with the series? Use this link for a free 30 day Amazon Prime Video trial and support the anime legally! Check out last week’s Episode 20 review here.

So full disclosure: after I first watched the episode, I wasn’t sure what to say.

Shit is really hitting the fan, so to speak.

We finally receive the backstory on how Lord Daigo acquired Mutsu and Hyogo, only for both of them to be crippled this episode. Not to mention, judging by Hyakkimaru’s vision – Mutsu is dying.

Mutsu's diminishing life force, Dororo Episode 21.
Mutsu’s diminishing life force, Dororo Episode 21.

Whether or not the plague will spread to the now-captive Dororo remains to be seen.

It is ironic that Mutsu gives this speech about becoming Tahomaru’s right hand, while Hyogo has become the left…just for Hyakkimaru to chop off her right hand and Hyogo’s left. Hyakkimaru also seemed to go for Tahomaru’s right eye again during the fight, and I’m not sure why. I know he has more moves than to continually slash at someone’s already blinded eye.

Maybe it’s a metaphor for the young lordling losing sight of his original goals, or only being able to see one perspective. Given the events, I’m sure an impending doom is near. I am almost positive that if Lord Daigo’s spy/flunky hadn’t rode in on a pale mare, it would have been over for his heir.

Also, why was the only option blowing up the prized horse with cute, large anime eyes? I mean seriously, they couldn’t think of any other options but eviscerating a mare that could have been ridden into battle?

I mean, now Hyakkimaru has beholden the pale mare, who has come back to life in the form of a vengeful rapidash after…unknown magical items and armour assembling to create it? Usually the magic or youkai influence is explained or heavily implied in each episode, but I was kind of at a loss here with this one. There were a plethora of dead bodies in the ditch, Hyakkimaru was aware of the spiritual presence possessing the armour, and it even seemed to be inching toward him before deferring at the last minute.

Was the horse a better candidate for its influence? Was it because Hyakkimaru was still alive? Did the armour decidedly help the young man by giving him a steed to ride into his incoming battles? Why do I keep interchanging steed and mare when they have different meanings? Also, why couldn’t they get a horse when they really needed one episodes back? They could have avoided so many weirdos while on horseback.

Dororo in Episode 21 end credits.
Dororo in Episode 21 end credits.

All jokes aside, this should be an interesting final battle. The ending credits are getting clearer, and a vision of an older Dororo can be seen.

So, Hyakkimaru definitely does get his vision back. But at what cost, and will the first thing he sees be happy? Especially after regaining senses have become associated with pain, loss, and deep trauma that makes Hyakkimaru wish he hadn’t even acquired them.

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Dororo 2019 episode reviews!

Hyakkimaru to Dororo, On to the next adventure...
Hyakkimaru to Dororo, On to the next adventure…

See you back here next Monday for another one!

次の巻: A Monumental Final Battle is on the Horizon

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A New Colossal Titan Under Midnight Sun

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Episode 6 (or 18) Review.

Check out last week’s Episode 17 Review here.

(I mention minor plot spoilers from the manga in this review. Tread carefully, show-only watchers.)

There are theories that one’s life flashes before their eyes when near death. I wonder, if this was the case with Erwin. Before smacking the titan spinal fluid syringe away from his arm, he seemed to be thinking of simpler times.

Before he joined the survey corps. Before his father died. Before it all changed.

I like that they brought up that Erwin tuned into a monster in order to fight monsters. That’s how he survived, and the truth of the basement was the dream he held onto. Eren held onto his hatred, Levi – his devotion to his commander. Eren realizing that he lost sight of himself and forgot about seeing the ocean with Armin was touching, to say the least. It’s become a meme at this point, him recklessly pursing the death of every single titan on their earth.

Or, ours. 2,000 years in the past.

Zeke saying he will save Eren was another great moment, and I can’t wait until those two get more interaction. Last week while searching for Floch’s name, I came across spoilers from the latest manga chapter. It was a YouTube video where an artist colored the panels skillfully. The sheer amount of material the anime adaptation has to work with makes me excited about its future. Of course, Wit Studio is a little slow when it comes to doling out the anime, but I appreciate the care and quality the staff puts into its production.

Armin Arlert emerges a god. Attack on Titan s3 Episode 18.
Armin Arlert emerges a god. Attack on Titan s3, Episode 18.

I keep thinking about Armin’s transformation scene. When his friends remove him from the mindless titan body, he almost looks like a god. The divine lighting, the tears streaming on awe-stuck loved ones faces all juxtaposed with Erwin’s decaying body on a dingy, broken rooftop. Which by the way, did anyone else want to smack Floch? I was so annoyed when he gave his speech on why they should save the devil of the Survey Corps.

What gave him the right to even chime in? Yes, he was the lone survivor of the new cadets. Yes, he rightfully hates Erwin for ordering the troop suicide charge. But I mean, seriously – what gave him the right to tell Mikasa and Eren that their friend was worthless?

That’s what I love about good storytelling.

We, the viewers, know personally what the 104 training corps had to go through. We watched them struggle, get close to the traitors from Marley, and felt the pain of losing trusted comrades. Hell, I’m still upset the original Team Levi died because of Eren’s hesitation a while back. We have witnessed firsthand just how much humanity has lost, the greatest soldiers falling to their deaths through the Survey Corp branch like sand.

But Floch didn’t know any of that. All he knows is that on his (presumed) first mission outside the walls to retake Shiganshina District, everyone died. Soldiers who fully gave their heart for years. People like Moblit, who sacrificed himself to save Hange.

Floch just wants to see Erwin Smith suffer, and that is understandable. Eren and Mikasa want to save their friend who has saved the world countless times, and that is also understandable.

Neither of these people are wrong, and I absolutely love that.

Levi also seemed to feel guilty about saving Erwin initially, continually thinking about the conversation he eavesdropped on between the trio. I’m glad that they will all see the ocean together, even if everything goes to hell soon afterward.

So Paradis Island now has two titans, while Marley still has the bulk. I hope next week they show Historia’s reaction to the letter. I loved Christa and Ymir together, it’s a shame she had to die. I wish there was a way the titans could live forever, but I guess that would be unfair given the power they are able to wield their short time here on earth. Even if all they do is fight. What a shame.

Anyway, let’s wrap up this review here. Since I have the urge to talk about more things that the anime is nowhere near adapting yet.

The death of Erwin Smith, Attack on Titan s3 Episode 18.
The death of Erwin Smith, Attack on Titan s3, Episode 18.

Do you think they will expand on Erwin Smith and Levi Ackerman’s relationship next season? Why do gentle people like Bertholdt Hoover and Armin Arlert keep getting the Colossal Titan? Would you participate in a war against your own kind?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 Reviews!

See you back here same time next week!

次のエピソード:   What Attack on Titan Left Behind

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The Leaves Fall with Blood

Reviewing Episode 20 of the Dororo 2019 anime!

Need to catch up with the series? Use this link for a free 30 day Amazon Prime Video trial and support the anime legally! Check out last week’s Episode 19 review here.

Welp, any hope that we’d get a happy ending died along with that griffin-like creature. I just knew last week’s episode was a little too happy. Hyakkimaru was just a little too hopeful. The character growth was just a little too fast.

Sigh.

So this episode, the dynamic duo meet a wannabe samurai named misery who loves company. Misery, who changed his birth name from Saburota after the death of his mother, lures weary travelers to a brutal death while in a pensive sabbath; questioning our mortality as human beings.

In order to feel relief from the guilt of leaving his mother to die, he enjoys watching other struggle to survive. This allows his fragile ego to remain intact, as those weaker and stronger than him fail to endure the wrath, or hunger, of the Nue youkai. Of course, Misery is surprised when Hyakkimaru defeats the beast and reaffirms to the audience that the young man is indeed still between mortal soul and lingering spirit.

It is a shame, as Hyakkimaru was doing so well. Dororo even gave this cute speech about plans for their future and subsequently rose her death flag for the series end. Her big bro decides to look toward the future as well, character development slipping away while his back is turned.

Dororo is put in a perilous situation as per usual, but this time Hyakki wasn’t able to save her. In frustration, he bangs his head repeatedly against a boulder to presumably kill himself. Just then, old man Biwamaru swoops in and saves the day. He sacrifices his sword to the boulder that would have killed Dororo, symbolizing that this may be the last time he can help the pair out.

The final sequence of the episode dwells on the old man’s face, lamenting aloud the heavy burden Hyakkimaru would have to resolve.

Over on Lord Daigo’s lands, Tahomaru helps his subjects and visits the Hall of Hell. He witnesses the twelfth demon Oku prophesied would cause trouble “eating” Hyakkimaru’s regained body part.

Hyakkimaru's vision briefly restored? Dororo s1, episode 20.
Hyakkimaru’s vision briefly restored? Dororo s1, episode 20.

There was this strange shot of distorted vision while Misery was being consumed by his hatred, and I wonder if that was Hyakkimaru’s eyes returning to him. Misery conjoining with the dying demon negated its effects, until it was later defeated for good.

So next week we should see Dororo and Hyakkimaru returning to find Lord Daigo. The pair didn’t seem far off, unless the juxtaposed cliff falling and crack of thunder were to denote the metaphysical storm approaching.

I knew Dororo would be a tragedy when I started watching in January, but it still makes me sad that none of these characters will have happy endings. I enjoy bittersweet endings because of the realism, but I can’t help being frustrated at envisioned alternate paths.

Jukai told Hyakkimaru that he could live differently, as did Biwamaru. In the end, he chose destruction in order to reclaim his body. At first, he just wanted it because it was his, but now he realized a desire to live. Hyakkimaru wants to protect his loved ones.

Despite the universe conspiring to end his delicate life.

I think of Mio, Osushi, and the countless others who desperately wanted to live happily, but ultimately the universe had other plans for them. Whatever happens next, I hope Daigo suffers divine consequences for his actions. Dororo also will never historically outlive the war, but I hope she does something positive with her father’s money.

The two met in the summer, and now their story will end in the fall – just before winter. What a tragedy.

I’ll end my thoughts on this incredibly solemn episode here.

Hyakkimaru to Dororo, On to the next adventure...
Hyakkimaru to Dororo, On to the next adventure…

Judging by the opening credits, the two brothers fight. Who do you think will be victorious, Tahomaru or Hyakkimaru? Does Hyakkimaru deserve to get his body back? Will the priest meet them again?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Dororo 2019 episode reviews!

See you back here next Monday for another one!

次の巻: Dangerous Situations Before the Storm

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Levi Ackerman is Humanity’s Greatest Strength!

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Episode 5 (or 17) Review.

Check out last week’s Episode 16 Review here.

(I’ve written about minor plot spoilers in this review, show-only watchers beware!)

The colossal titan finally falls! Shingeki no Kyojin s3, episode 17.
The colossal titan finally falls! Shingeki no Kyojin s3, episode 17.

Whew, this was the chapter adaptation I had been waiting for. Well, this, and the infamous basement chapter.

Now that I think about it, this was my favorite episode of the extended season thus far (factoring in the episode we met m’boy Marlo and Hitch).

Hmmm so where to begin…

I really wish we had gotten more time with the character Marlo. Since he was introduced, I just found it really compelling that he would leave his cushy life with the Military Police in exchange to be on the frontline of humanity. In a way, he was a direct contrast to what could have been for Jean. It was really important Jean was the one to test him out, as they had similar convictions.

Jean wanted an easy life in the innermost walls, away from any possibility of drying. If his friends (and frenemy Eren) hadn’t guilted him into joining, he would have lived the life Marlo did; utterly clueless, unconcerned with the outside world and never once gazing upon a titan.

Gosh, it’s really a shame he had to die, and moptop got to live. I always find it ironic when the less equipped for survival end up outliving their “betters”, so to speak. That would have to feel terrible as well, being the only one to live and waking up alone on an active battlefield.

Anyway, I’m glad Zeke is slowly revealing the plot and mysteries surrounding the walls. I honestly cannot wait until the residents of Paradis Island realize who they are, and what war they are fighting in. Or when Zeke and Eren meet for the first time.

I’m going to end this review here. Next week should be interesting, especially concerning Armin’s storyline.

I’ll only pose one question instead of the usual three today: Do you honestly hate any of these characters?

Despite being on opposing sides, (and reading ahead), I actually like all of them a lot.

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 Reviews!

See you back here same time next week!

次のエピソード:   A New Colossal Titan Under Midnight Sun

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