Welcome to my first Dororo review!
As I mentioned in this post, I decided to start reviewing this show in its second cour. I am starting with episode 13, you will not find any prior reviews on this blog. Do you need to catch up with the series?
With that being said, let’s get jump into it!
I guess carrying on with last episodes theme, this weeks could be “eye-deceiving” which “lack in reality or substance or genuineness; not corresponding to acknowledged facts or criteria.”
When shown last week’s flashback, I still can’t help but be annoyed at the irony of Hyakkimaru’s mother. Oku prayed to Kannon for her son’s life each day for seventeen years, even seemingly neglecting her second born son Tahomaru growing up. The mother finally gets to meet the boy and she decides…she’d rather he die to retain the feudal land’s comfort and wealth? That was a total deception on our, the viewers, part as (most of us who had no familiarity with the series) assumed she regretted letting Hyakkimaru go. I personally thought she wanted to reunite with Hyakki and bring him into their household, not side with her son and husband in securing his demise. It totally left a bad taste in my mouth and since Kannon saved Oku, I’m sure we will see more of her before the series ends.
An unspecified time skip shows us that Hyakkimaru has ran himself to near exhaustion after the events near Asakusa. He has not reclaimed any body parts in some time, and that can no doubt be extremely frustrating to him. So much so, that he has decided to speak more – to Dororo’s delight. She must get lonely. I’m glad her character is there to ground him, he has become far too reckless after meeting his family.
This episode revolved around a sculptor named Okaka. With war in the air, his patrons demanded depictions of Fudo Myo-o. Fudo Myo-o (or Acala) is a deity that protects his believers and burns away all “impediments and defilements” that block the way towards enlightenment. The sculptor could not find a suitable face for the deity, and ends up dying in ruin. A demon enters the sacred statue and revives Okaka, changing him from male to female in his new life.
It is quite ironic that Fudo Myo-o protects his followers by clearing obstacles, and a demon enters his statue and reanimates Okaka to prevent him from finding salvation in the afterlife.
The act of stealing faces for the statue who was never satisfied reminded me a lot of Koh, the Face Stealer from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Only Okaka seems to take it one step further, by putting her victims under a spell while using their loved ones image. Dororo falls under this spell, but then again the little girl finds her mother’s face in many other women in the series. Okaka exploits the child in order to get to Hyakkimaru because she desires his face. Which was…odd. He recently just got his skin back and his ears, but he still doesn’t have eyes.
Would a prosthetic face really be that unique amongst the faces of villagers?
Okaka drugs the pair and after Dororo realizes what is going on, she saves Hyakkimaru. The sculptor then tries to fool a blind man with the face and voice of his mother and is then…surprised that he sees through the genjutsu. Okaka remarks “you’ve never seen your mother’s face before?” in shock that her ‘gift’ didn’t work. I love this show, but I don’t understand why Hyakkimaru would have supposedly fallen for this rouse. Upon their first meeting he isn’t even sure if the woman is human. I don’t understand why the baddie of the week thought he would, it was quite silly.
With death upon her, Okaka realizes the error of her ways and remarks that Dororo’s face is that of a smiling Buddha. Then Dororo deals with the pain of losing her mother all over again.
Towards the end of the episode the two go to an onsen, and meet the blind old man who often shows up in their travels. We then learn of a map Dororo has on her back that looks more like a flower to me.
I am surprised the priestess episodes back (when we learned Dororo’s gender) never said anything. Either way, I’m sure we’ll find out more next week concerning the map and why this show is called Dororo and not Hyakkimaru.
But, tell me your thoughts.
Where do you think the map on Dororo’s back leads?
Why do you think Okaka couldn’t find the face she was searching for (until seemingly the end)?
Do you think Hyakkimaru will get his eyes back soon?
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☆ In Asian Spaces