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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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

3 thoughts on “The Leaves Fall with Blood”

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