Deception on Buddha’s Mountain Top

Reviewing Episode 13 of the Dororo 2019 anime!

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.

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.

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.

A map on Dororo’s back.

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.

Dororo to Hyakkimaru, On to the next adventure…

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? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more episode reviews! See you again next Monday!

Twitter Reddit Instagram

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Upcoming Reviews for the Spring Anime Season 2019

A blog announcement for planned weekly reviews of the animes Dororo and Shingeki no Kyojin.

Howdy Everyone!

I hope your spring has been green and less rain-filled than mine so far.

I started watching anime again last season, and winter turned out to have hidden gems. One of those gems happened to be Dororo. Set in the Warring States period (Sengoku Jidai, abt. 1467 – 1600), it follows Hyakkimaru (“One Hundred Demons”) and Dororo (“thief”) through Japan in search of demons to slay.

Coupled with the heavy focus on Shintoism, Buddhism, and Youkai – it was love at first episode. The second cour is due to air in about two days and I will be reviewing episodes 13 – 24 weekly on the blog.

I tend not to do weekly reviews because if it’s a newer show, I could lose interest or if it’s a beloved older show with new seasons, sometimes I have nothing to say until the very end. Besides, after the stunt Samurai Flamenco pulled in 2013 I developed severe trust issues. The three episode drop rule doesn’t apply to them all…so I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep.

The next and last anime I will be reviewing this spring will be Shingeki no Kyojin 3, part 2. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have read the manga until a certain point in the story after a particularly brutal cliff hanger last season. I’ll try not to talk about any plot spoilers and focus on the adaptation as – is.

I’ve never thought about reviewing this one before (as everyone does it) but since I have decided to review both Game of Thrones S8 and The 100 S6 on my other website, I should do two shows here as well.

Consistency is something I struggle with despite having content lined up, so this spring I would like to get a schedule going on In Asian Spaces. It’s going to be a fun Q2, and I can’t wait to share the enjoyment with you all!

☆ In Asian Spaces

Twitter Reddit Instagram