Created by: Osamu Tezuka
Directed by: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Studio: Tezuka Productions, MAPPA
Episode count: 1 – 24 (Complete)
Audio: English, Japanese
Classification: 15 (BBFC)
Licensed by: MVM Entertainment
Release date: Out now
Dororo is a young orphan that roams the lands of feudal Japan, doing all he can just to survive. Just when he thinks his short life is about to end at the hands of a monster, Dororo is saved by a masked fighter, with hidden blades for arms. His name is Hyakkimaru, a human that was cursed from the day he was born. His limbs, sight, speech, hearing and even skin were traded to demons in order for his father to get his wish to rule his land unchallenged and have it flourish. Having seen just what this young warrior is capable of, Dororo decides to join him on his mission to slay every demon that stole from him and regain his humanity in the process.
My, oh my! Now this was an action packed series, one that was full of gore, blood shed, pacts with demons and plenty of violence. I have to say, this may very well end up being my favorite anime of the year already. The story is certainly intriguing, and was actually told more from the side characters point of view instead of our demon slayer Hyakkimaru. In just 24 episodes it succeeded in developing practically every character involved, answered all questions and fully delivered on the action. It’s no wonder this anime was produced by Studio MAPPA. In fact the story itself was actually first created by the ‘Father of Manga’ – Osamu Tezuka!
Dororo is in fact the name of our young orphan thief, who has their own personal tragedy when it comes to their parents and identity. A whimsical child, cunning and sly, who has managed to survive thus far in this war torn land. One that is beginning to be ruled by the corrupt samurai, instead of the everyday farmers and general population. As luck would have it, Dororo is quickly saved by the traveling Hyakkimaru as he was on the hunt for one of the 48 demons that cursed him. Throughout this series, Hyakkimaru begins to restore not only his body parts, but also his emotions, voice and the ability to feel pain. One that I am sure he almost came to regret when those he began to spend time with are brutally slaughtered. We learn about both our main characters’ pasts and how their stories became intertwined. Although this show did very well in managing all that it did in just 24 episodes, I still would have loved to have seen more. It is definitely a show I would recommend to people and one I will certainly be rewatching again in the future.
‘Dororo’ was directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi, a Japanese anime director and supervisor, whose work has included the anime series of Rurouni Kenshin, Hunter x Hunter, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and one of the most anticipated animes of the year: Spy x Family. ‘Dororo’ was then brought to life by a collaboration between studios MAPPA and Tezuka Productions. MAPPA is of course most renowned for Attack on Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen, Kakegurui and the up-coming Chainsaw Man! Tezuka Productions was an animation company founded by Osamu Tezuka himself, which also produced anime adaptations of many of his own manga works. Including Astro Boy, The New Adventures of Kimba, The White Lion and Black Jack. So the animation on ‘Dororo’ was incredibly sleek, well choreographed and just a pure delight to watch.
Bonus features include:
- Clean opening and closing
This isn’t the first anime adaption of ‘Dororo’, in fact the story was first published in 1967 and ran for just two years before being canceled. Thankfully however the title was picked up by another magazine and the tale was concluded in 1969. This manga was then adapted into a 26 episode anime series by Mushi Production, way back in 1969.
Dororo later had a revival in 2018, when the manga was later adapted again in an ongoing series by Satoshi Shiki, entitled: The Legend of Dororo and Hyakkimaru. This one in fact has been picked up by Seven Seas Entertainment and was done in the same character design as this very anime adaptation which was released in 2019. There has since been a video game and live action adaptation over the years.
‘Dororo’, is available to buy now on BluRay, through the lovely folks over at MVM Entertainment.