Dororo: A Mesmerizing Journey through Anime’s Hidden Depths – Series Finale

Rare Reflections on the Finale of Dororo

Rarely have we experienced such trepidation approaching the ending of a great series. The anticipation of bidding farewell to a beloved show is always sorrowful, even with a satisfying conclusion and well-executed finale. Dororo, however, carried a unique sense of danger as we neared its final episode. Throughout the second cour, some editorial decisions seemed questionable, leaving a lingering concern that MAPPA, Tezuka Productions, Furuhashi, and Kobayashi might veer off track and potentially ruin the series. Thankfully, our worst fears were not realized, and the final episode aligned more closely with our perspective on the narrative. Whether this indicates a misinterpretation of the buildup remains unclear, yet the consensus of opinion suggests widespread agreement. If the writing deceived so many, the intention behind it becomes secondary to its impact.

A Bittersweet Ending

We received an ending that we largely agreed with, and it was executed superbly for the most part. While not entirely happy, the finale of Dororo exuded a sense of hope rather than sheer joy, which befit a series primarily characterized by tragedy with a glimmer of hope. Inevitably, the toll extracted in the end would reflect the accumulation of Karma throughout the story. We expected Nui to meet her demise, likely engulfed in the fiery ruins of her husband’s castle. Her final moments revealed a recognition of her grave mistakes, and her first-born witnessed her face before his own eyes—an undeniably poignant but bittersweet moment.

Tahoumaru, too, met an expected tragic end. His path was sealed when he wholeheartedly embraced his father’s grievous sin, accepting demonic powers in a desperate attempt to fulfill Daigo’s contract. Notably, Hyakkimaru observed a missing piece, seemingly where Tahoumaru’s heart should be. Did this occur as a consequence of the contract, or was it an inherent trait? Our inclination leans toward the former—a price extracted by the demon in exchange for the loan of Hyakkimaru’s eyes and arms. The demise of Tahoumaru, driven partly by resentment towards Hyakkimaru’s possession of Nui’s love, is a reminder of the elemental nature of human emotions.

The Virtue of Hyakkimaru

Hyakkimaru, in contrast, had little reason to apologize for his actions. Despite persistent warnings about his potential descent into darkness, he never actively sought to incorporate demons within himself. Tahoumaru, on the other hand, willingly embraced the path intertwined with demonic elements, culminating in his literal acceptance of demon parts. Hyakkimaru’s choices, driven by the instinct to survive and reclaim his humanity, were guided more by necessity than personal desire. The fact that he spared Tahoumaru in the end did not surprise us, as it was consistent with his compassionate nature. It does raise an intriguing question, though—would Tahoumaru have extended the same mercy had their duel ended differently?

A Calculated Demise and Poetic Justice

The deaths of Nui and Tahoumaru, or at least the deception of their deaths, served to leave Daigo utterly bereaved and alone. While we may feel that Dororo’s judgment of Daigo could have been harsher, the finale aligned with our perspective. The encounter between Hyakkimaru and Daigo in the Hall of Hell stood out as the best scene of the episode. It not only portrayed Hyakkimaru’s extraordinary capacity for empathy towards the man he might have sought to kill, but also demonstrated the profound consequences of Daigo’s misguided choices. His exceptional son, destined to become a great leader and revitalize their domain, was callously sacrificed to demons in pursuit of an easier path. Poetically, Daigo had to endure the knowledge of his irreparable losses.

The Departure of Jukai and Dororo

Jukai’s death proved difficult to accept, considering the contributions he could have continued to make in the world. However, it seems likely that Jukai believed he should have met his demise earlier as a just punishment for his past crime. While he had aided countless individuals, he recognized that his purpose in life extended primarily to assisting Hyakkimaru. Once Jukai fulfilled his ultimate responsibility, namely acknowledging Hyakkimaru’s humanity and providing the necessary encouragement to continue living, he likely felt he had fulfilled his life’s purpose.

It has long been anticipated that Hyakkimaru and Dororo would part ways, at least temporarily (though not before he acknowledged her beauty). Hyakkimaru chose to follow the path of Biwamaru, a revelation that shed light on the former samurai’s intriguing backstory. To walk this chosen path, he needed to confront his own experiences and come to terms with his identity. Dororo’s path, on the other hand, aimed to utilize her newfound fortune in a manner that would have brought great joy to her parents—leaving little room for Hyakkimaru. The story hints at a future convergence of their paths, while leaving the specifics to our imagination.

Reflections on a Satisfying Conclusion

In the end, Dororo delivered a conclusion that surpassed our expectations and concerns. While it may not reach the transcendence of Seirei no Moribito, it has established itself as a standout series. Dororo possesses a depth and poetry rarely found in anime or any other medium, reminiscent of the unforgettable early episodes, making it a true unicorn in 2019. Simple yet profound storytelling, an exceptional cast, and a disregard for anime tropes make Dororo a rare gem—a story told for the sake of storytelling itself. For that, we can be forever grateful.


The finale of Dororo captured the essence of the series, providing a bittersweet yet hopeful ending to a profoundly tragic tale. The characters faced their respective fates, and the narrative explored the consequences of their choices, delivering poetic justice and emotional resonance. Dororo’s uniqueness among contemporary anime lies in its depth, artistry, and departure from clichés. It stands as a testament to the power of storytelling and the enduring impact of exceptional characters. Though Dororo concludes its journey, the impressions it leaves behind will continue to resonate with fans for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How did the finale of Dororo compare to your expectations?

The finale of Dororo exceeded our expectations, delivering a conclusion that aligned more closely with our perspective on the story. It managed to strike a balance between bittersweetness and hope, leaving a lasting impression.

2. Were there any surprising character arcs in the finale?

The character arcs in the finale were largely in line with expectations. However, the observations about Tahoumaru’s missing piece and Hyakkimaru’s empathetic nature shed new light on their stories, inviting further contemplation.

3. How did the finale address the moral ambiguity of the