The Beauty of Dororo and Mob Psycho
It is truly unfair to have Dororo and Mob Psycho air on the same night. These two shows deserve individual recognition, but it is difficult to delay coverage of either. However, this dilemma reveals the diverse and captivating nature of anime. Furuhashi-sensei and Tachikawa-sensei have taken vastly different approaches to telling stories that are already distinct. This ability of anime to accommodate such variety is a significant reason why it is so beloved, and it is a quality that those who dismiss it fail to comprehend.
The Quiet Poetry of Dororo
Dororo encompasses a profound sense of poetry, evident in both its visual aesthetics and storytelling. The consistently stunning visuals create a narrative of their own, while the story itself carries Tezuka Osamu’s essence. Despite altering aspects from the source material, the series retains Tezuka’s core beliefs. Every frame evokes pathos and tragedy, yet amidst the bleakness, there is a fundamental belief in the redeeming power of human compassion and love. Tezuka’s intention seems to be challenging our faith and reminding us that belief requires effort in the face of adversity.
Hyakkimaru’s journey has been arduous from the very beginning, his introduction to the world of sound marked by the cries of grief. Now, with his restored hearing, he faces an overwhelming onslaught of sensory inputs. Dororo attempts to assist, but their constant chatter proves to be a hindrance, disrupting even Hyakkimaru’s prowess in battle. He faces the consequences when a relatively weak bird youkai injures him during a skirmish. However, Biwamaru’s timely arrival rescues them from further harm.
Unveiling New Voices
In the midst of brewing war and Hyakkimaru’s recovery, his world is transformed by the sound of a woman’s voice. This encounter, however, differs significantly from his previous experiences. Mio, a young woman with a captivating voice, captures Hyakkimaru’s attention. Concerned about his weakened state, she brings him, along with Dororo and the old priest, to the ruined temple where she cares for a group of war orphans. Among them is Takebou, one of the older boys.
The Harsh Realities Portrayed
Tezuka and Furuhashi refuse to romanticize the Warring States Period. They present a vision of a harsh world where humans inflict suffering upon one another. Samurais commit needless acts of cruelty, warlords gamble with the lives of their people, and weak men sell their own children to demons for power and wealth. However, against this backdrop of misery, the series consistently showcases acts of empathy, courage, and quiet dignity.
The Enigma of Mio
The nature of Mio’s nightly activities is not a mystery, although it deeply affects Dororo upon witnessing it firsthand. Despite his young age, Dororo understands the implications, even if he cannot fully comprehend the complexities. In a poignant moment, Dororo informs Mio that Hyakkimaru can “see” the color of a person’s soul. Fearing judgment for her sacrifices, Mio covers herself, but Hyakkimaru’s genuine sight reveals her nobility and the reasons driving her actions.
Hyakkimaru embarks on a mission to defeat a youkai residing in a plot of land where the war orphans sought refuge. This quest is not driven by his desire to reclaim a body part but rather by his gratitude for the gift of sound bestowed upon him by Mio’s voice. Despite not being fully recovered, Hyakkimaru faces a formidable youkai, with Biwamaru offering his assistance. During the battle, Hyakkimaru tragically loses the leg he had just regained, experiencing the agony that comes with possessing a physical body.
The Emergence of Hyakkimaru’s Voice
In a significant development, we hear Hyakkimaru’s voice for the first time. The woman’s anguish was his initial encounter with sound, and now he creates his own voice—this pathos-ridden existence thrust upon him by curse, yet balanced by loyal friends and the lingering presence of Junkai. In this world Tezuka has crafted, cruelty and savagery coexist with decency and empathy. But does justice prevail? Only time can answer this crucial question.
Dororo and Mob Psycho stand apart as exceptional anime series with distinct styles and narratives. Dororo embraces quiet poetry and explores the power of compassion amidst tragedy. Its refusal to romanticize history highlights the cruelty of human actions alongside acts of empathy and dignity. The unfolding story of Hyakkimaru, Mio, and the war orphans reveals the complexity and struggles of their lives. With its thoughtful storytelling and visually captivating presentation, Dororo serves as a testament to the depth and richness of the anime medium.
1. What is the significance of Tezuka Osamu in Dororo?
Tezuka Osamu’s influence is profound in Dororo, as the series remains faithful to his themes of pathos, tragedy, and the redemption found in human compassion. While the adaptation deviates from the source material, it retains the fundamental beliefs and spirit of Tezuka’s works.
2. How does Dororo challenge common stereotypes about anime?
Dororo transcends superficial perceptions of anime by offering a nuanced and mature narrative. It tackles complex themes, portrays the harsh realities of historical settings, and explores the complexities of human nature. By doing so, it defies stereotypes and highlights the artistic and storytelling potential of anime.
3. What makes Dororo stand out among other anime series?
Dororo distinguishes itself through its exceptional visuals, blending stunning aesthetics with a poignant narrative. The series portrays the struggles and triumphs of its characters with depth and authenticity, immersing viewers in a world filled with tragedy, empathy, and the pursuit of justice.
4. How does Dororo’s depiction of war impact the storytelling?
Dororo does not shy away from portraying the horrors of war, presenting the gruesome realities of the Warring States Period. By highlighting the cruelty inflicted by humans upon one another, the series crafts a compelling narrative that addresses the consequences of violence and the resilience of the human spirit.
5. What broader lessons can be derived from Dororo?
Dororo serves as a powerful reminder of the capacity for compassion and love to heal wounds and overcome adversity. Through the trials and tribulations of its characters, the series emphasizes the importance of empathy and dignity, even in the face of unimaginable hardships.