Dororo (2019) : The Story of Daigo

Episode 1

Daigo no Maki” (醍醐の巻)

A story that seems to be as bloody and strange as they come. Full of demons and bad dudes, it seemed straight up my alley.

Like most things the story is a simple one.

I say like most things but anime isn’t usually simple but this one seems to be simple enough.

Guy wants power, turns his back on Buddha and offers 12 demons whatever they want to get it. They take the skin, limbs and just about everything else of his first born son leaving a husk of muscle and nerves. 16 years later and that kid is a demon slaying machine who seems to be able to restore that which he lost if he defeats the demons?

The show was as gory as it sounds but tastefully so. Coming out of a season that had something that did its best to shock the world every once in a while it was nice that this one let the animation talk for itself without going over the top. The baby that is left after the demons take what they want is nightmare fuel but not in the gruesome way you think. It is a living being, it is made to look like it is alive whilst very obviously being deprived of everything normal that makes a human. Later in the episode when we see the 16 year old form he is… Well something else. Wearing a creepy mask with unseeing, prosthetic eyes and prosthetic limbs I’m guessing his teenage self is just as scary as he was as a kid.

Something alive that isn’t quite alive.

Living but not human.

Everything that makes a human without anything that makes us look human.

Whilst the story of Daigo is easy enough to follow, he is a dick that didn’t care what he had to give to demons to make himself powerful he just did it, it’ll be the story of his first born and possibly his second born that makes a simple tale of what looks like a teenager trying to win back its humanity via killing demons more complex.

The animation was absolutely amazing.

As I said the new born version of this kid was nightmare fuel but there was this weird contrast between Dororo, a kid that seems to be on his own, and everything else. He came over as more kid friendly in a show that really isn’t kid friendly at all, something you’d see in a child’s show over something in a show that had a baby born with no skin, eyes, nose etc etc and then saw the midwife get eaten. Everything else was breathtaking but I also liked the small contrast that Dororo had with the rest of the episode.

Whilst the actual story itself is up in the air I guess, I know this is a old manga/anime that has been redone but I know nothing of it, it is easy enough to put together what is going on which I think is a strength to the story telling in it. The main character, or the kid that was born a ball of muscle, can’t speak. He doesn’t communicate at all but with him showing up, killing a demon and then growing back skin the quest he is on is obvious. Where Dororo stands in this I don’t know, I guess as a kid with nothing and after being saved by this guy who is able to fight demons in a cool way without actually having much of a body to fight them with he’ll go along because why the hell not?

For me though I’m more interested in the mum then I probably should be.

That dynamic probably will never play out but she wanted her son no matter what he looked like and the father just, in her eyes, threw him out. In a way she was kind of forced into having a second son, regardless of what happened next and whether she was willing it was only seconds after having her first born torn from her arms that Daigo was screaming about her baring a second son. She still mourns for her lost child 16 years later and whilst Daigo is probably going to go to war with his son because he’s killing off the demons giving Daigo power her part to play and her second sons will be interesting.

It might not be anything in the end, she might just be there as a constant reminder of the pain of everything. This kid who had his life taken from him by his greedy father, left for dead and torn from the arms of a mother who loved him no matter what… Her pain might just be a reminder of exactly what this guy lost.

Then again she might be a deciding factor in a number of ways.

Honestly I just liked that at the end of the episode they had her thinking of her son, still in mourning and whilst her life had to go on and she looks like she loves her second born and treats him fairly she still would have loved to have her first. I’m so used to shows having not even as badly deformed children being seen as a monster by their parents that it is nice that this show has shown a mother who didn’t care what her kid looked like she would have loved it to its dying breath. Kind of hope there is a happy ending there.

Not sure there will be though.

Very powerful show, very in your face with everything and I like that.

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