Dororo (2019) : The Story of the Cursed Sword

Episode 4

Yōtō no Maki” (妖刀の巻)

Another week and another story to be told, this time we’ve got a Cursed sword and the story of a brother and sister for whom the war has changed everything.

Once more it uses the nasty and brutal side of the wars the characters are part of to really hit home how dark and horrible the world is.

Tanosuke is another character who was forced by the person above him to do terrible things in the name of the war, this time killing people that were seen as a threat. He was given the option of killing himself or those around him just the sword he was given was Nihiru, a Cursed Sword that makes its owner thirst to feed it blood.

Instead of having a character just show up and tell us his story though they introduced us first to his sister Osushi who prayed for his safe return before showing us that his will to live was to see her once more but it also ended up killing him in front of her.

All this for a war he wanted no part in.

The use of blood spatter against the backdrop of silence really made my skin crawl.

There will never be a moment in this show that isn’t somehow sad and poignant I think. It isn’t just showing you horrible things but the horrible things that make people do those other horrible things, it shows that good people can be bad when they are forced to do it but can repent. It shows the victims beyond those that have been killed.

More then anything it shows how many victims you have when men go out to war for power.

Hyakkimaru is a victim, he was a victim before he was even born, Osushi is a victim and no doubt we’ll find out at some point that Dororo is too.

Every episode is dripped in a heavy layer of sadness that you just can’t shake in any way. There just isn’t any good that can come out of anything, even victories such as Hyakkimaru regaining his ears and therefore his ability to hear is a victory in the face of a victim of the war being murdered in front of his innocent sister because the curse placed upon him was something he would never be able to break free of.

For Hyakkimaru to win his own personal war he has to kill and that will include people who don’t truly deserve death but to be helped. Sometimes, like this one, you can’t help and death becomes inevitable but even Hyakkimaru right now doesn’t seem to have a end game. What is this for? To stop the demons from attacking him? To regain what is rightfully his? By the time he has killed all these foes he’ll be at war with his own father and then what? He’ll have his body, his ability to feel pain and to communicate but who does he communicate with? His mother? His brother? It won’t be his father who is already looking for him, seemingly well aware that his son is breaking the pact that he made with the Demons thus casting his soul to hell for eternity and destroying his unborn child in the process. He’ll have Dororo sure but he’ll have to be taught everything like a child, he might magically be a adult but what is his relation to Dororo? He’ll be a sidekick but is that really a happy ending?

Dororo isn’t ever going to have a single happy thing happening in it.

Not without a lot of blood being drenched over it first.

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