Dororo (2019) : The Story of the Fair Fudo

Episode 13

 “Hakumen Fudō no Maki” ( 白面不動の巻)

We’re back with Dororo, we’ve had the shocking meeting of Hyakkimaru and his family and were we go now is up to him and Dororo…

It was a really decent episode to be honest but it was let down by some odd moments, specially in the battles near the end.

Whilst the point of the episode was mainly to move Dororo and Hyakkimaru’s relationship in a different way it obviously still needed a big bad for them to fight and whilst that big bad wasn’t a particularly awful one it also fell a little flat at times.

The Fair Fudo and its Carver were interesting foes with the Carver able to change its face and voice to lure people to their death, their death being by having their face finely sliced off by the Fudo statue so that it could claim it for its own. It was one of the most beautiful yet disturbing things you could possibly watch and is up there with all the other great disturbing yet beautiful things in Dororo.

Thing is they were coming off of this big emotional episode and whilst I get the distancing that Hyakkimaru kind of did as he was processing his own life I dunno something didn’t click.

As I wrote my first draft of this review it became very apparent that the reason it didn’t click was because it felt like we missed a whole bunch of build up to what should have been a really emotional ending.

Hyakkimaru felt like he wasn’t there at all so his emotional attachment to Dororo by the end didn’t seem natural and half of that was because Dororo’s attachment to a stranger who had her mothers voice and face didn’t come naturally either.

There needed to be more in the middle to make us care about Dororo’s feelings but it just felt forced that she knew that this being wasn’t her mum yet was so sad at losing her mum that she still wanted to basically have it adopt her so that she could have a mum. The connection between her and the carver just didn’t settle or work for me and that then branched off to the rest of the episode.

Also it didn’t help that the final battle was baffling in its execution.

It seemed to play out in silence with not even much being said, that made the actual action seem pointless and undramatic. Moments like Hyakkimaru falling into the sea of the dead, faceless people were meant to build the drama but did little more then feel pointless and because the main bad guy was a statue that moved slowly there was no urgency in the fight.

So why did I think it was a great episode?

I guess I saw the potential, the more you talk about it the more it becomes a boring episode that didn’t work but on actually watching it the scenes were obviously very impactful if not fully finished in my opinion and you could see where the story was trying to take you.

Honestly I loved the story of the Carver but felt like the story they told between the Carver and Dororo just didn’t work and that had the bigger problem of the over arching story then not working.

That being said we now know that Dororo has a map on her back, the Priest is once again back with us being creepy as hell and Hyakkimaru is taking his big brother role a little more seriously.

I’ve talked myself into disliking the episode.

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