“Jigokuhen no Maki” (地獄変の巻)
Sabame is trying to feed Hyakkimaru and Dororo to some Demon Moth thing and in this episode I guess Hyakkimaru has to come face to face with the moral dilemma that actually ended up creating him in the first place.
As a whole the two halves of this story were pretty good, last episode really held the story together though and I have to admit to being rather disappointed with how this episode played out.
There were no actual flashbacks which meant the story of the village, the nun and the children felt really rushed, the ending was also a bit all over the place with the fight looking to be really great before not even really being shown, Hyakkimaru seemingly got his spine back and him and Dororo kind of fall out and wander off but it didn’t really SHOW that.
Whilst it is obvious that this is needed for two different stories that are being told I just feel like it could have been executed better. This whole thing felt like it could have been three episodes long to be honest what with the story of the village and the moral question of whether or not Dororo and Hyakkimaru did the right thing being asked and actually looked at instead of having Hyakkimaru walk off and then us having to deduce that Dororo had enough of that bullshit and went his own separate way.
Usually the moments between Hyakkimaru and Dororo are really good and the priest helps Dororo understand a path that she has to stop Hyakkimaru going down. Where this went wrong is that they need the two of them to be apart for the next part of Dororo’s story to make sense as Itachi shows back up knowing that Dororo has half of the map on her back and already having the half that was on her mothers back and wanting to take it. We couldn’t have that if Hyakkimaru was around because he just wouldn’t let that happen to Dororo but it just felt poorly executed.
It felt like the story that was meant to make Hyakkimaru look at his own story and make sense of it.
That might be the end goal but for now it felt like a wasted opportunity for so much more drama, story telling and actual long standing consequences for all the characters concerned.
Now instead of looking at the parallels between his story and that of Sabame’s village, the death and destruction he caused by taking the Demon’s away from them he won’t be able to see why his brother and mother both turned their backs on him. I get that it has to be a bit of a longer goal then just this episode quite close to when these events happened and it is obvious he does know that they are pretty much the same situation but by shoving the attention back at Dororo we lost a chance to see Hyakkimaru properly develop for a change.
Which is sad.