Dororo (2019) : The Story of the Demons

Episode 23

Kishin no maki” (鬼神の巻)

Everything is going to end in tears. I have a feeling nothing good is going to happen in the end of this series other than maybe Dororo finding a good use for the money that her father left her.

So to get it out of the way the fighting in this episode was something else. We saw the end of Hyogo and Mutsu who were trying to keep Midoro at bay and with the appearance of her fowl killed her but not before she killed them too. It was one of the most horrific scenes as Midoro ripped the head off of Hyogo’s body before taking care of Mutsu leading to Tahomaru’s break down with everyone looking on.

Sometimes this show is so good and this is one of those times.

The emotions of the onlookers as they watched a battle they couldn’t stop and some couldn’t even comprehend was difficult enough but watching as Tahomaru tried his best to take the body of his own brother whilst his brother made up his mind that he isn’t wrong to want his body back was too much. The battle they have been in since mid season is going to end in the burning ruins of the castle, the only place it could end.

Heck Daigo doesn’t even care really. Says all we need to know about him.

If you ever needed to know the story behind this story though this is the episode to learn it in. The moralising of whether it was right to use Hyakkimaru and kind of the point I’ve badly tried to make on whether or not it was even a good decision were brought up and the characters talked it out themselves before the most important players, that being Hyakkimaru’s mum and adopted father and little sister, all head towards the battle to try and stop this craziness once and for all.

What I really liked was that this is kind of a redemption arc for the mum.

She’s realised the mistake not only that she made but that her husband made. In a way Daigo I think knows it too but it was nice to hear the mother actually say it out loud. Her analogy of them being like chicks being fed by the mother hen but being incapable of fighting for their own freedom and safety when the hen leaves them was fitting.

The villagers were semi happy to return Hyakkimaru to the Demons if it meant going back to peace but the problem is that the peace they lived under was all at the whim of the Demons. As soon as that protection is broken, and they are Demons so who knows if they’d keep that pact forever anyway even regardless of Hyakkimaru, the people have no way of defending themselves. Their lands aren’t fertile or prosperous they only look that way because the Demons make it so, their lives are easy because of the Demons but as soon as that loving care the Demons give them leaves they are fish in a barrel being shot at from all sides.

Everything from neighbouring armies, the actual climate and weak position their land is on breaks them and the villagers sit and moan that they are living on the whim of samurai but are too weak to defend themselves or do little more then give in when the Lord demands it.

Of course this lead to the question of what would you do in the pursuit of being strong enough to defend the things you care for.

Whilst the Priest is adamant that Hyakkimaru and even Tahomaru are too far gone to be helped, that their pursuit of strength has turned them into little more then Demons that need to kill the other, Dororo isn’t too sure and I have a feeling that neither is their mother.

Heart is what Dororo believes makes a human, human.

He might be right too. The Priest said that Hyakkimaru wouldn’t recognize them if they went onto the battle field but he kind of did, at the moment it isn’t the rage of a Demon in him it is just the rage of a human that has had everything taken from him and just isn’t being allowed to live against the rage of another human that wants to protect his people in the face of a stubborn guy who should have died at birth. Neither are thinking properly but that doesn’t mean neither can be brought back to the light because whilst Hyakkimaru is slightly more selfish then Tahomaru they are both fighting with heart and passion.

Neither are wrong but neither can see the bigger picture either.

It was a moving episode that brought together all the lessons we’ve learnt throughout, brought all the major players into one place and pulled at the heart strings even more then any episode that came before it.

I still want neither Hyakkimaru or Tahomaru to die and if Hyakkimaru does die for the betterment of Diago’s lands I truly don’t think it will be for the best. I hope Tahomaru see’s that.

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