Dororo is the anime to (re) discover on Prime Video

Dororo is the anime to (re) discover on Prime Video

Less known, at least by us, than Astroy Boy, Kimba and Black Jack - the most famous manga of the master Osamu Tezuka - the supernatural period Dororo is considered by some (like Kentaro Miura) to be his most beautiful work. There are many, many cartoons that have marked the generations raised on bread and souls. Many have become cult, others have influenced the way of thinking and even the personal professional choices of today's adults, still others have been harbingers of friendships, hobbies or ... a double life as a cosplayer. However, the animation scene, especially in Japan, is increasingly crowded and chaotic and so many gems remain unknown. On July 22, 1968, the publication of the manga by Dororo and Hyakkimaru ended at home, transposed into two cartoon series in 1969 and 2019. The latest, created by the Mappa studio with a splendid animation, is available on Prime Video (the first found on VVVVID), is the gem to be recovered that we recommend.

The story of a curse Content This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

Tezuka has always favored children as a target, without however foreclosing on themes that are perhaps more suitable for the adult spectator. The robot child exploited by the government as an invincible weapon (Astro Boy), the boy who survived an accident that disfigured him and who as an adult works as a private surgeon (Black Jack) have a very hard childhood in common, but nothing compared to what Hyakkimaru went through. In the sixteenth century, in the Sengoku period, he was born into a noble family. His father, a power-hungry daimyo, sacrifices the child he has yet to hide from the demons, in exchange for luck. The body of the newborn infant is devoured, yet the newborn survives. Abandoned by his desperate mother in a basket, he is found by a doctor who reconstructs missing limbs and organs using the remains of other babies, and with that body, as a boy he will embark on a mission to get back what was stolen by the demons.

Hyakkimaru, demon hunter Dororo Hyakkimaru is the name received by the child from his benefactor, and translates as "the boy of a hundred demons". In the comic he survived the taking of 48 body parts, while in the anime these are twelve. The differences between the manga and the two versions of the cartoon are substantial, starting with the fact that for most of the 2019 series, the boy is mute. Deprived of his senses - he does not see, hear, speak and perceive pain - he is a slender and androgynous young man, a silent and lethal doll who lashes out at demons with fury, infallible thanks to the blades he carries instead of his arms. As he recovers the organs and the senses, he also acquires humanity: he loves flowers, songs and pronouncing the names of the people he likes. In the 1969 television adaptation he is, on the other hand, more masculine and chatty, more passionate and impetuous.

Dororo, the wise child The Dororo of the title is a thief orphan who runs into Hyakkimaru and begins to wander around Japan with him, becoming his voice, his bridge with the world and his conscience . He is about six years old, and the typical appearance of all Tezuka children. Lively and hyperactive, he is the son of a bandit who had amassed an immense fortune to distribute it to the needy and for this he had been betrayed by his companions. Dororo will wander for a long time with his increasingly fragile and desperate mother, until he is alone and destined to die of hunger. In the 2019 version Dororo becomes a child (for reasons that will become clear for the purposes of the narrative only in the epilogue) but no one knows the truth. Hiding his true identity he also hides the secret, guarded by his body, to find the treasure.

Between Good and Evil Content This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

The story of Hyakkimaru is the story of a biblical curse. The child pays for the sins of the father, and for this he spends the first part of his life without limbs, without a face and unconscious. Having survived thanks to the benevolence of a divinity pitied by his fate, he has the ability to "see" the aura of others and the power of healing. The doctor who gives him back a human aspect is also a father with whom to share the rest of his existence. However, his misfortune is not over, as the demons perceive his nature and his powers making him a monster catalyst. The whole narrative focuses on the balance between good and evil, karma and retaliation but without ever taking away man's free will: it is up to Hyakkimaru to choose whether to succumb to hatred and the thirst for revenge and in turn become a monster or fight in order not to lose the pity that makes him human (the goddess who saved him is, just as well, that of mercy).

A genre that depopulates Content This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

Dororo is part of the favorite genre of Japanese otaku: the horror fantasy about demon hunters. Elements of horror, supernatural, folklore and action animate cartoons that are mostly historical and have met with resounding success in recent years, just think of Jujutsu Kaisen or Demon Slayer. The best are tinged with ambiguity, and this is perhaps the characteristic that distinguishes them most from Western stories (a random example: Witches), in which the demons are systematically killed off because they are the progeny of Evil. In Dororo more importance is given to the individual than to the race: one can be human, like Hyakkimaru's father, and be a monster of evil; and you can be monsters with humanity, like the demon woman who falls in love with the charitable villager. The same goes for the protagonist and his brother, forced by their father into a rivalry that risks turning both of them into hellish creatures. The choice, and it is vehemently underlined, to save their souls belongs only to them.

A special work Content This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

In Sixties, the anime for black and white television of Dororo, consisting of twenty-six episodes, was a great success, also thanks to one of the first "mythical" cartoons, one of the most catchy songs in the history of Japanese animation. The elements that made him popular were subsequently used in hundreds of subsequent manga and anime: the parable of the wandering ronin, the addition of the mascot (the child), the setting in the era of the Daimyo of Sengoku, the presence of demons and other supernatural creatures of oriental folklore and religion. Dororo is a melancholy and cruel soul and it is precisely that ruthless fatalism that strikes (the sacrificed infant, mother and son left to starve, the girl forced into prostitution, the villagers enslaved, the shark boy, the requisitioned horse) that does not always gives reward or forgiveness to his victims, but rather carries a laconic and inspiring message: the world is unfair, fight to survive.

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