Sunday, August 5, 2007


Trailer to Dororo, 2006

Dororo is a movie, game, and anime based on the manga by Tezuka Osamu. The movie is entertaining, with humor, action, and drama woven together fairly well. Two-thirds through the movie, the pace slows down a little, but picks up 3/4 through. The pay-off is worthwhile, and marches us toward Dororo 2.

The movie begins with a warlord, Kagemitsu Daigo, who appears to be on the verge of defeat in a campaign during the Sengoku period and runs into a temple for cover. Against the monk's advice that he not enter one of the buildings, the warlord enters and shuts himself in.

Kagemitsu mutters his frustration in his attempts to quickly conquer the country and asks for help. One of the 48 demon statues in the room speaks of being able to assist him gain power. In exchange, he must give the demons his unborn son. Kagemitsu quickly agrees.

Opening cinematic for Dororo on PS2, 2004
Also known as Blood Will Tell in the US and Europe

Shortly thereafter, the warlord's baby is born; a husk...a piece of flesh with no face, limbs, heart,...48 parts of his body missing. The father tries to slay the infant, but the mother cannot bear to see the infant slain. She finally agrees to let go of the child by setting it afloat down a river in a basket.

A physician, Jukai, sees the abomination and brings it back to his home. As this is a time of war, the physician has been treating many of the wounded, making prosthetics for some. We find that he also practices necromancy. With the bodies of dead children from the war, Jukai forms the missing parts for the infant that he names Hyakkimaru.

Trailer for Dororo on PS2

A bard appears one day, and the physician and bard exchange stories. The bard leaves a blade of vengeance with Jukai for the boy.

We see the infant as a child, still physically without sight, hearing, or speech, but able to function "normally." Jukai teaches him how to appear normal and to fight. Each limb has a hidden weapon of some kind.

Segment from Dororo the anime, 1969

Hyakkimaru is now a young man. Wars are still ongoing. Jukai relays his wish before his last breath, to have their home and his work destroyed, as he is afraid his discoveries of immortality falling into the wrong hands.

A young boy is running away, trying to elude someone he pickpocketed, when he runs into a tavern where Hyakkimaru is in the midst of slaying one of the demons. He is stunned having witnessed Hyakkimaru slay a demon with a blade imbedded in his left arm, and then writhe on the floor as one of his molded body parts disintegrates and a new fleshy real body part is regenerated.

Credits for Dororo the anime

The thief sees the bard and Hyakkimaru talking. When Hyakkimaru leaves, the thief asks the bard what had transpired. Intrigued by the story and his burning desire to kill Kagemitsu, the warlord who killed his parents, he wishes to obtain the imbedded blade, and sets out to journey with Hyakkimaru, who later names her Dororo.

- Cassaendra

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