Dororo Episode 1
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video
Dororo has been my most anticipated anime in the Winter 2019 season. The new series, based on the classic manga from the ’60s, is about a samurai who made a deal with demons to exchange his son’s organs for dominance in battle. Soon after, the child is born with a doll-like appearance and is immediately sent away.
The majority of the episode focuses on two characters: Dororo, a young orphan and thief, and the abandoned son, who now has deadly prosthetics where his limbs used to be. Dororo gets to shine in this first episode and gets established as the fun, human protagonist. Dororo’s relationship with the castaway son should lead to an interesting dynamic, who is both more stoic and older.
Dororo manages to establish an incredible amount of world-building in so little time. The tense atmosphere is emphasized by art featuring bold, rough lines. Every setting feels like it has a story behind it, and every action feels authentic. This episode is full of stuff to chew on, with fine pacing, scary monsters, and plenty of mystery. Design-wise, the characters and monsters look great. There is a mud monster with a design that feels a little uninspired, but it still looks excellent while animated.
The Opening is spectacularly animated, with an art style that will remind viewers of their favorite samurai anime from the 90s. The ending isn’t as spectacular as far as animation goes but features impressive art. Everything about Dororo‘s presentation makes it feel like a modern version of something we have seen before.
The familiarity combined with modern animation works well. Studio MAPPA makes nearly every scene in Dororo look fantastic. Fans of Megalobox and Devilman Crybaby will find themselves comfortable while watching this. The battle scenes are well choreographed, with fine camera angles and cuts throughout. Every now and again a scene seems a bit choppy though, which can be jarring. Fortunately, this isn’t too common and doesn’t take away from the overall experience. The music and sound of Dororo help to emphasize the tone, leading to sound and animation fitting together well.
Dororo is off to a fantastic start. Every decision the creative team has made fits the modern age of anime perfectly. The end result is an episode that feels both fresh and nostalgic. Viewers will quickly find themselves invested in the characters and will want to follow them on their journey. If the series can keep up the excitement, this will be a must-watch for shonen fans.
Dororo Episode 1
Dororo will satisfy most shonen fans, and is a must watch for viewers who grew up watching shows like Rurouni Kenshin when they were younger.