Dororo was never meant to be a happy story. Characters live tragic lives, filled with a futile struggle against cruel fate. It was something I’ve come to expect with the series, but nothing could have prepared me for how gripped and destroyed I was by the story of Mio. After gaining his hearing back, Hyakkimaru struggles to adjust and is badly injured during a fight with a monster. While resting, he meets a young girl washing in the river, Mio, who offers Hyakkimaru, Dororo and the blind traveler shelter. Mio looks after the orphans in the area who have not only lost their homes and families to the war, but also parts of their bodies. Mio leaves a lasting impression on Hyakkimaru, who may have found some peace for the first time in his life.
Dororo truly captures the horror of the past, children are maimed, families starve and young women are forced to sell their bodies to just survive. Mio had such a strength of character, and I was instantly inspired by her perseverance and love for the other children. There were two scenes in particular that truly cemented Mio as one of my all time favourite female characters. Yep, I said it, she was in two episodes and she’s one of my favourite female characters of all time. The first was where she tells Dororo she is not ashamed of what she does, and comforts him about his mother. And the second is where she tells Hyakkimaru, when you die you lose, if you survive you can keep moving on and take back what you lost. Mio’s kindness, and sense of self shine through in these scenes and I only wish we could have seen more of her.
On a separate note, one thing I am find interesting about this series is that each time Hyakkimaru gains another part of his body back, he is forced to suffer for it. After gaining his nerves back in episode 2, he felt immediate pain, episode 4 he hears crying, episode 5 the first sound he makes is a scream of pain and finally, in episode 6, after regaining his leg he literally walks into a scene from hell. Speaking of his leg, I’m kind of confused how getting his leg back worked out. He’d usually have to kill the demon to get a body part back. But ,the demon was still alive when he got his voice back, so then he just went back, properly killed it and got his leg back? It doesn’t make sense. I think I mentioned this in a previous review, but this show really needs to lay down some ground rules for how demons work.
Overall the two part ‘Story of the Moriko Song’ were one of the best anime episodes I have seen in a long time. The story was haunting, and the characters were beautifully developed. While I’m excited for next week’s episode, I doubt any character or story can top the ones I’ve just met. Many fans will remember Mio for her tragic end, but I’ll always remember her for her kindness and strength.
The monster in episode 5 looked pretty much like how a mega evolved Fearow would be 😂