Dororo Episode 5: The Story of the Moriko Song, Part 1
Usually, I start my reviews immediately after I’ve watched the episode. I have my thoughts ready and I’m raring to go. My mind was completely blank. This episode shook me up so bad where I actually needed a couple hours to gather myself and process all the crap that went on this episode, how depressing and brutal this episode was and how it affected me. These aren’t real people, but this show does such a good job in making these characters feel like real people where I end up feeling so much for them and when so many things go wrong, I end up feeling so depressed. Dororo is so amazing in that regard.
This episode was extremely dark, and those last five minutes of the episode still haunt me.
To start things off, the only pure and happy things that happened this episode that made me smile was Hyakkimaru finally smiling for the first time! Not once, but twice, all because of Mio’s beautiful voice. His growing relationship with her is absolutely precious and makes my heart flutter but I soon learned that this is just going to be painful for me. Another cute thing this episode was Dororo tying that towel over Hyakkimaru’s head like a bow, and Dororo laughing to himself. He looks adorable and I couldn’t help but laugh too.
While the bow is cute, the reasoning behind it isn’t. Sound is probably the weirdest and shocking sense Hyakkimaru has gotten back so far. While Dororo thinks the night is creepy and quiet, Hyakkimaru finds the night extremely loud and overwhelming enough to cover his ears the whole time. Dororo’s voice also bothers him and Dororo tries to be mindful and keep his voice down. Trouble soon comes as a large demon bird comes out to attack them. One thing I noted in my reviews was Hyakkimaru becoming weaker as he got more body parts back, and this was seen twice this episode with the bird and with the demon in the end. The sounds were distracting enough to make Hyakkimaru sustain bad injuries from the fight, and if the old man hadn’t come along then the fight would have been a lot worse.
The sum up the plot of this episode, after the fight with the bird, Hyakkimaru wakes up one morning to the sound of a girl’s singing. He gets up and walks to the source of the singing and meets with Mio in the river. She notes that he’s blind and holds his hands as he reaches out to her but he suddenly gets weak. Learning he has wounds and now a fever, Mio takes Hyakkimaru, Dororo, and the old man to her “home”, which is a dilapidated building housed with orphan children whom Mio takes care of after losing everything in the current war. We get to learn about the characters and watch as Hyakkimaru develops a relationship with Mio.
There’s a lot to talk about this episode, but I’m not going to waste time and just get to Mio. She’s an absolute saint and I want nothing but the best for her. When Dororo asked one of the boys why Mio slept during the day, he replied that she worked at night and “served” the soldiers and there was only one thing that came to mind. A young orphan girl with no money, in feudal war-torn Japan, trying to find a job? As terrible as this is, for girls/women like her in this time period, there were hardly any choices for her to choose from. Prostitution is the easiest job to make money, so I knew that was what she was doing but actually showing us in the end was shocking and made things worse. And making Dororo find out made my heart drop. And the scene after that was Hyakkimaru screaming in pain so that basically killed me. There were hints sprinkled throughout the episode that Mio was prostituting herself. It was fairly obvious when the boy described her job, but was more obvious when Mio covered herself when Dororo explained to her that Hyakkimaru can see the color of people’s souls, thinking that her own soul was dirty and rotten. Of course that’s not how it works and Hyakkimaru likes her. Another hint was when we first met her by the river, which didn’t click with me until after the episode. Which was Mio kneeling in the river, most likely washing her private area (where I thought she was washing herself in general). It’s so heartbreaking because Mio is a sweet girl with a good heart. She can easily live on her own and fend for herself, but she chooses to stick by these children and feed them. Her heart is even big enough to use her money to buy medicine for Hyakkimaru and let him, Dororo, and the old man stay with them. She’s kind, sweet, and the fact she has to sacrifice her body to help them breaks my heart. I want nothing but the best for her, but I have a really bad feeling.
I found it incredibly precious how Hyakkimaru yearned to listen to Mio’s singing voice. He can’t stand sound in general right now, but Mio’s voice is the only sound he enjoys. He’s been incredibly expressive so far, with his throwing a little tantrum with the old man and him reaching his hand out to Mio when he left, and then asking her to sing for him (which was adorable). This is one of the first time he’s actively sought out communication. Before he would just act out on his own, let Dororo talk, and he would just do things on his own. We saw him try to comfort Dororo in episode 2, and write out his name. This time with the best of his abilities, like pointing to and moving his mouth, he’s trying his best to communicate more. It’s really fun to watch him grow more human and proactive. And I like that he’s forming this friendship with Mio. While they don’t know, they’re both going through pain but are finding peace with each other. Is it bad to ship them? I can’t really say that Hyakkimaru is in love with Mio, but I know he loves her voice. But the preview for next episode…hnnng…It’s just so depressing that the song that he loves to hear is just a coping mechanism for Mio.
I loved this episode a lot, but there were some things I didn’t quite get. Does Hyakkimaru understand language? He moved left when Dororo yelled him to, and after he heard the old man talk about the demon living by the house he found, Hyakkimaru got up to go to the area to fight it. How did he know? I doubt he knows language already, so is it a crazy sixth sense thing? Also, how and when did he get his voice? The end card for this episode was the bird, so it was probably the bird that had his voice? Or the demon in the end, though I couldn’t tell if he killed it. Either way, every time Hyakkimaru gets one of his parts back, something bad happens. He gets his hearing, he hears a woman crying. He gets his voice back, he screams in agonizing pain. His eye sight? I’m not ready for that. Hyakkimaru showed much weakness this time around and I think after losing his leg (that he just got back!), he’s going to learn to value his body a lot more. Before he would fight recklessly and not worry about his well being, but choosing to fight while still wounded and sick proved to bring consequences, that consequence being the loss of his leg. I was excited to hear his voice, but I had no idea the first noise I would hear from him would be screaming. Fuck me.
The end of the episode was shocking and really drove home how dark and brutal this show can be. I always look forward to the next episode but now I’m too scared to see what’ll happen next. What will happen with Hyakkimaru’s leg, and what will become of Mio? Will there be love, or more pain? Just thinking about it makes me stressful. I just want them all to be happy!
Hyakkimaru has five (four?) out of twelve things back, and I’ve been wondering what parts he’s missing, so I’ve made a possible list.
- Skin ✔
- Nerves/sense of pain ✔
- Right leg? (next ep. preview makes things confusing) ✔
- Ears/hearing ✔
- Voice ✔
- Left leg
- Right arm
- Left arm
- Sense of taste?
- I have no clue
I went back to the first episode and noticed the discoloration of his nose, so I don’t think that’s back yet. I’m guessing taste as that’s one of the five senses, and the last I can’t think of anything. I’m curious but now the show just makes getting these parts more like a punishment than a reward.