Dororo Episode 16: The Story of Shiranui

I’m so glad things were normal. This was a much better episode, back to the Dororo I know and love. Where at the end I don’t feel disappointment, only excitement and a little fear. What on earth will this shark turn into? Is it going to grow legs and run around? Are we going to see an anime version of Sharknado? Oh man the possibilities!

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. I love Dororo. She’s an amazing child. She was on a boat with a bunch of grown ass men and yet she was the one that gave them a wake up call and threw herself in the water and risked her life to kill the shark. And she makes a very good point. She’s just a little kid and she lost both of her parents at a very young age (I’m guessing 4/5?) and yet she’s still survived all this time on her own before she met Hyakkimaru. There have been many times where she’s died but she always kept herself resilient and stood back up. This resilience and determination in her only got stronger as she traveled with Hyakkimaru as they both fought off against demons and monsters, where her life was on the line more often than not. However, this confidence stems from how she watched her father lead their brigand group. He had the same kind of influence and strength and she really picked up on it. I mean, she was able to convince these grown men and they even went along with her plan, and it worked! Dororo is amazing and I will protect her dammit.

Itachi grabs Dororo when he mentions the map, suspecting she may know about it or also have one like the one her mom had. How did he even find out about the map in the first place? Just like I suspected, he dug up Oyaji’s grave. Itachi was suspicious of Hibikuro’s actions when he noticed that items they had taken from samurai were being stolen, which he pinned to Hibikuro. But he was pretty stealthy so Itachi gave it a rest. After being betrayed by his lord and becoming a brigand again, he passes by Dororo’s mother’s grave and digs her up and finds the map on her back.

He grabs Dororo and go to the place where they believe the stash of treasure is being held. After days of travel, they find themselves at a gorgeous bay with a village at the foot of the mountain. Except the village is completely empty with torn homes and a lot of blood. The only person that approaches them is a one-armed boy named Shiranui, who offers to take them on his boats to the island not too far off for money. The first weird thing is no oars, as the boats are being pulled by two sharks that he considers his family. Second, he’s the only person in the village. Shiranui reveals that he fed his own arm to Jiromaru and Saburomaru because they were hungry, and that he even fed them corpses. Then actual live people…from the village. Well that explains everything!

One shark completely eats the men in the other boat, while Dororo and the others helplessly watch this all happen. Shiranui leaves with one shark while he leaves the other shark to keep watch, saying he’ll let them eat Dororo and the others later. Leaving them stranded. It wasn’t until Dororo showed how much of a badass kid she is that they killed Jiromaru and made it to the island.

Itachi is an interesting character. I don’t like him, I won’t be upset if the demon shark munches him, but I can’t say he’s a totally terrible person. We’ve been introduced to many terrible people in this show but Itachi isn’t as bad as some of them. He’s done some crappy things though, such as turning on Hibikuro which led him and his family to suffer, Dororo losing both her parents. But Itachi does show remorse, which is something I can’t say for Daigo and Sabame. Itachi is just like any other person in this show. He’s someone who is trying to survive and he’ll do anything to live. But through some of his decisions, he shows his regret such as believing in the samurai who end up leaving him for dead. He dug up Dororo’s mother’s grave but he even says out loud he wishes he never did it, and he was even apologetic in stripping Dororo upon finding out that she’s a girl (even though that scene was troubling and gross). And even though he tied her up the whole time, he never really hurt her. Their interactions are pretty interesting as well. They kind of feel like family, and they kind of are since they traveled and lived together when they were in the brigand. It’s just a very strained relationship now. The anime’s writing of the characters is handled so well where they actually feel so human, so while I don’t agree with Itachi or like him all that much, I can understand him completely.

Shiranui is someone I’m completely interested in. He’s so strange and pretty insane, but it’s fascinating that two huge sharks became his family and that he can communicate with them. I know he killed people but his mourning for Jiromaru hit me a bit. I’d just like to learn more about him. Also, he looks like an older male version of Dororo. That’s not important, just fun to point out haha.

I think a huge thing to point out from this episode is Dororo’s second reveal. This whole time Itachi thought Dororo was a boy and that’s because her father raised her as one. Who knows why? Now, I’ve seen many arguments online about how people should refer Dororo. I don’t even want to get further into it, but Dororo says nothing to what Itachi says. The explanation and what Dororo thinks of herself (themself) should be something to really look forward to. Again, I’m just glad that Itachi at least felt bad for exposing her naked body to a group of adult men. This poor girl has lost her dignity, her money, and her aniki. :(

Speaking of, Hyakkimaru is looking for Dororo the best way he can. But a monk tells him of a man that makes prosthetics who is nearby AND JUKAI!! I’ve been dying for a Hyakkimaru and Jukai reunion because I refused to believe that Jukai would be a one-off character. He’s too important to Hyakkimaru’s life to never show up again. The next episode preview has me so excited that I know that I’m going to be a sobbing mess. While Hyakkimaru’s biological father rejected him, he still has the love of the man who raised him. His real father, Jukai. The next episode will be so important for Hyakkimaru’s development. I expect hugs, I love yous, Hyakkimaru calling Jukai his father, and Jukai giving Hyakki the much needed pep talk that’ll wake him up and give his mind some reassurance. I’m just so excited! But that’ll also leave this episode’s cliffhanger for another time, but that just means there’s a lot to look forward to.

*insert uncreative Jaws reference here*

Berry

We're all just a bunch of weebs

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2 Responses

  1. zztop says:

    This episode covers a part of the Shiranui/Itachi arc of Tezuka’s source manga.

    Previous Dororo adaptations (from the 60s anime to the 2007 live movie) ignored this arc entirely; this is the 1st time this arc’s been covered as part of the story. Some anime viewers feel this arc is quite bizarre, and a manga reader felt this story only amounted to a “time-wasting filler” (perhaps that’s why previous adaptations avoided it).

    So far the episode’s followed the manga story, but explores Itachi further and goes into his motives and drives.
    Shiranui was a pretty basic character in the manga, just your average insane serial killer boatman who’d do anything for his pet sharks. (Him feeding his arm is anime-original.) So I’m curious if they’ll flesh him out further.

    Jukai never appeared in the source manga at all after Hyakki’s origin story, so next week’s reunion episode will be anime-original (using source characters). In the manga, Hyakkimaru was tracking Dororo on foot, guided by his telepathic(?) link with her.

    • Berry says:

      Hmm interesting. I personally find this story to be pretty fascinating. I like that we’re taking a look into what Dororo’s father left behind and getting a closer look at Dororo herself and Itachi. Though I can see why someone would call it time wasting, but this one is probably the least “time wasting” as I felt we would have been perfectly fine if we did without the statue carver story.

      I’m so glad the anime is bringing Jukai back then! It really would have been a shame to only have Jukai for one episode. His reunion with Hyakkimaru will probably play a huge role so I’m very happy with this decision.

      Also now that you mention it, how the heck is Hyakkimaru supposed to find Dororo when they’re days apart? No telepathic link here. >_>

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