Dororo is the Latest Anime Remake of a Classic Manga
By Yung Namahage • 5 months ago • 2 comments

Osamu Tezuka is often hailed as the godfather of manga for his legendary creations during the 1940s and 50s. Even if his name doesn't ring a bell, some of his famous works might. Phoenix, Black Jack, Kimba the White Lion, and most importantly, Astro Boy. Though they might be decades old, his manga still holds up today and loved by many.

There seems to be a trend in anime recently with adapting older yet well-regarded manga but adding a modern twist. Devilman Crybaby transposed the the gruesome action of the original to a sleeker modern-day setting, while Megalobox focuses on a cyberpunk-esque boxing tournament in a dystopian future, as opposed to the 60s setting of the manga it's based on, Ashita no Joe. Tezuka's Dororo is the most recent anime to be an updated version of a classic.

Image result for osamu tezuka dororo manga

Like Devilman and Joe, this isn't Dororo's first foray onto the screen. The first anime based on it was from 1969, a year after the manga came to an end, and there was a live action movie from Japan in 2007. What makes studio MAPPA's new version different from the others? The main thing is that it's much more graphic and darker in tone than the original. The original might not have had the most cheerful plot but Tezuka's famous cutesy art style signified that it was ultimately for kids. None of that in 2019, though.

The story begins in the Sengoku period, where a feudal lord makes a pact with demons, (48 in the original, 12 in the new anime) exchanging his newborn son for power. The son is born but severely cursed, and is promplty cast aside. Years later he grows up and, with the help of prosthetic blades, begins a quest to slay the demons and save himself from the curse his father put upon him, while accompanied by the plucky thief boy Dororo. 

The dynamic between protagonist Hyakkimaru and young Dororo seems to have influenced a lot of manga that came after it when it comes to the trope of a wandering swordsman accompanied by and/or caring for a child, namely Lone Wolf and Cub, Blade of the Immortal and Berserk. If you're looking for an updated classic that still holds up today or just wanna see some cool demon-slaying action this anime season, you can do a lot worse than Dororo. Catch the first episode on Amazon Prime Video if you're interested.