The anime series bears the distinction of being the first entry in what is now known as the World Masterpiece Theater series.
Dororo (どろろ) is a Japanese manga series from the manga creator Osamu Tezuka in the late 1960s. An anime television series based on the manga consists of 26 half-hour episodes that aired in 1969.
This series was broadcasted in black and white. Despite how long ago this was created, the animation is impressive and fluid. Of course, there were many shortcuts used to stretch the time like reusing the same scenes over and over or pausing between dialogs for longer than needed.
I timed one of the episodes. After repeating the same scene from the previous episode (2:10 minutes) the opening start and ended (3:55) then a second recap exposition, the anime didn’t start until the 5:33 minutes mark. I jokingly comment how this feel like Toei Animation is handling One Piece, but then realized Osamu Tezuka used to work for Toei Animation and started Mushi Productions as a rival company. Oh, the irony.
This being one of the earlier anime, subtlety was not yet something that was used for this medium. Characters will spell out their intentions upon meeting. For example, Dororo, the thief, broadcasts his intention to steal Hyakkimaru’s sword upon their meeting. I don’t think that’s how a thief operates, but maybe some veteran thieves can correct me.
I was also a little surprised by how violent this anime was. You see bandits being cuts and killed within the first episode. The action scenes are understandably basic, along with the dialogs and storytelling.
This is a decently enough anime to watch if you are a fan of the 2019 alternative version and are curious of 1969 era anime. I would skip this if you don’t fall under that premise as the series can be quite slow. Dororo contains graphic violence and suggestive themes/dialogs. Intended for young adults.
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Dororo Season 1 (1969)
A collection of notable videos, ranging from a fan-created trailer, music video, opening, and ending clip.
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Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.