Dororo: A Fresh Adaptation of an Old Masterpiece | Teen Ink

Dororo: A Fresh Adaptation of an Old Masterpiece

May 6, 2019
By BFrankie SILVER, Tirana, Other
BFrankie SILVER, Tirana, Other
7 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I don't have one" - Me

As the new year began, a new season of anime, games, movies also came with it. One of the most surprising shows this season is the new adaptation of an old manga (a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels) made by the one and only, Osamu Tezuka, a man who’s well known for his work in the manga industry (over 700 manga). One of the not so well known manga he made was Dororo which got an anime adaptation in 1969 called Dororo and Hyakkimaru. This first attempt at adapting the series wasn’t too successful as it barely got any attention to the small anime community at the time. Luckily, in January of 2019, Twin Engine released the first episode of their new adaptation of the old manga, simply called Dororo.

Dororo talks about a young thief called Dororo along with a ronin (samurai without a lord) called Hyakkimaru. From the start of the first episode, we learn that Hyakkimaru was cursed to be born limbless, malformed, without facial features and organs due to his father, a daimyo (feudal landlord), forging a pact with 12 demons so he could rule his land and gain wealth. In return, the father promised the demons that they could get anything they want. Hyakkimaru was abandoned and taken by a local doctor who gave him wooden limbs, swords for arms and a wooden face. He now travels with Dororo, to fight monsters and regain back body parts and normal body functions (seeing, hearing, etc). The plot is fairly simple and easy to understand and there may be minor spoilers but I won’t be revealing any major plot points.

The new adaptation tries to achieve the manga’s goal. Even from the plot itself, the series tries to show that it is a dark and sad story. One of the biggest flaws of the manga is its presentation. Tezuka’s art style is a lot more cartoony and childish, which doesn’t fit the plot at all. The old adaptation kept the style and just animated the action scenes because of limitations at the time, making it a mediocre adaptation from today’s standards. Luckily, the new adaptation fixes all of these. The studio animating it, Twin Engine, did an amazing job. The animation is smooth and there are many dynamic shots, making the fight scenes a lot more high quality. The art style has been changed as well, it’s a lot more different compared to the manga but characters can still be recognized. It has a darker color palette and realistic proportions. But what surprised me the most was the soundtrack. The sound design and quality both skyrocketed compared to the old anime. The soundtrack sets up the mood and gives more emotion to some really sad scenes. Both openings are insanely good, especially the first one, Kaen by Ziyoou-vachi. The presentation is the biggest difference.

The new anime also makes sure to change up a few story elements to make it an overall more realistic and darker plot. The director of the adaptation is Kazuhiro Furuhashi, who hasn’t directed many critically acclaimed works but this one seems to be his most successful. (Beware of minor spoilers ahead!) Some changes he made on the plot can include Mio’s job changing to something more sinister and depressing compared to the manga, Hyakkimaru losing a lot more parts of his body, etc. I could talk about more of these changes but I don’t want to spoil more plot elements.

But, what if the adaptation is too different from the original? Won’t it become too unrecognizable? Changes have to be made, especially the ones made for the better. The studio animating it had to make changes to fit the more modern anime viewers. Because of the art style change and differences in plot points, the Twin Engine made sure to put references to the original manga such as Dororo’s old design and many others scattered throughout the series. The anime also makes sure to reference Tezuka himself through the series in small cameos.

All in all, this is an amazing adaptation that I think everyone should at least try. It’s emotional, beautifully animated, its amazing art direction and soundtrack made it one of the greatest shows this season. Even if you’re not that into anime, I highly recommend that you at least try it.

The author's comments:

I caught up to the show, it gets even better.

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This article has 1 comment.

yejinn SILVER said...
on May. 14 at 6:50 am
yejinn SILVER, Tirana, Other
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Congrats on the editors choice ㅋㅋㅋ!

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