The Dororo revival has a new trailer showing glimpses of the the malformed ronin Hyakkimaru growing up and embarking on his quest to reclaim the missing parts of his body. As an infant, the warrior was cursed by his father, who sacrificed parts of his son’s body to 48 different demons to ensure victory on the battlefield. This process, however, did not kill Hyakkimaru. Abandoned to die, he was rescued by a kind healer, who gave the child crude prosthetic limbs and raised him to be a capable fighter. Armed with his skills and a blade forged to kill goblins, the ronin began his journey to kill every demon his father dealt with, make his body whole, and take revenge. Along the way, he’s accompanied by Dororo, a young child who claims to be the best thief in all of Japan.
Created in 1967 by master manga craftsman Ozamu Tezuka, Dororo last appeared in anime form during its original 26-episode run in 1969. Tezuka is known for his other prominent work, like the creation of Astro Boy, Black Jack, and Kimba the White Lion. If you ever wondered why Japanese animation usually includes characters with large, expressive eyes, Ozamu Tezuka was the inventor of that style and his inspiration carries on even into the current era of animation. The 2019 release will mark 50 years since the series aired.
The new trailer, first spied by Ota-suke, shows the battle scared and bloody Hyakkimaru before diving into a short recap of the ronin’s awful childhood. It then moves on to depict many of the major characters like Dororo the thief and possibly Mio, Hyakkimaru’s love interest. The series’ ending theme, “Sayonara Gokko” or “The Goodbye Game” by amazarashi, plays over the trailer.
New interest in Dororo sparked after 2008 when Vertical Inc. released the award-winning English translation of the manga in a three volume series. Directing duties have been handed to Kazuhiro Furuhashi, who is known for his work on series like Ranma 1/2, Rurouni Kenshin, Hunter x Hunter, and Neo Yokio. Notably, the series has been written by Yasuko Kobayashi, whose other works include Casshern Sins, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Attack on Titan, and parts of Death Note. Amazon Prime Video has obtained exclusive streaming rights to Dororo and will be streaming it worldwide when the show releases in early January.
It’s difficult to overstate just how important Dororo could be in the 2019 anime landscape. Adapting one of the properties that many consider to be a foundational work of the genre comes with a lot of expectations. Luckily, everything shown thus far seems to indicate that Dororo deserves its status as one of the most hotly anticipated simulcast titles of early 2019. The production values look to be excellent and the excitement over so many talented creatives working on one project has many people wishing the holidays would be over already.
Dororo will premiere on January 7, 2019 and begin streaming in all regions shortly after that.