Dororo Episode 18: The Story of the Cape of No Mercy

Imagine turning into a land shark only to get sliced down by a random one-legged boy in a matter of minutes? Feelsbadman. So while Shiranui wanted Jiromaru to get its revenge for its fallen brother, that didn’t go smoothly at all. The episode didn’t really focus too much on Shiranui and instead focused on the reunion between Hyakki and Dororo, and the showdown between Hyakki and Tahoumaru, along with the treasure and the rest of Tahou’s army targeting pretty much everyone on the island.

Before I get to what I loved about the episode, I’ll start off with what I didn’t. Shiranui wasn’t as interesting as I thought he was going to be. His character design was cool and I loved the relationship he held with the sharks, and I was excited to see how it came to be. Turns out it wasn’t much. It seemed like his mother most likely died from starvation, and I think it was at that point that Shiranui despised human beings for being so weak, as he chastised Hyakkimaru for regaining a body part. Loathing humans for being so weak, Shiranui came to love and admire the sharks because of how powerful they were. I’m guessing ever since then he met both Saburomaru and Jiromaru and lived his life with them. A simple reason, not anything too amazing, and unfortunately the episode didn’t really do much for him in the end. He did play a big part with the explosion in the end, killing himself as well as others for his sharks’ sakes. Because they put Shiranui in the OP, I thought he would be a more important character. But like Sabame and Moth girl, they weren’t. Which is really disappointing.

Still, this wasn’t enough to soil the episode for me. Other than that, this was overall a great episode with lots of action and emotions. The fight choreography and animation were extremely well done, and it reminded me of the more dramatic fights that we saw near the beginning of the show.

Hyakkimaru regains his leg after defeating land shark version of Jiromaru. He reunites with Dororo and my heart exploded. I can go on and on about how much I love their relationship, how wholesome and pure it is, but I’ll probably save that for the finale. However, I can’t move on without gushing over how sweet the scene was. Dororo crying tears of joy, being a little tsun, Hyakkimaru pinching her cheek, Dororo hugging him. And the best part, Hyakkimaru doing the forehead nuzzle that he and Jukai did last episode. This is absolutely huge, as this is something Hyakkimaru does with the one person who loves most. His father mother. A forehead nuzzle he did with a smile. He does the same forehead nuzzle, which is basically screaming “I love you, Dororo. You’re very important to me, that’s why I came back for you.” It’s not everyday that Hyakkimaru shows affection, but he did so much this episode that…AHHH!!


Anyway. Tahoumaru’s army arrives at the cape and trouble starts pretty much immediately. What’s sad to see is how far gone Tahoumaru is from before. He doesn’t only target Hyakkimaru, but he also gives the orders to kill literally everyone else that’s against them. Once he comes across Hyakkimaru, he and Dororo get separated again as Itachi grabs him to search for the treasure, while also trying to avoid Tahoumaru’s soldiers. Itachi gets badly wounded by many arrows, but with Dororo’s sheer luck, she’s able to topple over some statues on accident and send them down the mountain, pretty much killing some of the soldiers. While there’s fighting going on at all sides, Shiranui uses explosives to try to kill everyone with him. In the end, Tahoumaru retreats and Dororo and a dying Itachi actually find the treasure.

I think at this point, Tahoumaru is too far gone. He’s basically an extension of Daigo now, completely going against Hyakkimaru and not sitting down to ponder his options. Though I do admit, during these times pretty much all disputes were solved with violence. However, it’s still so sad to see these two brothers fight against each other. It hurt my heart more to see Hyakkimaru’s reaction. The “Why? Why kill me?”, his confusion why it has to be this way. He even notes Tahoumaru’s change too and wonders what caused it. The sadness in his voice, which slowly turns into anger pains me. It’s sad this his own brother is now his enemy, and unless something major happens where Tahoumaru has a change of heart, nothing is going to change. I’m just upset because Tahoumaru is actually a very intelligent boy, which we’ve seen before in the crab monster episode. He seems to understand his people more than Daigo and can easily form relationships with them, earning the respect to have them build things. I’m sure if he hadn’t let his father harden his heart, he could have come to understand his brother’s situation more and work around the land’s decreasing prosperity by…I don’t know, creating irrigation systems, uniting the people more and working together, whatever. But we can’t have nice things. I wanted to like Tahoumaru again like I did in the beginning, but his growing merciless attitude is disappointing to see.

You can look at Tahoumaru’s change in attitude in another way. He’s a young boy that’s always wanted to make his father proud, and he can finally do it by killing his brother. The same brother that his mother kept a secret from him, who always obsessed over him and distanced herself from him. But on the other hand, we know how compassionate and smart he can be so this ruthlessness is unfortunate. And yet, he failed on his mission, losing about half his men. They unfairly fought against Hyakkimaru 3 to 1, and they still couldn’t kill him. Though Shiranui did help Hyakki out. I wonder how Daigo will react to Tahou’s loss.

In the end, there were many casualties left after Tahoumaru retreated. Before dying, Itachi said he wanted to see the treasure and he got what he wanted as the explosion made them land inside the haul. I’m not a big fan of Itachi, but I don’t hate him. There’s a lot of reasons to hate him though, but Dororo just shows how amazing she is.

I’ve talked about my love for Dororo so many times but this kid just blows my mind. Itachi betrayed her and her family, dug up her mother’s grave, basically kidnapped her, stripped her, and yet Dororo closes his eyes, prays for him, and forgives him. She knows her morals, she doesn’t let her negative emotions overtake her, and she leaves the cape with peace of mind. She turns to the treasure, and instead of saying that she’ll never use the money, she proclaims that she won’t touch it right now. She still needs time to think over what her priorities are and what she thinks is best. And until she comes to this answer, she’ll come back. But she still took a bit of money for their journey because she’s not stupid! I really would have been annoyed if she didn’t take at least a little bit for food and shelter haha. This ending scene shows how much she’s grown from the course of the show, where she was always looking for money so she could live a comfy life and always have her belly filled with good food. Now that she has it, she’s not going to act on it just yet. For a little kid, Dororo is incredibly mature. She’s too good for this world. Too pure.

I had this bad feeling that there wouldn’t even be treasure, and yet there’s a huge stash! How the heck did her dad sneak all this stuff to this cape on his own without anyone noticing anyway? I’m not going to get an answer, aren’t I?

Other than the Shiranui bit, a fantastic episode! I’m glad Hyakkimaru and Dororo are together again~ Next episode looks like it’s going to be hilarious, which is surprising. We’ve had some funny moments here and there, and lighthearted episodes, but nothing that’s completely comical. After all these emotions, I guess I wouldn’t mind some fun and some good laughs! The preview music kind of sounded like the original Dororo OP song, too, which is a great touch! I’m guessing they’re going to give us this fun episode because we’re probably going to get into really heavy stuff afterwards as we near the end. I don’t mind, I think I need it. ^^;

Body parts:

  1. Right arm
  2. Left arm
  3. Right leg
  4. Left leg
  5. Eyes
  6. Ears
  7. Nerves
  8. Skin
  9. Voice
  10. Nose
  11. Taste? (I guess?)
  12. Spine!


Unfortunately still a weeb

4 thoughts on “Dororo Episode 18: The Story of the Cape of No Mercy

  1. So ends the Shiranui/Itachi arc of Tezuka’s manga.

    Key differences from the source include:

    No treasure in the manga. All Itachi and Dororo find is an empty pot containing a written message from Hibikuro, saying he didn’t trust Itachi, so he hid the treasure elsewhere to fund the people’s uprising. Tezuka never addresses the treasure again, with no further clues on finding it. Tezuka may have intended this as ironic punishment for Itachi’s greed, but it brings up inconsistency that Hibikuro would risk his beloved child’s life as part of a risky ruse (and likely the reason this arc was ignored in previous adaptations).
    Shiranui doesn’t blow himself up to get revenge on everyone. After Hyakki kills Jiroumaru, Shiranui challanges him to a duel to the death. Hyakki wins; a dying Shiranui asks he be buried with his beloved sharks. Hyakki and Dororo tie Shiranui”s body to Jiroumaru’s and cast both of them out to sea. Shiranui’s character in the manga was quite simple – a crazed person who’d lost faith in humanity long ago and chose to believe in animal strength instead.
    Tahoumaru’s anti-Hyakkimaru army is anime-original. The manga’s army was led by a random greedy magistrate, who’d been sneakily following Itachi to claim the treasure for himself once Itachi had found its location.

    I also like Dororo’s practical response to the treasure – most anime would go for the idealistic route and have the MC refuse the treasure because “too many died looking for it”. (Unless said treasure is an ancient virus/superweapon/evil magic book etc.; then the refusal makes sense.)

    If you’re interested, there’s a new manga remake of Dororo currently serializing in Champion Red, Dororo to Hyakkimaru-den.
    This version follows Tezuka’s original more closely, in that Hyakkimaru can speak and has a gruff, somewhat bloodlusty personality, Dororo is more annoying sidekick, and both are much older than the anime (Dororo – preteens, Hyakki- 20s).

    It also does its own take on the source material too, like Dororo’s gender being established early on, and her being the 1st to meet Tahoumaru.

    No English translation yet.

    1. No treasure. Oh my god, I knew it. I had that bad feeling in the back of my head that possibly there never was treasure, or it was just a measly amount of it. If the anime had gone down that route, I would have been PISSED. It absolutely makes no sense and I can see why past adaptations would skip this mini arc completely because it really was a waste of time in the original. And yeah, risking the life of your child even more so? You’re not helping your case, Hibikuro. >_> The fact that this anime adaptation covered this arc and indeed included a lot of money and treasure, I’m sure it’s going to come up again later or else they never would have bothered with it. I trust the anime team!

      Hmm, then it sounds like they pretty much kept Shiranui the same, but…a little crazier. Oh well. At least the explosions made things more exciting.

      Ooh, I’m definitely interested to read it if it gets translations. Though I don’t know if I’ll like this gruff Hyakkimaru. I’ve seen people say that the original Hyakkimaru was kind of an asshole haha. I like the soft Hyakki we have now.

  2. There is only 3 body parts left to recover coz the one of the 12 demons didn’t manage to get Hyakkimaru’s head due to the goddess statue intervention… So 2 arms and a pair of eyes to go…

    1. Oh okay! I guess I misunderstood. I thought that demon was separate from the rest so I didn’t include it. Awesome, just three to go then so I’ll fix my list next time. Thanks!
      They’re probably going to leave his eyes for last. :/

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