How can I say that Dororo is going to be the best anime of 2019 when we’re only a month into the new year? Because I’ve read the manga and I know what’s coming.
Dororo stands out from other new anime in that it avoids moe tropes and fan-service in favor of gritty, grounded storytelling. From the color palette of the world to the design of its characters, every aspect of Dororo evokes gravitas and maturity.
Dororo’s animation directors embraced the best elements from Osamu Tezuka’s groundbreaking manga while also improving its weaker aspects. The title character Dororo has much more charisma than in the original story, and the voice actor really sells the character of a lovable rogue. Despite the show being titled Dororo, the story focuses more on the journey of Hyakkimaru, a boy whose flesh is sacrificed to demons and has his body rebuilt with prosthetics.
There are a few minor alterations to the manga’s plot. Instead of Hyakkimaru being sacrificed to 48 demons, there are only 12. I am assuming that this will be a 12-episode limited series featuring a new demon per episode. Limited series tend to be better anime as a rule because they’re more tightly plotted and allocate their animation budget to specific set-pieces.
So far, Dororo is the anime adaptation that does justice to its classic source material. If you’re tired of candy-colored anime set in high school and want a show that’s more mature, then check out Dororo!