Dororo 2 by Osamu Tezuka: A-

Book description:
Hyakkimaru and Dororo continue to travel the land, protecting ungrateful villagers from demons and collecting missing body parts along the way. An encounter with a former mentor causes Hyakkimaru to reexamine his goals, however, and start considering what he wants to do with his life after the last of the demons has been defeated.

I really liked this volume of Dororo! The stories were continuous rather than purely episodic and Dororo really grew on me as a character. Hyakkimaru gained some angst when he learned about his family and also a cause, when the existence of a cache of money destined to fund a revolution was made known to him.

Although I liked pretty much everything (pesky anachronisms aside), my favorite bit was a story about a spirit dedicated to collecting new faces for a demon possessing a statue. She’s supposed to collect Dororo’s face, and takes on his mother’s visage to beguile him, but he ends up charming her by calling her “mama” and stuff, and in the end, she can’t sacrifice him.

I liked the first volume fine, so wasn’t expecting such an improvement for the second one. I’m not really sure how the story can wrap up with just one more volume—Hyakkimaru still has 27 or 28 demons left to vanquish—but hopefully it’ll deliver on the promise exhibited here.

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