Hyakkimaru and Dororo search for the treasure hidden by Dororo’s parents, but are thwarted in their search by a traitorous bandit, man-eating sharks, and greedy samurai. Afterwards, they continue to encounter demons and tales of the misdeeds of Hyakkimaru’s powerful father.
This final volume of Dororo was a disappointment on a few fronts.
At the end of the second volume, it seemed that Hyakkimaru had a new goal: find the money buried by Dororo’s parents and use it to fund a revolution against the samurai. They started off this volume looking for it, but after the location marked on the map turned out to be a bust, they never spoke of it again. Instead there were stories about angsty horse demons and voracious ghouls and a random revelation about Dororo that was probably groundbreaking for its time but has been done better since.
There were a couple of spots of snerkworthy dialogue, like this gem of deep characterization: “Wait. If I kill you, I’ll get another body part back… That’d make me glad.” And let’s not forget Hyakkimaru’s stirring farewell to the lady who’s just fallen in love with him and died in the space of five pages: “See ya.”
The biggest disappointment, however, was the lack of any meaningful controntation between Hyakkimaru and his father. Oh sure, the villagers Daigo had been exploiting rose up in revolt and won the ensuing battle, but it was all very anticlimactic. The end was pretty abrupt, as well, though I did rather like the melancholy aspect of it, and at least a few loose threads were tied up.
All in all, I did enjoy reading Dororo and I think it was an excellent place to start my Tezuka education.