Osamu Tezuka’s legendary manga, Dororo received a new adaptation this year. Tezuka is the author who propelled manga and anime into the Japanese consciousness with storytelling classics like Astro Boy, Black Jack, Buddha, Phoenix etc.
Dororo was written and drawn by Tezuka in 1967. I had the chance to actually own the English licensed Omnibus Dororo manga. The gist of the story goes like this:
Dororo revolves around a rōnin named Hyakkimaru and young orphan thief named Dororo during the Sengoku period. The
un-namedchild was born malformed, limbless and without facial features or internal organs. This was the result of his birth father daimyō Daigō Kagemitsu forging a pact with 48 sealed demons so that he might rule the world. In return, he promised the demons could each obtain a piece of his unborn child’s body. This enabled them to roam free and commit atrocities along the countryside.
For the anime adaptation, Mushi Pro tried to rectify the misleading title by calling the series Dororo to Hyakkimaru (Meaning Dororo and Hyakkimaru). Released in 1969, the series comprised of 26 episodes, all in black and white glory.
While dying of stomach cancer, Tezuka uttered these last words “I’m begging you, let me work!” to the nurse, who was too eager to take his drawing materials away. It was in 1989, that he sadly passed away at the age of 60. It is a shame because he never got to see the game and movie that followed.
Video Game (2004)
Live Action (2007)
In 2007, a movie adaptation came to pass. For the record, I didn’t watch this movie so I can’t comment much on it, but from the reviews I read on IMDB, it seemed that the fans like it. One nice tidbit of information I found about this movie was that someone was working on his own live-action Hollywood version of Dororo. The article is also from 2012, so I assume the project didn’t move forward.
In 2012, Go Nagai decided to write a manga about Dororo crossing over with his own Dororon Enma-
Here are the trailers for the reboot.
Anime studio MAPPA is in charge of the animation. They were previously responsible for bringing Weekly Shonen Sunday classic Ushio and Tora back to life. Other animation credits include the Garo anime franchise, Rage of Bahamut, Kagegurui, Yuri on Ice, and Banana Fish, just to name a few. The staff list can be found here.
*Updated article for the actual release of the new Dororo anime