Dororo“, a manga written by the legendary Osamu Tezuka, first saw the light of day in 1967, when it was published in the “Weekly Shonen Sunday“. Two years later, it was adapted into an anime. Even after many years passed, “Dororo” remained to be one of the most popular manga ever written, thus a live-action film adaptation was released in 2007. After I finished reading “Dororo“, I became a huge fan of Tezuka—and so, I was excited to watch this movie.

Dororo” is a story about a Ronin named Hyakkimaru and a young orphan named DororoHyakkimaru was born missing 48 of his body parts—limbs, facial features, and internal organs—which corresponded to the number of sealed demons that his father, Daigo Kagemitsu, made a deal with. Using the unborn child’s body as payment, Kagemitsu gained the power to rule over the world. Fortunately, Hyakkimaru was able to survive due to a doctor who discovered him and crafted prosthetics for him out of the remains of the dead children. On the other hand, Dororo is a girl who grew up pretending to be a boy in order to avenge her father against Hyakkimaru‘s father. Dororo and Hyakkimaru ended up adventuring together, and they developed a bond through all their adventures to retrieve Hyakkimaru‘s body parts that were taken by the 48 demons, unaware of the twisted fate that bound their pasts.

When watching a movie, I tend to pay very close attention to the characters—their traits, personalities, and abilities. Those, in my opinion, are the key elements that separate a weak film from a good one. Hyakkimaru was played by Satoshi Tsumabuki. His performance was magnificent and showed why he won several “Best Actor” awards in the past. He perfectly brought his character to life, and for me, he truly became Hyakkimaru. The lovely Shibasaki Kou played the role of Dororo. Before watching “Dororo“, I had no idea who she was. Nevertheless, her performance completely stunned me, and I was surprised that I missed this gem. I instantly became her fan, and I can guarantee that this won’t be my last review of something that she’s in. However, not all the characters were perfect. I found Kagemitsu very underwhelming. For a character who put the gears of fate into motion, he had very little impact on the plot and his camera time was barely nonexistent. The main villain needed to have more presence in the story and should have been just as memorable as the main characters. Unfortunately, such was not the case in this movie.

Overall, “Dororo” had a lot of gory scenes, which is understandable since it involved very dark concepts such as demon-fighting. The pace of the story was very fast, which kept me glued to my screen and never felt bored—or anything likewise. It also had some comedic moments that helped to lighten the dark and somber mood. Even though the CGI is now behind the times and below the current standards, the demons were still fascinating due to the attention to the details and the complexity of the graphics. Even if some of them were made today, I doubt they would look any better. However, I think that there were still some places that could use some work. Although the movie didn’t include everything that was in the source material, it was still great nonetheless and is definitely one of my favorite films based on a manga. I really enjoyed watching “Dororo” for its blend of action and drama. It contained an amazing story that anyone can enjoy—adults and children alike. This is definitely one to be seen if you haven’t watched it yet.

Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Cinematography: 8.5/10
Cast: 7.5/10
CGI: 7.5/10