A Moment in Fandom: Dororo (2007)


I'm sorry, but is anyone else as obsessed with this film as I am?

I saw this on Netflix a long while ago and read the blurb.  Though I was intrigued right away, I never seemed to be in the mood.  Then I finally made the mistake of watching it, and noticed that I couldn't watch it just once.  I had to watch it a few times in a row.  I noticed this happens every time I sit down to watch it.  I can never watch it just one time.  Some commenters on Netflix called it a "silly" movie that you'll love anyway, but I'm like...is it?  The story is quite richly layered.

Apparently, some soulless idiot warlord thinks it's a genius idea to sell 48 parts of his unborn son to 48 demons in exchange for the power to conquer the world.  You know...as though nothing could go wrong with that scenario.

As you can guess, everything goes wrong (but I won't go into all of that). The child is born, still alive, still somehow functioning, which his mother later deems karmic justice.  While the warlord, Daigo Kagemitsu, wants to kill the little "monster", his wife Yuri intervenes and sends him down the river in a basket.

A shaman finds the strange little baby, takes him in, and raises him as his own.  Using magic and alchemy, he creates body parts for the child, teaching him to walk, talk, and fight.  A traveling blind musician stops by and bonds with the shaman and his strange little son, and giving them a blade called "Hyakkimaru" which can slay demons.

The child grows up to become a demon hunter actually called Hyakkimaru, and for every demon he kills, he regains a body part.  And this is where things get interesting (for me, anyway): each body part gives Hyakkimaru new insight, and actor Tsumabuki displays this slow growth quite beautifully.

To me, Dororo represents the ideal B-Movie.  It's well-written, wonderfully filmed, and perfectly scored.  The cast is flawless (obviously), for after seeing Satoshi Tsumabuki in this role, I shudder to think of anyone else taking it on.  The film deftly blends sci-fi with comedy and horror elements, and pulls the nostalgic strings by evoking the feel of films from the Seventies and Eighties.

Not to mention the soundtrack, at times, can melt a heart of stone.



And don't get me started on all the pretty:

Comments

  1. Wait, there's a live action film for this?!

    I think it started out as a manga, but I heard of it first about 9-10 years ago when I saw a copy of the video game adaptation at an acquaintance's house. Didn't play it but I was intrigued with the idea. I also kept forgetting the title. Now I have your blog to remind me the next time I forget!

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    1. Hell, yeah there's a film! An awesome film! And yes, it did start out as a really old manga.

      I also kept forgetting the title.

      "The Blood Will Tell", a name which tells us nothing.

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    2. P.S. ~ Watch the movie STAT so we can fangirl.

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    3. The fangirling can now commence.

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    4. *gasps* You saw it???? What did you think?

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  2. I have to agree. Why do people say it's a silly story? It kind of feels like a samurai epic at times, but with demons.

    Also, Tsumabuki is indeed pretty. I dig Shibasaki Ko as Dororo too, the androgyny is hot.

    And also, I like how the part where Hyakki-maru is having his body parts made and it's all light hearted. I don't think I've ever seen that kind of scene being light hearted before.

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    1. The character Hyakkimaru is often described as a samurai, but never in the film (I think). Folks are too busy calling him a monster in the film.

      I dig Shibasaki Ko as Dororo too, the androgyny is hot.

      Thinking about doing a separate post on her simply because of her gender-bending routine in this film.

      And also, I like how the part where Hyakki-maru is having his body parts made and it's all light hearted. I don't think I've ever seen that kind of scene being light hearted before.

      *nods* The shaman loved his strange little baby.

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    2. LOL - Remember when he was like, "Move your mouth when you talk?"

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    3. [i]The character Hyakkimaru is often described as a samurai, but never in the film (I think). Folks are too busy calling him a monster in the film.[/i]

      Well, nobody knew about his parentage either.

      [i]LOL - Remember when he was like, "Move your mouth when you talk?"[/i]

      I do! That was so cute and funny!

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