October Anime Challenge – Dororo

Our challenge, which is perfect for Halloween, is Dororo. It is based on the manga series written and illustrated by the mangaka Osamu Tezuka. The manga is a classic and was first serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday between 1967 and 1968, before being cancelled, then the series was concluded in Akita Shoten’s Boken’o magazine in 1969. A 26-episode anime series adaptation by Mushi Productions aired in 1969. There was also a live-action Dororo movie in 2007. Our challenge is actually the 24-episode second anime series adaptation by MAPPA and Tezuka Productions that aired from January to June 2019. Since part of our anime theme, this month is anime from 2019.

In Dororo a Samurai’s newborn baby boy miraculously survives even after a samurai bartered away the baby’s organs to 48 demons in exchange for dominance on the battlefield. Abandoned, a medicine equips the baby with primitive prosthetics with which the wronged son will use to hunt down those demons to reclaim his body, piece by piece, until one day he will confront his father.

Week 1 October 05 – 11, 2020

Episode 1 – 4

Konnichiwa Minna, welcome to the first week of our Dororo challenge. Dororo was the brainchild of Osamu Tezuka, a man who had a huge influence in manga and anime. Some of you may not know this but he was the actual inventor of the distinctive ‘large eyes’ style in Japanese animation and drew his inspiration from Western cartoons as well as animated movies of the time such as Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse and other Disney movies.

Osamu Tezuka was born in Osaka Prefecture on November 3, 1928, and he is known as ‘the Father of Manga’ in Japan, he is also considered the Japanese equivalent of Walt Disney, a man who inspired Tezuka. Tezuka is also known of the creator of legendary anime and manga such as Astroboy, Kimba The White Lion, Dororo and Black Jack. He also a direct descendant of Hattori Hanzō, a famous samurai who faithfully served Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Sengoku period in Japan. On February 9th 1989 Tezuka died of stomach cancer, and his death had a huge impact on on the Japanese Public and other cartoonists and mangaka. He was so beloved that a museum was erected in his honour.

We hope you enjoyed our history lesson, and next week we will share more about Osamu Tezuka. Enjoy the anime challenge and have a super sugoi week.

Week 2 October 12 – 18, 2020

Episode 5 – 8

Konnichiwa Minna, welcome to the second week of our Dororo challenge. As promised we will talk more about Osamu Tezuka and that is by an anime recommendation. There is a lot of anime to choose from, but one anime that is sometimes overlooked is Black Jack.

Black Jack

A young boy, born into a happy family, loses his family in a horrible accident. Facing certain death, he survives countless hours of surgery and goes through long, torturous rehabilitation. Orphaned and disfigured, the boy vows to become a surgeon, because of the kind old doctor stood by him through every operation. Years later, the miracle worker Black Jack is born. A doctor of unfathomable skill that performs the impossible on the operating table. A doctor who charges most of his patients unbelievable fees. And do these surgeries without a license.

People turn to Black Jack, the doctor when they have no hope left. Even animals like a killer whale… yes a killer whale… Well, he likes dealing with difficult and even strange medical cases be dangerous… He rarely gets recognition; often curing the poor and destitute for free, or teaching the arrogant a lesson in humility. He is the good guy anti-hero type, a modern-day Robin Hood with a scalpel, that charging his rich patients enormous fees, that hurts their pockets, but he treats the poor for free. At his beautiful house, overlooking the sea, a childlike girl, Pinoco and an eccentric dog named Largo lives with him. With Black Jack’s anime-villain looks, the trio makes for interesting an intriguing story.

Black Jack: The Movie

Black Jack VS House Japanese Commercial

There are a lot of Black Jack to discover. There is the manga, a few anime series and OVA, even live-action versions of his story. Black Jack even featured in a Dr House commercial! We hope you will look the anime up, it may be old (2002=2006) but it is one of the most epic medical anime out there. Enjoy the anime challenge and have a super sugoi week.

Week 3 October 19 – 25, 2020

Episode 9 – 12

Konnichiwa Minna, welcome to the third week of our Dororo challenge. Since Dororo has historical elements, let’s look at a history anime recommendation.

Bakumatsu Rock

This anime is not your usual history anime recommendation, in fact, it is an overlooked gem. It is set in the Bakumatsu era, near the very end of the Shogun’s rule over Japan (Middle 19th century) on an alternate timeline Earth where it seems rock and modern electric guitars came early. The Tokugawa shogunate uses a song that is brainwashing and subduing the people of Japan, called Heaven’s Song. The top idols in the Shinsengumi perform this and only they are authorized to write or sing songs anyone else doing so is doing a capital offence. But always when evil subjugate the masses heroes rise up to the challenge and it falls on Sakamoto Ryouma and other rock-minded individuals to change the world rock ‘n’ rolling for justice and freedom.

Enjoy the anime challenge and have a super sugoi week.

Week 4 October 26 – November 01, 2020

Episode 13 – 16

Konnichiwa Minna. We end up on Halloween Week since October 31st is Halloween. Now is a great time for some creepy suggestions. Want to watch a creepy anime or live-action drama series? Then we suggest:

Hell Girl (Jigoku Shōjo)

Hell Girl is an epic anime that some may see as the ultimate anti-bullying anime, but one with high moral lessons. Why? In the anime, we usually meet a person that is tormented or bullied, and that person, tired of being bullied then access the Hell Correspondence website and put in a request with Hell Girl to eliminate the bully tormenting them. Then Hell Girl or AI Enma appears and give the person a doll with a string, and once the string is pulled that person’s bully is sent to hell. There is a catch, the person that hires Hell Girl to take the bully to hell will also go to hell after he or she lives out their lives.

Hell Girl’s first television anime series started in 2005, followed by various sequel seasons in 2006, 2008 and 2017. There also was a live-action adaptation in 2006.

The series boast also with three anime adaptations and a stage play. Some good news for those who are already die-hard Hell Girl fans – This year on November 15th a live-action film will premiere in Japanese theatres. The cast includes Tina Tamashiro as Ai Enma, Manami Hashimoto as Hone Onna, Akaji Maro as Wanyūdō, Nana Mori as Miho Ichikawa, Sawa Nimura as Haruka Nanjō, Mina Ohba as Sanae Mikuriya, Kazuki Namioka as Kudō and Tomu Fujita as Maki.

Enjoy the last of our Dororo challenge and have a super sugoi spooky week!