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What is wrong with you people?
bor-75 August 2007
I do not usually comment movies regardless of how good or bad I feel about other comments on it, but I think this piece deserves my time. Dororo might not be the greatest fantasy movie of all time, but it's story telling, visuals and wonderful acting deserve their place amongst the best. I have never seen the original comics it is based upon and I am not going to compare it to other popular fantasy titles either. It is a movie that stands on its own, represents perfectly Japanese style of cinematography and gives the western audience an opportunity to have a good look on eastern mythology themes. If you can close one eye over few lower cost effects, there is absolutely nothing you will find lacking except the next two episodes to be available much sooner :)

Pretty please, if you can not find a good word for anything that is not made in US, then do not watch. This movie does not deserve you and you do not deserve it.

P.S.: I would like to send the best regards to the reviewer who turned the movie down while admitting he did not understand a word from it. I might next try to watch movie ala Forrest Gump with muted sound and rate it as bad comedy. But perhaps it would be better if you stick to rating Japanese porn movies. I believe there should not be much problem if you do not get what they are talking about ;)
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A Diamond in the Ruff of Japanese movies
talkingbubba29 May 2007
The previous poster surely was unaware of the history behind this grand movie. Dororo is based on the manga author of Osamu Tezuka which is one of his many manga titles (Atom Boy, Black Jack, etc.). The original story takes places during the warring states of Japan. However, the movie changes that as well as some minor parts here and there.

The main plot of the story is that a general pledges his soul to demons in exchange for power to destroy other warring clans. In exchange for this power, the demons (all 48 of them) want to have his first born son. The general agrees and he is granted his power. However, when his first son is born, the baby is without arms, legs, and other various body parts. (It looks more of a body with a head and a small mouth.) Disgusted by this, the general places him in a basket and sends his son downstream. The son is later retrieved by a man who was passing by. The man turns out to be a scientist who then makes body parts for the general's son (48 parts). A blind traveler appears and informs the scientist of how the general's son became that way. The traveler hands the scientist a sword that helps defeat monsters and demons. This sword is then attached to the boy, Hyakimaru. When Hyakimaru becomes older he learns of his fate and sets out to avenge his father and the 48 demons who took his body. Each demon he defeats with his sword gives him back a piece of his body.

Even though the title of the movie is called 'Dororo', it has little to do with the character other than that she (thinks she's a he) is Hyakimaru's sidekick. Her main reason for tagging along with him is for his sword and for an adventure. She provides some of the comedic relief from the one-dimensional character that Hyakimaru is.

I was timid about seeing this movie, but was quite pleased with how it turned out. I throughly enjoyed the music and soundtrack as well as the parts of New Zealand where it was filmed. If you have read the manga, anime, or know about the story itself, it is worth looking into. Also, if your Japanese is good (maybe about level 2 on the JLPT), then you can pick up on some of the minor jokes here and there. I'm glad that it won some awards and was acknowledged. I eagerly look forward to the sequel....
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Forget your Ring...
grandmastersik9 August 2007
...Dororo kicks arse and has much nicer, more natural scenery for its walkabouts.

Okay, so some SFX would be at place in an episode of Power Rangers, thus inevitably costing it a huge amount of would-be fans, but with its tongue-in-cheek tale to suit its SFX - in parts making their badness seem deliberate - who cares? Not all films are for everyone, but for those Dororo IS for, it satisfies totally!

Dororo follows a young Pinocchio-type man as he saunters Japan, killing demons to regain his lost body, and with it his humanity. Joining him on his quest is the troubled nameless thief he dubs "Dororo"; her own motives are unclear at first, but when revealed, aid the plot rather well.

Filled with action, slapstick antics and being the fruit of a script which can successfully carry a viewer on a high from start-to-finish, Dororo offers 2hours and 18 minutes that you won't want given back, instead, you'll gladly accept the exchange of time for watching this great flick.

Even though the film seems complete in itself, its story does insinuate that other adventures (i.e. "sequels") could very well stem from it.

I've seen that parts 2 and 3 are set to be made - for once, these will be sequels that I'll be looking forward to.
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A great movie ... regardless
ateeqimran1 September 2007
I was really pained to see such negative comments about this movie.. by someone from japan itself.

We don't have to feed on eve dished out by the Hollywood.. and we certainly don't have to compare our movies to Hollywood. Sure Hollywood produces top quality movies but then eve doesn't have to be Hollywood style...

Having said that I think Dororo is no less entertaining than any action flick. Sure there r glitches here and there but who cares...

I thought Kou Shibasaki as a wicked crook was both hilarious and brilliant .. Her language [ A local dialect of Japanese ? ] increased my fascination for the Japanese language even more..

Dororo for me represents another aspect of the Japanese culture which I have come to love and respect.

I request to the people who know ... to comment, having a broader perspective in mind ... because for many, this place is the primary contact for information on movies..

Can't wait to for Part 2 & 3 ...
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Everything you want from an adventure action movie
harry_tk_yung19 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
After reading a fair number of IMDb comments over the last few years, I get the impression that comic fans, understandably, are the most demanding regarding a movie's adherence to the original work. I start therefore by stating that I the first time I heard about the Dororo manga series was when I heard about this movie.

Although specific year and dynasty are mentioned at the start of the movie, the story of "Dororo" in spirit happens "a long time ago, (in a galaxy) far, far away", in other words, in an undefined time and space in the author's imagination. Incidentally, I'll come back to "Star Wars" as there is a very interesting connection.

The start of the movie, however, looks very much like a continuation of "300" – a battlefield with dead bodies strewn as far as the eyes can see. Fortunately, this somber mood does not carry into the rest of the movie. The prologue, however, is quite ominous. Defeated leader Kagemitsu Diago, seeking refuge in a desolate temple, ends up killing his host the monk and striking a bizarre deal with 48 demons (represented by 48 macabre statues in the temple). In exchange for the power to rise again, in victory, he promises 48 "body parts" (from limbs to internal organs) of his unborn son, on to each of the demons. This is the fascinating premise on which the story is constructed.

I wouldn't go into details of how the story, now starting with "20 years later", is told with some flashbacks but generally in a simple, easy-to-follow linear narration. The story is essentially about the quest of this unfortunate son's quest to "reclaim" his 48 body parts from the demons. Let me first reassure the general audiences that there is no gory or revolting scene like those you see (or try not to see) in "Hannibal rising" or "300". The deprived baby looks more like what you see in the first stage of a doll's assembly line, the head and body before the eyes, ears, mouth and limbs are assembled. When we see him as a 20-year-old, he has already been fitted with "temporary" body parts by the kindly wise man who discovered him. During the "reclamation" process, there are scenes when Hyakkimaru re-grows a limb or coughs out an internal organ that has been replaced but these are all done in an innocent comic-book fashion.

But who is Dororo anyway? I claim in the summary line that this movie has everything you want from an adventure action movie, and Dororo is the key reason, providing both romance and comedy. In the original manga, Dororo is a little boy, a petty thief who aspires to be the greatest thief in Japan. He is Hyakkimaru's loyal buddy that sticks with him through the dangerous quest. In the movie adaptation, the profession and the aspiration are kept intact but the character becomes a girl, for obvious reasons. While Hyakkimaru is a man who doesn't have much feelings (he does not even have a heart at the beginning), Dororo had a rough childhood as an orphan, and grew up as a boy. Veteran movie fans will of course recognize right away that this "odd couple" situation provides great opportunities for both romance and comedy. Both are tackled in a sensitive and tasteful way: without the movie taking any particular pain to point out, we note that she is the only person who can make him smile while he is the only person who can make her cry.

In the fantasy and action department, there's imagination that rivals what you see in Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited away". Whatever lacking in special effect technique, compared with Hollywood mega-budget productions, is more than compensated for by this breathtaking imagination and artistic execution.

And there's more. In true Kurosawa tradition, "Dororo" has a heart for the "little people", telling their stories with sincerity but without preaching.

I mentioned "Star wars". As gradual revelation finally brings Hyakkimaru to a final confrontation with his father who sacrificed an unborn son for personal power and glory, those of us "Star War" devotees will see at the back of our mind another confrontation, long ago and far, far away, between Luke Sykwalker and Darth Vader. As one report goes, George Lucas is such a fan of Asian fantasies that he might have been inspired by the "Dororo" manga.

I have not seen any other movie of Satoshi Tsumabuki, who plays Hyakkimaru, but he certainly makes the character likable in this movie, which is very important. Playing Dororo is Kou Shibasaki whom I have seen in two entirely different roles – a heartbreakingly melancholic lover in "Crying out love in the centre of the world" and a heroic firefighter with also a tender side in "The sinking of Japan". Dororo is an entirely different persona, which she portrays equally convincingly. And I must not leave out Kiichi Nakai whose commanding screen presence well qualifies him to play the father. I have seen him in a little noticed but excellent movie called "Tian di ying xiong" (2003).
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will keep you on seat
abdullahxyy30 September 2007
although its effects are not satisfying, the scenario is well written and the actors (and actresses)are all (even the ones at the background)playing with everything they have in the movie. So this make the film going without loosing anything of its interesting tale and making the audience kept on their seats.

When we thing there are lots of movies with expensive effects but really have nothing to watch and extremely boring, maashallah dororo having cheaper effects has done no damage in the entertainment.

I congratulate all players especially the leading actor and the actress.

Waiting for next episodes.
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The Demon Slayer and the Female Thief
claudio_carvalho4 April 2009
In the year 3048, the wounded Lord Kagemitsu Daigo (Kiichi Nakai) proposes a deal to rule the whole world to forty-eight demons in their sealed temple. In return, the demons ask forty-eight parts of the body of his unborn son. When the mutilated baby is born, his mother puts him in a basket in the river flow to save his life. The baby survives and becomes the demon slayer Hyakkimaru (Satoshi Tsumabuki) that slash demons to retrieve his body parts. During his journey, he meets the female thief Dororo (Kou Shibasaki), who was raised as a boy after the death of her parents by the evil Lord Daigo, in a small town and she befriends Hyakkimaru and joins him in his quest seeking revenge against the Daigo's clan.

I saw the trailer of "Dororo" and I found it very promising. It is a good fantasy, based on a historic moment of Japan, with reasonable special effects and developed in a slow pace. The story could be a little shorter; Satoshi Tsumabuki and Kou Shibasaki show a great chemistry; but the character Dororo is silly and annoying in many moments. Nevertheless it is an entertaining movie and I will certainly watch the possible sequel, since it still has twenty-four demons to be slashed. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Dororo"
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A fun throwback to 80s Sword/Sorcery Movies with a Japanese twist...
jmaruyama25 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
When Shiota Akihiko's SFX heavy, horror fantasy "Dororo" hit theaters in Japan earlier this year it was a major box office hit for Toho studios and resonated well with Japanese audiences young and old alike.

Based on manga pioneer Tezuka Osamu's comic series of the same name, the story revolved around the exploits of a truly unique and tragic hero, Hyakkimaru (literally "Hundred Demons") who was cursed from birth and born a living husk (faceless, organ-less, limbless and all but a empty torso). His fate was sealed by his ambitious and tyrannical father Kagemitsu Daigo (portrayed by the great character actor Nakai Kiichi) who offered his unborn son's body to 48 demons in exchange for the power to dominate and conquer Japan (during the warring states period). Saved from death by his kind mother (Harada Mieko), he was left floating along a desolate river bank only to be found by a kindly shaman/inventor (Harada Yoshio), who "rebuilt" him into the semblance of a normal child a la Pinnochio (his body, limbs and internal organs were replaced by artificial tissue fashioned from the remains of fallen dead).

In time the young Hyakkimaru, learned to control his new body and began training under the shaman to become a living weapon (being artificial, he was impervious to pain and death. He was later outfitted with a "blessed" sword (bearing sacred Sanskrit text) which enabled him to slay demons with its blade.

Upon the death of the kindly mystic, Hyakkimaru learned about his true origins and sought out the 48 demons who were each in possession of a part of his true body. With each defeat of a demon, he was able to regain another part of his humanity. He was aided in his struggles by an orphaned teen whose parents were killed by Kagemitsu and his growing legions. While born a girl, she was reared as a boy in disguise. Having no name of her own, she adopted Hyakkimaru's "Dororo" nickname (a term used to refer to bastard demonic offspring).

"Dororo" is a pure popcorn movie fantasy in the same spirit as such 80's sword/sorcery fantasies like "Willow", "Legend" and "Highlander".

It also comes with little surprise that the film is reminiscent of the popular Hong Kong fantasy film trilogy of the late 80s, "Chinese Ghost Story" as Siu-Tung Ching is the film's action/stunt coordinator. I reckon however that Ching's influence extended beyond just directing the unique blend of inventive "wushu" style action and also showed itself in some of the monster designs and inventive set pieces.

The visual effects are also another great aspect of the film albeit they range from impressive CGI to silly costume effects similar to the stuff you would find on typical Saturday "Tokusatsu" (Live Action) TV. They are most certainly a step above the effects found in this year's similar movie "Mushishi".

The New Zealand location and scenery is gorgeous and really adds to the surreal surroundings of the world of "Dororo".

Thankfully, Shiota's breezy pacing of the film offsets the film's almost 139 minute run time.

Tsumabuki Satoshi (Dragon Head, Nada Sou Sou) is likable in his role as hero Hyakkimaru and brings a strong sense of charm with the role even though his dialog is very limited. Shibasaki Kou (Battle Royale, Memories of Matsuko, Nihon Chimbotsu) is also quite good in her role as "Dororo" albeit some may find her comedic rantings and antics to be grating after a while.

Nakai Kiichi (Owl's Castle, Hotaru) is menacing in his role as Kagemitsu but he doesn't really get the chance to develop the role beyond the stereotypical megalomaniac caricature. Eita (Memories of Matsuko, Tokyo Friends:The Movie) who portrays Tahoumaru (Hyakkimaru's step brother) fairs a little better with his semi-sympathetic role.

Many will find the final half of the movie a bit of a disappointment as the promise of a grand showdown between Kagemitsu and Hyakkimaru never materializes and what we get instead is a truncated battle that ends far too quickly to satisfy.

The end leaves open the opportunity for a sequel but it remains to be seen whether or not future directors can go beyond the "monster of the week" formula of demon battles and explore Hyakkimaru's unique story of trying to regain his humanity and become more "human".
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This film is awesome.
beowulf1582 May 2010
Dororo has a wonderful story and great acting. Unlike some people, I have the ability to enjoy a well written, well acted story and can easily forgive issues that I am sure budget constraints had a hand in.

I understand that there are some scenes that are beyond the budget, but in my opinion they were handled very well.

The protagonist and his companion were easy to like and understand. The story had some nice twist. The story was so well told that I had my Wife watch it and she hates this genre. Well she does not get it sometimes. She really loved the film! It is not too gory and as far as gravity defying stunts, well it is a fantasy tale and there really were not a lot of them. And they were no where near as physics defying as any of the Transporter films. This is a very good film.
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Good but not great adaptation of an Osamu Tezuka comic. May play better once the sequels arrive
dbborroughs26 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Film adaption of Osamu Tezuka's comic about a swordsman who's father sold 48 of his body parts to various demons for help in taking over the country and the world. As the swordsman kills the various demons he gets the parts back. He travels with a young thief named Dororo whom he picks up along the way. As the story progresses the pair encounters many demons and move ever closer to the revenge Hyakkimaru, the swordsman, desires.

Its an okay adaption of the comic (just now being published in the US), with several changes to the story (Hyakkimaru's father is wounded in battle and angry at his Lord when he makes the deal with the demons not just desirous of power, the creation of Hyakkimaru's prosthetic body is something out of Frankenstein instead of carved from wood, the source of one of the swords that serve as arms has been changed and it appears that how and what our hero can see has changed), the film travels close to episodic nature of the comic in spirit if not in actuality. This presents a problem since much of the first half of the film is exposition, setting up back stories and who these characters are.Its okay but it doesn't allow for things to really take off until the second half (which angles towards two promised sequels). There is also a weird shifting of tone from action to comedy to drama to horror in a way that doesn't quite work. (It doesn't help that there is an over abundance of CGI that often makes things seem less real) I like the film but I don't love it. Its not because I'm really enjoying the comic and the film doesn't match it, rather its just that the film is long winded and doesn't work for its own reasons. Frankly the almost two and a half running time is too much for a film that is too episodic to fully buildup momentum (perhaps the next two films will play better with the need for set up removed). The look of the film is often breath taking and the action is quite good and over all the film is worth seeing if you are willing to allow for its flaws. I don't know if I'd pay to see this at 10 bucks a head (a possibility since this has been popping in and out of theaters) but I would rent it or wait for a cable appearance should a station actually purchase the broadcast rights.

6.5 out of 10.

--------- Addendum: I recently spoke with a representative from Vertical Publishing who is putting out the comic. He said that there will be no sequels because the Tezuka estate dislikes this film enough to stop production.
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Good for what it is, but...
revere-718 July 2009
Dororo is a great genre film. It's an adventure movie kind of akin to a live action 'Ninja Scroll'. In fact, by keeping a simple, straightforward plot (boy's father pledges a number of his unborn son's body parts to demons in exchange for power - years later the boy is a man, and back for revenge) it elevates itself head-and-shoulders above most films of it's kind, as well as the manga and anime equivalents, which tend toward overly complicated and downright convoluted, soap opera-ish plots.

On the other hand, it falls prey to many of the problems of those genres - perpetuating the trend. Problems that include science defying scenes (a little in a fantasy film is O.K., but it gets to a point where... well, suspension of disbelief becomes impossible... no one, let alone an infant is going to survive even a minute without a heart) of which ludicrously over-the-top wire work is just one small part.

To be fair, action movies have been getting dumber, and with more "gimme-a-break" moments worldwide (any British action film starring Jason Statham, or recent Hollywood efforts such as 'Wanted'), still, it leaves one asking do we really need another film in this vein? Movies like Dororo', and 'Hero', are a far cry from the believable samurai pictures of a master like Kurusawa and Mizoguchi.

Still, it's pacing is far better than most, resisting the temptation to have non-stop fight scenes, and a dash of restrained humor thrown in for good measure. And it's fun to catch all the little homages to other films - everything from 'Edward Scissorhands' to 'A Fistful of Dollars'.

If you love the genre, you will love 'Dororo'. If you even like the genre, you will probably really like 'Dororo'. If you don't, it's definitely not going to convert you, and despite it's superiority within the genre, is unlikely to impress you favorably.
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If you like 80's fantasy movies you'll love this
kevn5726 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The film opens on a bloody battlefield, Kentei year 3048, the battle is over but the slaughter of the fallen continues the conquering general Lord Kagemitsu enters a sealed temple of 48 demons, the Hell Shrine. Kagemitsu makes a deal with the demons to give them 48 parts of his newborn son's body in return the demons are to make Kagemitsu the ruler of the world. The mutilated baby has survived and twenty years later he's looking to take back those body parts as he travels the world slaying demons. His name is Hyakkimaru and he's played by Tsumabuki Satoshi (Orange Days, ), Shibasaki Kou (Galileo, Orange Days) plays Dororo, another victim of the long war Kagemitsu has waged, it's cost her family and home she joins him as he travels battling demons, regaining body parts. Her ultimate aim is to use his demon slaying sword to assassinate Kagemitsu.

The story is based on a manga by the incredible Osamu Tezuka, and the stars of Orange Days, who couldn't have stepped into more different roles. From the sophisticated Detective Utsumi in Galileo to the ragtag thief in Dororo, she great in the role of comic relief and she does her work perfectly. After Hyakkimaru slays the first demon, Dororo is covered in a shower of blood. This happens to her countless times throughout the movie to her frustration. The special effects range from pretty good to fairly bad, one particularly poor effect was demon that reminded me of a man sized rubber-suited Godzilla. Spotty effects aside the film is loads of fun, never taking itself too seriously this is like a Fritz Leiber Fafhrd And Gray Mouser tale brought to film. If you like 80's fantasy movies like Conan, Sword and the Sorcerer, or Deathstalker give this movie a try. If you prefer High Fantasy like Lord of the Rings give this a pass and try the Korean TV drama The Legend instead.
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AWESOME this is a very STRANGE movie that references lots of Japanese demons and magick.
dilbertsuperman31 July 2008
I love the visual imagery in this movie it is so WEIRD! Dororo is a story that I can't really tell you too many details about without blowing the plot and the surprises but suffice it to say if you like to see Japanese demons represented on screen you should WATCH THIS! It's super cool. Lots of good kung fu which is rare for most Japanese films that have a fantasy tilt to them lots of awesome monsters for our hero to fight, and an excellent character foil in the form of a female thief sidekick for comic relief. This movie reminded me of a real-actor version of Ninja Scroll the epic anime that will go down in history as one of the coolest visual candy anime's for it's time.

This uses real life actors and a combination of costumes and cgi for the demons. Occasionally the special effects are rubber suits but it's still good enough to tell the story. With a bigger budget they could have really gone over the top with the special effects but oh well... this still kicks ass as a script and a story and the visuals are still awesome.

If you are in the mood to lose your mind, eat some mushrooms and watch this movie... it'll freak you out with all the weird fantasy creatures in it.

Plot - a demon killer hunts down the meaning of his existence while trying to purge himself of his own demon status and become human. His sidekick is a female thief with a big mouth and he is the typical quiet swordsman that can tear apart a room if need be. they travel on the road by foot and meet several demons on the way.

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'Dororo' a tale of lost opportunity (and body parts)
andrez_iffy26 January 2007
'Dororo' a tale of lost opportunity (and body parts).

By Andrez Bergen (Daily Yomiuri/de-VICE).

Directed by Akihiko Shiota. Cast: Ko Shibasaki, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Kiichi Nakai, Mieko Harada, Kumiko Aso.

There are so many reasons why Dororo, touted by Toho as a supernatural samurai action flick, ought to succeed in such a cross-genre context.

One: Its fight sequences are supervised by Ching Siu-tung - the man who choreographed the giddy brawls in Zhang Yimou's martial art romps House of Flying Daggers (2004) and Hero (2002), and previously directed the hilarious Jet Lee/Takeshi Kaneshiro action spoof, Dr. Wai and the Scripture Without Words (1996).

Next: There's the pivotal acting triumvirate of Ko Shibasaki, who was a revelation as the ruthless Mitsuko in Batoru Rowaiaru (aka Battle Royale, 2000), along with Satoshi Tsumabuki (Waterboys), and Kiichi Nakai.

Nakai was as eloquently dramatic in Mibu Gishi Den (When the Last Sword is Drawn, 2003) as he was effortlessly funny in the "Samurai Cellular" segment of filmic anthology Yo nimo Kimyo na Monogatari: Eiga no Tokubetsuhen (Tales of the Unusual, 2000).

Lastly, the story: originally a manga series penned in the late '60s by the late Osamu Tezuka - he who also created the legendary Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy) and Janguru Taitei (Kimba the White Lion).

Yet, in spite of all these positives, director Akihiko Shiota conspires to produce a live-action movie lacking in ingredients essential for any genre: a decent plot, solid acting, or believable special effects.

For starters, Shibasaki is just too old (at 25) to kid around playing the wild, street-smart child thief of the title, and Tsumabuki lacks the charismatic stamina to retain the focus as the film's lead.

Nakai, our hero's misguided father, summons up a surprisingly lackluster performance; he's merely nonplussed even about having five arrows stuck in his back while conjuring up a host of evil demons.

These actors, along with the criminally underused Mieko Harada (an Akira Kurosawa veteran), suffer at the hands of Shiota, who previously helmed irresolute outings like Kanaria (2005) and Yomigaeri (2002).

More pertinently, Tezuka's original source material borders upon the macabre, which in this context undermines what really aspires to be a light-hearted buddy movie.

Perhaps the scribe's expert knowledge as the holder of a medical degree accounts for this uncomfortable focus, and the way in which the yarn offers a strenuous nod in the direction of Frankenstein's monster.

It goes like this: Hyakkimaru (Tsumabuki) is born without 48 body parts, because they were filched from him in a prenatal deal initialed by his samurai dad (Nakai) with those aforementioned demons.

The baby, which brings to mind Eraserhead, is lobbed into a casket and launched down a river, all Moses-like, then chances to be rescued by an alchemist who has the ability to fashion replacement parts - just so Hyakkimaru can head out, team up with the boisterous Dororo (Shibasaki), slay the demons, and retrieve his real bits and pieces.

Different scenes suggest a diverse array of influences. One tavern scene looks like it came straight from Conan the Barbarian, while some talking rats seem to be accessories from The Goodies.

It's all too clear that Shiota - like Tezuka before him - isn't quite sure whether to pursue the supernatural, the bawdy, a good laugh, or full-on action - and instead confuses the whole caboodle.

The movie opens today. (Jan. 27, 2007)
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Mixed Feelings
mmushrm23 February 2011
Just finished watching Dororo and I have mixed feelings. Do I like or dislike this movie...

The opening sequence was great, in fact the first 1/3 of the movie was really good. Good fights with CG. Also some humour. The lead is as stiff as a freaking rock but then again that could be due to his character...a man with no heart plus another 47 missing body parts so the chemistry between the stoic hero and the energetic Dororo isn't all there.

There are also parts with some slapstick action/comedy with monsters in rubbers suits, quite amusing even if it seemed to drag a little too long.

I think thats the issue I had with this movie, the middle part seemed to drag on, it was IMO rather boring. The ending .... well I expected more, for me the "pay off" in the end did not come up to the promise set by the beginning of the movie. However since the guy is still missing a lot of body parts there will be a part 2 (hence the ending).

While I would say its not a bad movie, its not one I will watch again.
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WHat a great tale
blackmamba9997116 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This was excellent, a film about a young man who inherits immortality by his father making a deal with a demon to rule the world. Although his son Kyakkimaru (Satoshi Sumabuki) was abandoned. A lone sorcerer uses his vast powers to give this abandoned young boy new body parts. 48 in all. His father made the deal where the demons would inherit his body parts when he was a baby. This gave him absolute power of his province, but at a high cost. Seeing as his empire was not becoming what it should be, his other son Tahomaru (Eita) would succeed him at the throne. During Kyakkimarus travels to look for his original body parts, a lone wolf woman Dororo (Ko Shibasaki) joins him in the effort to aid his journey. Her belief is that she is a man until the time comes to be a full fledged woman. Besides this, an old music man who ventures into the plains somehow manages to find and hear their sordid tales. And plays his Koto during times of battle between Kyakkimaru and the demons. With the news about his past, he then realizes that revenge is not the way to happiness, and his father Kagemitsu Daigo (Kiichi Nakai) clashes with his abandoned son to settle the matter. Yet during this strange turn of events, his father succumbs to grief and suddenly understands that both of his sons are equally special. With the last blow from Kyakkimaru, he wounds his father when a demon takes over his body. It is the last stage for his journey, at lest on the family side. I thought this was a great movie, about dark magic, swords, apocalyptic times where the gun is not the dominant way of the samurai. There is humour, sadness, family bonds, and above all, a hero that sends back the demons who do not belong here. With his brother Tahomaru finally putting aside the sword for the better changes to happen, he waits until his older brother Kyakkimaru will return to take over the throne. Nice effects, strange looking demons, and all out fun between good and evil. A recommended film who read the Manga series.
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Saturday Morning Epic
gengar84327 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Here's where the rubber meets the road and you find out whether you're a fan of Japanese films, action films, kung-fu, swordplay, Crouching Tiger, epic journeys, and monster movies, or if you're just a snob. Me? I thought I was a snob, jaded, yawning - turns out I was wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed DORORO.

It's a great combination of those genres I mentioned, and it takes a great chef to make a tasty stew. Not too much of this or that. It's not sardonic, sneering, or snarky, even if the heroine (or is she a "hero"?) is. It's played straight, and the fact that the demons seem to be directly out of Power Rangers has no bearing on it, because you will LOVE the agile spider demon, at the very least. The family conflicts are real, and even heartfelt, and the resolutions meaty, though of course not Ingmar Bergman or Akira Kurosawa meaty.

Some wordplay on DORORO - "doro" kinda means "muddy" which is our heroine's face, but "dororo" kinda means "little monster" which is our hero, and I guess our heroine also. Speaking of our hero (about time!), he's a bit like Pinocchio, isn't he, but also his quest takes on Lord of the Rings proportions. There is Jacob and Esau also, who got the blessing. Like I said, plenty to take in here. Fast-paced when it wants to be, slow and meditative at other points. There is a good bit of decent philosophy and wisdom to ponder, magic mixed with technology to gawk at, and high-flying martial arts with many a cool move!
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dororo review
leiladel3 August 2012
This movie is a lot better than what most say. Its got action, humor, and a good plot. A downside is the violence though most of it is very cartoonish, like people practically flying through the air, and others being sliced completely in half with no blood, when there is blood there is usually humor that follows. The demons in the movie can look somewhat frightening at times, but that is the extent of the scariness factor.

Since this movie doesn't have a rating I would give it a pg-13. There is a large amount of violence throughout the movie. There is also a scene in the beginning where there are "dancers" but they are wearing bras and skimpy skirts while dancing a routine that is pretty pg Personally I enjoyed this movie very much and highly recommend it.
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Overall a great atmospheric fantasy epic with a couple of unnecessary flaws
kluseba3 July 2012
"Dororo" is an epic Japanese fantasy movie adapted from a manga series. The story features a male orphan whose body parts have been given to forty-eight demons by his vindictive father and who grows up with an old farmer who puts an artificial body with parts of dead babies together for the poor child. After the death of his adoptive father, the young man without a name, a soul and an own body, crosses the country to get back all parts of his body and discover his identity. To do so, he must find all forty-eight demons and kill them one by one. In a poor village, her crosses a young female thief with a lot of energy. She witnesses his fight with a demon and decides to give up her desperate life to follow the cold and mysterious warrior. Together they cross the country, fight many demons and finally find out that their tragic fates are somewhat connected and lead to a powerful tyrant who fails to unite a shattered Japanese country by taking too many radical decisions.

This movie kicks off very promising. The legendary story around the nameless warrior is very creative. The scenes set in the cabin of the old farmer, the stunning Japanese landscapes and the poor village have a somewhat fantastic feeling and great atmosphere. Both characters are introduced very well.

After a while, the movie starts to get a little bit disappointing. The two main characters are quite opposite from each other and have no gripping connection between them. Their dialogues always turn around the same things and are interrupted as soon as they may start to get interesting. Only in the end, the character development improves a little bit. Of course, it's normal that a soulless warrior who seems to have the whole world against him won't be very emotional and I didn't expect a passionate love story or anything but the whole thing feels simply too emotionless and the movie contains a couple of lengths from this point of view.

The next problem really are the embarrassing slapstick comedy moments. I know that this kind of influence probably comes from the original manga but the gripping story and the slowly built up atmosphere in the beginning really gets some serious cracks at that point. While the female character of Dororo is overall charming and well portrayed, the moments when she seems to be a little bit hyperactive, naive and silly are too present and should have been skipped to make this movie more mature.

It's probably due to financial issues that many just turn out to be ridiculous. Instead of being mysterious as they should be, their appearances are quite silly. The special effects of this quite recent flick are definitely mediocre. It reminds me of the aged stop motion techniques that can be witnessed in old Gamera, Gojira and King Kong flicks. This kind of costumes and effects had a certain charm four or five decades ago but they just are somewhat embarrassing today.

This all sounds rather negative but the great beginning of the movie and a couple of atmospheric scenes throughout the movie, for example the secret of the ugly worm demons that took the lives of twenty young orphans or the moment when the warrior finds out the truth about his existence, pardon for the mentioned flaws. The ending seems to indicate that at least one sequel might follow this flick and I really would like to see them happen and watch them. I would recommend this movie to any fan of fantastic mangas or Japanese legends who doesn't care too much about too old fashioned special effects and a couple of minor lengths.
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Just another Jap Samurai Movie..
Tanhausser_Gates17 October 2007
It's not a bad movie but it's all too predictable.. The character's roles are over-exploited and basically the story is explained in 10 minutes of the beginning of the movie.. The rest of it are just battles.

They even make fun of themselves in a few of those battles were they purposefully just keep dropping the level of the special effects until it becomes a parody of itself.

If you want a film for the whole family this is it, the kids will enjoy it and there is something to make everybody laugh.. But do not expect anything else out of it that another Japanese samurai film of the bunch.

I'm sorry for those passionate defenders of this film.. No matter how much history there is behind it this is not a great addition to the arts, it will become obsolete in a few months only to be remembered by hard fans.

Just saw it at Sitges International Film Festival.
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Strange movie to an average viewer
Cdickmeyer16 May 2012
I really did enjoy this movie, but i got bored at many parts and the subtitles were difficult to read. I understand there are a lot of themes following Japanese culture but it all went over my head as an average American viewer. I really enjoyed the fight scenes but i feel there should have been more. He's supposed to fight 48 demons but we see under 10. The movie seems to awkwardly transition what its primarily following a lot. I felt that the first and second half of the film were two different movies. For how long this title was there should have been many more fight scenes and less dialogue. Lastly, i hate CGI but the way this film used it was pretty good, there were some scenes in which it was downright pathetic, like the red and blue dog. But some scenes it was magnificent, the flower monster was crazy. I liked how crazy and over-the-top the movie was, i really enjoyed most of the fights. But i hated the drawn out scenes and lack of battles. It was just okay to me.
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