If I were to sum up this excellent 2019 adaptation of Osamu Tezuki’s manga in one sentence, I would say it is “mystery play of the right brain, by the right brain, for the right brain.” It is not really a modern drama for audience to process the plot using left brain logic – instead, it speaks to audience in symbolic imagery, in colours and in subtle staging.
The aesthetics of calligraphic episode titles
The first thing that struck me about this show is that it has been over a decade since I was last impressed with the calligraphy of episode titles in an anime series. To me, the last show with such beautiful calligraphy was Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohaniheto (2006), which hired the female calligrapher Masumi Narita [成田眞澄]. The episodic titles of Dororo are the work of another female calligrapher named Bisen Aoyagi [青柳美扇]. I think the calligraphic style – which conveys masculinity, strength and courage – is a fine and subtle contrast to the new slender-figured character design of Hyakkimaru.