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This article is about the manga. For other uses, see Dororo (disambiguation).
Cover of Dororo volume 4 from the Osamu Tezuka Manga Complete Works edition.
Genre Adventure, Historical, Supernatural
Written by Osamu Tezuka
Published by Shogakukan
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Original run 27 August 196722 July 1968
Volumes 4
Anime television series
Directed by Gisaburō Sugii
Studio Mushi Productions
Network Fuji TV
Original run April 6, 1969September 28, 1969
Episodes 26
Live-action film
Directed by Akihiko Shiota
Released 2007
Anime and Manga portal

Dororo (どろろ?) is a Japanese manga series from the critically acclaimed manga creator Osamu Tezuka in the late 1960s. The anime television series (1969) based on the manga consists of 26 half-hour episodes. It was made into a live-action film in 2007.

During the late 1960s, manga featuring goblins was popular among kids. Dororo was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday for three years.

Tezuka's childhood memory of his friends pronouncing dorobou (どろぼう lit. thief?) as dororo inspired the title of this work.[1] In the live action movie series, the name is explained to be a southern term for Hyakkimaru, meaning "Little Monster."

The anime series bears the distinction of being the first entry in what is now known as the "World Masterpiece Theater" series.


Dororo is a thriller manga, which revolves around a ronin during the Sengoku period. He was born malformed, limbless and without facial features or internal organs. This was the result of his birth father daimyo Daigo Kagemitsu forging a pact with 48 sealed demons so that he might rule the world. In return, he promised the demons could each obtain a piece of his unborn child's body. This enabled them to roam free and commit atrocities along the countryside.

After his mother was forced to set him adrift on the river, lest he be killed by his father, the infant was subsequently found and raised by Dr. Honma, a medicine man who used healing magic and alchemical methods to give the child prostheses crafted from the remains of children who had died in the war. The boy became nearly invincible against any mortal blow as a result of the prostheses and healing magic. Grafted into his left arm was a very special blade that a travelling storyteller presented to Dr. Honma, believing it was fated to be within his possession given that ever since the boy had been discovered, the doctor had been visited by goblins. As revealed in a short tale about the blade's origin, the blade had been forged out of vengeance to kill goblins as well as other supernatural entities.

After the doctor was forced to send him on his way because he was attracting demons, the young man learned from a ghostly voice of the curse that had be set upon him at birth and that by killing the demons responsible he could reclaim the stolen pieces of his body and thus regain his humanity. Across his travels, he earned the name "Hyakkimaru" (百鬼丸?) among other names for his inhuman nature. On one such hunt of a demon, Hyakkimaru came across a young orphan thief named Dororo who thereafter travels by his side through the war-torn countryside.


Character Name Japanese voice actor (Anime) Japanese voice actor (VG) English voice actor (VG)
Hyakkimaru (百鬼丸) Nachi Nozawa Tomokazu Sugita Chris Murphy[disambiguation needed]
Dororo (どろろ) Minori Matsushima Ikue Ohtani Bret Walter
Daigo Kagemitsu (醍醐景光) Gorō Naya Akio Ōtsuka Kevin Blackton
Tahōmaru (多宝丸) Shūsei Nakamura Takeshi Kusao Kevin Miller
Jukai (寿海) N/A Kiyoshi Kobayashi Adam Harrington
Biwa-hōshi (琵琶法師) Junpei Takiguchi
Mio (みお) Reiko Mutō Yuki Makishima Evelyn Huynh



Main article: Dororo (film)

A life action film directed by Akihiko Shiota was released in 2007.


Unlike the manga, the anime version has a conclusive ending.[2] Anime Sols is currently crowd-funding the official streaming of the show. The first half of the show has reached its goal, and now the funding has continued for the second half. [3]

Video game[edit]

Developer Sega made a Dororo-based video game for the PlayStation 2 console in 2004. It was released in the United States and Europe under the title Blood Will Tell. The game's artwork was done by renowned manga artist Hiroaki Samura. Dororo was not very successful commercially or critically. In fact, Dororo only had an average of 69% at Game Rankings, but it developed a cult following.

As a side note, Dororo is most often construed as a man, or young boy, often being called as such, but, in the final chapter, you see that he is in fact a she, after Hyakkimaru makes a comment one chapter before about how she will grow into a fine young woman. She does, when she is seen five years later.

English translation[edit]

In 2008, Vertical Inc. released an English translation of Dororo in three volumes.[4] In 2009, it won the Eisner Award in the "Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan" division.[5]


In 2012, a manga crossover one-shot was created featuring Dororo and Dororon Enma-kun. In 2013, it was expanded into a full series.[6]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]