Known as the godfather of MOBA games, Dota first saw popularity as a Warcraft mod. Since then, it grew in popularity and even spawned its own game, Dota 2. Right now, Dota 2 is one of the top Esports titles in the world, however, it has received flak for being somewhat vague about its lore and not welcoming to new players. Hence, when the Dota: Dragon’s Blood Netflix anime was announced, I was excited as we can finally have a piece of Dota 2 Lore. Plus, it’s on Netflix so it’ll get a lot of views.
But, how is it as an animated series? Hold on to your QWER keys as we take a look and see if Dota: Dragon’s Blood is worth checking out.
The show’s plot follows two main characters, Davion and Mirana. The former is a Dragon Knight while the other is a Princess of the Moon. After saving Mirana and her courier Marci (we’ll get to her later) from an altercation, Davion is then saved by the pair after a life-changing encounter. These three characters then journey together and discover a convoluted game of cheese between a deity, a powerful sorcerer, and an unstoppable evil.
So after reading about the show’s plot, let’s take a look at what the series did well, and what can it improve on.
What Did It Do Well?
Let’s start with what the show did well as we have a lot more positives compared to negatives.
If you are familiar with the Legend of Korra animated show and liked it, you’ll be happy to know that the same studio handled Dragon’s Blood, Studio Mir. The animation is on point, especially during the action scenes. However, this is not to say that the animation is perfect, as some scenes showcase some more simplistic renders of characters but this is no something alarming.
Let’s get this out of the bag, Invoker is the best character in the show. Yes, that annoying Intelligence hero in your pubs that stomps games or more usually feeds in the lower MMR brackets. Invoker in this show had the best character development. Plus, his motivations once revealed will blow your mind. Lastly, not a spoiler but Invoker’s game of chess is a sight to behold especially during the 2nd half of the first season.
Mirana’s mute courier and close confidant is a welcomed plus in my book. They avoided making Mirana a “mary sue” character with the inclusion of Marci. She’s surprisingly cute yet strong and her character has good comedic timing. If you’re into cute and strong waifus, she’s your girl.
Of course, the fan service is a big plus! If you’re a longtime Dota player, you’d probably pick out a few easter eggs from different scenes. Whether they are the character themselves is for us to find out in the future.
Well, Dota’s lore has been vague. Comparable to Dark Souls, most of the lore elements are hidden away in item descriptions. With Dragon’s Blood, we now know the backstories of some characters as well as the deities and forces that exist in the world of Dota.
Lastly, I have to commend the voice acting for the series. It has been spot-on and most characters were given flavor by their respective voice actors. Troy Baker stands out as the Invoker. Other notable performances are from Yuri Lowenthal as Davion and Tony Todd as Slyrak.
What Needs Improvement?
Well, the show is not perfect and it has flaws. Nothing too big and very workable by Studio Mir.
I’ve had issues with the shows pacing and this is my biggest criticism. Characters are fleshed out but some of them need a tad more. Also, the last 4 episodes are way faster-paced than what came before. Each episode lasts around 25 minutes with a little give and take. That is a possible factor why the change of pace felt a bit forced. Hopefully, season 2 becomes better paced as the major players have been introduced.
Selemene’s character for me was the one who suffered the most when it comes to the pacing. Her character development felt flat compared to other major characters albeit there were big ones scattered across the season. Hopefully, her backstory gets explored more as she is tied to the backstory and motives of most of the characters.
All in all, Dota: Dragon’s Blood is an awesome entry into the world of Dota 2. Most of the characters are solid and if Studio Mir can fix the pacing issues then it’ll be something to watch out for.
Overall a great experience and I’m already excited for Season/Book 2.
Final Grade For Book 1: 8.5/10 GGs
Editor’s Note: We would like to thank our friend Dirv of Wrestling After Work for contributing his time and effort on this review of DOTA: Dragon’s Blood. You can find their podcast on Facebook and Spotify!
The Geeky Juans
The Geeky Juans is a geek culture podcast and blog. Their weekly podcast is hosted by Jude and Steven where they discuss topics ranging from animation to video games to wrestling and beyond!