Saying that anyone expected Dota to get an anime is like saying Breaking Bad could be issued as a manga — it’s quite difficult to imagine. Sure, the community received several webcomics, battle-pass, cosmetic descriptions, and limited-time events, all significantly adding depth and expanding Dota 2’s lore.
However, no one saw the anime adaptation coming. But, we’re not complaining.
As huge fans of the game itself, we bing-watched the entire eight-episode season in one sitting. But a quick heads up before you settle down and watch the anime. Dragon’s Blood, although directed and made by Studio MIR — the studio behind the Avatar series, the show is classified as viewable only to mature audiences.
This Netflix exclusive is more reminiscent of Castlevania, particularly for its overall style and tone. In fact, the anime even has several instances where F-bombs are dropped. The experience does seem a bit jarring at first. However, a few episodes in, and you’ll be fine.
Alright, without spoiling the anime’s narrative, what exactly is it about? Well, for starters, DOTA: Dragon’s Blood features two main characters — Dragon knight Davion and Mirana, the Princess of the Moon. As his title may suggest, Davion is known for slaying dragons while Princess Mirana is occupied with retrieving Selemene, the stolen lotuses belonging to the Goddess of the Moon.
One major concern we had was regarding the show’s runtime. Dragon’s Blood features a total of 3 hours and 20 minutes total screentime over eight episodes, and one cannot help but wonder if the show was rushed. Thankfully, the pacing and the narrative felt rather flawless.
The progression was relatively fast but quite straightforward. The production team did an outstanding job by avoiding the inclusion of pointless plot-heavy monologue and filler content. While the anime could benefit from some plot depth, overall, everything was portrayed perfectly.
Since the anime is based on Dota, some flashy and thrilling action scenes are bound to exist. And though most Netflix exclusives fail to deliver adequate action sequences, Studio MIR did not disappoint.
The production team managed to somehow recreate combat that one can feel through playing the Dota games while also animating the scenes beautifully. The fights and movements were smooth, brutal, and full of blood. Hence, justifying the M18+ rating.
Being huge fans of the Dota universe and its lore, we have one complaint with the show. Although the anime provides a fair amount of backstory for the characters, we believe they still lacked adequate character development to truly make them stand out.
But then again, the anime only featured a total of eight episodes for Book 1. Therefore, we might learn more about the characters in Book 2.
Despite an extensive detailing of each character, Dragon’s Blood does manage to help the audience understand the characters and their personality traits. For instance, the contrast between Luna and Princess Mirana, Davion and his ambitions, the importance of Selemene, and the dragons’ existence were all captivating facts regarding the lore for Dota.
DOTA: Dragon’s Blood is certainly an amazing anime and a must-watch for all Dota fans if it isn't clear by now. In fact, we’re sure the hardcore fans will probably enjoy themselves seeing each in-game item shown in the anime.
Not to mention the cameos made by different playable characters as well. Apart from the Dota community, we would absolutely recommend the anime to all anime fans, since there is a lot to like here.
The show will certainly be admired by action anime enthusiasts, while the plot itself will also prove quite engaging to the average viewer. Needless to say, you better clear your schedule, grab some drinks, and settle down properly because you won’t be getting up till you see the final credits rolling!
Furthermore, the second season is already in the making, and we eagerly await the plot twists it will bring forth.
DOTA: Dragon's Blood is available on Netflix