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Netflix’s Dragon’s Dogma Trailer Is An Awkward Blend Of CGI And 2D Anime

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BY August 27, 2020
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That latest video game adaptation on Netflix’s is the Dragon’s Dogma anime trailer. The new series comes from a Capcom game of the same name. Netflix just released the new trailer and it’s left us unsure of how we feel. For many different reasons. The fantasy anime series looks to deliver another revenge story, but one set in a world of monsters and dragons. 

Netflix’s Dragon’s Dogma Anime Trailer Is A Fantasy Revenge Thriller

Netflixs Dragon's Dogma anime trailer dragon. Image via Netflix.

The trailer for the new anime series on Netflix begins with the titular dragon destroying everything. The world shown is one devoid of dragons for a century. So when one mysteriously appears, it catches everyone by surprise and obvious tragedy ensues. The dragon seems to lay siege to a town, with our protagonist caught right in the middle of it all. More confusingly, it looks like the dragon kills our hero and devours his heart. But a mysterious and magical woman brings him back to life as the Arisen. 

The hero then vows revenge, as the dragon also killed his family during its attack. Teaming up with the mysterious woman, called Hannah, the two embark on an adventure to find the dragon. The dragon, who is like Smaug from The Hobbit in that he talks, looks like he’s also taunting the Arisen. So it’s a series entirely based on one man’s revenge and journey to literally reclaim his heart from a mythical beast. It may sound strange all laid out like that, but it has the elements of an anime that could be incredible or forgettable. 

The Dragon’s Dogma Trailer Is Not That Great

I don’t know if it’s the trailer’s presentation, or if it’s the seemingly rote premise, but Dragon’s Dogma doesn’t seem that interesting. Based on a 2012 fantasy RPG game, the new anime series is pretty thin on the story. Besides the flimsy revenge angle, nothing else grabs fans who may not have nostalgia for the game. The world, apparently full of monsters and demons and other fantasy creatures, has no context. While dragons seem like they are rare in this world, the other stuff isn’t even commented on. Which is weird, because if magical creatures are a thing, why would everyone shocked at a dragon showing up after only 100 years? 

The Dragon’s Dogma anime trailer doesn’t even bother to explain who or what ‘Hannah’ is. We see her healing the hero with magic, and then just being with him all the time. The trailer does a very poor job of setting up Dragon’s Dogma for casual audiences. However, if you’re a fan of the game, you know that the Arisen has at his command Pawns that he can call up to help him in a battle. Are those the creatures we see in the trailer? Possibly.

Gamers will also know the entire backstory of the series, which is only slightly more detailed than what the trailer shows. However, as I wondered when news of Dragon’s Dogma anime broke, the trailer still gives no hint of why the dragon eats the Arisen’s heart. Even after this trailer, things aren’t any clearer about what the story is beyond “Dragon took my heart and killed my family, so I hate him.” Sure, having your heart eaten definitely sucks, but there’s not much there that audiences can relate to (which is likely why the slain family angle is in there).

The Series Visual Style Is a Tonal Mixed Bag

Netflixs Dragons Dogma anime trailer monster. Look! It’s the 90’s live-action Sinbad show | Image via Netflix.

The original announcement around Dragon’s Dogma said how the anime series will be a mix of CGI anime and traditional 2D style. Seeing how that plays out in the trailer, it looks like the backgrounds and action sequences are in CGI, along with the monsters. While the human characters are a mix of 2D with CGI elements. This distinction makes some scenes look very blocky and chunky, like video games from the ’90s. It’s a similar complaint I had about the new Ghost In The Shell Netflix anime series that employed a similar style. Hopefully, the actual series is better than how the trailer makes it seem. It is visually dynamic, but the elements put together underwhelm.

Dragon’s Dogma anime releases on Netflix on September 17. 

So what did you think about Netflix’s Dragon’s Dogma anime trailer? Let us know in the comments below. 

Featured image via Netflix. 

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Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

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