It’s been a while since I’ve written about the first DOTA series. Yeah, the animated series produced by a studio I just like watching stuff from, Studio Mir. That studio that worked on Voltron, Legend of Korra, and hopefully more soon. They always produced high quality products with distinctive character designs and a fluid animation style with such fluidity that no other series does. So yeah, series 1 came out in March 2021 and this series came out in January this year. So I am obviously very slow in writing about this series.
Last we met our heroes in season one, Davion the dragon knight was taken by the other dragon knights to their keep to hopefully be cured from his curse of being an elder dragon. Our Princess Marina with her faithful sidekick Marci with the help of Luna, were on the run with their elven army from the other armies, and so many other things. It’s complicated but fun in its own way. There are a lot of things that happen in 8 episodes that it feels almost, but not completely, like a blur and that is kind of what this series is like too.
This season is like a speed run of everything fantasy. There is the classic sort of special research from the priest of the Dragon Knights with his experiments on Davion. It really speeds through that sort of tension and drama when the dragons arrive to kill all of them with barely enough of them surviving, with a continued to be cursed Davion, his assistants, and some other people. All of them slowly head towards Helio Imperium. Davion needs the Eye of the Wyrm to fight off Terrorblade and his infection.
Then there is the princess plot with Marina after saving her troop of elven soldiers and eventually, just captured and sent to Helio Imperium by the leader of it. There is some politics that happened between her, some obvious general that only has support through money, and Linn who is called slayer because she has infinite magical abilities. Linn herself gets motivated to control Helio Imperium by Davion because he thought Marina was dead.
So what I am saying is that it’s a complicated sort of situation with all plots leading towards Helio Imperium and the crowning of Queen Marina, Davion being healed, but a lot of death and chaos along the way. Plus, the gods themselves are upset about everything that happened and there is going to be a war against one specific goddesses who should have died. Even with four paragraphs, that is only a small amount of what happened with all the details. There are a lot of character changes that feel much more forced by the plot than them feeling natural. Not to mention a lot of power escalation in a short amount of time.
Davion and Marina do change as a result of what happens in this story with their very forced romance, but the journey itself is so fast and they are the least interesting characters in the series. Yet, the show really focuses on them. The coolest companion Marci gets pushed to the side a lot and yet gets the most emotional scene in the end. I’m also skipping on one of our elf friends who was tasked with killing a goddess but didn’t. I just….could we get more episodes for these “seasons”? I think Studio Mir could be trusted to be given more time.
It’s a very serious story that only has some levity by its side characters. Marci getting drunk in the background and winning arm wrestling matches at a bar was great. Same with the comedy coming from Davion’s apprentice who married a dragon and there are some good jokes about strange relationships with dragons. Or just Luna being solidly emotional and having some good jokes like when she was in prison. Luna, Marina’s general friend, had some jokes about her shower in prison while being a good emotional beats with the most reasonable actions. Some good cast members, some bad in this very rushed thing.
But this show did look pretty good though. For this fast paced series, there were a lot of locations that were blown through. Some with a lot of fantastic visuals to represent all of those powers and other things too. Some with the great character animation and character action scenes here too. Just an overall feast of animation and visuals all over the place there too. Just the usual Studio Mir stuff that locate and execute so many colors and other things here too. I find all of those exceptional. They definitely know how to animate in their own style.
So yeah, this part was between good and ok. I think there were a lot of good moments and characterization throughout this season. But it was very rushed and way too short for its own good too. But the story was well executed and simple for itself, but it was like watching a wiki instead of just enjoying a fantasy series. Maybe this is one where people really do have to know the lore behind the series and/or play the game to really get all of it. But it was good popcorn entertainment in some ways. Just wish I could engage with it a bit more in a better way than saying “oh, that happened.” But if a third season happens, I will watch it.