Critics are praising DOTA: Dragon’s Blood season 1 for its world-building and character detail. Here’s a review round-up for the Netflix series.
Critics are praising DOTA: Dragon’s Blood season 1 for its world-building and character detail. The most positive reviews cite the overall mood of the Netflix show, and how it builds upon themes from the video game inspiration, Dota 2. However, critics from larger outlets seem to have issues with the very concepts that are praised in other reviews, so it’s worth exploring the curious case of DOTA: Dragon’s Blood season 1.
DOTA: Dragon’s Blood season 1 introduces numerous characters yet builds conflict from a simple premise. When the universe splits in half, characters attempt to navigate the “Chaos of the Infinite.” The elves of Coedwig rebel against the Dark Moon Order of the Nightsilver Woods and Goddess Selemene (Alix Wilton Regan), while a demon named Terrorblade (JB Blanc) plots to create a new world in his image. A dragon knight named Davion (Yuri Lowenthal) also teams up with Princess Mirana (Lara Pulver) to find lotuses that were stolen from the Nightsilver Woods. In DOTA: Dragon’s Blood season 1, the protagonists attempt to pinpoint the motivations of a sage called Invoker (Troy Baker), who has a long history with Selemene.
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As of now, DOTA: Dragon’s Blood season 1 has a 63 percent Tomatometer score at Rotten Tomatoes, with the audience score being much higher at 93 percent. Some critics seem to appreciate the fact that Netflix adapted the video game into a series, along with the animation and basic storytelling. For those who are familiar with the characters and lore, it may be easier to connect with the Netflix adaption and what it teases throughout the first eight episodes. But while many critics are clearly entertained by DOTA: Dragon’s Blood season 1, the overall analysis doesn’t necessarily dig beyond surface-level concepts.
“Dota: Dragon’s Blood successfully fuses plenty of existing Dota lore with an original story for eight episodes of humor and action in a fantasy universe.”
Geeks of Color:
“Each character’s backstory is packed with a wealth of conflict and appeal, that the little we do get from them, is well worth the watch. The fantasy setting is, likewise, undeniably an engaging genre.”
“After pressing play I couldn’t stop until completing all 8 fantastic episodes, loving its engrossing story, well-developed characters, beautiful animation, exciting soundtrack, and intense action sequences.”
Flick Fan Nation:
“Certain ideas needed a bit more context to build off of, but the world-building and characters make for an entertaining start.”
“A bloody anime with a captivating main story that will hold your attention and have you begging for more.”
Despite the mostly positive reviews for DOTA: Dragon’s Blood season 1, critics from larger outlets have complained about the narrative structure and lack of exposition. For example, the primary conflict is easy to grasp after a couple of episodes, but all of the visual detail and lore doesn’t necessarily translate to an exciting viewing experience, at least for those who aren’t familiar with Dota 2. There seems to be a critical divide because fans of the video game series enjoy the adaptation’s potential, while the most discerning critics seemingly expected better storytelling.
“The series gets increasingly mired down in arcane and diffuse lore, yielding a befuddling and scattered narrative.”
“Dragon’s Blood is smart in that it doesn’t assume the viewer has much knowledge of the franchise. Unfortunately, it never inspired me to dig deeper, either.”
“Somehow less interesting than playing the game, especially if you’re interested in learning more about the universe and lore.”
To be fair, DOTA: Dragon’s Blood season 1 may seem rather simple because it’s setting up a larger narrative. Netflix reportedly ordered 24 episodes over three seasons, so it makes sense that all of the lore wouldn’t be fully explained within the first eight episodes. So, while some critics may feel bored, others seem to enjoy the experience of it all, and how the Davion-Mirana story is leading to much more, evidenced by a season-ending cliffhanger involving Selemene and Invoker. If the second installment keeps the same pace, however, then that could potentially be a major issue and threaten the series’ future. As it stands, DOTA: Dragon’s Blood season 1 on Netflix covers the essentials and doesn’t necessarily overreach with its storytelling.
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