This past weekend I immersed myself in Sakura-Con and all the anime I could handle in one weekend. A particular highlight was Friday’s premier of Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker co-produced by FUNimation and T.O. Entertainment (their are also working on Mass Effect: Paragon Lost). While I am naturally a little skeptical about a beloved (given the hours of time invested playing the games and reading the books) knowing an equally beloved studio was handling the production helped ease many worries.
The story is set after the fall of Kirkwall and before Varrick gets interrogated concerning Hawk. Said interrogator, Cassandra Pentaghast, gets her back story fleshed out in DA:DotS and we get additional insight into the Chantry. I’ll avoid more info due to the risk of spoilers.
FUNimation’s panel prior to the movie’s premier discussed the team’s trip to Bioware’s Canadian offices.DA:DotS. The tone of the movie certainly keeps with previous games and books. Particularly the clothing and color palates used. If you wondered what world you were stepping into one look at even a peasant would let you know.
My only complaint comes from the animation itself. The character’s faces sometimes had the overly smooth CGI appearance. The overly smooth faces sometimes pricked my brain into noticing them instead of what was going on in the movie. A minor complaint and one not everyone had, so your mileage may vary.
The fight scenes are kinetic, sweeping and visceral. This is Dragon Age after all and what is DA without a little blood and fighting. The audience gave a worried gasp when our heroine took a particularly nasty hit. The ending fight deftly balanced epic and engaging.
My biggest problem with the anime? It left me wanting more! The movie does a lovely job tying up the story arc and leaving questions about the world satisfyingly unanswered. No glaring plot holes, just enticing hits of more simmering under the surface unseen.
Perhaps the best endorsement for the movie came from the lovely lady(L.L.) I met at the convention who hadn’t yet played the games. (We sat in line for another event together discussing the movie) L.L. found the movie’s story easy to follow without prior world knowledge. Ultimately, DA: DotS inspired her to pick the games up and give them a chance. What better endorsement can there be?
Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker is out May 29th 2012 and you can get it here.