The animated film Dragon Quest: Your Story first landed on Netflix a short time ago, about a year after its debut on the platform in Giappome. As the name suggests, it is a film based on the universe of Dragon Quest, the popular RPG videogame saga of Square Enix. Now, the film – which tells a magical adventure like in the game – is finally available on the streaming service all over the world.
The film is directed by Takashi Yamazaki, which fans of the genre will already know from other works such as Eien no 0 or Parasyte, with the support of Ryûchi Yagi and Makoto Hanafusa. The animation here is in 3D, so the characters lose some of the charm and personality typical of Akira Toriyama’s hand-drawn style from the manga or anime – a common aspect of the Dragon Quest and Dragon Ball games. However, one of the strengths of this new film is that it uses the game’s original score, which helps establish an instant connection with it.
The storyline of Your Story is based on the storyline of the Super Nintendo classic Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride . Start with Luca, a fearless and curious young man who follows his father into a medieval fantasy world. Luca’s goal is to save his mother, who was kidnapped years ago by the evil bishop Ladja. To complete his mission, the group’s only hope is to find the celestial hero, the one who has the power to defeat the dark forces using the Zenith sword.
Dragon Quest: Your Story – Japanese Announcement Trailer
Thus a colorful adventure develops rapidly; it is full of action and we embark on a journey full of surprises. Since Your Story tries to take a step forward from being a simple adaptation of The Heavenly Bride, it has some twists and turns that not only differentiate it from the game, but that bring the story to life. However, it doesn’t always work.
Overall, we think this animated adaptation will convince fans. Presents a lot of tributes to the RPG saga that fans will love. In addition, the characters are faithful to those of the original game and no part of their personality has been left out or changed. That said, even if the film tries to connect with the sentimentality of veteran gamers, they won’t find anything particularly new here. It serves its purpose and gives us a dose of nostalgia, which is no small feat, but will never take off.
What about those people who are unfamiliar with the Dragon Quest universe? They will appreciate it anyway, as long as they understand that the film is not a masterpiece. In fact, it is a fair piece of entertainment with an exquisite and meticulous animation, fairytale-inspired landscapes and a lively rhythm that prevents the story from getting lost. However, if you don’t know the game, you won’t be able to fully savor the story. In addition, wanting to tell the whole story without neglecting important results leads to flat characters who enjoy little personal growth and most of them are almost irrelevant. In other words, it’s difficult to compress a 40-hour story into 1 hour and 42 minutes.
Dragon Quest: Your Story is an audiovisual tribute to the fantasy saga. All in all, we had fun with him and enjoyed some unexpected twists along the way; however, not everyone will appreciate his childish message. Therefore, we think it fails to realize its true potential – with a little more attention it could have been an essential product for the whole family.
That said, if you watch the movie and later want to embark on the adventure in this role-playing universe, we recommend that you start with Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition. It is the best version of the eleventh game of the saga and a great place to start your adventure.