What are first impressions, really? Are they but a collection of thoughts regarding your initial exposure to something? Or can they be a collection of thoughts regarding your initial exposure to one specific aspect of a thing, that can then be used as an avenue to gush about something you cherish without having to write a full length review on a game series that’s been running so long and been so impactful that it serves as a foundation for most modern JRPGs to date?
Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai is an anime adaptation of the manga of the same name, initially published in 1991 and based upon the much-beloved Dragon Quest videogame franchise. It’s about a young boy born after the fall of the Dark Lord Hadlar, who was raised on an island of monsters once enthralled to that dark lord by the Sage Stump Brass. Brass has been training Dai as a mage, but Dai wants to grow up to be a Hero and save the world.
In other words, it’s a fairly typical Dragon Quest plot. The character designs are cute when they aren’t sinister, and the characters themselves are memorable and charming in the way of all Dragon Quest characters. There’s a battle on a boat against some fake heroes who kidnap Gomechan, Dai’s best friend, that Dai wins with the help of his friends and also a huge dragon he summons from a magic tube. Dai is very kind and purehearted and a Good Sweet Boy who deserves only goodness and who will likely see a great deal of pain.
It’s some very reliably Dragon Quest-y content, which I whole-heartedly approve of. I love Dragon Quest. I have the third game loaded up on my tablet as I’m writing this, waiting for me to stop being distracted and decide whether I’m going to absolutely destroy Peony’s fiance’s life this time.
Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai is cute, and familiar, and fun. It possesses that fairy tale quality that every piece of Dragon Quest media I’ve consumed has managed to capture, which is a necessary qualification because I have not come anywhere near consuming all of it. It’s the kind of anime I’m looking forward to watching on Friday nights, so that when I drift off I can dream of brave heroes and true companions and being able to support myself on freelance work.
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