Maybe it’s something to do with being wary about the optics of a man in his late thirties sitting on his own amidst a screenful of screaming six-year-olds, but this past weekend I couldn’t quite bring myself to see my beautiful blue boy’s debut on the big screen and instead watched another video game adaptation that’s just hit Netflix. And I think I chose wisely, because it’s an absolute treat.
Not much noise has been made about Dragon Quest: Your Story. Maybe it’s something to do with how not much noise is made over here about Dragon Quest, a series whose spectacular success in Japan has never been replicated in the west, even if fans have been better served in recent years thanks to the sterling localisations of Echoes of an Elusive Age. Still, the addition of Your Story to Netflix in the west after its cinematic release in Japan last August barely registered.
Which is a shame, as while it’s far from a great film it’s faithful to so many of the things that makes Dragon Quest so beloved. It’s not entirely faithful – this is a strictly CG affair, and as such it deviates from the iconic art of Akira Toriyama, even if the spirit of them – that wide-eyed wonder and those heart-lifting splashes of yellow and blue – remains intact. Despite that deviation this is a frequently beautiful film, though – this is from the same school of CG that brought us last year’s equally lavish Lupin III: The First, and indeed in Takashi Yamazaki it even boasts the same director.
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