Anime Review - Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker

Dragon Age, the best selling RPG from EA and Bioware, was a revelation and gained nearly flawless reviews from the likes of IGN, Gamespot and Capsule Computers. Dragon Age took many of the best elements from Bioware's previous smash hit, Mass Effect, an delivered an epic fantasy franchise full of danger, magic, mystery and mayhem.

"In the land of Orlais, a brash young Seeker—Cassandra—fights to stop a blood-soaked conspiracy. Hidden hands seek to tear apart the realm's most powerful religious order, and as the sinister plot unfolds, Cassandra is accused of treason and murder. Hunted by friend and foe alike, the impulsive beauty must clear her name while clashing with corrupt templars and rogue blood mages. Should she fail, the executioner’s blade awaits. Should she overcome her rage and expose the unseen forces threatening the rule of the Divine, Cassandra will take her place in legend."

Directed by Fumihiko Sori (To, Vexille), it is clear that Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker if from the purest of pedigree. Not only are Fumihiko Sori and studio Oxybot well versed in the CGI and cell shaded arts, but the script is written by Jeffrey Scott, a prolific cartoon writer with over 40 titles under his belt. 

In terms of visuals, Oxybot have done a fantastic job. They have done a fantastic job of capturing the aesthetic of the Dragon Age world in all of its epic glory. As with Vexille and To, Oxybot have great skill in using restraint when framing their shots. In many of these shots they use negative space to draw attention to the desired focal point and also soften backgrounds to the same effect eventuating into an incredibly cinematic experience.

As a fan of the Dragon Age franchise, I immediately understood the back story of Dawn of the Seeker. Cassandra was known to me from her role as a tough as nails inquisitor from Dragon Age II. Unfortunately, I think that the story may have glossed over too many details, leaving those unacquainted with Dragon Age slightly confused. That said, there is far too much back story to be delivered in a 90 minute feature film, catch 22.

Available in both English and Japanese with English subtitles, the voice over work is fantastic. Our main character Cassandra Pentaghast is voiced by Colleen Clink (Fairy Tail, Dragonball Z Kai) and Chiaki Kuriyama (Battle Royale, Azumi 2) while her mage friend Galyan is voiced by J. Michael Tatum (D.Gray Man, Summer Wars) and Shosuke Tanihara (Godzilla Final Wars, Vexille). Each and every one of the voice actors do a fantastic job and in this case there should be no "sub vs dub" argument because they are both fantastic. As a special treat for j-rock fans, GACKT himself makes and appearance as the voice of the Knight Commander.

The music throughout is a big highlight, with original compositions being produced by Naoyuki Horiko, Reiji Kitazato, Shogo Ohnishi, Masafumi Okubo and Tetsuya Takahashi. They managed to deliver the grandeur of magic and might and the danger of battling dragons. During the closing credits we get two great songs, "Desire for Need" by Seether and "Until the Last Day" which was written and composed by JON, Ryo, J-Rock superstar GACKT and performed by YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz.

This is a brilliant transfer and it looks fantastic on high def Blu Ray. As far as special features are concerned, we get a behind the scenes look at the making of the film, a tour of the Bioware studio, production art stills and a handful of previews including upcoming and gorgeous looking Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike and Bioware's next anime outing, Mass Effect Paragon Lost. Both of these titles will be released locally by Madman with Vesperia seeing release in September while the Mass Effect release date is yet to be confirmed.

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker is fantasy action at its finest and encapsulates the attention to detail that Bioware have instilled in each and every one of their games. This is a must own title for game and anime geeks alike.

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker is available from Madman on DVD and Blu Ray now!


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