What’s it about? When Dai was a baby he was found in an abandoned boat by his adopted monster grandpa named Brass on Dremline Island. Together with all the monsters on the island they lived peacefully for many years and Dai always dreamt about becoming a hero someday. Dai’s life changes when a group of so-called heroes arrived at the island to cause chaos and without realizing it, his own hero’s quest has begun.
It’s interesting to see the recent trend of 90s revival adaptations for older manga and anime. If you had asked me a few years ago if I thought 7 Seeds would ever get an anime, I would’ve said nope, but here we are. It gives me hope that some of my 90s favorites can get much needed updates, but for now let’s focus on our latest contender in the revival train: Dragon Quest: Adventure of Dai.
I never watched the original Dragon Quest in the early 1990s so the nostalgia factor is completely lost on me, but so far it’s a fun show. The animation is really good and CG monsters make me feel like I am watching a video game. This series is honestly a treat for those of us that missed the unique charm 90s anime had to offer. It’s easy to see at a glance that Dragon Quest has the same character designer as Dragon Ball, but that’s where the similarities end.
The show establishes early on that magic is foundational to this world and because of that Brass feels it would be far more beneficial for Dai to become a mage rather than a hero. Dai is a sweet kid and tries to comply with his grandpa’s wishes, but he just can’t ignore his true calling.
Unfortunately, due to his immense desires to meet heroes, he put himself and his chosen family in a vulnerable situation. Even though the first few minutes did foreshadow darker themes to come, I was still surprised that Dragon Quest didn’t sugarcoat how brutal this world is and that Dai needs to be more cautious on who he should trust otherwise his family can get killed.
Aside from that, Dragon Quest seems to balance its dark undertones with light-hearted humor really well. The fact that Dai can use his own world equivalent of pokeballs (cylinders) to summon monsters and his grandpa to battle is hilarious.
There’s definitely some mystery behind the golden cylinders and I’m interested to see what the positionality of dragons in this world is (please tell me they have actual political power). Dai’s earnestness doesn’t go unnoticed and thanks to his handling of the main conflict he meets Princess Leona by the end of the episode.
Honestly, it’s hard to say anything negative about Dragon Quest. Even the designs of the monsters are distinct and fun to look at. It also helps that Director Karasawa Kazuya has been involved in mainstream hits like Dragon Ball Super, so it’s safe to assume this remake is in good hands. If you need something light-hearted that will help you get your mind off this brutal year, check out Dragon Quest.