A majority of the time, anime films, OVA’s and TV shows have a tendency to extremely terrible. Things like Sin: The Motion Picture, Panzer Dragoon and Samurai Showdown have been forgotten by anime fans for a very good reason. Once in a while, an adaptation comes along that does an excellent job at translating the source material, enhancing it and making it enjoyable for fans of both mediums. Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker is certainly the latter and a fine example of what can happen when there’s a happy marriage between both mediums. The co-production was handled by Bioware, the developer behind Dragon Age and Funimation Entertainment, that employed the animation to be done by Oxybot, the same studio behind Vexille.
Taking place before Dragon Age II, we follow Casandra Pentaghast, a member of the Seeker army that are employed by the Chantry, a major religion in the world of Dragon Age. After rescuing a little girl from some evil Blood Mages, ones that practice in the dark arts with their own blood, Casandra begins to unravel a conspiracy taking place within the Chantry’s members. Both the Templar Knights and the Order of Seekers are suspect in forming an alliance with the Blood Mages in order to bring chaos to land of Orlais. Along with a mage from the Circle, Galyan, Cassandra will battle orcs, mages and dragons in order to protect everything she loves and stands for.
Oxybot and director Fumiko Sori have made Dawn of the Seeker just as dynamic and intense as their last work, Vexille. There’s some great camera work and shots in the film that make it a genuine attempt at doing something different in the world of CG animation. This is recognized in the very first action sequence where the camera is placed by Cassandra’s scabbard, to then follow her blade once its drawn and wreck havoc against Blood Mages and a massive dragon. Cassandra makes for a wonderful lead character and the fact that she’s a strong female lead, in a world dominated in muscle bound men, made the film very much enjoyable and refreshing. The supporting cast is very interesting and there’s enough races and creatures that make the animated version of Dragon Age fully realized.
The video on Dawn of the Seeker is presented in a 1080p, AVC encoded transfer, with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Since the film is a CG animation, it looks absolutely impressive, especially during action sequences. The only times where the film doesn’t look great is during a few bring set pieces that look a bit bland and boring. In these instances, some of the landscapes and backgrounds aren’t as detailed as others. The audio comes in both an English and Japanese TrueHD 5.1 tracks are immersive and unique. While the Japanese track contains Kill Bill’s Chiaki Kuriyama and rock star Gackt, the English dialog track is much more engaging well suited for the material. Both of the mixes are fantastic, sporting some of the best sound effects I’ve heard in awhile, as well as an impressive surround mix that hits in all of the right places. The set also comes with a behind-the-scenes at the Bioware offices in Edmonton and another one looking at the Bioware team talking about the world of the games and Dawn of the Seeker.
Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker is one to be put in the win column and proof that video game adaptations can be done right. As a non-fan and knowing absolutely nothing about Dragon Age before going in, the film was entertaining and engaging for all of its 90 minutes.