Nutshell Review: DOTA: Dragon's Blood, Season 2
PG Score: 6.75/10
Season 2 of DOTA: Dragon's Blood is available for streaming on Netflix
The second season of DOTA: Dragon's Blood closely follows in the footsteps of the first with rich worldbuilding, powerful characters, and exciting action sequences. The rushed storyline is a dizzying annoyance, but the otherwise well-rounded eight episodes make for a fun binge.
Based on DOTA 2, the popular multiplayer strategy game, season 2 of the animated show continues the adventures of Davion (Yuri Lowenthal). The Dragon Knight and his allies must confront evil in multiple deadly forms as humanity’s future hangs in the balance.
The animation style is attractive enough throughout, but the really eye-catching moments occur during the combat segments. The dragon-focused duels are particularly dazzling as the formidable beasts rain down terror from above and deal punishing claw swipes. The battles involving humans and elves hold up as well. Magic is used quite often, which allows for a more vibrant color palette to take the spotlight. The variety in the fighting is refreshing and, without question, a high point for the series. DOTA takes advantage of its TV-MA rating by showing the graphic aftermath of each encounter. However, the (baby) elephant in the room is the lack of action during a few key stretches.
In between the clashing of steel and spewing of fire, a good deal of intriguing drama takes place. Many of the characters are likable in different ways, and their conflicting ambitions result in shaky alliances and ruthless power plays. Davion remains the focal point this time around, and the fearless protagonist is faced with challenges that reveal unforeseen traits. His close friend, Mirana (Lara Pulver), is also given plenty of attention as her motivations and backstory are explored on a deeper level. Other important figures are not as lucky, though.
Less Is Not More
The episodes are too brief to effectively accommodate the many characters and subplots that the captivating fantasy world has to offer. Some of the characters are simply not granted enough screen time. The antagonists of DOTA suffer the most in this regard as there are entire episodes devoid of their presence. An additional casualty of the abbreviated runtimes comes in the form of undercooked plot points. On top of hindering character development, the shortened chapters also make the overall story somewhat difficult to follow.
Rushed, but Enjoyable
Studio Mir further expands the online gaming sensation’s lore with another enjoyable installment of the Netflix adaptation. While the hurried narrative weakens its fascinating universe, DOTA: Dragon's Blood season 2 still holds enough vigor to qualify as an entertaining watch...even if it is over far too quickly.