Dragon Quest Dai: Ready for the anime’s grand finale?

news culture Dragon Quest Dai: Ready for the anime’s grand finale?

With no less than 76 episodes already aired since its launch in October 2020, the animated series Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibôken is about to enter its final stretch. As an iconic figure from the epic of Daï reappears in shattering circumstances, the team is about to launch an assault on the Vearn Palace to do battle with the master of the place. The opportunity for us to take stock of a “media mix” phenomenon which is one of the best adaptations of video game licenses.

Summary

  • Why a Dragon Quest anime?
  • Fly: When Dragon Quest comes to Club Do’
  • The manga in France, a 3rd edition on the way!
  • From anime to video games Dai no Daibôken

Why a Dragon Quest anime?

Back in 1986… When the video game Dragon Quest put its pixels on the Famicom in Japan, the history of the J-RPG was about to really begin. The overwhelming success obtained from the first episodes bodes well for the future of the franchise. And on the side of its publisher Enix, the desire to go beyond the video game to impose the name of Dragon Quest even in the spheres of manga and animation is already palpable. In 1989, when the fourth opus had not even been released yet, the creator of the saga Yûji Horii expressed himself clearly about the manga version of Dragon Quest in the pages of the Weekly Shōnen Jump :

When the editorial staff of Jump magazine told me of their desire to adapt Dragon Quest into a manga, I must admit that I was a little perplexed. How to switch from video games to comics? Resuming the scenario of the game would have been uninteresting for all those who had already completed it… This is why we decided to take over the universe and the atmosphere specific to Dragon Quest, but to create a brand new hero. Now, there are three sides to Dragon Quest: video game, manga, and anime. Each features a different story so you can love them equally.

If the anime to which Yûji Horii refers (Dragon Quest: Abel Yûsha Densetsu) is still unpublished in Europe today, this is not the case for the manga Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibôken which will go through its animated adaptation – renamed Fly – to make her big debut in France through Club Dorothée.

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Fly: When Dragon Quest comes to Club Do’

We are then in 1994 and it has already been three years since the animated series Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibôken was broadcast in Japan. This first adaptation of 46 episodes unfortunately only covers the beginnings of the manga but it will have allowed French viewers to immerse themselves in the music of the saga long before the first Dragon Quest game was distributed in our country… it was only in 2006 with Dragon Quest VIII: The Cursed King’s Journey on PS2. Unlike the 2020 version, this anime took up with great success certain melodies signed by the regular composer of the franchise: Kôichi Sugiyama. But another name is closely linked to that of the franchise, it is that of the creator of Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama, who not only signs the “chara design” and the “monster design” of the Dragon Quest games, but whose we find also the footprint in the manga Dai no Daibôken.


The manga in France, a 3rd edition on the way!

It was not until 1996 that the editions I read embark on the publication of the manga Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibôken in French. very perfect, this first edition still has the merit of finally presenting the outcome of the story to those who had been frustrated by the premature end of the anime Fly which only covered a small part of the manga. Largely influenced by Toriyama’s character design and the shadow of Dragon Ball, screenwriter Riku Sanjo and cartoonist Koji Inada have brought to life a very high quality shônen which has no less than 37 bound volumes. If the universe is familiar to players of the Enix saga, since we find there in particular the bestiary but also the magic and the classes of characters inseparable from the franchise, the story is completely new. It tells the exceptional journey of Dai, a hero in the making determined to avenge his master of the Lord of Evil who martyrs the population. On paper, we are in the presence of an archi-classic shônen which will nevertheless be able to stand out from the first chapters thanks to its breathless rhythm, its relevant humor, its gallery of protagonists with asserted characters and its ubiquitous references to the RPG of which it is freely inspired.

The manga was reissued in 2007 by tonkam (under the name Dragon Quest: Dai’s Quest) and has just been relaunched by Delcourt/Tonkam in a condensed 25-volume edition retitled Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai. Color pages are included but the names of the monsters, attacks and incantations are Frenchified to lock on the VF of the games (farewell to the “Golden Metal Slime”, “Merazoma” and other “Begiragon” dear to the hearts of Dragon Quest fans in import…). It is nevertheless the best way to rediscover the origins of the license in addition to the anime of 2020.


From anime to video games Dai no Daibôken

Dragon Quest Dai: Ready for the anime's grand finale?

Success obliges, the Dai no Daibôken franchise itself took the mixed media route from manga to anime and then to video gamesstarting with a card game called Xross Blade, available only in arcades in Japan. New momentum acquired thanks to the launch of the new animated adaptation of 2020, available in French on DNA and Crunchyroll and which currently has 76 episodes. The coming weeks will make it possible to discover for the first time the end of the manga in animation, which is the equivalent of the last 8 volumes. The time for you to discover the mobile game Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai: A Hero’s Bonds which takes up the framework of the series in a free-to-play game that is addictive to say the least. On the sidelines of all the customization aspect, the fights offer a certain amount of tactics in the movements and the timing of the attacks. To the main campaign is added a significant number of missions attached to a new epic.

Something to forget the lack of news on the side of the highly anticipated Infinity Strash, first major adaptation of the license on home consoles. Announced since last year on Switch and PS4, this action-RPG promises a rendering quite close to the anime with real-time clashes in partially open environments. The Square Enix title developed by Game Studio has unfortunately been postponed to an indefinite date last December… Let’s hope that he will talk about him again soon to bring the revival of the Dai no Daibôken franchise to a close with panache on our screens.

Dragon Quest Dai: Ready for the anime's grand finale?Dragon Quest Dai: Ready for the anime's grand finale?

Find out more about the universe of Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibôken

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