Fans of RWBY might get a sense of déjà vu after watching Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2. At the very least, there are nearly as many depressing moments as in Volume 3 of that Rooster Teeth show.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2: Details

"Dota: Dragon's Blood" Book 2 poster.
The night and day symbolism is strong with this one.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2 is the second season of the epic adult dark fantasy anime of the same name, which is based on the strategy video game Dota 2 by Valve. This season of the anime is a collaboration between South Korean Studio Mir (The Legend of Korra, Voltron: Legendary Defender, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts) and US-based Kaiju Boulevard. Ashley Edward Miller, the founder of Kaiju Boulevard, is actually the showrunner and wrote the screenplay alongside Steven Melching, Ashley Halloran, Mitch Iverson, and Amy Chu. Miller also wrote the story with Bryan Konietzko. Park So Young, Kim Eui Jeong, and Han Seung Woo directed the animation; with Kim Il Kwang as art director. Dino Meneghin is the composer for all the music you hear in the anime. Lastly, Netflix is the streaming service streaming this anime.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2 stars the voices of Yuri Lowenthal as Davion, Lara Pulver as Princess Mirana, Tony Todd as Slyrak, and Troy Baker as the Invoker.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2 released on January 18, 2022 and lasts for 8 episodes. You can watch this season and the previous season of this anime only on Netflix.

Warning: spoilers for Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2 below. If you want to watch the fantastical tragedy for yourself, then stop here, and come back once you’ve recovered from the trauma.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2 ~ Plot Summary

Man, the trailer does not do the trauma justice.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2 picks up where we last left off on the previous season, with Davion restrained and caged by his fellow Dragon Knights. As it turns out, they’re bringing him to the Dragon’s Hold to try and get Slyrak out of him. Unfortunately, their leader is more interested in using Davion’s hybrid body to make bioweapons for his knights, and to cure his own crippled hand. Even more unfortunately, it not only not works, but it leaves him wide open to possession by Terrorblade, which brings a huge flight of demonically possessed dragons down on Dragon’s Hold. Fortunately for Davion, Fymryn had followed him there, and freed him after finding out the leader’s plans for Davion.

Unfortunately, it’s too late for the Dragon Knights as a whole. Davion and Fymryn barely escape with their lives alongside Bram and Kaden as the dragons swarm the fortress, and kill and eat everyone else. In fact, they only escape the dragons themselves when a woman named Rylai comes in riding a dragon named Auroth to evac them. Auroth turns out to know a lot, and her knowledge lets Davion commune better with Slyrak. That communion lets him learn that he needs the “Eye of the Worldwyrm” to let Slyrak fight Terrorblade on his home turf. Said Eye turns out to be in the distant Helio Imperium. Fortunately, Rylai has an older sister named Lina there, and the group (minus Rylai) travels to Lina’s estate to seek her help in obtaining the Eye.

The Misadventures of Princess Mirana

"Dota: Dragon's Blood" Book 1 Mirana key art.
Believe me, she has plenty of reason to frown in this season.

Meanwhile, Mirana has been having misadventures of her own in Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2. After escaping from the Nightsilver Woods after her force’s lost their goddess powers, she arrived at a border fort only to for her and her forces be captured by a bounter hunter who’d secretly taken over the fort. Her forces are sold off as slaves save for Luna, who has a bounty on her that the bounty hunter collects at a prison. However, the bounty hunter delivers Mirana to the palace, where as it turns out, the Emperor Shabarra had ordered her return. Apparently, she’s the only daughter of the late former Emperor Zal (assassinated by his brother Shabarra in a coup d’état), and Shabarra wants to marry his niece to cement his power. Mirana only agrees to obtain an army to reconquer the Nightsilver Woods.

Back to Davion and co., they arrive at Lina’s estate, and Davion immediately hits it off with her due to both of them being Fire-types. That quick friendship/attraction grants Davion a quick entrance to see Emperor Shabarra at his palace. That palace is also where he meets Mirana again. It’s unfortunate that someone decides to shoot Mirana in the heart with a magic arrow that crystallizes her at that point. It’s even more unfortunate when later, Emperor Shabarra declines Davion’s request to see the Eye. Davion loses it, causing Slyrak to take over, and he promptly commits regicide on Emperor Shabarra. Lina pulls Davion out of Slyrak, but it’s already too late by that point.

The Trauma Isn’t Over Yet!

"Dota: Dragon's Blood" Book 1 Davion key art.
The fire around him is becoming more and more meaningful.

With Emperor Shabarra dead, the Helio Empire is in chaos as the nobles scramble to appoint a new regent. Auroth manages to heal Mirana with sunlight, and she’s all set to assume the throne. Except Lina gets there first, getting the nobles to declare her regent with might. Mirana is happy to accept this, until Marci, Luna, and the other soldiers (who’d all escaped captivity thanks to Marci and the big tiger thing) show up to inform her that Lina was the one who plotted her temporary murder. As if that wasn’t bad enough, when Lina grants Davion access to the Eye, nothing happens. Thus, they conclude the Eye is a fake, and that someone must’ve switched it out.

Except as it turns out, Mirana is the Eye all along. It only takes her advisor/uncle Kashurra revealing his dragon form, and going on a rampage and killing numerous named characters (including Lina, Auroth, and Marci) before she unlocks it though. So now Mirana is Empress, but at a very high cost. She also helps Slyrak travel to Terrorblade to fight him, thus freeing Davion from his dragon. Oh, and Fymryn becomes the new goddess of Nightsilver Woods after kinda sorta slaying Selemene. With the Invoker’s help, of course. How does all this play out? Well, that’s what we’ll find out in Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2 ~ The Good

I have to admit: it is pretty good, despite how depressing it is.

The story is one of the best parts of Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2, despite how depressing it is. Ashley Edward Miller has woven quite the complex and intriguing story here. There’s more than enough politics to satisfy any political fiction junkie, for instance. There’s enough politics that I’d actually classify this season as a fantasy political thriller. Even if Slyrak decided to cut the Gordian knot on some of the politics by offing the Emperor. I guess he’s not a fan of fantasy The West Wing.

The art of Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2 is the other best part about it. Fitting really, since Studio Mir was responsible for animating The Legend of Korra, among other notable animated series. The anime-style graphics really help smooth over the trauma. At least a little.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2 ~ The Bad

"Dota: Dragon's Blood" Book 2 screenshot showing Mirana crying on Davion's chest from all the trauma.
This says it all.

The story is somehow both the best and the worst thing about Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2. I haven’t been this traumatized this RWBY Volume 3. RWBY fans will understand this. For those of you non-RWBY fans: plan to watch something nice and fluffy afterwards to recover. Trust me: you will need it.

Also, Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 2 left off on a cliffhanger. A pretty bad one to boot. It’s literally Slyrak facing down Terrorblade and demonically possessed army, and that’s that. Nothing else. Well, I guess we’ll have to wait for the next season to find out if Slyrak wins or not.

Source: Netflix