Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 has a very weird story format. It basically asks itself: “How many literary climaxes can I fit into a single story?”. The answer: apparently, all of them.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 ~ Details

"Dota: Dragon's Blood Book 3" key art.
Boy, this series is seriously lacking in key art.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 is the 3rd season (you can read reviews for Book 1 and Book 2 here) of this dark fantasy anime series, which is based off on the 2013 multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game Dota 2 by Valve. Studio Mir (The Legend of Korra, Voltron: Legendary Defender, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf) and Kaiju Boulevard are the animation studios behind this anime. Ashley Edward Miller (Andromeda, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Thor) of Kaiju Boulevard is the showrunner and wrote the story alongside Bryan Konietzko (Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra). Miller also wrote the screenplay with Steven Melching, Ashley Halloran, Mitch Iverson, and Amy Chu. Park So Young, Kim Eui Jeong, and Han Seung Woo directed the animation; with Kim Il Kwang serving as art director. Dino Meneghin composed the music for this anime. Lastly, Netflix is streaming this anime.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 stars the voices talents of Yuri Lowenthal as Davion, Lara Pulver as Princess Mirana, Tony Todd as Slyrak the fire dragon, and Troy Baker as the Invoker.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 was released on August 11, 2022. You can watch this anime only on Netflix due to it being a Netflix exclusive. You know, like almost all of their shows. This means that you’ll need to shell out some cash for a Netflix account if you want to watch this anime.

Warning: spoilers for Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 below. If you want to watch this climax-filled season for yourself, then stop here, and come back once you’ve recovered from having too many climaxes shoved in your face.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 ~ Spoiler-Filled Plot Summary

I love trailers that completely mislead you about the plot while showing technically correct footage.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 picks up where we last left off in Book 2 with that cliffhanger of Slyrak vs. Terrorblade. Unfortunately, this season reveals that Slyrak lost. Seriously Slyrak, you had one job. Thus, it’s up to the Davion and Mirana gang (plus the Invoker, especially after a massive flight of demonically possessed dragons attack his tower) to travel to Terrorblade’s home realm to do the job themselves.

The gang actually kills the demon following an epic battle and surprise reinforcements from Fymryn/Mene. Thus, they get back all of the dragon souls Terrorblade had. Unfortunately, it was at the cost of Davion. Even worse, the Invoker turns out to have other plans for them. He reveals a massive eldritch magitech machine thing and uses the dragon souls to power it. It turns out to be a universe maker called the Forge, and he plans to remake the universe into a better one with it. Exhausted by their battle, the gang is helpless to watch as he turns it on.

A Brave (And Better) New World?

I guess even main characters aren’t immune to death in this series. Maybe?

The gang suddenly finds themselves living the more or less happy lives they’d led if almost all the character deaths hadn’t happened. All except for Fymryn’s polycule, who remain dead for some reason. And Auroth, whose soul is still one of the dragon souls powering the universe-making machine. Along with a few others, but other than them, everyone’s pretty happy with their current lives. Especially the Invoker, now that he has his daughter Filomena back and she gets to live to adulthood. Everything seems hunky-dory, and it does seem to be a better world. At least, until rocks start falling from the sky and turning people who look at them into zombies.

As it turns out, the universe hates the Invoker, and in order to make his perfect world with Filomena in it, he had to remove a moon, which meant that it couldn’t shield the planet from the bigger moon’s explosion. Why does it explode? Something about Ancients in it, but that’s never adequately explained. However, the Invoker is perfectly happy to let the moon explode and kill everyone so long as Filomena lives. Everyone objects to this plan, Filomena included. When the Invoker carries his plan out, a fight ensues for control of the Forge.

The heroes win, but Mirana has to reset the universe back to when she remembered it, meaning that Davion and Marci (along with everyone else who died) get to die again. Mirana and Fymryn are basically the only members of the main heroes alive and free (with the Invoker now imprisoned in Terrorblade’s realm, ironically), and they get to be sad together. Then Filomena suddenly shows up, alive and using some flower power to heal her illness, and repairs the Invoker’s tower in one heck of a Stinger. I guess we’ll be getting a Book 4 for Dota: Dragon’s Blood after all…maybe?

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 ~ The Good

It’s really amazing how much of a Heel-Face Turn Luna pulled off over the course of this anime.

The story of Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 is actually the best part about it. While it doesn’t have the political thriller aspects of Book 2, it replaces it with more fantasy adventure and even horror fantasy. Both of which do appeal to me more than the Ashley Edward Miller’s attempts at a political thriller, which he basically resolved with Davion cutting the proverbial Gordian Knot anyways, but I digress. The magic moon rock zombies and that weird possessed tree thing were both nice touches of horror on this fantasy adventure story.

The characters of Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 are part of why I love the story. Both the old main characters, the main characters who came back from the dead for this season, and the one new main character in the form of adult Filomena. They all have very clear goals that you can fully understand and empathize with. Thus, you can fully understand why they fight. Heck, you can even empathize with the Invoker even though he basically blows almost the entire world up save for his and his daughter’s little corner of it. That speaks to some pretty good writing and characterization there.

Last but not least, the art of Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 continues the legacy of the previous seasons. This is the same studio behind The Legend of Korra, after all. We’d expect good artwork from Studio Mir, and they certainly delivered in Book 3.

Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 ~ The Bad

"Dota: Dragon's Blood Book 1" Invoker character key art.
Who saw the Invoker becoming the Big Bad coming?

My only complaint with the story of Dota: Dragon’s Blood Book 3 is the constant killing, reviving, and re-killing of characters. While it makes sense for this season, I feel like this could quickly become stale and boring if overused. Fairy Tail had the exact same problem when Hiro Mashima started regularly killing off characters only to revive them a short time later. It got to memetic levels when it reached a point when characters died and revived in the same friggin’ chapter. If Dota: Dragon’s Blood starts doing the same thing, it’s going to just render character deaths irrelevant. Thus robbing them of their importance and drama. I really hope that it doesn’t go down the same path as Fairy Tail.

Source: Netflix