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Dota: Dragon's Blood Season 1 Review-So begins a new age of Dota lore. And thankfully, it's fun.



  How the tables have turned. As a longtime Dota 2 player, I've been jealous for years of League of Legends’ fans getting the benefit of Riot's approach to crafting a story-rich universe for its champions. By comparison, Dota 2's story has always felt like an afterthought, with its many characters connected only by loose threads woven through a mishmash of item and character descriptions, the occasional comic, and cards from Valve’s now-dead card game Artifact. Yet, here we are with Dota getting an animated series on Netflix – and even more exciting, it's animated by the excellent Studio Mir (Legend of Korra, Voltron: Legendary Defenders). Dota: Dragon's Blood is a fun and rousing adventure in its own right, whether you’ve played the MOBA or not, and gives us the more cohesive story fans like myself have long craved. Or at least, the beginnings of one. 
 The action is great, though – and gory! I didn't anticipate seeing several people being ripped in half or their skulls crushed, but I surely wasn't disappointed by it either. Studio Mir does a good job mixing its larger computer-animated characters with the smaller hand-drawn ones in a majority of the bigger fights, but the combination does become a bit awkward in large crowd shots toward the end or when the shaky cam gets a bit excessive in the heat of the action. 
 Studio Mir does flex its animation skills throughout the series, though, particularly with Invoker. The mage's magic is pretty much just limited to combat in the game, but in Dragon's Blood, we see him use all sorts of interesting powers that made his episodes a lot of fun to watch. Why write with a quill and paper when you can use magic to write with glowing symbols in the air? Invoker may be rather reserved in personality, but not in style. Studio Muir's animation is also nicely stylized in flashbacks and other intense scenes that call for extra drama.