REVIEW: ‘Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai’ Episode 12 – “The Collaborative Zapple”

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Dragon Quest Episode 12

Dai and Popp have to rescue Maam from the Undead Legion in Dragon Quest Episode 12, but that will require power they don’t currently possess. The anime Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai is a remake by Toei Animation of the 90’s production. The show is adapted from the popular Weekly Shonen Jump manga in Japan, a spin-off story from the video game franchise. The show makes sure to include nods to dungeon crawling in the video games it is inspired by, including finding chests in secret rooms.

After Crocodine’s rescue, Dai and Popp are looked after by a knight of Papnica Kingdom. He was separated from Leona and the others but assured Dai she is with the most powerful sages in the kingdom. A decent portion of this episode is focused on Dai and Popp preparing for a fight. It works instead of feeling boring. The show is good about acknowledging that these characters aren’t all-powerful. Yes, Dai has special gifts, but he cannot control them. Avan’s students are not Avan himself, and they cannot manage the power to take down big generals overnight. Instead, the plot showcases Popp’s clever thinking once again, as he and Dai team up to form a plan that they individually wouldn’t have the power to manage on their own. It keeps this fantasy show grounded in an element of realism.

Dragon Quest Episode 12 also delves more into Hyunkel, specifically his impact on the other characters. The show does a great job of not excusing Hyunckel’s evil deeds or that of the Undead Legion, but it does show how he is similar to Dai. It is a moment of maturity for both Popp and Dai as they reconcile that he is an opponent who doesn’t fall into the black and white category of good vs. evil. The fact that this is also concerning someone they are still grieving makes it all the more impactful to their characters.

Dai and Popp aren’t the only ones. Maam is imprisoned but also trying to reason with Hyunckel. The conversation around whether Hyunckel’s father feels a bit heavy-handed and idealist. However, this is a show that is clearly targeting a younger audience, and this reviewer would hate to critique a show like Dragon Quest for not being dark enough when that clearly is not what it is going for. If anything, the writing just felt a bit as though Maam was talking down to Hyunckel, rather than on the same level, out of pity. It lessened the impact of their conversation.

Even more glimpses into the inner workings of the Dark Army is given in Dragon Quest Episode 12. Hyunckel and the rest of the generals not being on good terms provides a compelling dynamic. He arguably has shown the most successful of all the generals. However, he is human. The idea that he is more susceptible to emotions adds a layer of distrust and layers of conflict. It isn’t just Dai vs. the Dark Army. It is a race between the generals for who earns Vearn’s recognition and proves themselves.

Dragon Quest Episode 12 builds up to the big confrontation with Hyunckel and forces the characters to grow and mature with the information they learned last week. While the idealism can feel a little much, this is a lighthearted show at its core. The fantasy is grounded and is smart in how it shows its characters having to really problem solve how to defeat foes.

Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai is streaming now on Crunchyroll and Hulu.

 

Dragon Quest Episode 12
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Dragon Quest Episode 12 builds up to the big confrontation with Hyunckel and forces the characters to grow and mature with the information they learned last week. While the idealism can feel a little much, this is a lighthearted show at its core. The fantasy is grounded and is smart in how it shows its characters having to really problem solve how to defeat foes.