Best Dragon Quest Anime

dragon quest is one of the most popular role-playing games in Japan and has been a major influence on the genre since the release of the first game in 1986. The game series established many conventions in JRPGs, including the concept of heroes and demon kings, and its character – and monster designs, created by Dragon Ball mangaka Akira Toriyama, are some of the most easily recognizable designs in Japan.


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As with any popular franchise, dragon quest has received several anime adaptations. While the adaptations base some of the world-building on concepts established in the games, such as spells and monsters, most of these series are generally original stories.

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3 Dragon Quest: Legend of the Hero Abel (1989-1991)

Dragon Quest: Legend of the Hero Abel is the first-ever attempt at an anime adaptation, done by Studio Comet and broadcast from 1989 to 1991. The series was based on the incredibly successful Dragon Quest III, although it still featured original characters and an original story. Like the games, the anime featured Akira Toriyama’s original character designs. The main characters are Abel and Tiala, childhood friends from the same village. On her birthday, Tiala receives a Red Stone with special powers that can revive a powerful dragon. This leads the evil Baramos to kidnap her to use her stone for his own benefit. Abel decides to embark on a journey to rescue her and make friends and allies along the way. He also gets the Blue Stone, the only thing that can seal the Dragon once summoned.

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Dragon Quest: Legend of the Hero Abel ran for a total of 43 episodes, split into two parts, as the run was temporarily halted. The first 13 episodes were transferred to the West under the title dragon warrior. A lack of success in the United States and a lawsuit filed by Toriyama for not being credited meant the series was never renewed, leaving the remaining 30 episodes unlocated. While the anime was never as well received or as popular as the video game series, it is still a fun fantasy story for those who enjoy the games.

2 Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai (1991)

The dragon quest series has had several manga adaptations, but the most famous manga is based on: dragon quest is Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Daia manga that came in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1989 to 1996. The manga was written by Riku Sanjo and illustrated by Koji Inada, and it was extremely successful, eventually reaching 37 volumes upon completion. The manga is currently one of the best-selling mangas of all time and features an original story that incorporates elements from the games. The story revolves around the adventures of young Dai, a boy raised by monsters and trained by former hero Avan. When a legendary demon lord from the past appears and defeats Avan, Dai takes on the cloak after awakening a strange power of his own. Along the way, Dai meets and befriends several people who become his allies, such as the cowardly magician Popp, the tomboy healer Maam and many other characters.

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Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Daireceived its first anime adaptation in 1991, created by Toei Animation. The first season had a total of 46 episodes with more to follow, but broadcaster issues forced the series to end early. Since the anime didn’t cover the entire story of the manga, the anime featured an original ending written by Riku Sanjo, the manga’s author. Despite not being able to customize the entire series, the 1991 anime is still a great watch and worth checking out for fans of the series and the games. The anime was used to create three short theatrical films, which were eventually released with the entire anime in a Blu-ray box set.

1 Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai (2020)

Now that both the first anime series and the original manga ended more than twenty years ago, most fans probably didn’t expect this. Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai to ever return. However, in 2020, a brand new anime series was announced in Jump Festa 2020, with Toei Animation once again at the helm. Created using a mix of 2D animation and CG animation, the anime premiered shortly after its announcement in Fall 2020. The announcement came as a happy surprise to fans of the series who were disappointed that the series never managed to get a full adaptation. Like the original 1991 series, the 2020 series aims to be a faithful adaptation of the original manga.

The 2020 series will run for 100 episodes, leaving plenty of time to adapt the entire original manga. The new anime has sparked a resurgence of interest in the series, with the manga finally getting an English localization due to the anime’s success. This particular series has yet to end, mainly thanks to delays caused by Toei’s servers that were hacked earlier this year, though it’s coming to an end soon. The series is available in its entirety on Crunchyroll, as well as on Hulu.

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