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Anime / Dragon Quest: Your Story

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Dragon Quest: Your Story is an anime film adaptation of the 1992 video game Dragon Quest V, released in Japanese theaters on August 2019 and distributed by Toho.

The plot of the movie is essentially the same as the original; A boy named Luca and his father are traveling the world until misfortune fell upon them in the name of the Order of Zugzwang. The order’s leader, Bishop Ladja, murders Luca’s father and forces him into slavery for ten years. When he is able to escape, Luca remembers the final words from his father regarding his missing mother, and decides to search for her and rescue her from the clutches of the Order. To do this, he needs to look for the Zenithian Hero, the fabled savior who can wield the sacred Zenithian Sword, and the only person who can fight back the darkness.

You can watch the first trailer here and the second trailer here. Netflix picked up the film for international release on February 13, 2020.


This film contains examples of:

  • Adapted Out:
    • Deborah, one of the possible choices for a bride in the DS remake, does not appear in the movie, although it does adapt several elements from it (most notably Bishop Ladja's role as the Hero's arch-enemy).
    • The Hero's Daughter is likewise also absent, as well as the near-entirety of the Kingdom of Gotha, with Gotha remaining part of Luca's family name and a single line by Sancho, referring to Luca as, Your Majesty."
    • Harry's love interest, half-brother, and Wicked Stepmother, along with the entire God Save Us from the Queen! subplot in Coburg, are all absent.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Bjorn the Behemoose becomes this as a result of Luca sparing him, as he shows up later to help the heroes out against Bishop Ladja’s forces in the climax. At this point in the original game, he was already long-dead.
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  • Anti-Escapism Aesop: A very cruel invocation by the hacker who created the virus. He designed it so it would stop the game right at the moment of victory, explain to the player that the events of the game aren't real (the game blocks out the player's memories of the real world for maximum immersion) and then kicks them out before deleting everything. Inverted by Luca, who makes clear that he doesn't cares about the Dragon Quest world being fictional, he loves it all the same.
    The Virus: I have a message for you. Don't worry, it'll be quick. It says: "grow up, loser!"
  • Big Bad: Bishop Ladja is the biggest recurring threat to Luca and his friends, but it is the virus that is injected in Nimzo’s code that is the ultimate threat to the game’s world.
  • But Thou Must! Enforced in an example not present in the original game, when the player chooses to marry Nera, the VR game goes out of its way to make him switch to Bianca.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: The virus and its creator clearly fail to understand why people enjoy video games.
  • Foreshadowing: There are bits and hints to the finale's big reveal. The most obvious is the Love Potion sequence, where the backdrop changes to a strangely digital and modern looking interface as Luca goes over his love for Bianca and Nera.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The jackass hacker who created the virus and unleashed it in the Dragon Quest VR game.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Bianca goes out of her way to help Luca propose to Nera, despite her own feelings for him. Later, despite her feelings for him, Nera disguises herself as a crone to give Luca a potion that reveals his true feelings for Bianca.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: Luca's attempt to unsheathing the Zenithian Sword before Bjorn the Behemoose. The classic, riveting Dragon Quest Overture plays as he prepares to use the fabled blade against this monstrous foe... only for the music to hilariously sputter out when he fails to get it out of its scabbard, making it evidently clear that he's not the Zenithian Hero.
  • Lip Lock: Downplayed in the English dub. While this inevitably happens sometimes as a result of the mouth movements being animated for the Japanese dialogue, the English dub does a good job with not falling into this for the most part.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: This is Luca's reaction when he realizes he's engaged to the wrong woman.
  • Mysterious Past: Other than his gender, probable nationality (Japanese, given where the SFC game was released), and year of birth (no earlier than 1985, given that the game — released in 1992 — was a present for his seventh birthday), we know nothing about the player. He could indeed be a NEET loser, but he could also be a successful man indulging in a bit of nostalgia on a well-deserved holiday. This underlines the senseless and gratuitous cruelty of the hacker, whose virus indiscriminately targets people both of the above categories, as well as boys whose fathers want them to experience a game the fathers enjoyed when they were young.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The sword Luca uses to defeat the virus is based on Erdrick’s sword from the first three games.
    • The movie's soundtrack consists entirely of music from the series, mostly from V, but also from IV, VI, IX, and XI.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The Hero, foregoing his usual names Madason (English) and Abel/Five (Japanese), goes by the name Luca in the movie. His son is also named Alus here, rather than Parry. This is a clear hint to the film's Plot Twist.
  • Rewatch Bonus: With The Reveal, viewers realize that the opening scenes of the movie, far from being a lazy exposition, are actually a Flashback of the protagoonist's memories of playing Dragon Quest V as a boy. Even the title makes more sense, as the movie is about an individual's unique experience of a VR adaptation of the game.
  • Shout-Out: The whole set-up of The Reveal by the virus definitely apes that of the Architect.
  • Take That, Audience!: The entire purpose of the virus infecting Your Story is to take the piss on players, simply because the virus dev could. The end of the game is supposed to freeze right at the moment of victory, with the virus then coming in to tell the player that their experience isn't real.


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