Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic is a feature length anime movie that is based off video game Dante’s Inferno which was inspired by poem Divine Comedy written by Dante Alighieri. I haven’t read the poem but I’ve played and beaten the game. Clearly since this anime movie is not an original work and is rather just fan-service for the gamers my expectations were pretty low. Be prepared as I will compare this movie to the Dante's Infeno awfully lot.
Story: 4 - Passable
Since this is just an animated version of the video game it wouldn’t be fair to say that it’s uninspired and straight up copy of video game (which it clearly is). For the most part anime was just like the game but it took some liberties, from which the most noticeable ones were Dante’s obtaining of the scythe and the ending.
In game Dante got the scythe from Death itself, stupid – yes but at least memorable while in the anime he simply took it from some random demon. Forgettable and frankly, I had to rewind to the scene where he obtained the scythe because I missed it. Yeah, at one point Dante can’t pull his sword out of victim and suddenly he has a Scythe, what the hell? Clearly that was done to save time and I don’t blame creators for doing that. Another thing that was altered is the way Dante beat Lucifer’s final form. Although different from the game it was just as stupid and again just like in the game made me say 4 words in my head: goddamn deus ex machina >.>
Just like in the game the main problem is the script not story. It’s so cheesy, often awkward and straight up amateurish that I don’t know what to do – laugh or cry? Another thing creators took from the game (God they should have left this out) is Dante’s constant yelling Beatrice’s name. Beatrice!
Animation: 3 – Inconsistent
Throughout the whole movie Dante and other characters changed 5 or 6 times! It gave me the feeling that this movie is made by multiple animation studios and what a surprise – it really is. This movie had 6 directors and total of 6 or 7 animation studios. I think it was due to the fact that this movie was to be included with game’s limited edition copy and thus the creators were on short time limit. Beatrice!
I can’t express how much this ruined the experience for me. At first I was pleased with animation. Nothing breath taking but good and enjoyable. Then about 25 minutes in the movie the animation style changes and quality drops dramatically. At first, I thought I’m just trippin’ but undeniably Dante’s appearance had changed – his face was different, hair were suddenly long for some reason and the whole animation just looked sluggish. Luckily after 20 minutes the animation changed yet again. This time for the good part and then it gradually became worse throughout the end. Although some sections looked great, I can’t forget how the 2nd set had a scene with still image and Dante yelling and in one of the last sets the lip syncing was way off. Beatrice!
I give it 3 because it ruined the experience for me. Gave the feeling that anime is rushed and put with glue. There is no excuse for constant character model changing, quality dropping and increase throughout the movie.
Sound: 8 - Great
Up until now the movie has been just a broken down mess but thankfully the sound category is here to redeem it. The sound effects and soundtracks (some of which I recognized from the game) were great and gave that Dante’s Inferno feeling that no other anime could deliver. The voice acting (aside from maybe Beatrice sometimes) was outstanding. The voices match characters perfectly and animated Dante was voiced by the same voice actor from the game. And many may enjoy Lucifer’s voice which was done by Steve Blum who was straight up pure devilish with his menacing laugh and cocky attitude. I can’t give this category 9 because lip syncing was off at times but I believe it’s the animation department to blame for that.
Characters: 5 - mediocre/uninspired
I can’t blame anime for this since it was exactly the same case with the video game. Overall the characters felt clichéic (<- not a real word). Lucifer was the classic image of devil, Beatrice was just another image of damsel in distress waiting for her hero to come and save her and Virgil – calm, collected wise man and a guide who doesn’t offer a wide range of personality or voice tones. Dante – pretentious, ignorant soldier is the only one who experiences any character development.
Just like in the game – main thing I liked about Dante’s Inferno is how Dante went through hell (literary) to reclaim his beloved and while doing that faced his sins and changed to be a better man.
Overall: 4 - Bearable
Since this is a simple mash up between multiple sources, has multiple character designs and dialogue is straight up copy/paste of video game’s script I was thinking about giving 3. It lacks quality, feels rushed, has issues with lip syncing at times and inconsistent animation that ruins the experience is more than enough reasons to give 3 or 2 but the great voice acting, music and overall faithfulness to the original source (game) is what redeems itself.