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.
First of all i want to start with the story and why i gave it a 8, Its not because of what they deliverd here on the movie, but the true story of it, ( if you havent read it..do it)
The animation in this movie where so bad, started good...and just became more and more poorly done.
Also all that they had to do where to copy the game that is made ( as they have done poorly)
For those who don't know, this is an anime on the game with the same name. Because of that, the storyline was a carbon copy of the game itself, with little or no change. This makes the anime both a spoiler for those who haven't played the actual game, and predicatable for those who have finished the game.
As i mentioned, it is a copy of the story from the game. A crusader commander (Dante) realized after returning home from the Holy Lands, his whole family had been murdered amd that his beloved had sold herself to the devil in a bid that Dante would not break the promise he made to her before leaving. Dante apparently did brake the promise, resulting in the devil taking his beloved fiance as his demon-human wife. Now Dante has to go through the nine levels of hell to rescue her.
The anime is only a cruched up version of the game where each "level" is passed in mere minutes. If you were a non-player then there are some good twists. But that's it. Only one or two twists as far as i could remember
A unique storyline to say the least but it was a copy of the original so i gave it a 5.
This is the only reason i would recommend watching the anime. It is beautiful and fluid. The colors, whether black or golden, match the area (hell obviously) to make it seem "authentic". Everything is dim and sickly in color. The colors are character designs seemed to make the anime "come to life". Great detail was used in almost all aspects of the animation from fight scenes to flashbacks and landscape. The movement of characters is very fluid and there are some great special effects. The one thing that annoyed me, however, was that the main character designs completely changed every 10 to 20 minutes or so. I mean completly changed. There were like at least 5 different Dantes, 4 different Dante's father etc. This made it unbearably annoying to try and understand who was doing what...not only once but half a dozen times for half a dozen characters. I still don't understand why anyone would think that was a good idea
The sounds sounded like...hell (no pun intended). Screams of pain, agony and fear, swords and sycthe carving demon flesh, the war cries of monters and the laughter of evil demon spirit things... The sound added to the whole "down in hell" experience which just improved the overall picture. I do not rememeber if this anime had an Opening theme or ending (maybe it wasn't included in the mirror i used to watch it.)
Like all other animes where characters are taken from the orignal game, everything is very predicatable. This point is really hard to pin down because the story has two sides: the wya it affects those who played the game and those who didn't. For those who have then expect nothing new at all. Dante acts exactly as he did in the game and so does his fiance and father and the devil. Almost nothing changes except that the animation gives "life" to the characters. For those who did not play the game then the characters do indeed seem to have depth, especially the protagonist. There is some minor chracter development throught the anime which prevents it from getting boring.
Worth the watch but only when there are no better animes to spend your time on. The only major flaw was the constant character design change which made it really difficult to find out who was who after the change. Again i had to give it a 5 because it is a copy.
Maybe I could like this as a game, where less story and character development is needed for it to be enjoyable to play, but as an anime... I could barely watch it to the end. First I will tell you what was actually decent. Though the animation is not the type I tend to enjoy it was done actually pretty well. I have seen tons of anime with Worse animation. The fight scenes were done well the characters movements were fluid so overall I gave the animation a 7.
The sound was done well too. I watch the english version and the voice actors did a pretty good job with their roles. The sounds of the fighting and different parts of hell made sense and none of the sounds bothered me or were out of place. I would put the sound slightly higher than the animation if I had to pick one over the other. That would make this the best thing about the Movie.
Now for the rest of it:
A 3 for the story is actually quite generous. It is only a 3 by my standards based on the background of the story and the potential it had. Other than that though, the story was pure unapologetic crap. Seriously, if they split it up in a series instead of a single movie I would have dropped it quickly. However, the story wasn't the worst part, at least the story had potential, granted it didn't live up to it. Still, It could have been good if done correctly and changed completely keeping only the background of the story world intact.
The characters are the worst part of this anime. It seems to be an anime written as a seinen or shonen given the fighting and blood... yet only a little girl (preteen or younger) would find this type of romance story interesting but would probably be turned off by the violence and dark atmosphere. So, it kinda puts the show in no mans land here.
Lets start off with our cut and paste prince charming Dante (no relation to Devil May Cry) who would go to hell and back to save his princess (Beatrice).... wait... did I just spoil the whole show for you? Sorry about that. Forget what I just said. Anyway, this idiot, is a Warrior? a Barbarian? Who thinks he is above guilt for being one of "Gods" people on a holy crusade. However, as time goes on you see just what type of guy he really is. Yet he is single minded in his purpose to save and be with Beatrice now that he is no longer fighting in the war. Nothing else matters to him. He doesn't even think about anything else at all. It's like his brain has 2 possible settings. Kill and get Beatrice. Seriously if you are looking for a horrible protagonist look no further. This one is one of the worst I have ever seen in anime... and I have seen many. He is weird looking too. Just to top it off.
Beatrice, is Dante's lover who slept with him before he went off to war but made him promice to stay faithful while he was gone and to marry her when he returned. While he was gone she thought it would be a good idea to make a deal with the devil that Dante (her lover) would keep his promices to her. Yet this woman was sopposed to be pure somehow... because after all, all pure woman make deals with the devil. She says she believes in Dante then contradicts herself about it blaming her plight on him and not the fact that she made a deal with Lucifer. She has a total change in personality then somehow eventually is saved beyond the point that she could not be saved anymore. Also I would like to point out that her spirit form is prettier than her human form. Though I soppose that should be a given.
Lucifer is a black cloud of smoke in the shape of a humanish thing until the end, when he looks like a demented sort of tailed beast type of thing from Naruto. Lucifer has no real qualities I can pinpoint that stand out other than his appearance, which changes, and that he is devilishly sadistic and tricks Beatrice and Dante in different ways, something that is not to hard to do, given both character's stupidity level.
The other main character is Virgil (no connection to Devil May Cry), someone god sopposedly sends from well known history to be Dante's guide though hell to rescue the "pure" girl's soul. He is the only character that I find to have depth to him and potential, yet... this potential is left to rot. He could have been a good character... but he ends as an enigma and a disappointment.
The pacing is horrible even though I make consessions because it has a single movie to get through the whole plot. However, The plot is so thin anyway, the only reason it take so long to get through the story is so you can see each part of hell and so Dante can run screaming Give me Beatrice through each part killing anything that stands in front of him without even attempting to talk things through or find a different solution. It's just sad.
The thing that Gets on my nerves more than anything else in this movie is Dante's little cross thing he is given to by Beatrice. This thing is basicly a Godly free pass. So if Dante runs into some people he wants to free from Hell he just has to put the cross up to him/her and say a few words and that person who was damned to hell for all eternity goes to heaven. It's funny because Dante is not God, but he is granted Gods athority over the dead in order to choose who he wishes to save out of the already damned. If he can pick and choose people who were lucky enough to have known him in life and that he liked then what about those who deserved a 2nd chance more than them but he didn't know in life? Apparently they are Just S.O.L.
Anyway, I gave this on a 3.5 overall and that is only because the animation and sound being decent in contrast to the horrible story and characters. Stay away from this one... it's BAD.