Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic 2/9/2010

Dispatch.ist status:

Watched six years ago. I guess we’ll have to watch it again… – Jacob


Dante, a Knight Templar, returns from the crusade to find his house destroyed. He follows his fiancee Beatrice into hell, and fights a lot of things. In a final confrontation with Lucifer, we learn that this has been a ruse to lure a great hero to free Lucifer; the movie leaves us on a cliffhanger as Dante chases a corrupted Beatrice into Purgatory.


Anime adaptation of the EA Games’ action-fantasy Dante’s Inferno, released direct to DVD. An interesting element of this film is that it incorporates the styles of six animation studios. 


Jacob – it’s been several years since I’ve seen this one, and during that time I’ve actually read Inferno, so I’ll need to watch it again. I recall being left a little cold by this film, the gap between “fighting action game Anime adaptation” and “classic allegory” was too deep for me to cross. 


“Based on.” The film has many elements of the original story – the movement through the layers, encounters and torments that reflect the original. Transforming Dante into an action hero Templar was probably necessary for the game, but is a huge deviation from the introspective journey of the original, and Dante seems to have some superpowers (such as the ability to absolve souls in Hell) that seem out of place. IRL Dante’s relationship with Beatrice was of the courtly/troubador love style, platonic and hyperidealized, so the elements of physicality in the character of Beatrice are also jarring…it’s possible that the gamer audience wouldn’t “get” Dante’s distant adoration. 


Maybe you have to actually be the target demographic for this one to appreciate it. If you enjoyed the video game, it may be a good watch. As someone without a feel for the franchise, it felt like so many made-for-dvd adaptations, a bit cold, no spark. May revise this as I watch again. – Jacob