The Yellow Turban rebellion that initiated the downfall of the ruling Han dynasty. At the start of the story, both Liu Bei, its eventual protagonist, and Cao Cao, its eventual antagonist, are minor players. Liu Bei is striving to find a way to bring order to a chaotic world. As he puzzles he way toward the correct course of action, he befriends two powerful warriors, Zhang Fei and Guan Yu. Together, they take the Oath of the Peach Garden, to live and die together as warriors for justice. Meanwhile, Cao Cao is pondering how to fulfill his destiny as "a hero in a chaotic world or a villain in a peaceful one."
Initially, power seems to belong to usurping warlord Dong Zhuo and his right-hand man, the hero Lu Bu. But the two soon fall out over a woman, and the resulting power vacuum gives Cao Cao his chance. Even though Lu Bu is the stronger warrior, Cao Cao has the devil's own luck on the battlefield. Liu Bei tries to stick to the right course, but he is just a minor piece on the giant chessboard of China's warring states. War rages up and down the country, with inconclusive result, thus setting the stage for the next two movies in the series.
The start is Yellow Turban rebellion just as the start of Sangokushi TV series, so the natural question is whether one of these shows is made obsolete by the other. The fact is Dawn of heroes uses different images of characters that we got used to over the course of three shows. I don't like drawing style and showing many characters rather weak breaking the coolness. All it adds to the story is complexity - the girl Liu Bei promised to return to and save, the way Liu Bei got acquainted with each of his future generals, some additional meaningless characters to talk to... absolutely unimportant things like that. It also ends very early, maybe at a quarter of TV series content. My score can seem harsh for a definitely above average anime, but my estimation is based on its place in the series. And it only erodes the legacy formed by now while adding nothing worth mentioning.
Overall Rating: 4/10