The announcement of a new Castlevania series from Netflix generated a lot of excitement for me as I have been a fan of the games for a long time. I then saw that it was going to be more of a traditional animated style and I was ready for some vampire slaying. Let’s take a look at the preview that is labeled as season one of Castlevania. Warning, some spoilers ahead.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m a little disappointed from the length of season one. You can see that Netflix wasn’t sure that this was going to generate views from ordering just 4 episodes. Judging by the speed at which they ordered season two (the day it debuted), it looks like this was a success.
Even though it was short, I am a fan of this show. I’m glad that they went with a more traditional animation style as I just can’t get into the new CGI style like the recent restart of the Berserk series or Netflix’s Knights of Sidonia. Maybe if I grew up with that style, I could get over it, but I just like the more hand-drawn style. The color palette used really helps set the mood, as well as help, illustrate the gore that ensues at night. They are definitely following the look that the games have taken on since Symphony of the Night on PlayStation, with the mix of gothic and Victorian-era science fiction. It would be nice to see something in more of the medieval horror style like the first Castlevania games at some point but, it is understandable to go with this style since Symphony of the Night came out 20 years ago. Yeah, think about that anyone that played it when it came out.
The story follows the events from the NES game Castlevania 3 which follows Trevor Belmont, Grant, Sypha, and Alucard in their fight against Dracula. Though, Grant has yet to show up in these first four episodes. Dracula has loosed his minions of darkness on the land and the group must come together to try and defeat him. If you read the opening credits to the game, you’ll know that they kept it pretty simple. Dracula is a bad guy spreading evil across the land and the Belmonts were summoned to stop him. Unfortunately, they had been run out of the country but, Trevor was found and sent to break the Curse of Dracula. Thankfully, the show decided to use some more of the backstory that has been provided by the other games over the years.
Dracula fell in love with a human woman that got him to try new things. When she was burned at the stake because of her relationship with him and her attempt to spread the “blasphemous” knowledge of science, he decided that humanity needs to pay the price for their ignorance. A year later, Dracula has released his army and the land is being taken over by the chaos. The Belmont family has been excommunicated from the church and shunned by the people for their supposed dealings with black magic. Trevor is the last of his clan and drunkenly wanders into the wrong town. I’m glad that they are using these aspects of the story but, it felt a bit rushed to me. This is most likely due to the production team wanting to get as much into four episodes as they could. Nothing really feels lost due to this, but I would have liked to have seen more of Dracula and his growth with Lisa and just how much she had calmed this creature of the night. Maybe we will get some flashbacks in the following seasons.
I really did enjoy this show and am looking to see what they do when they don’t feel that they have to squeeze a lot into a little space. As I mentioned before the four episode “season” bugged me. Ultimately, this ends up being a plus because it means that I want much more of what I got. I know I’ll be setting aside a weekend to binge-watch the next season once it hits Netflix. I just hope that the production crew was already working on it and we won’t have to wait a year like most of the other Netflix shows. If you enjoyed any of the games, are a horror or horror-anime fan, I think you will enjoy this as I have. Just don’t let the sensitive ones watch this as it gets pretty graphic with the violence.
From my brain, to my laptop, to your brain, I’m Chad and these were my thoughts on Castlevania. If you’ve already watched it, which I’m sure you have, what did you think?