Random Netflix Reviews - Castlevania
Just like Dracula’s castle, the Castlevania series has been known to disappear for many years and return in a different form. And just this week, lovers of anime and old-school action video games were given a treat when Netflix released Castlevania, representing the franchise’s first foray into video.
The show starts by introducing the lord of darkness himself, Vlad Tepes Dracula, as he is approached by a stranger in his castle. This woman, a healer, has come to learn the ways of science and medicine from the retiring count. It is through this initial dialogue that Dracula is humanized somewhat, and his motivations are soon made known.
This series takes place around the third installment of the video game series. It is an interesting time, because it allows the series to go forward or back, if it so chooses. Not only that, but series favourite Alucard is born around this period, and plays a major role in the show.
Of course, it would not be Castlevania if there were no Belmonts, and the famed vampire-hunting family is well-represented by Trevor Belmont. The man is down on his luck and seems almost as loathed as the beasts he has sworn to hunt. Still, he has not completely given up on mankind, and his wry sense of humour only adds to his charm (having Richard Armitage provide voicing doesn’t hurt either).
Long-time fans will see much nostalgia lurking in the background throughout the episodes. Candelabras are frequent, and alchemical and electrical devices abound. It might seem strange that an immortal quasi-demon is on the cutting edge of technology, but I suppose being bored can have its advantages.
As for the visuals, the monsters are extremely well crafted and hold up to the original designs, and the fight scenes are all pretty thrilling. The static backdrops might not be everyone’s favourite thing, but anime watchers are used to this style, and it provides some emphasis to the character’s facial expressions and overall design. It should also be mentioned that the show holds nothing back when it comes to gore and violence, so a kids’ cartoon this is not.
At only four episodes, the show leaves one thirsty for more. Reports are that the next season will be eight episodes long, but that’s still quite a ways away. Fortunately these four have been very promising, and set up the series nicely for more action down the road. In the meantime, there are more than enough Castlevania games to sink your teeth into.
- There are just oh so many nods to the original series to include in here, but I particularly loved how Trevor would use a staple side-weapon at the most unexpected times.
- Also, he really gets the best lines, though it's the delivery that makes it. When asked if he believes in prophecy: "I fell down a hole." Classic.
- After having almost a full episode on Dracula, I almost wanted more. As I said, it's possible that they could move back and forth in the chronology and make this series into an anthology of sorts. If so, they could even expand more on Dracula's origin, as I didn't think the games did it justice... But perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself.