Disclaimer: this article is not an in-depth analysis of the Castlevania universe, or even an analytical view of how well Castlevania compares to other series in its class.
I watched Castlevania for the very consumerist reason most people do most things, spare time + internet = bingeing. I had the added motivation in that the series appealed to my younger self who played the Castlevania game of the same name, so I knew what to expect of the basic setup.
Dracula, known to the people of Wallachia as Vlad Dracula Tepes, lives in a castle outside of a town by the name Cordova, and needs to be defeated because he has unleashed his evil creatures on the town. Now in the animated series on Netflix, the premise runs as follows:
- Dracula, falls in love.
- The church of Wallachia kills his wife; she is obviously declared a witch, because she has an opinion and a brain.
- Dracula promptly goes insane and tells the church that he will slaughter them, and all the people of Wallachia, if they don’t leave.
- They don’t leave.
- S(laughter) ensues – There is quite a bit of humour in the dialogue.
Alucard: Do you have a God to put a last prayer to, Belmont?
Trevor Belmont: Yeah. “Dear God, please don’t let the vampire’s guts ruin my good tunic.”
From there the main characters, Trevor Belmont (brooding warrior), Adrian Alucard Tepes (Dracula’s son, also a Dhampir), and Sypha Belnades (cute magician girl) are introduced and we come to understand how the world of Castlevania works. Their main goal is to stop Dracula from killing all of humanity, each for their own reason, naturally.
I found the setup and execution to be extremely enjoyable. My colleague, who is a self-professed calvinist and unstoppable eavesdropper, watched some of the show over my shoulder on a plane trip and stated when we landed: “That shows looks very evil to me, there was a lot of blood and evil stuff.” Articulate as usual. But she is correct; the level of graphic detail is quite intense. If you have not watched much anime then it might take some getting used to. If you are sensitive to blasphemy or excessive blood and guts, rather skip this one.
The series as a whole, from directing and acting, to drawing and storytelling, come together very well. This animated series is done in a style that is definitely not your run-of-the-mill Netflix series, and for anyone who interested in delving into a well-known story – Dracula’s, obviously – but looking for a new angle on it, I would highly recommend that you give Castlevania a try.
The two seasons on Netflix weave together well; the first season is comprised of only four episodes, each 23 minutes in length, and the second season is double that with eight episodes. For me, this meant that I could binge the first season and settle down for the second one. Personally, I prefer to get a very quick idea of whether a series is going to be something I want to commit to, or if I will cast it into the wasteland Netflix calls: “Continue Watching”.
Although the third season has been announced (before the second season had even aired, actually) there is no air-date available at the time of writing. What we do know, though, is that the third season will be 10 episodes long, and around 25 minutes each.
For those hoping to get a deeper understanding of the universe, this article gives a good overview.
For information regarding the cast, crew and other info on the series head over here.
If you haven’t yet checked out the insanely cool trailers, check it out below: