Directed by Sam Deats
Written by Warren Ellis
Licensed by Netflix
Castlevania is a new show on Netflix based on the classic video game series produced by Konami. The anime is a loose adaptation of Castlevania 3.
Vlad Tepes is the unofficial ruler of Wallachia, which would become modern day Romania. I say unofficial because he is not the direct ruler, but he’s a fuckmothering vampire who eats people and you don’t disrespect someone who rightfully gets confused for Satan.
The story set up is simple enough. Vlad, in case you’ve been living under a rock, is Dracula during the 1400s, and he is rumored to possess advanced knowledge that surpasses current scientific knowledge by centuries. He falls in love with a human who desires this knowledge to become a doctor and in the process convinces him to embrace his long forgotten humanity.
Because this is the 1400s and science is considered heresy and the literal work of the devil himself, his wife is burned at the stake for witchcraft. This causes Vlad to go berserk and call forth the armies of hell to extinguish all human life in in Wallachia.
So a plot done before, but the characters are what make the show work.
The show does a good job of establishing the mindset during this time. The Church is seen as the hand of God and is able to kill people without consequence because anyone who complains gets excommunicated and everyone who doesn’t is superstitious as all hell. Reminds me of Sunday School… that was a joke.
Because this is based on the third game, our protagonist is Trever Belmont who is comedy gold as well as surprisingly willing to call the Catholic Church on all the shit it did during this time period. It’s surprising that Netflix would do this kind of commentary in the way that they do and I refuse to spoil how they do it since it’s one of the better parts of the show.
This show stands out because it is a period piece that has everyone act like they live in that time period. No one here has a modern day mentality and that kind of thing can make or break a show for me.
I’m going to say this right now, if you have a problem with gore stop reading now and go watch Lucky Star or K-on because dear god I have never seen these many intestines not being inside of people. The legions of hell are upon us and the merciless slaughter is shown in full force.
The combat is nice and fluid and when someone gets stabbed, maimed, or beat up, it looks realistic and the reactions of the characters are equally realistic.
The atmosphere also excels. As mentioned it is currently hell on earth and Wallachia has been turned into an almost barren wasteland with red skies and corpses everywhere. This is as medieval as it gets people and I love it.
It’s Attack on Titan. That may sound like a joke, but no seriously. You have characters with highly detailed faces that are clearly meant to be white standing next to younger people with classic anime eyes that are also meant to be white. People move with the same fluidity and finesse or lack there of depending on the situation and some of the monster designs have that stark contrast of being more dark and stationary when comparing humans and titans.
Now this isn’t a bad thing. Attack on Titan is a beautiful anime that is very well drawn, but if it was just the gore reminding me I wouldn’t have commented on it.
So basically character designs look very good, but everyone has seen these designs somewhere else before.
Perfect in my opinion. Church members giving loud and bombastic speeches, demons sounding like demons, peasants sounding like they don’t even know what a book is let alone know how to read one. Screams of pain and agony sound so real they can make your skin crawl. Everyone speaks in the manner you would expect them to by their station and character design. It’s fantastic and I don’t really have much else to say on the matter.
(Audible Sigh) It’s not great, it’s not even good. In fact I don’t even remember if there was music, that’s how forgettable it is. As other critics have stated, the show really could have used some of the game’s soundtrack, but those same critics have also stated that they probably couldn’t have gotten the rights to the music, which is reasonable.
Still the music has to be the biggest let down of the series and by biggest, I mean like top 10 most lack luster anime soundtracks. I might do a list on that sometime.
I liked, and you probably will too.
The Castlevania series isn’t known for its great stories but this anime takes the basic premise and made something rather entertaining. It’s only a 4 episode long anime with each episode being about twenty minutes long so it’s a nice bite size chunk of gory hell on earth fun and if you’re not turned off by hellspawn graphically murdering women and children and a bunch of Catholic priest being maimed then you should definitely give it a watch.