Netflix has been building up a reputation for great and entertaining original content with their multitude of original series, and that trend continues with Castlevania. While the first season was short it is packed to the brim with interesting characters, gore, and and plenty of callbacks to the series’ video game roots. Thankfully Netflix has already announced that a second season of Castlevania is on the way, we will just have to wait for a release date though.
There were a lot of elements in this series that helped to make it the success that it was, however the biggest influence was the multiple references to the video games, specifically Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Dracula’s curse however was the major influence on this season’s writing and story, though the story is still original and not a retelling of the game.
There are many elements to the story that deserve praise, but the biggest of all is definitely the voice acting. When the series was first revealed to be animated over live action, it was immediately apparent that talented voice actors would be necessary for the show to be taken seriously. Every character feels like they just stepped out of a Castlevania game, and that is fantastic especially for characters who existed previously in the franchise.
Dracula for example starts the series off by meeting his future wife, the one person in the entire world who he truly loved. Only for her to be murdered by a corrupt clergy and send Dracula on a quest for revenge against mankind. Any fan of Castlevania knows that when Dracula is attempting to end the world, only a Belmont can stop him.
Trevor Belmont is the vampire hunter present in the first season and right from his induction it is clear that he isn’t like other Belmont fans are familiar with. He is far more of a reluctant hero type rather than a vampire hunting hero. Trevor spends most of his time in the first season trying to drink his problems away and ignore the world as it burns around him, before finally breaking out vampire killer.
The series has a multitude of high points from great and accurate characters to the awesome and constant gore and demon slayings. But nothing is perfect, and that also applies to Castlevania. The major complaint with the first season is it’s length. At only 4 episodes and each episode being 20 minutes long, there isn’t much room for actual story to happen.
The entire first season felt like a quick role call of characters and a nice way to fill everyone in as to what is happening. Yes a second season is on the way, hopefully with more episodes, however that doesn’t change the fact that the first season felt like a crash course into the actual story to come and nothing more.
There was no actual story arc or real character development, everything that happens is building up to an exciting story only to be slapped in the face and told “No, you get to wait for the interesting bits.” That being said, the first season as a whole, was still entertaining and a fun time while binging it.
Castlevania, much like the titular video games, is rough around the edges but still a great time. Any fan of the games or Gothic story telling in general should give the series a watch, even for newcomers to the series it’s still entertaining and easy to follow. Hopefully the second season will add more to the story, and a focus on the characters.