Castlevania Season 1 (Netflex Series) Review

Now that Konami has abandoned many of it’s iconic video game series for Pachinko machines, the future of many beloved series have been put into question. Castlevania, one of the oldest and largest of these series may not have much of a future in video games but perhaps in other media. Netflex has produced an animated series based on the video games (particularly Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse). But is it even worth it, will the series suffer the same fate as other movies and TV shows based off of video games?

Likes:

  1. The animation is pretty solid. It has a bit of an anime vipe to it but I wouldn’t call it anime either. It’s sort of the same style as The Boondocks. They got the setting of gothic medieval Europe down really well too. It’s a very bleak and dark show, which is good for a Castlevania series.
  2. Considering this is only four episodes long, they did a good job at establishing the characters and their motivations. I would say this is more true for Trevor Belmont and Dracula than some of the other but as they are the two main players in the series, I think other seasons could develop them and the other characters further.
  3. Richard Armitage did a great job voicing Trevor Belmont. He was one of the things I really liked about the Hobbit series, and has such a great voice.

Dislikes:

  1. Speaking about the voice acting, the accents on many of the side characters were confused. Even then, it’s rather nick-picky as the geographical area isn’t clearly defined in the series.
  2. The season as I said earlier, is only 4 episodes long with a total run time of 88 minutes. I wonder why didn’t they just have it be a movie? I was definitely wanting it to be longer. Hopefully further seasons will be.
  3. I don’t know if the sound mixers forgot to compress Dracula’s dialog or what, but he was much harder to hear than the other characters.
  4. While the soundtrack wasn’t bad by any means, it was rather disappointing that they didn’t take any musical ques from the video games, which has some of the best video game music ever created. So don’t be expecting Vampire Killer or Bloody Tears to be playing.
  5. They didn’t break any candles or find pork chops inside the wall.

Likes and Dislikes:

  1. The action is really over-the-top, gory and fun. But there weren’t nearly enough action scenes in my opinion. Maybe it just comes down to me wanting more, which isn’t a bad thing. It felt like one episode only had one minor fight scene which is kinda disappointing.
  2. (Spoilers) Dracula isn’t even the main antagonist in the series, I would say that would be the Bishop and Priest of the church. The thing that bothered me is that slamming on a church for hypocrisy and backwards thinking is done so many times its become a cliche. The thing I did like is later in the show, a demon talks with a Bishop in the church and tells him that it was the hypocrisy and wickedness of the Bishops and Priests that made them lose the favor and protection of God. I liked how it was priestcraft and not the church itself that was evil. It is shown later that there were Priests in the city that was worthy enough to make holy water to fight the demons. So thank you for subverting the expectation and not using the “church is bad” cliche.

Awkward Walk-In Meter: 4/5

This is rated TV-MA which is the equivalent of R. The show is really gory and bloody. You’d expect blood in a show about vampires but it’s pretty extreme.  Demons are shown in graphic detail ripping people apart and leaving a gory mess everywhere. There is also a considerable amount of language including a bunch of F bombs. It’s rather light when it comes to sexual content but the violence and language is enough that you better keep the kids away.

Overall: If you’re a big fan of shows like Vampire Hunter D, you’ll fit right in. While it wasn’t a masterpiece by any means, it was a enjoyable show none-the-less. If you’re a fan of the Castlevania games, I would also recommend checking it out. Just be mindful that this show is not for kids and if you don’t handle gore very well you probably shouldn’t see it.

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