Review Of The Netflix Web Series Castlevania Season 1

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morning brew 0zPBVSzk4pQ unsplash

Netflix just released a Castlevania series last Friday and everybody’s asking me about this — like holy shit. It’s fresh, it’s new, it’s hot and some good characters like game of thrones bastard names — if I’m going to say anything about it, I might as well say it now, right? It’s only four episodes. Each episode is 25 minutes or less, so it’s less time than watching an average movie, so I have no excuse. So this might not be that great a review, but it’s a bonus. This is a bonus in addition to an already booked schedule. 

The show is pretty good. I like it. There was a quote going around that it was going to be “R-rated as fuck.” Well, that is a hundred percent true. There’s lots of gore and some cussin’. So this is not a kid’s show at all. They are targeting an adult crowd. I love the animation, especially whenever there’s fire — it really looks like it’s glowing. I see that in a lot of anime. I don’t know how they do it, but I like it. Only nitpick: there’s a lot of times when a character is standing still, and they become really still — like you can tell they’re not animating any frames. 

I don’t blame them because I know how much work animation is. About the plot: going into it, I already knew it was supposed to be based on Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. And I’ll be honest — when I saw the first episode, it seemed like just a show about Dracula. I was a little confused, thinking, like, “what does this have to do with Castlevania?” Maybe there are some plot connections I forgot, or it’s from some of the games I haven’t played, mainly the newer ones. 

The best way I can describe the first episode is this: it’s like the animated extended version of the opening of the movie Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Something happens to Dracula’s wife. In this case, she’s burned at the stake for alleged witchcraft. And now Dracula is pissed and starts unleashing monsters and all that stuff. So in this first episode, there’s a heavy focus on Dracula, and Trevor Belmont doesn’t show up until the cliffhanger. And then the rest of the series — or the rest of the season — Dracula disappears entirely. So now it’s all about Trevor. So that seemed kind of unbalanced to me. And then Sypha shows up, and finally Alucard. Please check- Game of thrones fantasy football names

So now we’re almost there, we just need Grant. Where’s Grant? We’re so close — unless I missed him — was he in there? Also, I think I recognized the cyclops as one of the game’s bosses. Even though I liked the show — I mean let me put that out there — I liked it, but it didn’t really feel like Castlevania for me. Sure, it’s based on an NES game that didn’t have much plot, to begin with. There’s the opening prologue in the game, which says the Belmont family was feared by the townspeople. 

They stayed true to this in the show — nobody likes Trevor. In his first scene, he’s in a bar getting the shit kicked out of him. So, understandably they had to take a lot of creative liberties to invent lots of the story. So I have to give credit where it’s due. Let me say I didn’t expect the show to be a literal adaptation — I didn’t expect to see Trevor whipping candles and finding pork chops in the wall. But, with that said, it still doesn’t feel like Castlevania for some reason — especially not the classic pre- Symphony of the Night games. 

It seems like it was much more influenced by Symphony of the Night than Castlevania III. And to be honest, I love Symphony of the Night, but it pisses me off that it dictated everything Castlevania from that point on. There was a whole franchise that existed before Symphony of the Night, and now that era of Castlevania is dead. I’ve seen no games, and now, not even a show that can bring back that same spirit. If you’re gonna call the show Castlevania, it needs something else to differentiate it from other vampire media. And it does a good job with a lot of things, but it’s really just missing like something — like what could that be? [sarcastically] The music, maybe? Vampire Killer, Bloody Tears, all that? I know it’s based on Castlevania III, but even Castlevania III had lots of memorable tunes. Maybe they couldn’t get the rights to the music, and if so, that’s a shame. Of course, this is only the first season, and it ends on a high note, which is very promising for what may come next. The second season is confirmed and, who knows, maybe there will be even more. I want to see this keep going. I want to see it get up to Simon’s Quest. Reminder — Castlevania III was the prequel. So, I’m on board. Even though I’m not really feeling the Castlevania vibe yet, I want to give it a chance.


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