Anime Review: Castlevania Season 1 (Netflix)

Through multiple attempts at adapting video games into a show, whether it be for a CRT TV (if anybody still knows what this is) or for the silver screen (note that silver is a true vampire weakness), Castlevania gets it right. It is bloody with tons of gore, violently poetic, and beautifully bold in its pursuit of what makes the Castlevania games awesome back in the day.

[alert type=white ]WARNING: May Contain Spoilers[/alert]

Castlevania is an anime series based on the game Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse which is part of the Castlevania series by Konami. When I first heard about the news that Netflix was gonna make an anime adaptation of the game I was excited and was definitely gonna add to my list of anime to watch. Then when it was released, it was a real treat to watch.

In the beginning you couldn’t help but feel sorry for Count Dracula, angry at the church, and pity for the blindness of the common folk. Vowing for revenge due to the loss of his wife, Dracula made his presence known to all in Wallachia, and in a very theatrical fashion I might add. He allowed all humans one year to say their peace until he summons his demonic army and when none listened, he summoned an Apocalyptic Nightmare that displayed the series’ uncensored brutality where even infants were depicted in a gory light.

While the series is actually faithful to the game’s premise, it greatly expanded on certain aspects that the game doesn’t show since you start fighting your way through hordes of monsters almost as soon as you start. They gave character to Trevor Belmost, where we see him as a drunk who roams the countryside in exile while not caring what the demons were doing. They expanded the lore of the series. And they didn’t take themselves too seriously when they talked about bestiality and had a lot of nuts getting kicked around.

Heading to the end of the beginning, the series showed poetic justice being done to the men who had caused the wrath of the iconic Count with some exceptionally brilliant dialogue to boot when the demons came. Then when everyone banded together we saw Trevor’s knowledge on fighting demonic forces, and eventually it reached a stage where it became a platformer much like in the game. All of it leading down to the “Final Boss” in the series where the swordfight was just visually gorgeous and fluid as a whole.

The series does have a few flaws however. In terms of visuals my only concern was during the final fight sequence the swordplay looked lagging causing the swords to look wider, whether it was intentional or not it was something I personally found odd. Then upon seeing the criticism some people online had where they wished to watch it in the Japanese language, I couldn’t help but feel that some people believe that anime created by westerners shouldn’t be in their local language but to a language they are more accustomed to even if they do not understand it. Another thing is one character has yet to show for the fans who have played the game, though there is a big chance he will show up in the next season.

And lastly we have the biggest flaw of the series, the length. Pacing was something I found to be perfect but with only 4 episodes and 8 for next year, I couldn’t help but be annoyed. Had they released this adaptation as an introductory movie it would’ve been more understandable and forgivable or they could stack up all the episodes and release them in one go instead of making us anxious with waiting.

Overall the series was, in the simplest of words to use, short but sweet. It is a treat for the long-time fans of the series and is easy enough to get into for newcomers who are unfamiliar with the series. It is a stylishly gory mess filled with a dark dreaded atmosphere, but one I found to be intricate in design. If I were a vampire this would not have been enough to sate my thirst, it only makes me want for more.

Castlevania Seasion 1 (Netflix) - Review
Score Definition
The Verdict