July 7th, 2017
1 hour 40 mins
This new Netflix original is an animated miniseries based on Konami’s 1989 videogame series of the same name. Written by Warren Ellis and directed by Sam Deats, the show introduces us to Wallachia, a nation overrun by the curse of Dracula’s army of monsters and a corrupt priesthood. Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage), our sassy protagonist, seeks to aid the people of Wallachia against evil forces, alongside a group of magic users known as Speakers and Dracula’s own son, Alucard.
At only 100 minutes in total, Castlevania may be a bite-sized binge, but it is no less juicy. The series throws us into the gloom of Dracula’s world and instantly sweeps us into Belmont’s journey. The animation is extremely reminiscent of anime, but created by US companies Frederator Studios, and Powerhouse Animation Studios, who will be best known for their video game animation as well as now-airing TV series O.K K.O! Let’s Be Heroes—which I’ve got my beady eye on.
Castelvania’s style is dark and gory but still extremely beautiful, and reminded me most of a creepier version of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The show is no kiddie cartoon, however: as well as plenty of blood and guts there’s a good deal of colourful language, especially when Belmont has had enough of everyone’s whining.
I can’t say I know anything about the videogames, but as a show, Castlevania was an engaging and entertaining animation that made my fantasy loving nerdiness very happy. We can be thankful that a further 8 episodes are in the works for 2018, though it seems baffling and almost a shame that a show that appears to be so intricate could be completed in so few episodes.
That’s not to say I’m not excited to see what happens. I just hope Castlevania is given the scope it needs to satisfy those who love to be pulled into fantasy worlds.