Thirty one years ago, a video game came out that stamped its mark in history. Creating an entire genre and set the bar to come. That of course being Castlevania. Decades later, and multiple follow up games later, set its sight on new ground, on Netflix, and what a fantastic way to make a start.
The show starts off with Lisa, entering Dracula’s Castle. Seeking him out to learn Medicine. Her love for humanity and bravery before him, won him over. Agreeing to teach her, while also learning himself. Jumping ahead, now married, the Church had arrest her for witchcraft, and sentenced to burn at the stake, and Dracula return to late to save her. In a rage, he gave them one year before he would return, to build his army, and when he did, found them celebrating her demise. Which he released his monsters upon all of the villages of Willachia. Starting with the fall of Tagoviste. Going from there you meet the protagonist, the last surviving Son of Belmont Family, Trevor Belmont. Who has choosen to ignore the evil, due to his family being excommunicated and disgraced by the Church. Until he saved the life of the Elder Speaker of the Codrii Speakers, in Gretsit.
From there his adventure begins. Finding his path through saving Sypha, threats from the Church, and heartfelt Speakers. Learning the importance of choices, and the responsibility of being a Belmont. Concluding in an action pact conclusion and discovery of the Sleeping Solider.
The writing and animation/artist style was stellar. Writers building up the tension and turmoil in everyone involved. Creating paranoia and sense on danger. Believing an altercation was just a blink away. While Trevor’s dark humor lightened the mood when needed. Feeling the pain and rage of Dracula, and rooting on Trevor throughout.
The artistry and animation went all out. Lighting was dim and gloomy. Creating a beautiful ancient, Gothic World that suited Castlevania. Spending enough time and attention on Dracula’s; armies, Cyclops, and various facial images to make them scary and intimidating. Loading it with blood and gore to spare. Fights all felt different and unique depending on the combatants. Which each of them fun and exciting in their own way.
Voice cast was spot on. Likes of Richard Armiyage playing Trevor, Graham McTovish as Dracula, Alejandra Reynoso Sypha, and Tony Amendola as The Elder speaker. All came off with emotional depth and giving their characters their own personality to connect with the viewers. Their speeches were intense and sucked you right in. Didn’t see much of Lisa Tepes, but the conviction and love she displayed made her death that much more depressing, and Matt Frewer made you despise and long to see the Bishops comeuppance.
By the time the fourth and final episode of the season ends. Which was the saddest part, being that the entire season is over in 94 minutes, and really just starting to roll, leaves you longing for me, and so excited to see that Season 2 has already been green lit, because Castlevania has alot to offer, and alot of promise going forward.