Castlevania: Netflix Nails it with Faithful Adaptation of Video Game Series
Action & AdventureAnimation...
Dark, mysterious, suave, vicious; all words that would have usually described vampires, until the angst teen trilogy that is Twilight turned them into sappy, shiny and downright depressed creatures. Ever since then, we haven’t seen something that returned the ruthlessness to vampires for a long time – that is until now.
Based on the Konami 2D game of the same name, Castlevania is one of the most well-known series; going back to 1986, its latest iteration came out as recent as 2014. All the games had almost the same plot; a member of the Belmont family makes his way through Dracula’s Castle to destroy the monster that has been terrorising the land. The show follows suit, as we join Trevor Belmont as a reluctant hero traversing the countryside of Walachia – currently Romania – as the dark forces of Dracula terrorise and kill its inhabitants.
The show as a whole is done very well, as all the key players have been handpicked for being some of the best in their fields. Writer, Warren Ellis, is known for creating several comic books that have been adapted before, like Red and Red 2. He’s done a great job of fleshing out the story without it being cluttered or boring, with the exposition not being too heavy handed.
The art design has been created through a mix of studios that have captured the essence of the franchise well. The hand-drawn aesthetic and design is reminiscent of old school anime, while still being respectful of the genre and the style. With colours popping from every shot and top-notch shading, the show is almost a piece of moving art.
That is carried over to the excellent voice acting which is key to giving more life into the characters. There are a handful of main characters in the first season and most of them are high calibre actors, most notably Richard Armitage (The Hobbit, Captain America) as Trevor Belmont and Graham McTavish (The Hobbit, Creed) as Dracula.
While the season is a very short one – only four episodes – it has successfully set up the show perfectly; the story and the motivations of the characters are clear and convincing, while providing the viewers with a taste of what is to come next year. The show has also successfully captured what made the source material great, providing info about the lore and the reasons behind the events all while retaining a fun factor which is helped by great music and art direction that play on a nostalgia.
We’ve enjoyed the great – yet short – first season and we can’t wait to see the second one next year.