I have little patience for Video Game adaptions these days. But being a fan I thought I would check out Castlevania on Netflix.
Based purely on the insurmountable ever-being-produced evidence, I have come to expect very, very little from their creation (screw you Resident Evil). So when I buried myself in a blanket, switched on Netflix and clicked Castlevania for the first time on the recommendation of a friend, my expectations were lower then the standard of translation in Garzeys Wing (trust me, Youtube it, you’re welcome). I was thrilled to be wrong.
For those unfamiliar with the name, Castlevania is an anime series based on the video game ‘Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse’ made my Konami back in 1989. I hadn’t heard of the game before I watched it for the first time, so I can guarantee previous knowledge is unnecessary, though I’m told there are quite a few easter eggs for the initiated.
Without giving too much away, the show centralises around the city Wallachia and it’s inhabitants who have been placed under a curse by a vampire – and follows the adventures of the trio who attempt to thwart the evil that torments the city. Trevor Belmont, discredited demon hunter, Sypha Belnades, a magician and ‘speaker’, and the mysterious Alucard.
Keep in mind if you plan on watching, the series is R-rated for a very good reason. it is heavy handed on the horror and gore, the testicle humor and the discussion of goat-fucking. They do things on screen I’m pretty sure you’re not legally allowed to produce live-action.
Needless to say, do not show to children. Or, at least to children you ever have to be around again. Castlevania on Netflix is a brutal watching.
It’s written by author and comic book icon Warren Ellis (well known as a big player in the Marvel comic universe), who has also signed on to write the next season, features some pretty incredible art and animation throughout. But it is not perfect, the show suffers a few issues, the most prominent being it’s length.
The season is a solid beginning to what could turn out to be an awesome series. Unfortunately, that’s all it is. A beginning. Four episodes that felt like they were made to be two, and part of a much longer season. I got through two episodes before I was hooked. It turned from something I was tentatively sampling to something I wanted to sink my teeth into. But as quickly as it started, it ended, less a mouthful then a morsel.
With no listed date for it’s second season release, the morsel will have to satisfy for a while. BUT! This is part of the good news. The series was so well received it was renewed for a second, far longer series the same day as it’s release. For Netflix’s first foray into anime, they made a pretty solid investment.
It’s stirred up mixed reviews online from some who have labelled it’s themes anti-christian. Like most medieval based affairs, the Church plays a vital role in the shows villainy. Unfortunately, it tends to come across a little exaggerated at times, like they dressed up a monster who didn’t need costumes to be scary. Anyone who knows anything about history knows the Catholic Church wasn’t exactly a wholesome, unbloodied part of it.
Criticisms aside, it’s in the presence of the Church where it’s video game roots shine through most prominently. Priests feel like obstacles between cut scenes. While they do a pretty decent job of writing them into these episodes so they serve an objective, hopefully they maintain their purpose.
Regardless of whether you’re super into the anime genre or not, I would highly recommend giving Castlevania on Netflix a watch.