Based on the 1989 video game “Casltevania 3: Dracula’s Curse,” “Castlevania” is a Netflix series that premiered on July 7. The first season, consisting of four episodes, is now available for streaming. The series, written by Warren Ellis and directed by Sam Deats, stars the voice talents of Richard Armitage, James Callis, and Graham McTavish.
In the 15th century, a human woman seeks out Vlad Dracula Tepes to gain scientific and medical knowledge to help mankind. Dracula, having long since abandoned humanity and having withdrawn into seclusion, humors her and allows the use of his castle. After spending years with her, he falls in love with her and sees her as the only redeeming quality that humanity has to offer. He takes her as his wife, Lisa Tepes. However, when she is accused of witchcraft due to her scientific knowledge and burned alive at the stake, Dracula, in a fit of rage, declares war on humanity.
Beginning his rampage in the country that killed her, he unleashes a demon hoard on Wallachia. With hope dwindling it is up to Trevor Belmont, the last of the disgraced demon hunter clan; Sylpha Belnades, a magician; and Alucard, a mysterious figure who has a history with Dracula, to end his destructive rampage.
“Castlevania” at its core is an entertaining and well animated adaption of the video game on which it is based. The pacing of the storyline is well done and the combat scenes are fun to watch. The show is intended for a mature audience as the fight scenes contain violent dismemberments and deaths at the hands of both the demons and the main cast.
The characters are well developed, with a history that is only hinted at during the first season, allowing for exploration in the already announced second season. Subplots such as the Belmont clan’s exile, the discrimination against magicians, and Alucard’s history with Dracula are all vaguely touched upon but never fully explored. Even Dracula is made to be a nuanced character, with his grief surrounding the death of the woman he loved driving his desire to destroy humanity.
While the animation, pacing, and acting are well done, the only criticism to the series is the length of the episodes and the subsequent length of the season as a whole. With only four half-hour episodes, it was a shame that the first season couldn’t spend more time with these interesting characters.
“Castlevania” is a must see for any fans of the series and of fans of animated programs. Besides its short length, the show is entertaining.