Why Castlevania is a Worthy Adventure
Castlevania is a Netflix Original anime series, based off the video game series of the same name. It premiered on July 7, 2017, with a four episode season. Now, the anime has two seasons, with a third reportedly on the way. This dark fantasy/horror series has exploded in popularity, and in my opinion, it’s one of the best animated shows Netflix has right now. So, what makes Castlevania such a good anime? There are many convincing reasons. Among these, the show boasts a great story, unique characters, an excellent voice cast, and masterful writing. These factors combine to make Castlevania the hit that it is.
The aforementioned cast is made up of great talent, including Richard Armitage, James Callis, Graham McTavish, and Alejandra Reynoso as the main characters. According to IMDB, Armitage starred in all three The Hobbit movies as Thorin, and also played Francis Dolarhyde in the Hannibal TV series. Likewise, Graham McTavish was in The Hobbit films as Dwalin. James Callis had the role of Gaius Baltar in Battlestar Galactica. And last, but certainly not least, Alejandra Reynoso played Flora in the various Winx Club series and movies.
The story of Castlevania centers around Trevor Belmont, the last surviving member of the Belmont clan, as he tries to save Eastern Europe from a demonic invasion headed by Dracula himself. Eventually, the vampire hunter is joined by two allies, and together, they must fight to save the crumbling country. Later on, the plot becomes much more, but for the sake of spoilers, I’m going to stop here. I think this is a show best experienced knowing little beforehand.
Speaking of story, the series is written by best-selling author and comic book icon, Warren Ellis. Following Goodreads, the author has also penned other popular works, such as Transmetropolitan and Planetary. Alongside Ellis, Kevin Kolde, Fred Seibert, and Adi Shankar executive produced the anime.
Why I Recommend This Anime
Clearly, Castlevania has a bevy of talent and potential behind it. These aspects, along with the story and characters, make for a truly excellent show. First, the characters are all interesting and fleshed out, with distinct personalities. Second, most of these characters are likeable, or at least compelling. The three main characters, especially, are endearing and easy to root for. Some characters I didn’t necessarily agree with, or even like, but they were still fascinating to learn about; Carmilla from Season Two would be a perfect example of this.
Technically, Carmilla is a villain throughout the season. But, many other characters could be placed under this category, and I actually found myself sympathizing with a few of them. No matter how despicable their actions, nearly every character is relatable in some way, and that makes it all the more easy to feel for them. I believe this is another example of Castlevania having great writing and characterization. It’s a feat when media can make you sympathize even with villainous characters.
Furthermore, the anime’s plot is consistently dark and intriguing. This fits the bleak, gritty world it takes place in. Combined, these factors create a somber, almost oppressive atmosphere. At any turn, you know the heroes could be in danger, or that something horrible could happen. In turn, this crafts a suspenseful viewing experience that keeps viewers engaged all throughout.
Another positive point, Castlevania has excellent voice acting for its cast of colorful characters. The actors mentioned above, and many others, give so much life to their respective characters. Their unique traits and mannerisms are emphasized by the voices behind them. Each voice actor suits their role perfectly, and I don’t believe there’s a single one out of place. Honestly, I don’t think Castlevania would be half the anime it is without this experienced cast.
Now, on to what I believe is the show’s strongest point: the animation. It’s so incredibly fluid and detailed; each scene becomes a visual treat for the eyes. Specifically, fight scenes are very impressive. The characters move seamlessly, as if they’re actual people. From what I noticed, there weren’t any choppy or awkward movements. Everything flows together beautifully and makes for attractive animation, overall.
In conclusion, the Castlevania anime series is a masterful show for a variety of reasons. These include a great story, likeable characters, solid writing, and gorgeous animation. Truly, I believe this series is a shining example of what animation can be. In my opinion, Netflix has outdone itself with Castlevania, and I highly recommend it to any fans of animation and/or horror.
Netflix Media Center Site- https://media.netflix.com/en/
Official Netflix Castlevania Page- https://www.netflix.com/title/80095241?preventIntent=true
Official IMDB Website- https://m.imdb.com/
Goodreads Warren Ellis Page- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12772.Warren_Ellis
All pictures were obtained from the Netflix Media Center site, which I am registered to use.