Want to watch one of the greatest dark fantasy horror anime-esque series with very likable characters and a great ending? Look no further than Castlevania on Netflix.
Castlevania is a dark fantasy anime-esque show based on the Japanese video game series by Konami of the same name that first debuted on Netflix back on July 7, 2017. The show itself lasts for 4 seasons, spanning a total of 32 episodes. Each episode is on average 25-30 minutes long, with no commercial breaks. It’s definitely longer than your typical 24-episode anime. So yeah, you’re getting your money’s worth here.
Castlevania is the work of Powerhouse Animation, Mua Film (seasons 1-3), and Tiger Animation (season 4). Warren Ellis served as the writer for the show, while Adi Shankar developed it and served as one of the executive producers. Frederator Studios (which is a bit surprising considering that their previous work was in children’s shows), Shankar Animation, and Project 51 produced the show.
You can watch Castlevania on Netflix right now. You can get a Basic subscription plan for $8.99 a month. Trust me, for this show, it’s worth it.
Warning: spoilers for Castlevania below. If you have any plans for watching this anime-esque show one dark night, stop here and come back once you’ve returned from the dead.
Castlevania: Plot Summary
I want to say that the plot of Castlevania is simple, but it isn’t. It’s no Tokyo Ghoul, but it’s definitely not a simplistic one. The plot starts off with a young woman named Lisa banging on the doors to Dracula’s castle. Her reason? She wants this centuries-old vampire to teach her medicine. A very strange reason to bother Dracula, but he’s amused enough to help her out. Surprise, surprise, it turns into a romantic comedy between them. They fall in love, get married, have a kid, and have a happy ending together.
Or at least, that was the plan, until the Church stepped in. They decided that all of Lisa Tepes’ advanced medicine was the work of the Devil, and burn her at the stake for it. Naturally, when Dracula found out, he was pissed as hell. Literally, since he decided to summon an army from there to punish all the humans in Wallachia for the murder of his beloved wife. And that is the start of Castlevania‘s plot proper.
Castlevania then shifts protagonists at that point. In fact, it introduces us to 3 of them: Trevor Belmont, Sypha Belnades, and Adrian “Alucard” Tepes. Trevor is a washed-up vampire hunter who spends his days drinking, finding his next meal, drinking, snoozing, and did I mention drinking? Sypha, meanwhile, is a young innocent Speaker (religious order hated by the Church) and a budding sorceress of great power and precision. Lastly, Alucard is Dracula’s son, who tried to stop his father from going on a killing spree, but obviously failed.
Together, these 3 go on a journey to kill Dracula. They eventually succeed in season 2, but the fight doesn’t end there. They do get a good ending in the finale of season 4, but it’s a very long and hard journey to get that ending. Interested? Find out more when you watch Castlevania for yourself.
Castlevania: The Good
Drama, action, and horror are what Castlevania is good at, and it’s got all of each in spades. All aspects seem to constantly be trying to outdo one another over the course of the show. And then on top of that, there’s blood and gore. Good lord, there’s so much of it. You’d think there would be Khornate berserkers screaming “Blood for the blood god!”. And well, there kind of is, so there’s that.
But aside from that though, Castlevania is actually pretty good with its comedy. Yes, you heard that right: comedy. The show does a remarkable job of interspacing drama, action, and horror. It relieves the tension without undermining or overwhelming it. It reminds me of Fullmetal Alchemist in that respect. It’s a perfect balance of comedy and not-comedy, in my opinion. Those are the hallmarks of a great show, and this is definitely no exception.
Castlevania‘s characters are all really distinct and engaging. It’s hard to do with so many characters, but the show manages, and it does it well. I’m honestly impressed by how all of the characters end up being so interesting, even the villains. Especially the villains, really. Good villains make good heroes, after all.
Lastly, Castlevania‘s ending is great. Seriously, so many great shows have mediocre, just plain unsatisfying, or even bad endings. It’s nice to see just a happy and satisfying ending to this whole series. It’s…near-perfect, is what I call it. There are some minor points, but it’s near as perfect as you could possibly have.
Castlevania: The Bad
In order to actually criticize this show, I really have to nitpick. I guess one thing I didn’t like about the ending was that one of the characters chose to commit suicide, and her significant other didn’t try to stop her. It just felt…off to me. I don’t like it when characters choose to just commit suicide instead of trying to live and fix their problems. Granted, her problem didn’t seem to be fixable barring her making herself look useful and trustworthy, but that seemed unlikely. I just wasn’t a fan of that particular ending for this character.
Castlevania is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, dark fantasy action horror series I’ve ever watched. The anime-esque art style only sells it even more for me. Interested? Check it out on Netflix now, and see it for yourself.