So I watched Castlevania on Netflix this weekend

I admit I’m pretty late to the game with Castlevania. I didn’t even know it was going to be on Netflix till a week before it was available for streaming, but once if was on, I admit I binged it instantly.

Here’s what I thought about Netflix’s Castlevania. It’s ok, there’s no real spoilers.

But, wow Castlevania on Netflix!

Castlevania on Netflix was the anime I didn’t even know I was craving till I watched it. I haven’t even thought about the series since I last played Symphony of the Night on PSP, back when it still was available on physical media.

Nostalgia did hit me hard with the show, not because I was a fan of the game, Symphony of the Night being the only one I really played and enjoyed, but because I love the whole vampire genre.

Also, I’m a bit of a fan of Warren Ellis.

Yeah, one of the best aspects was that it was written by a great comic writer who excels in this type of story. I’m mean, the dude wrote for John Constantine and the Authority!

So yeah, what did I think?

Visuals

Castlevania: Dracula is out for revenge
Castlevania: Dracula is out for revenge

As an animated series, the look is probably the first thing you’ll notice. I think in terms of art, it captured what did capture my attention in the Castlevania series: the characters and monsters.

I loved the art style and the character designs.  The level of detail of the world brought me back to what I used to love about anime. Even random background characters had interesting details and to me looked like they belonged in this interesting world.

Sound

When it comes to sound, there’s two things that stand out to me, soundtrack and voice talent.

Castlevania Soundtrack by Trevor Morris

There’s something about Netflix shows and their soundtracks that makes me want to look for them. At first I just thought it was a Marvel thing, because I’m seriously obsessed with the Luke Cage soundtrack, but then when watching Castlevania, I kinda felt the urge to look into this soundtrack as well. I’ve actually found myself listening to it as I’m doing chores around the house or sketching.

 

As for voice talent, I’m a bit of a stickler. It’s one of the main reasons I can’t watch some anime, particularly if I ever watch something that has been re-dubbed. I’m looking at you Akira.

There was little in the voice talent that took me out of the show, which is a good thing.  I particularly enjoyed the voice of Trevor Belmont. His character was the right mix of arrogance, apathy and yet reluctant heroism.

Matt Frewer. AKA Max Headroom. AKA Trashcan Man AKA Pestilence AKA The Pink Panther AKA …

My only gripe was in the pronunciation of some of the Romanian city names. Just sounds weird for me to hear people with fake British-ish accents pronouncing non-Anglo names.

Oh and Matt Frewer is in it, but I didn’t realize who he was playing till the fourth episode, which is a testament to his talent as an actor.

Yeah, four episodes…

Ultimately I found the series too shor, and yet some of it could have been condensed a bit better.  I heard that it was intended to be a movie instead of a series, but if that was the case, I don’t think it would have worked as either a show or series.

My reasoning is that as a story, this series is essentially a first act. It does a great job of establishing a world and the conflict, but then it’s over. I’m noticing this seems to be a trend for a lot of modern media, in that everything is a planned series and will continue in perpetuity.

Maybe I’m old school, but I like self contained stories, even if they’re episodic.

Should I watch it?

Yes! It’s only 4 episodes, each is about 25 minutes. My hope is that if Netflix knows we like stuff like this, they’ll make more shows like this.

Now excuse me, I need to go read some Hellblazer.

Essential Warren Ellis

For more on Warren Ellis: warren ellis