Netflix’s 4 part Castlevania animated series has dropped. Being written by Warren Ellis and directed by Sam Deats, that writer name alone should get comic-book readers excited. Before I delve into why this is the best video-game adaptation in recent years it’s worth noting that this has already been renewed for a second season… a testament to its success.
The reason the show works so well is because it doesn’t completely lean on the video games lore and destroy it. Yeah you’ve got your Belmont’s, ya Dracula’s’, ya Hell’s armies and all the equipment you can crack a whip at but this isn’t forced on you. Maybe it’s because most of this stuff is already synonymous with Vampires so its easy to write but clearly there is some lore that only the games have in there. This lore is effortlessly weaved in, naturally occurring in the story when it fits, not when a reference is needed. Even the shows short length allows for easy digestion of such lore, instead of it all being on the table from the word go.
Something else that stood out to me is the first episode, unlike a video game it isn’t told from the main characters perspective (in this case Trevor Belmont), in fact the protagonist isn’t even in the first episode. Instead we get Dracula, menacing but almost human… that is until there is a 10 minute stretch of him going berserk and the R-rating of the show being earned.
Castlevania on Netflix is much like the approach they had to Voltron, gives the fans the things they want to see, gore, boss-battles (yep there is one) and the lore.
It’s just a shame it was so short, hopefully now the waters are tested season two is bigger, badder and longer.