Castlevania Review by Brian Wallinger

Netflix has been on fire this summer as they picked up the pacing of their self-produced content, typically to favorable reviews.  Their latest, “Castlevania” is an animated series based on the mid-1980’s Nintendo video game created by Konami.  For over 30 years, the Castlevania brand name has spawned a number of sequels and crossover entries.

The first four episodes of season one, which are based on the third entry of the iconic game series, “Castlevania Three:  Dracula’s Curse”, are now available the streaming service with each season running around 25 minutes.  They are each directed by Sam Deats.

Richard Armitrage stars as Trevor Belmont, defender Wallachia from Dracula, played by Graham McTavish.  Dracula’s wife was falsely accused of witchcraft and was burned at the stake and he is now out for revenge.  Joining Belmont on his quest to destroy Dracula and his army is Sypha Belnades voiced by Alejandra Reynoso and Alucard, Dracula’s son voiced by James Callis.

The series is faithful to the source material and should appeal to longtime fans of the game.  The animation has strong Japanese influences that perfectly depicts a gothic horror feel.  There are times where the voice work feels mediocre and cheap, but that won’t stop one from enjoying the series, especially if the first four episodes are viewed in one sitting rather than one episode at a time.  Watching the episodes in one sitting gives the feeling of a short 80-minute anime.

There are some visually soaring moments with top notch acting that really make the series worth a visit.  The level of detail might require a second viewing.

The production of season two has already been greenlit for a 2018 release.  The amount of animation and voice work that went into the first four episodes is worthy of a second season.  “Castlevania” opens the door for many other video game adaptations and Nintendo is out to avoid the cinematic disasters they’ve seen with their content in the past.  The fan base is out there and Netflix has a worthy creation on its hands.

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