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How Castlevania On Netflix Became One Of The Best Video Game Adaptations. Ever.

Castlevania is an anime series that has consistently topped the critics’ ‘best of’ lists. It was originally one of the first Netflix anime ever, and upon the end of its series, remains its best. Especially considering that endings are hard to land. The build-up to storylines, character plots, and larger arcs is hard to resolve in a way that is satisfying to audiences. But with four seasons under their belt, creators Warren Ellis and director Sam Deats masterfully create an ending to the show that goes beyond just ending the stories. But the overall vibe and atmosphere leave audiences with a sense of closure, that few genre fictions can do. Find out just how the series became one of the best video game adaptations in this Castlevania series review.

Please note that the following will feature major spoilers for the entire Castlevania franchise, including the recent Castlevania: Nocturne.

Castlevania Series Review Succeeds In Its Storytelling And Thematic Consistencies

Castlevania series review Dracula.

Image via Netflix.

The thematic tone of Castlevania has differed through its seasons. Season 1 was an action-packed introduction to the world and its few characters. The second season slowed things down to a crawl with a lot of new characters and the personal motivations of each. Season 3 combined both aspects into a more general season, full of newer, otherworldly concepts. So it’s a feat in and of itself that Castlevania season 4 blends all those tones and themes into a massive season that is as deep and substantial, as it is jaw-droppingly full of epic action sequences.

As with any series, the Castlevania series finale had the daunting task of reconnecting the separate storylines of its lead characters Alucard, Trevor Belmont, and Sypha. Not to mention adding in even more subplots that drove these characters together. This also meant more characters, some revealed to be as mythically infamous as Dracula himself. But director Keats crafts the story with equal parts exposition and world-building, and some of the most cinematic visuals and set pieces I’ve seen ever in animation.

How Alucard’s Story Doesn’t Go The Usual Villain Turned Anti-Hero Route

Castlevania series review cast.

Image via Netflix.

Season 3 saw Dracula’s half-human, half-Vampire son Alucard (James Callis) as a lonely, depressed man. In season 1, Alucard was the ace-in-the-hole surprise; the son of Dracula as the mythical hero to defeat Dracula himself. And they did it again in the Castlevania: Nocturne season 1 finale. By the end of season 3, he became bitter through a new betrayal. The season hinted at Alucard’s future being as dark as his father’s, but thankfully, Castlevania season 4 doesn’t go that route. Ultimately he finds redemption.

The series throughout was able to give the character internal conflict, worrying about following in his father’s legacy and then choosing the hero route. It’s a great arc for a character on the brink of darkness. Finding a purpose with new characters and a new mission, allowed Alucard’s story to have meaning, without devolving into a villain’s story. Which is a trope that is all too easy; the good-at-heart anti-hero turned villain due to tragedy. Castlevania finds a proper ending to Alucard’s story, one that honours his human heritage and doesn’t undermine his character’s arc through the series.

Trevor And Sypha’s Love Story Is For The Ages


Image via Netflix.

One of my favourite things about Castlevania is the relationship between monster hunter Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage) and magician-monk Sypha Belnades (Alejandra Reynoso). With an unconventional love story, season 3 saw the two slightly worn down after the events of that season. The Castlevania series finale picks up their story right from there, as the constant adventuring and killing of monsters begins to take a toll on them personally. Initially becoming close to one another due to their shared moral values of wanting to save the world, going from unwinnable fight to unwinnable fight wears thin for the couple. But their relationship is never hurt by it.

It’s one of the best and worst things about Castlevania. Their relationship is awesome to watch, as the characters as a romantic couple still stay true to their respective, individual character traits. Which makes them all the more delightful. The worst part is that in a series with multiple story arcs, we don’t get nearly enough of their love story as I would like. This is a weird criticism coming from me, but a testament to how good their storyline and chemistry are. It’s even more awesome to see how their union bred an entirely new line of monster hunters, as we got to see in the sequel of Castlevania: Nocturne.

Epic Action Sequences That Transcend Its Medium

Castlevania series review poster.

Image via Netflix.

I’ve been constantly impressed by the action sequences of Castlevania since season 1. But the final season really amps it up with some epic and cinematic sequences. One of the best is Vampire warrior Striga (Ivana Milicevic), suiting up in ‘day armour’ and taking out a bunch of humans in the bright light of day. Not to mention the humungous fight scenes in the end that were just non-stop heart-pumping extravaganza of blood. And no season of Castlevania is complete without Trevor getting a new weapon, of course.

Castlevania Series Review Is Full Of Spoilers


Image via Netflix.

Castlevania begins with the relationship between Dracula (Graham McTavish) and Lisa (Emily Swallow). The violent end of that relationship is what opens the entire series, with consequences that have spanned all its seasons. So it’s incredibly heartwarming that, out of the depths of hell, those two still end up with a happy ending. And while a lesser show might have left things on a bit of a cliffhanger, implying more to come, Castlevania doesn’t. The show definitively ends the story, while resolving a plot point that honestly, didn’t need to be resolved. But the show is all the better for it.

The entire Castlevania series is a testament to dedicated storytelling, having the courage to lean into its deeper and slower moments, while also not holding back on the outrageous action. It’s a seminal work of anime and is deserving of all the accolades that it’s sure to get in the coming years as it continues to become a cult hit. Powerhouse Animation is undoubtedly one of the best animation studios of the medium, solidifying its status in the industry with one of the best anime ever.

All seasons of Castlevania are now streaming on Netflix.

How did you feel about the Castlevania series? Let me know in the comments below. Or follow me on X (Twitter) at @theshahshahid to talk about more Castlevania or anime in general.

How Castlevania On Netflix Became One Of The Best Video Game Adaptations. Ever.
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