Castlevania, a Unique Gritty Animated Action Show for Adults
By: Victoria Hauck
I was very excited for the Netflix original Castlevania. Supernatural fantasy is squarely in my wheelhouse. I’ve rarely met a fantasy anime I haven’t liked. Give me some magic, some other worldly creatures, and some badass weapons and I’m a happy camper.
I understand that the premise of this show is based on a video game. I can’t speak to how well they executed that aspect of this show since I’m not a gamer in any way. However the concept of fighting vampires and other supernatural beings is far from original. The trailer looked pretty epic but while I wasn’t expecting to be blown away or anything, I was pleasantly surprised.
The whole aesthetic of the show makes my heart so happy. A grunge and gothic color palette with most scenes awash in blood red from the sun or firelight. Visually, it looks like Attack on Titan and Vampire Knight had a baby at Hot Topic and the show pulls it off well, very well. It’s rated TV-MA, so I was expecting lots of violence, and that’s what I got, and also heavy language. I’m really happy to have a gritty animated action show for adults; I feel like that’s an area that’s very sparse right now.
My favorite thing that I believe makes this show shine through other animated supernatural shows is that though supposedly Dracula is the main antagonist, the Church is actually far more sinister. Dracula is a sympathetic villain; sure, he raises the hordes of the underworld to destroy mankind, but before the Church went and was a huge jerk to him, he was happy to leave humanity alone. It’s the manipulative dealings and power plays of the corrupt papacy that really drive the plot. The heavy religious tones of the show come to a peak when the aghast bishop asks how creatures of darkness can enter the house of God. The demon scoffs saying that God does not live here and hasn’t for a long time; apparently the creatures of the underworld feel perfectly at home in the building. It’s one of my favorite scenes in the show. I just love it when the supposed bad guy really isn’t the bad guy.
Trevor is the best protagonist of all the shows I’m watching right now. He’s amazing, he doesn’t give a crap, he’s funny, a begrudging hero and I love him, that’s all I have to say. Just watch the show.
Castlevania is only 4 episodes long. I want more and I don’t want to wait, but I’ll have to. Luckily the show has great rewatch-ability. I’d highly recommend it. The show still has some growing to do, some wrinkles to iron out but for only an hour and half run time, I was pretty impressed. You need some vampire hunting in your life, right? Of course you do, check out Castlevania.