Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Castlevania is an action anime released in 2017 produced by Netflix and Frederator Studios. You remember Netflix right? The streaming service that, while they sometimes help to produce great shows like Devilman Crybaby, also have a habit of locking their shows up for months before releasing them long after the audience for them have moved onto the next season. WHY IS BEASTARS NOT COMING OUT TILL NEXT YEAR? YOU HAVE IT. JUST RELEASE IT OUTSIDE JAPAN DAMN YOU. *Ahem* The problem however with Castlevania is that it’s biased of a video game franchise, and while that’s cool and all, I am not as well versed in Video Games as some people are. I dabble like others might, I can quarter circle punch like the best of them, but if we actually want to talk about video games and castlevania specifically in a more knowledgeable manner I’m going to need a little help. Thankfully I happen to work in a studio with Video Game youtubers that I can request and or force to help me out! So follow me! No seriously follow me. TRISTAN: Hi SHANE! SHANE: Yeah? TRISTAN: Are you playing Castlevania? SHANE: Ghost and Goblins TRISTAN: Good enough. Alright, alright, alright, here.....no here. Hi everyone. and welcome to Glass Reflection where today myself and Shane from Rerez are talking about the Netflix adaptation of Castlevania. Let’s Jam. SHANE: Oh I know this one! LET'S HAM! TRISTAN: WHAT? TRISTAN: First however we should probably cover a bit of history. SHANE: Castlevania is a long running series of video games produced by Konami that originally saw a release with the titular ‘Castlevania’ on the Nintendo Famicom Disk System in 1986. Eventually it would make its way to the Nintendo NES in North America on May 1st 1987. When we talk about notable game franchises, Castlevania is among the elite. Having continued to this very day with multiple entries spanning several generations of video game consoles. TRISTAN: and pachinko machines. THANKS KONAMI. SHANE: While the creators of this show could have pulled any of the stories from the games, they decided to make something that was inspired by the games while not directly repeating the story from any one entry. TRISTAN: This is where Warren Ellis enters into the picture. In 2007, a rumored direct to DVD series of 3 animated films based off of the third entry of the castlevania series “Dracula’s Curse” was teased to the public, with Warren Ellis as lead writer. But for many years the project never seemed to get off the ground. At least until 2015 where the project resurfaced, now as an animated mini-series still written by Ellis, and then released by Netflix in 2017. SHANE: Warren Ellis isn’t a household name when it comes to Anime, but let me tell ya, in the world of Comics I’d consider him an icon. Ellis has worked on countless comic series and created and co-created multiple characters like Spider Jerusalem from Transmetroplitan, one of my all time favorite comic series. So when I heard he was on board for Castlevania the animated series, I was quite excited! But also a little worried that we would only get one season and then he might call it quits. TRISTAN: But quits he did not call it! As Castlevania made it into a second season. SHANE: Now, you might be tempted to smash all 12 episodes together and consider it one whole season… TRISTAN: But we would argue that you should NOT do that! These seasons feel distinct and have completely different pacing between each other. So let’s take just the first season and look at it a bit closer. SHANE: CASTLEVANIA - SEASON ONE TRISTAN: Can You Seriously Make Vampires Cool Again Mr. Ellis? SHANE: Twilight has long since altered the public perception of what vampires are supposed to be! TRISTAN: Sparkly hunks with big eyes and modern fashion sense. SHANE: But that’s NOT what we get here. The show opens up in Wallachia in 1455, with a field of impaled dead bodies. The tone is set right from the very start. TRISTAN: We are introduced to a young women passing through the rows of dead. She finds her way to a castle where she meets Dracula. SHANE:Who surprisingly doesn’t kill her right away- TRISTAN: And the scene ends. Ta DA! SHANE: Some years pass and we see that same women being BURNT AT THE STEAK. TRISTAN: Turns out that woman and Dracula fell in love. So who do you think might not be happy about her being burnt alive? SHANE: Well, hmm, I don’t know… maybe THIS GUY. TRISTAN: This sets the story in motion as now it’s all about Dracula getting revenge for the death of his wife Lisa. But this was all backstory, this story starts were all good fantasy role playing stories begin: SHANE: At the Tavern! With drunks! TRISTAN: Introducing our lead character Trevor Belmont. SHANE: Belmont is a drifter of sorts whose family name seems to not be the most well liked in the region. A fact of which is made very apparent by the other bar patrons. TRISTAN: Patrons who, because of his name, decide that this would be the perfect time to deliver some butt-kickery and give us just a taste of Trevor’s abilities as a fighter. Who while inebriated, still manages to have the upperhand on several grown men. SHANE:The show progresses following Trevor visiting another city that Dracula has been laying siege to. Engaging this horrible action with his army of the night. TRISTAN: Spooky dookey monsters. Big bats and stuff. SHANE:In this city Trevor meets up with a Prestest with magical powers and Alucard TRISTAN: (not that one, that one, or that one) SHANE:-who is the Son of Dracula. TRISTAN: Get it… It’s Dracula spelled backwards. Alllluuuuuuccaaaaarrrrrrddddddd. SHANE: Huh, you know I didn't actually know about that until just now? TRISTAN: You said you've played Castlevania before... SHANE: The three decide to team up with the goal of killing Dracula and ending his evil schemes. And that right there is season one. TRISTAN: Four episodes that act as an introduction to our main cast of three heroes. Who each were playable characters in Castlevania 3. SHANE: What about Grant Danasty? TRISTAN: NOBODY LIKES GRANT DANASTY. SHANE: Despite this series being based off of Castlevania 3, as you might imagine, there wasn’t much of a story to the old NES game to pull from. So largely this story seems to be Ellis’s interpretation of events, with it’s own spin on the dracula mythos. TRISTAN: So that starts…. SHANE: CASTLEVANIA: SEASON TWO TRISTAN: Still No Grant Danasty… SHANE: Our trio of merry adventures continue on to their quest of trying to kill Dracula. TRISTAN: This season expands from four episodes to eight, introducing several other characters and expands the world, backstory and universe of Castlevania far better than the first entry had. SHANE: The story all comes to a head that could almost act as a satisfying conclusion to the series itself. TRISTAN: Yeah I don’t know it almost sounds like they BEAT CASTLEVANIA 3 OR SOMETHING. SHANE: And while some people didn’t expect a season 3, we’re apparently getting one, despite the events that have taken place in season 2 that really, and I mean REALLY make you question just what that next season will be about! TRISTAN: So what do these first two seasons have to offer? SHANE: Well, they’re violent, they’re gory, and boy, did I say they were violent? Because they are violent violent. Like lot’s of violence that you might not expect kind of violence. TRISTAN: With Vampires right? They’re evil. SHANE: But are they really? The show goes on to really dive into Dracula and his cohorts where each and every one have different drives and goals, some even questioning Dracula’s end goal of ending humanity. TRISTAN: Characters are introduced like Hector and Isaac, who were pulled straight out of the video games and reflect an aspect of Dracula that is willing to commune with Humans that he feels are worthy. SHANE: An aspect probably shown off in the first season when he… you know… married one. TRISTAN: A point of contention among some of the vampires by the way. SHANE: You might expect each vampire to be viciously evil 24/7 with a mad blood lust. TRISTAN: We’re not saying that ISN’T there, cuz it IS. SHANE: But we also have some fantastic banter and voice acting from a brilliant cast. “I like boats! I’m a f***ing viking! We're supposed to make boats out of things.” SHANE: And not only is the cast list full of minor celebrities, but we also have a director who is virtually unknown, and this serves as his first and only directing credit as far as we can tell. TRISTAN: Which might explain some of the show’s pacing issues like with how some scenes end awkwardly, while others make me question their relevance. The whole narrative really seems to suffer from the fact that the first season was so short. Some parts of the story were stretched, while others were shortened to fit the two awkward season lengths. SHANE: With that being said, we don’t feel any one episodes overstays its welcome. But you do get repetitive points of dialog re-establishing ideas being brought up several times throughout both seasons. TRISTAN: So the series is not without its faults, but some of the things it does well, it does very well. SHANE: The dialog alone is a highlight, displaying the characters in a way that some of the early video games never really did. TRISTAN: Speaking of the games, you might be worried like I was that you would need to have played some of them to grasp the story. That’s a fear that I put to rest early on, as the story really does exist on it’s own with the show serving as a perfect stand alone experience.