Castlevania (2017) – First Impressions

★★★★★★★★☆☆
8/10

The acclaimed Konami game series has been adapted into an animated series and it’s now streaming on Netflix. Sadly, I’m not really invested in the Castlevania Game series. In fact I know nothing of it, so for me watching this first episode was a complete new dive into this franchise.

Spoilers for Castlevania: Witchbottle – so read on at your own risk!

The episode opens up with somewhere in Wallachia in 1455 with a woman named Lisa. She’s a doctor in training wishing to go beyond human knowledge. So she seeks out the help from a being known for his immortality, none other than Vlad Dracula Tepes. Dracula becomes interested in Lisa due to her admirable personality and kindness to him. He shares the advanced knowledge he has possesion of to Lisa.

It jumps to the year of 1475 where it’s revealed that Lisa and Dracula eventually ended up together and even got married. But those happy days are taken away from them when the city of Târgoviste accuses Lisa for Witchcraft and we all know the punishment for that, do we? Death by fire.

Dracula, whom been traveling comes home only to find his and Lisas home in ruins. Enraged, Dracula magically travels to the place of Lisas murder. He declares war and states that he will give them one year to leave the city or else he will start killing every human in the region.

One year has passed since the burning of Lisa and instead of obeying Draculas command, the people of Târgoviste celebrates the act of defying him.  Suddenly the sky turns red and blood starts massively pouring down on the people. Dracula keeps his promise and start killing people along with his army of demons.

The episode ends with what seems like the lead character of this serie in a pub overhearing people blaming Draculas rage on the noble families. One of those families is hold more responsible than the other, the Belmonts. Which clearly means a lot to the lead character, as he looks on troubled. Maybe he’s one of them?

+ Pretty cool character designs. Dracula looks really burly and menacing  and who is believed to be the main character looks quite rough and battleworn.

+ Sick intro! Definitely sets up the theme of the series with its astonishing music.

+ Chilling Ost – It gives of that Van Helsing or Dracula movie style of soundtrack.

Godlike animation. Didn’t think Netflix could provide with good animateion for an anime series but they proved me wrong. 

+ Quite the sympathetic portrayal of Witch Trials back in the day – It just felt horrible seeing people in joy over torching a woman to death. 

Perfect voicecasting – Since I’m normally used to Japanese dub whenever it comes to animated series I was bummed when I discovered there was none. Now I can’t possibly imagine the series in Japanese dub, the english dub is much better. It fits and their dialects even differentiates between characters. 

– No explanation was given on who the white haired man who confronted Dracula in his castle was. As I’m not a player of these games I have no clue of his identity. Maybe it will be explained later on however.

– As the series got me hooked already from the first minutes it’s sad to know that the first season will only be 4 episodes long. 

All in all, my first impressions of Castlevania is that it has potential to be a favorite of mine. It’s dark, moody, supernatural and mysterious, exactly my cup of  tea. This episode has made me genuinely interested in the games and I might even try one of them someday. But for now, I’ll just continue watching this.

Philip V. Ferm

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