Castlevania Season 1 is a Netflix original anime series, based on the popular Konami video game Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, which was released in 1989. It is produced by Powerhouse Animation Studios, directed by Sam Deats and is brought to Blu-ray in the UK for the first time courtesy of Anime Ltd.
“Don’t hurt them. They don’t understand. I know it’s not your fault, but if you can hear, they don’t know what they’re doing. Be better than them, please.”
It’s the year 1455 and in Wallachia a young woman named Lisa (Emily Swallow – The Mentalist, Supernatural) wants to become a doctor. In Europe at this time however, any form of science is considered to be heresy and so she turns to Vlad Dracula Tepes (Graham McTavish – Lucifer, Aquaman), a vampire with extensive knowledge of the sciences.
He is fascinated by her boldness and agrees to help her and eventually the two fall in love and marry. Their joy proves short lived and twenty years later, her scientific equipment is discovered in the town of Târgoviște by the Bishop (Matt Frewer – Altered Carbon, Orphan Black), who has her burned at the stake as a witch.
Distraught and enraged, Dracula appears to the Bishop and tells him that he and the people of Wallachia will have one year to make their peace before he returns to wipe them out in revenge. They fail to heed and so a year later, with an army of demons, the land of Wallachia is ravaged.
Enter Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage – Hannibal, The Hobbit trilogy), the last remaining member of a family of vampire hunters. Despised by the church, he is more in practise at drinking than fighting, but when he comes to the town of Gresit and meets up with a group of Speakers in search of what they believe to be a saviour somewhere in the catacombs, he decides to join their cause.
Castlevania is a very entertaining anime series. I haven’t played any of the video games, so I can’t draw comparisons there, but it is well written with a brilliant cast of voice actors. The animation style shows heavy Japanese influences, reminiscent of Vampire Hunter D and is glorious to look at, with its towering gothic buildings and buckets of blood and guts.
My one complaint would be that this is a 15 certificate and given the language and adult content it would seem more suitably an 18. That said, it’s great fun, the script is very amusing in places and although short, these first four episodes make a great lead in to the rest of the story.
Well worth adding to your anime collection.
“My family committed no crime. You people simply decided we were wrong to defend this land against the supernatural.”
Castlevania Season 1 is available to buy now on Standard Blu-ray.