Castlevania (Netflix)

  • Hi all,

    Somewhat surprised there isn't already a topic on here for this, but I just finished the first season of Castlevania. I have some thoughts, and I'd love to hear all of yours as well. Overall, I thought it was pretty good, if very flawed. It was clear that this wasn't super high budget, so I'll try not to hold related issues too much against the show. Still, it's hard for me to forgive some of this stuff. The animation was at times distractingly bad, which is a shame because some of the art was actually really good. Characters' faces were really poorly animated, with unnatural (or absent) blinking, rigid and unexpressive movement, and some unnatural wooden lip-flapping. I also thought the fight scenes in general lacked a sense of fluidity that a high budget would have afforded. There was, of course, one notable exception, and I completely understand why they chose to save their budget for that fight. I also thought that they dropped the ball on the music front; this is a series known for its top-tier soundtrack, and it was disappointing how little they took advantage of that. Hopefully they throw more money behind the show in future seasons to help remedy these issues.

    That's not to say that all the flaws in the show were related to budgetary issues. I thought that the script and direction were pretty lacking at times. This was most obvious during the first two episodes, although it could be that I just got used to everything over time. I also thought that the show was way too excited about its "R" rating. The gore was way over the top, and the language also pretty excessive. I understand that this is a violent show, and that some of this is expected. It just wasn't well-implemented, in my opinion. It reeked of someone getting giddy with the fact that they were allowed to put this stuff in there, like a kid who thinks that it's really cool and badass to throw as much "mature" stuff in there as they can.

    Now onto the good: the voice acting on the whole is pretty solid. I didn't necessarily like the direction they went with Belmont at first, but he really grew on me by the end. This is in large part due to Armitage's performance in the lead role, and I think he nailed it. The show is also just pretty entertaining on the whole, keeping a nice steady clip throughout. It never felt like it was overstaying its welcome, which is something I think a lot of other Netflix shows could learn from. Finally, that final fight scene is pretty sick, and makes me really excited for the show's future.

    So what do you all think? I think it's obvious Netflix wasn't really sure what the response to this show would be, as evidenced by the low budget and frustratingly short season, but now that it's been renewed, what would you want to see different in the future? I'm especially curious to hear from people with stronger ties to the series than I have - they're way too hard for me, so I never really got into them. I do love their music, though!

  • There was already a topic for it: ;)

    Haven't watched it yet, I'll do that tomorrow! Also it's great that the second season will have 8 episodes, so the response must have been positive!

  • I agree with ALL of this. It wasn't bad but it was underwhelming. You already voiced most of my issues with the show, I think the music is what bothered me the most. It was so generic and often didn't fit the atmosphere of the scene at all, it was really jarring.

    You could tell the budget wasn't huge and thats fine, but the pacing suffered for it. Episode 2 and 3 could have been condensed into a single episode. There was a lot of unnecessary drawing out in some parts that felt like they were padding to stretch out 3 episodes worth of material into 4 without having to do more animation. A lot of characters reactions to things are timed so slowly. The bar scene lasted way too long, as did a lot of other scenes. Episode 4 left me hopeful, I think there is a lot of potential for the series but this first season was a real mixed bag.

  • I really liked it, i wont say the animation is bad, they used the budget where it was important and in many respects is a very well animated production. also great fight choreography!

  • I enjoyed it quite a lot but I think my high opinion is due to the shortness of the season. It's hard to get annoyed when it's only four episodes. I also don't have a connection to the source material beyond basics.
    It was fun enough and didn't take up a lot of my time, especially coming out in the summer when most of the shows are off, and I love Richard Armitage so that helped.

    My hope for season two though is more focus on the soundtrack, since that was missing from the first.

  • LIked it a lot. It kind of reminds me a little bit of HBO Spawn.

  • I loved it, I went in expecting something weak. Came out loving it. The story is faithful to the franchise lore starting from Castlevania 3, the animation quality was good, Trevor is likable.

    The violence isn't....totally overblown, but at least Trevor isn't one of those heroes that restrains himself on humans and goes apeshit on monsters, I generally dislike that trait in main characters, as the human antagonists can be more vicious than any monster.

    And the humor was great, many good chuckles during the bar scene and several guilty laughs during later fights (My humor is quite dark).

    I greatly look forward to how things go from here, and 8 episodes next time instead of 4, this will be goooooooood.

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  • I watched it last night and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I like the Castlevania series as a whole, I've played most of the older ones (although I'm no lore expert like Brad) so it was nice to see familiar characters. I honestly really loved all the attention Dracula was given, as we usually only see him as a final boss and that's it. The only thing that really bugged me was the music - you take a series known for some stellar music and instead of anything interesting, the score is filled with synth drones better suiting an episode of NCIS. Even the opening theme is lackluster. I realize busting out Vampire Killer could be saved for some special fights... but there's so many damn versions of it. That fight at the end of episode 4 would have been incredible with some iconic Castlevania tunes backing it up.

  • @SabotageTheTruth I think during the team up at the very end you can hear about 5 notes of a Castlevania song, but I could've been imagining it. Couldn't even tell you which one. It just sounded really familiar.

  • @SabotageTheTruth I think the music is what bugged me the most. It just sounded so generic. I wasn't expecting full on Castlevania soundtrack through the entire thing, but the music they choose seemed so at odds with the setting, to me, that it was distracting.

    I've got high hopes for the next season though, I liked more of it than I disliked and hopefully they'll have a bigger budget, and enough material to fill out 8 episodes, for season 2.

  • To me a guy who never played any Castlevania game this show is almost a 10, i love the art style, the way they introduced the characters and the music, the only obvious issue is that 4 episodes are too short, i hope they can do a Bloodborne/Dark Soul's animated series in a few years.

  • I'm similar to @A7X458 since I've yet to play the Castlevania games and I thought it was great. More telling is the fact that I rarely connect with any animated series, but the art style was inoffensive and while too gory for me, I'd give it a 9/10. Armitage was believable as always but I was a bit thrown by Gaius Baltar voicing Alucard (and got nitpicky about his shade of blond)! I enjoyed the darkness being lightened by the humour, as it might've been too much otherwise. Hmm, what else - oh, yes. The cheesey romantic banter between Belmont and Sypha was weak, and had the subtlety of a hammer for being a callback to Dracula and Lisa's introduction.
    I'm really looking forward to season two.