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Castlevania | Animated Series | S1 - S4 Review


Wow, I don't even know where to begin! I think I saw this series a lot in passing, but never really gave it the time of day. But surprisingly, it is perfect, and I regret not starting it sooner. I think this series did a REALLY good job reeling me in from the very beginning. So what is Castlevania even about you ask?


For starters, it was actually inspired by a video game. Well, I believe it was inspired by two video games - Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse on the Nintendo system, and Castlevania: Curse of Darkness on the PS2. And for the most part, Castlevania is about an angry vampire and a vampire hunter trying to stop him. At least that's how it started; it's a little bit more to the series than that seeing as we get multiple perspectives. Anyway, the angry vampire I was referring to in particular is named Dracula and he has a pretty good reason to be angry.


The story behind Dracula and his wife, Lisa, was a touching one but ended quite tragically if I must say, and was his main reason for basically waging war on humanity. Lisa was basically accused of being a witch and unfortunately, she was set on fire. But I must say making Dracula angry was a HUGE misstep.


I mean setting someone on fire is wrong PERIOD, but maybe not do it to the wife of DRACULA?!


Anyway, let's get into things, I'm going to try to review things as organized as possible. I'll kinda touch on a little bit of everything in the order that I remember seeing it and the things that interested me more. Then, if needed, I'll go into more depth later on.


Trevor Belmont and Sypha


Remember that Vampire Hunter I mentioned earlier? That would be this guy right here.

I believe the first time we saw Trevor was in a bar, so from the get-go we were made aware that Trevor enjoyed a drink here and there. Later on, we learned that he belonged to the Belmont lineage and is the only one left. His family fought the weird creatures and demon-like beings that showed up, doing a really good service to the people for years; however, they were cast aside by the church. As the church claimed that they were killing God's creatures or something ridiculous along those lines.


No surprise that the Church was later revealed to be pretty corrupted and twisted. Especially back in that time period when witchcraft was feared and there's probably still some corruption even today. There are a lot of good people in every place and occupation you can think of, but there are also a few that are a little warped not too far behind, unfortunately.


On the other hand, we have Sypha, who is a Speaker Magician, and I have to say I'm impressed with her as a character. She carries herself so well that she was able to fight alongside Trevor and Alucard as an equal against Dracula. I know that probably sounds weird, but in anime, I typically see female characters treated as damsels in distress or simply left in the shadows and forgotten about altogether.


Launch from DB is a really good example of this - we saw her in dragon ball and I don't think we ever saw her again besides that one time when she was at a bar in DBZ.


And I'm not even going to get started on Sakura from Naruto.


Anyway, the point is that Sypha was neither a damsel in distress nor abandoned; it was pretty refreshing to see. It's always fun seeing her fight and it was always fun seeing her on-screen. In addition, I have to admit that I squealed internally when Trevor and Sypha later got together because I was rooting for them the whole time. I just knew something was there and something would come of their relationship.


Lo and Behold, I was right!


Alucard's Introduction


Alucard is the son of Dracula and Lisa; so he's a half-vampire and a half-human. Not only that, his first appearance is pretty cool and we're granted a little scuffle between him and Trevor Belmont, who accompanied Sypha. At first, Sypha mistakenly thought he was a savior of some sort, but that was cleared up pretty quickly.

I will say that one thing I found pretty interesting is that Alucard takes more after his mother, and I guess a small part of me didn't expect that to be honest. I'm still not sure why.


Anyhow, Dracula wanted to eradicate all of humanity for their crime against Lisa. It was such an evil thing to do to someone else, and all she wanted to do was help the people of Wallachia. It's extremely tragic that her good intentions and kindness were met with such evil. What made me a bit angry was that she offered to leave town, and they didn't seem pleased by that.


It was almost as if the church affiliates wanted to make an example out of her.


But even at that moment, if anyone happened to notice, Lisa was still shown to be pretty worried about what would happen to the people of Wallachia and how Dracula would take it. Lisa had even acknowledged just how far Dracula had come compared to who he used to be when they first met. And it was as if she knew that her death would spark something so unimaginably horrible.


On the other hand, while Alucard did grieve the loss of his mother, he didn't grieve it to the extreme Dracula did. Dracula was willing to commit genocide over it, while Alucard was willing to stop Dracula - even if it meant killing his own dad. I'm sure that took an insane amount of resolve because we saw just how shaken up Alucard was over it. I was honestly surprised he was able to follow through with it. I thought Alucard would hesitate, try to talk things out, or even change his mind.


But that wasn't the case.


Isacc and Hector


So when we first meet Issac and Hector, it was through the association of Dracula. I don't know how or when they aligned with him, but they seemed to bare a common enemy: humanity. I don't remember seeing much about Hector's past, but we did get to see a bit of Issac's backstory, and it is quite sad. We see Isaac being whipped by someone claiming to do it out of love. Now I can't remember who this person is exactly and maybe I missed that part. But Isaac begged him not to do it, yet his pleas went unheard. Fed up, Isaac ended up taking matters into his own hands.


As well as his eyes.


I will say, it's very clear and apparent that Isaac does NOT like humans. That is far more apparent in him than it is in Hector. We see that Isaac keeps getting shown that he is pretty much right time and time again, unfortunately. And that does nothing but deepen his hatred towards humanity.

It is a really tragic case, to be honest.


We saw this with his first flashback that granted us a peek at his past, we saw this when he was approached by several while he was in a desert of some sort (He was sent here by Dracula in an attempt to spare Issac's life). Not to mention the time he received a little magic box that had mirror fragments inside to form or reflect desires, and immediately after he stepped out Issac was confronted by the villagers. And then again when he was confronted after he went his separate ways with the Captain who managed to strike up a deal to protect not only himself but his crewmates as well.


At this point, I pitied Issac. I really didn't want him to be right, but he kinda is. At least right about the type of humans he's constantly encountering at the time.


Carmilla


So if I have to be honest, I didn't feel one way or another about Camilla's appearance. When we saw her first approach Dracula, I kinda felt like she was trying to stir up trouble a bit because she openly asked him why he never turned his wife. Among other things of course, but I think that probably was one of the questions on everyone's mind, so she was probably right in that aspect. However, I had no idea how evil this woman really was; I started to dislike her very quickly - especially seeing how she treated Hector.


Now I mentioned a little bit about Hector and Isaac earlier; Isaac was incredibly loyal to Dracula and Dracula sent him away to protect him, moved by Isaac's gesture and immense desire to protect him. As for Hector, it was later revealed that he had been turned against Dracula (rather manipulated) by Carmilla.


To put it bluntly, Hector didn't receive the same grace as Isaac did. He was treated far worse and maybe some people may feel like he deserved it for betraying Dracula. Personally, I don't think anyone, let alone Hector, deserved the type of harsh and cruel treatment that she gave him. Not only did she convince him to betray Dracula and basically defect, but she had her minions put a collar around his neck and then beat the crap out of him. If you think it stops there, you're horribly mistaken because afterward, she forces him to come along with her and tells him that he's going to spend the rest of his life using his capabilities as a forge master to create an army for her.


Enslaved and beaten, Hector is forced to accompany her to Styria on foot for miles and miles. He didn't have shoes on or anything, and there was no telling what kind of conditions he endured beyond the ones that we saw. To make matters worse, once they finally arrived at her base, Hector is stripped down to his birthday suit and thrown in a cell.


And as if Carmilla thought it would do him any justice, she instructed the others to only feed him once a day and the food is clearly moldy and bug-infested; it's disgusting and a really horrible way to treat a human being. I felt really bad for Hector. Sure, he aligned himself with Vampires by aligning with Dracula, but it seems as if Hector needed to look out for other vampires - not humans like he may have initially thought.


Lenore and Hector


I had mixed feelings about these two, especially in the beginning. And I experienced a little confusion because I felt like Lenore was just manipulating Hector and using a more "peaceful" means as a way to lure him in. After all, he outright despised Carmilla, and rightfully so. But I think I started to like these two as we saw more moments of them. I genuinely believe that they really cared for each other and I was glad Hector was able to get some form of happiness throughout this at least.


Unfortunately, we saw that this didn't last long. Isaac ended up coming for Hector and instead of killing him, he decided to come to his aide instead. Isaac said himself that he had a good bit of time to think and I'd like to think that the good people he did encounter along the way influenced the change we saw in Isaac's behavior. So instead of killing Hector for his betrayal, Isaac saw it as Hector having a moment of weakness and just being a victim of Carmilla's manipulation.


So when Isaac did arrive in Styria, after smartly gathering and forming a massive army in a village where people were enslaved, he spared Lenore based on Hector's wishes. However, Lenore did not want to live in a cage forever and took some heated measures into her own hands. So the small amount of happiness Hector was granted, seemed to be revoked again.


But at least he was alive.


Carmilla vs Isaac/The Fights


And I must admit that the boss fight between Carmilla and Isaac was amazing. Now I genuinely enjoyed all of the fights in Castlevania, all of them were exciting and gory. But this fight just took the excitement to another level. I enjoyed every second of it, even the ones leading up to it. In the end, Carmilla was a bit selfish and Isaac didn't get to deliver the final blow as she took that away from him.


But at least she was gone.


She was way too unpredictable and powerful, and that was a very dangerous combination.


Season 5?


So while I wouldn't mind a season 5, I don't think it's needed in this case. Even though I was worried for a second there, Trevor and Sypha got their happy ending. And it seems as if Alucard is working towards a brighter future and I'm happy for him; I honestly feel like he went through a good bit during the entirety of Castlevania and I think building and working towards his Belmont Village idea will probably do wonders for his soul and mind. As far as Dracula and Lisa, I enjoyed the build-up towards it as well as the thrilling attempts to bring them back and the many battles and fights that came as a result of that; however, I'd be satisfied if they just lived a quiet lifestyle and continued traveling around together.


Overall, I don't have any complaints about this series, which is probably rare of me, but maybe that's a testament to just how good it is. I think this is something that I could sit down and watch again and not be bored of it.


Unfortunately, I didn't get into every single detail I would've liked to, but I think I covered the gist and at least mentioned things in passing I liked. How did you feel about Castlevania? Was there anything you didn't enjoy? And how would you feel about a season 5? Is it necessary?


As usual, thanks for the support!


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