The demonic and occult have always been a thing of intrigue for the civilized modern world. Since the introduction of the vampire Dracula, there have been various mentions of the same in pop culture.
However, in each case, Dracula’s origin story remains somewhat similar. Castlevania, the games based on the exploits of Dracula, has a long history of being portrayed as a video game franchise to the masses for over a decade—so naturally Warren Ellis’ latest series had piqued the fans’ interest.
So, let’s see if the anime is worth giving it a watch in our Castlevania anime review.
Castlevania Anime Review!
The plot of this is as simple as any Dracula story narrated over the years. Yet, what makes this a treat is the wonderful portrayals of the characters. The superb animation artists and the voice actors for the characters have wonderfully shown each shade of the characters over the course of the series.
To add, there is obviously the music director and the remarkable background scores for this series that makes it stand out among the various anime that have been launched recently. To elaborate on this, let’s see which are the eye-catching points of this anime:-
The Simple Yet Intriguing Story
The primary plot of this anime is simple—the triumph of good over evil and the sense of justice that drives people to work towards the preservation of the good. The story is centered around Dracula himself with all his accomplices and his vile plans. It begins when Dracula’s wife is accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake by a zealous bishop.
Dracula retaliates and declares war on the people of the city and unleashes his hordes of demons from hell. Luckily, the people find their savior in Trevor Belmont, the last surviving member of the Belmont clan. Through a series of events, Trevor meets Sypha Belnades and a few other friends, who help them ward off and destroy the demonic hordes.
A Not So Ideal Protagonist
Trevor Belmont is the last of his clan and heir to the long line of Belmonts – the monster hunters who have accumulated some ill-repute over the years. Trevor is a distressed young man who has trained throughout his life but has never received the desired appreciation for his contribution to the society—leading to a genuine apathy for the human society.
However, beneath this cold exterior lies a man with a sense of duty towards the society, a duty to clear the clan name and a really good heart. Trevor Belmont cannot stand injustice and will fight for others, often without any appreciation.
The Perfect Romance
Sypha Belnades is a force of nature. Trevor’s meeting with Sypha, although tense, slowly develops into the true sense of respect, trust, and companionship that most people desire in a romantic relationship.
Sypha herself is a powerful magician and although usually tender with others, like Trevor, she too cannot stand injustice.
The Ultimate Villain
The main protagonist of the series is Prince of Darkness—Vlad Tepes, commonly known to the world as Dracula. In this series, Dracula is the overlord of all the vampire covens and the husband to the sweet and caring Lisa.
Dracula has been, through the years in modern pop-culture, considered the ultimate villain—the one who struck the deal with the devil himself and won. To add to the physical and mystical powers of the Prime Vampire, there is obviously the Dracula’s Castle—the symbol of his power.
The castle uses various technologies and mystic elements to act as the stronghold for his vampire brethren, as also to move around in time and space.
To Avenge Love
Dracula’s pure ignorance towards the humans turned to hatred the moment his beloved wife Lisa Tepes was burned to the stake by the Bishop of Targoviste. Unlike Vlad, Lisa was a human who sought Vlad out in his isolation and started learning the long-forgotten arts of science.
Lisa was caring, and this nature of hers brought out in Vlad a sense of belonging in the world. With Lisa, Dracula had a son, Adrian. Lisa’s nature of helping others led her to help a sick town’s person with medicine, which was not available for the people in the current time. It led to her being captured by the overzealous Bishop of Targoviste and her sad and untimely death.
Being on a visit elsewhere, Vlad Dracula learned of this only after Lisa’s death and in a fit of rage brought forth the demons of hell to Targoviste to punish the people for killing a person who never did any harm to others and was also the love of his life.
The death of Lisa brought in him a certain arrogance about the human capacity to do good for others, and he started treating every human similarly—greedy and malicious. Dracula wanted to wipe out all humanity.
Adrian Tepes was considered the anti-dracula, the one who would rise to end the tyranny of Vlad Dracula. As such, Adrian came to be known as Alucard—the anti of Dracula.
Meanwhile, the whole reputation, knowledge, and achievements of the Belmont clan rested on the shoulders of Trevor Belmont. Over the course of the series, both these characters have gone through a lot to realize that their work lies in creating their own legacy rather than simply keeping that of their predecessors.
The Action Choreography
Every action moment in the series is beautifully coordinated—be it the duels, the battles on the fields or the ones where vampires and demons go on a rampage.
The fight sequences in the forest and close quarters like sewers and alleyways are particularly wonderful, as they clearly give a sense of the dimensions of the places. The fights using magic are also something that was not overdone by the animation artists and certainly demands commendation.
Clear and Simple Animation
The animation in itself is simple, without much detailing as per the artwork is concerned, yet the emotions and motions are clearly interpreted through the frames.
The lack of intricate detailing is obviously made up for by the detailed conversations and absolutely cinematic frames with specific color filters and often without any organic objects that bring a sense of gravity to the frames and the mood of the series.
Superb Sound Score
The background music, the themes from the opening and concluding sequences of the series as well as the various foley sounds that the artists have created for the demons, demonic ambience and the unheard materials are simply superb.
For the Vampire Lovers
The variety of abilities shown in the series by various vampires and their acolytes are truly worth mentioning, and a certain delicacy for any of the vampire—werewolf lovers.
Facts and Myths
Most of the incidents of the series occur during the late 1400s in the Wallachia region of modern Romania. There have been many interpretations of historical data being used in this anime series, as well as many myths from the local and surrounding regions of Transylvania and beyond.
For those who love history and are really curious about the Romanian culture of the period, it can be said that they will find the representation of the period quite accurate in terms of not only local myths and beliefs, but also the daily aspects like clothing, local jargon and lifestyle in general.
It is certainly an impressive aspect that the animators at Powerhouse Animation and Tiger Animation created.
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