Castlevania isn’t going to set the world on fire. It is however one of the best, perhaps even the best video game adaptation to date.
As an R rated anime series, Castlevania features gory violence, a serious storyline about religion, faith, science and magic and it has the occasional curse word.
However, while the action scenes are pretty great, it’s when Castlevania doesn’t take itself so seriously that it shines. Richard Armitage is great in the lead role, a rather self-centred, cocky individual. His one liners are great, his performance is nuanced and he’s the best thing about the series.
Graham McTavish is also good as the vengeance seeking Dracula. He carries the first episode and he does a commendable job at making Dracula relatable. He is however only in that one episode (although he might voice other characters).
This links into the biggest problem with Castlevania. It only has four episodes and two of them focus on establishing the story and the characters. This means that things don’t really kick into gear until well over halfway through the series and then there’s an abrupt ending because of it. The way the episodes end, also has me thinking this might have started out as a film, rather than a TV show. As a result, I’d recommend binge viewing the series.
The first season is a decent start for Castlevania, but I don’t know if it does enough to merit waiting until 2018 for more. It has nods towards the gameplay of the games which will appease fans, it has likeable characters, good action, funny jokes and it’s well animated. I’d recommend it to fans of the video game series, but I doubt many others will get much from it.