For fans of the supernatural genre, Castlevania has it all – Vampires, Monsters, Monster Hunters, Magicians and Sorcerers. Based on a video game and manga of the same name, the story is about the vampire Vlad Tepes exacting revenge on the citizens of Wallachia for executing his wife, Lisa. Causing mass genocide by unleashing all kinds of horrifying monsters into Wallachia directly from hell itself, Trevor Belmont, a monster hunter attempts to stop him in his tracks.
There are many positives to talk about in this anime inspired cartoon, including the voice acting, story-telling, character design, aesthetics, and animation.
As it is an American cartoon, the voice acting is perfectly casted and incredibly well done with believable performances all around, reminiscent of Hellsing Ultimate (another anime about vampires). The realistic art style supports the mature tone of the series which is already riddled with gore and violence.
The storytelling is immersive and can make you feel like you’re playing an rpg video game as the main cast visit different locations and interact with the local residents discovering new information and challenges they must overcome. This is quite intentional as the cartoon was primarily adapted from an action-adventure game.
There is never a dull moment to be had as there are a great deal of interesting characters, each with their own goals and motivations along with concurrent events occuring in different parts of Wallachia which keeps the story fresh and compact.
While the animation can feel lazy and stiff at times, it kicks up a notch during action scenes displaying some of the most beautifully choreographed fight sequences in anime. Effects of fire, water and other elements are especially well animated and the use of lighting and colour adds a cold and grim atmosphere to reflect the severity of Dracula’s actions.
On a negative note, some intriguing plot threads I would have liked to explore more thoroughly had been skimmed through to make room for the primary story. The story can feel quite rushed as there were far too many characters to address in 4 seasons. In contrast to earlier seasons, ordinary citizens who are the primary victims of the ongoing war between humans and vampires are given no room for dialogue. Feeling detached from these ordinary citizens hurts the actions of the protagonists as their primary goal is to save these people.