Castlevania - Season 1
Castlevania looks amazing and has the potential to become the next Avatar: Last Airbender, not blue fuzzies. A rather mature story with lots of gore and blood. Im rather squeamish but toughed it out because it really is excellent.
"If you enjoy anime and can deal with a bit of gore this will be right up your alley"
The first season is only four episodes long acting as a sort of pilot season with 8 more episodes confirmed “in the works”. Its a weird way to run a season but it means you can treat the first season as a movie while you wait.
The story is based on Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse from way back 1989-1992 on the NES. Admittedly I’ve never played the game or looked at anything Castlevania. Instead I was drawn to the show mostly from the fact it resembles Nickelodeons Avatar: The Last Airbender (Which is amazing). I don’t want to spoil any of it but basically Dracula is p*ssed off and the world goes to sh*t. Season 1 is very to the point, you wont find any waiting around for the story to develop. In the first season there isn’t a whole lot of action but when it starts, its on. The combat is intense and has a realistic look and vibe. Weapon swings look fast by way of the technique of dragging the weapon image out which I really enjoy. Magic and explosions are very bright and look dangerous.
Now, the animation in Castlevania isn’t as tight as it was in Avatar or any mainstream anime and I think that is to do with funding. Being a short season and it sort of popped out of nowhere, I feel its safe to assume the team behind the series were on a tight schedule and budget. Its not bad by any means but you may notice a few things here and there. Theres quite a difference in background and foreground quality. Backgrounds look painted and actors have very crisp colours which is pretty standard and its done well. A cool trick they are using is to add flickering lights to any dark background stills.
In the first scene we get to see inside Dracula’s castle with its walls lined with candles all giving off a very subtle orange glow. It really helps mask the separation of the background and at the same time reflect the darkness of the story and world. Audio quality and voice acting is excellent, further drawing you into the story. I love when audio is good and it helps hide some of the animation quirks that just come along with this half anime half cartoon style. Lots of ambient music and a surprising amount of time with no spoken audio but the time is still filled with little knocks and footsteps and other sounds that would naturally occur from walking around and interacting with an environment.
Its looking good for Castlevania. If you enjoy anime and can deal with a bit of gore this will be right up your alley.
Author: Matthew Amundsen
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