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Sunday, July 30, 2017

TV Series - Castlevania Season 1

Series Title
Animation, Fantasy
I have never played the Konami game before but it is one of those games that have a really strong following and reputation, which was basically 1 of the reasons why it piqued my curiosity about the series by Netflix (it's those upstarts AGAIN). Moreover, since it only had 4 25-minute episodes in Season 1, my investment was pretty low.
Ep 1 was of course the introduction and showing us how a Vlad Dracula was made to wreak all kinds of hellish destruction to the world because the church of the city of Wallachia where they lived had executed the human wife (Yup, you heard that right) of Dracula. They claimed that she was practicing witchcraft (but was in fact science). Why was Dracula not there to protect her? Well, it was at her behest that he had gone to explore the world outside of Wallachia as a man. Ep 2 was for me the weakest of the 4 episodes as it was the slowest and least able to hold my attention. However, it was still an essential episode as it introduced 1 of the key characters of the series - Trevor Belmont, Monster Hunter.Ep 3 shows us how a wandering Trevor Belmont had come across this ravaged city community. The city is led by the "holy" men who are dead set against a small group of pacifist called the Speakers (because they adhere to the philosophy that all matters can be resolved by only speaking). However, among the Speakers is Sypha Belnades, a Magic user (grand daughter of the Speaker's Elder). She had been turned to stone and trapped underneath the catacombs of Wallachia by a giant Cyclops (with Medusa's powers apparently) as she was searching for the Sleeping Soldier, who was prophesied to save the world. Trevor Belmont destroys the Cyclops and saves Sypha.
The people have learnt that at every dusk, there will be hellish creatures that descend from the skies to slaughter humans. The "holy men" intend to kill all the Speakers before dusk, as they blame the hellish attacks on the Speakers' presence.Ep 4 Belmont had hidden the Speakers in the Cyclops' catacombs. All hell breaks lose when night falls. In the midst of it, Belmont was helping to fight off the hellish creatures and the "holy men". Due to the massive damage and destruction from all the mayhem, the ground beneath the city crumbles. It is only then we learn how powerful Sypha's magics were. She & Belmont discover a secret chamber down beneath the catacombs and we evetually learn that the Sleeping Soldier is actually Alucard, Dracula's son. Alucard are at odds with his father and wants to destroy Dracula as well. Thus the team is formed. I am quite pleased and like the concept of a Monster Hunter, a Magician and a Vampire on the same team to fight all kinds of evil monsters. It's the same reason why I loved the Van Helsing movie. Sadly, there are no Van Helsing sequels or reboots (yet).
I have to say that I quite enjoyed the series and I'm looking forward to more!

The artwork is amazing. Of course, that's because it was done by Japanese artists. Smart move by Netflix. One thing to note tho' is that this is NOT meant for kids. It can get pretty dark.

I would recommend it even for non-fans like me, it was pretty entertaining and intriguing. As I said before, the investment is pretty low, with 4 episodes clocking in at a little less than 2 hours. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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