The video game franchise centering around monsters, labyrinthian level design, incredible dialogue, and beautiful artwork known as Castlevania has a new show on Netflix and critics are absolutely loving the demon-slaying show. Set in the Wallachia region of Romania in 1455, the story opens up as we meet Lisa Tepes who wants to be a doctor but becomes frustrated with the time period’s deep belief of superstition, ironically enough she goes and seeks help from the famous undead vampire lord himself Dracula. The two negotiate and come to an agreement and Lisa is allowed to use his laboratory.
However, twenty years later the same people Lisa wanted to help deem her science witchcraft and burn her at the stake in the town of Targoviste. Unbeknownst to the people, the agreement between Lisa and Dracula was that Dracula would live as a man according to Lisa’s wishes and eventually they married. Enraged that the townspeople had killed his wife who had only wanted to help them, Dracula gives the humans one year to settle all of their affairs and make peace with God before he destroys them, the town, and eventually humanity itself. The show was scripted and executive produced by Warren Willis who has written comic books, movies and novels and the show is true to the British scribe’s work along with what has defined Castlevania over the years. One of the main characters, Trevor Belmont from Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, is the last of a monster-hunting family who agrees to save a woman named Sypha who has gone in search of someone who could stop Dracula and his demon hordes, readers of Ellis’ previous work Transmetropolitan will recognize elements of his writing where the church has underlying evil intentions and manipulates the townspeople into following them.
This theme actually fits well with Castlevania as persecution by the corrupt church has always played a part in the video games, Dracula was no longer a threat to humanity until the supposed holy men of the church persecute anything scientific and see it as going against God and being the work of the devil. In particular, it is a corrupt bishop who is not only responsible for the execution of Lisa, but also responsible for Trevor Belmont’s family being exiled and Sypha and the order which she is a part of known as “Speakers” being killed as scapegoats due to being blamed for the appearance of the demons and angering Dracula. Execution, deceit, corruption, and manipulation are key themes throughout the show and coincide greatly with the action and drama. The show’s beautiful anime-like animation done by Powerhouse animation studio provide an amazing visual experience for viewers. With the show’s solid plot, amazing animation, and nostalgia for Castlevania game fans, Castlevania is sure to be one of Netflix’s biggest hits.
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons