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Why Netflix’s “Castlevania” Series is the Greatest Video Game Adaptation

Why Netflix’s “Castlevania” Series is the Greatest Video Game Adaptation

See a Show That Actually Understands the Original Source Material

Video game adaptations, whether they be movies, shows, etc, have been all over the place. It seems for every good adaptation, there are ten more bad ones. With that being said, things are starting to take a turn for the better, with adaptations becoming more well-received by both critics and audiences alike. One method that seems to be working is adapting the game through a television series, therefore allowing more time to flesh out the story and characters. One show that did such a thing and did the best at it is Netflix’s Castlevania series (2017-2021).

The Show Follows Plot Beats From the Original Game

The series’ first two seasons adapt the third Castlevania game, Dracula’s Curse, wherein it follows Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage) who is a monster hunter, Sypha Belnades (Alejandra Reynosa) who is a magician, and Alucard Tepes (James Callis) who is the son of Count Dracula (Graham McTavish) as they all go on a journey to get rid of the Count once and for all. Not only does the show take the initial premise of the game, but it also adapts key moments from it as well. Certain interactions and character introductions are taken straight out of the game. In the later seasons, the show takes elements from other games in the franchise, most notably Symphony of the Night, which expands upon Alucard’s backstory. Although the show is not a one hundred percent adaptation of the source material, with some people comparing it to how Disney adapted popular fairy tales into movies, it still has the core story elements of the games while still doing its own thing.

The Characters Are Compelling and Distinguished 

Of course, a show is nothing without interesting characters, and fortunately, the characters in Castlevania are well-defined and engaging to watch. Whether it’s the witty banter among the main trio, the dynamic between the various vampire factions that are present throughout the series, or even local townsfolk the main characters will run into, they each leave an impact and aren’t one-sided. Trevor can be often cynical but is one of the first to step into action. Alucard can be cold and distant but does show compassion towards others. Even Dracula himself is fleshed out pretty well by highlighting the more tragic side of the character, showing he isn’t a stereotypical mustache-twirling type of villain.

Why Netflix’s “Castlevania” Series is the Greatest Video Game Adaptation

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The Action Scenes Do a Good Job at Keeping the Viewers’ Eyes Glued to the Screen 

Although this series is animated, the action scenes are arguably better than many live-action films or shows. Not only are they well-animated, but there is lots of variety in how the characters fight. Each one has their unique fighting style to better differentiate them from each other, thus leading to more creative action sequences. Not to mention, the fighting can be extremely brutal. The show has real stakes and isn’t afraid to have a character get seriously hurt. The final battles with the villains are among the best fights in the whole series, most particularly the fight between Trevor and Death (Malcom McDowell) in the penultimate episode of the show feels just like a classic video game boss fight. 

The Animation is Visually Striking

What really drives the show is the animation. Many scenes, particularly ones set at night, retain the classic gothic look of the games. It helps give off a very creepy vibe. There are also some more brightly lit and colorful scenes which do a good job contrasting the darker moments. Then, of course, are the action scenes which, as previously stated, are incredible. The aforementioned battle between Trevor and Death is one of the best animated fight scenes ever made. 

What Comes Next

Although Castlevania ended after four seasons in 2021, the show is getting a spin-off series, Castlevania: Nocturne following the descendant of Trevor, Richter Belmont (Edwin Blumel) that is set to premiere this month on the 28th. Hopefully, more video game adaptations in the future can follow Castlevania’s footsteps. Maybe the bad reputation that these adaptations get will be a thing of the past. The entire Castlevania series can be watched on Netflix.

Why Netflix’s “Castlevania” Series is the Greatest Video Game Adaptation

Castlevania Season 4 (2021) Official Netflix Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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I am from Michigan. I am a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University majoring in Film Production with a minor in Media Production.

Cailen Fienemann is a current student at Le Moyne College pursuing her BA in English and Communications with a film studies minor and a creative writing concentration.  Though uncertain about her career end-goals, any job that allows her to write is a cherished one indeed.