Castlevania is an animated series originally based on the game Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, released on Netflix worldwide. The first season consists of four episodes of 23-25 minutes each, which all premiered on July 7, 2017.
The series is based on the Dracula's Curse story, incorporating elements from other games such as Symphony of the Night and Curse of Darkness. It features Trevor Belmont as the main protagonist, on a quest to stop the evil Count Dracula who seeks to destroy humanity following the execution of his wife Lisa.
A second season was ultimately confirmed by Adi Shankar and released on October 26th, 2018, after being delayed from a July 2018 release. A third season was confirmed on June 7, 2018 and will be released in 2020.
Cast and characters
|Image||Name||Voice Actor||Description||Introduced in|
The last living member of the Belmont clan, a disgraced family of monster hunters.
The dhampir son of Dracula and Lisa Tepes, who seeks to protect humanity from his father.
A vampire who swears vengeance on humanity for the death of his wife Lisa, summoning an army of monsters to destroy all the people of Wallachia.
A Speaker and the Elder's granddaughter who wields powerful magic.
The leader of a group of Speakers aiding the people of Gresit whom Trevor befriends.
Dracula's beloved wife who is burned at the stake for witchcraft.
A clergyman who orders the burning of Lisa Tepes for witchcraft, later being named the bishop of Gresit.
A man from Dracula's Army with the power to resurrect beings.
A cruel vampire from Dracula's Army.
A lustful, Viking vampire lord from Dracula's Army.
Another Devil Forgemaster under Dracula's orders.
|A headstrong young woman seeks out forbidden knowledge, and a corrupt bishop courts disaster by enraging a legend.|
|Trevor Belmont drifts into the panicking city of Gresit, where he learns of an ancient evil and makes a surprising vow.|
|Belmont explores the catacombs of Gresit and makes a disturbing discovery. As night falls on the city, the beasts return for blood.|
|In the season finale, Belmont strives to save Gresit from certain doom and comes face to face with a shocking truth.|
|Dracula's generals gather to prosecute the war against humanity. There is discord when Dracula's human allies, Hector and Isaac, are given command of the armies of the night.|
|Trevor, Sypha and Alucard take a dangerous path in their desperate attempt to defeat Dracula. The last vampire general, Carmilla, arrives at the castle.|
|Carmilla plays political games with dark intent. Trevor and his comrades sack his childhood home for secrets.|
|Hector and Isaac take their first steps on divergent paths. Trevor and Sypha grow closer. Vampires can die too.|
|The Belmont Hold is discovered. Dracula's War Council goes to war with itself.|
|Another city is about to fall to Dracula's castle, and Dracula himself may be about to fall, at the hand of someone he thought was on his side.|
|The battle lines are drawn. Comrade against comrade, father against son and two new lovers against the world.|
|The dead are buried, friends and enemies are scattered, and hard choices are made.|
Original movie project
- Main article: Dracula's Curse Animated Movie
In March 2007, writer Warren Ellis announced that he was working on a DVD movie adapted from Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse along with former Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi. Ellis explained that as he worked with Igarashi to fit the timeline of the series, including writing a new story, Igarashi had eight rewritten pre-production materials, before concluding with a draft that he turned in August 2008.
After that, however, nothing else was heard about the project until February 2017, when co-producer Adi Shankar and Netflix announced it would be released as a series. Kevin Kolde and Fred Seibert are also signed on, as are Seibert's animation company, Frederator Studios.
The show influences has been described by the producer Adi Shankar to be from Japanese anime such as Akira, Ghost in the Shell and Ninja Scroll, as well as western animation such as Young Justice. It has also been stated by Shankar to be "R-rated as f**k", "super-violent", and to have a Game of Thrones vibe.
The series was written by Warren Ellis, who was in charge of writing the script for the now defunct Dracula's Curse animated movie adaptation. Ellis worked at Marvel and developed Hellstorm: Prince of Lies, the acclaimed cyberpunk series Transmetropolitan, and more recently the award-winning FreakAngels series. The movie Red is based on his graphic novel, Red.
Promotion and release
A teaser trailer was released on May 24th, 2017. The series was released worldwide at midnight (PST time) on July 7th, 2017.
A few hours after the release of season 1, Netflix officially announced a second season consisting of 8 episodes to premiere in 2018. In January 19th, 2018, Warren Ellis stated that the second season was to arrive in Summer 2018.
On October 16, 2018, Netflix and the American Red Cross organized together an event called "Dracula's Blood Drive", a blood donation campaign, at the Los Angeles Film School. Donators would receive exclusive merchandising and would attend a screening of episode 1 of season 2, ten days before the official release. Voice actress Alejandra Reynoso and director Samuel Deats participated to the event.
Season 2 was released worldwide at midnight (PST time) on the expected date, with all eight episodes were available immediately. On June 20, 2019, it was confirmed the series was submitted to the Emmy Awards' consideration.
On June 7, 2018, it was confirmed that the series was renewed for a third season and that production would begin in the near future. Producer Adi Shankar confirmed on October 31 that Netflix had greenlit 10 new episodes.
A brief new teaser for season 3 was shown to New York Comic Con 2019 attendees on October 5, 2019. Warren Ellis, James Callis, Graham McTavish, Ade M'Cormack, Alejandra Reynoso, Sam Deats, and Adam Deats attended the event as well.
The series was well-received by fans and critics, who praised its animation, visuals and story, while Season 1 was criticized as being too short. Season 1 received an approval rating of 80% for 25 reviews.
Season 2 received universal acclaim, with Rotten Tomatoes reporting an approval rating of 100% for 13 reviews and the website's critics consensus reading "Castlevania sinks its fangs into vampiric lore during a devilishly fun second season that benefits from an expanded sense of scale and episode tally that allows the series to fully spread its leathery wings."
Differences between the series and Dracula's Curse
- Alucard's character design was based on his recent games' appearance since Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, instead of using his classic design from Dracula's Curse.
- In the series, Alucard fights with his sword while he only had two attacks in Dracula's Curse (Ball of Destruction and transform into a bat).
- Grant Danasty and the Clock Tower of Untimely Death do not appear in the series.
- Sypha Belnades still follows Trevor after Alucard volunteers to join them in their journey to fight against Dracula, instead of leaving the group.
- Sypha keeps her hair short in the animated series. In Dracula's Curse, she is shown to have long, blond hair in the ending where she pairs with Trevor.
- Lisa was added to the plot and was given a backstory based on her appearance in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, in order to give out a more detailed tragic backstory for Dracula and better explain his obsessive hatred on humanity.
- Hector and Isaac from Castlevania: Curse of Darkness were added as a prequel side story, as well as Carmilla, who first debuted in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.
- The Speakers were added to the plot, since Sypha was their only known member in Dracula's Curse.
Season 1 was released on December 4, 2018 on Blu-Ray and DVD. The package contains storyboards, an art gallery and other special features.
On August 23, 2019, the Blu-Ray for season 2 was announced for a Fall release.
- Main article: Castlevania Music from the Netflix Original Series
The music from the series was composed by Trevor Morris. He also composed the main title theme.
The soundtrack to season 1 was released as digital download and physical CD.
- Main article: Castlevania (animated series)/Gallery
- The date when Season 2 of the series was released, October 26, 2018, coincided with the launching date of the PlayStation 4 compilation game Castlevania Requiem: Symphony of the Night/Rondo of Blood.
- Adi Shankar cites Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D and Captain Harlock as inspirations for the show's animation style.
- It is the first Castlevania media to have been dubbed in languages other than English and Japanese.
- The second teaser poster released for this series is inspired by the cover art from the original Castlevania video game, which in turn was based on Norseman, a painting by Frank Frazetta.
- Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse — The game this series is based on.
- Castlevania Music from the Netflix Original Series — The soundtrack to Season 1.
- ↑ Gematsu — "Netflix Announces Castlevania Animated Series Launching 2017" (February 8, 2017)
- ↑ Adi Shankar's Twitter — @adishankarbrand (July 6, 2018)
- ↑ Digital Spy — "Exclusive: Castlevania season 3 is coming to Netflix" (June 7, 2018)
- ↑ Bleeding Cool - "Warren Ellis on (...) Castlevania Season 3 For 2020" (November 3, 2019)
- ↑ Polygon — "Netflix's new Castlevania series is the most bingeable show at just under 100 minutes" (July 7, 2017)
- ↑ IGN — "Netflix announces animated Castlevania series". (February 8, 2017)
- ↑ Collider.com "Super Violent ‘Castlevania’ Animated Series Coming from Producer Adi Shankar". (August 25, 2015)
- ↑ Collider.com "This Week in Animation: ‘Castlevania’ Season 2 Returns to Netflix This Summer". (January 20, 2018)
- ↑ Richard Armitage on Twitter — "Back in the studio for Season 2" (July 25, 2017)
- ↑ LA Film School Official website – "Dracula’s Blood Drive Event (October 6, 2018)
- ↑ Powerhouse Animation's Twitter - "FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION..." (June 19, 2019)
- ↑ Adi Shankar on Twitter – "Castlevania season 3 just got greenlit!!" (October 31, 2018)
- ↑ Federator Studios – "Castlevania is at New York Comic Con today and tomorrow! (October 4, 2019)
- ↑ Rotten Tomatoes — Castlevania S1 reviews
- ↑ Rotten Tomatoes — Castlevania S2 reviews
- ↑ Nerdvana – "Castlevania screenwriter teases Season 2 Blu-ray " (August 25, 2019)