CASTLEVANIA IS ANIME’S GAME OF THRONES.March 19, 2020
Fantastic. Fantastic I say. By the end of episode 9 I had decided… Castlevania season three was totally amazing. After episode 10, well I honestly can’t wait for next season
Now I’m not going to do that thing that most newbie anime fans seem to do. I won’t call it the greatest thing I’ve ever watched because it’s not. I have watched so much anime in my lifetime that I’m very conservative with my “best ever” tag.
But boy, I won’t hold back in saying that this was awesome and that it’s leading to something big. The three things that blew my mind, were the pacing and storytelling, the fight scenes and the visuals.
It just packed that punch and I dunno how to sum everything in a single article yet. I wish this were a video so I could unload all the praise within a few seconds and just move from point to point. I can’t, so review essay on just the story it is.
Oh yeah, SPOILERS AHEAD!
Now if you’ve followed the series from the very beginning (if you haven’t I say go go go go start now. You will never regret it, trust me) Castlevania is your Vampire/Vampire Hunter horror story.
When we start in season 1 everyone is in a vampire hating fever and looking to draw first blood. Vlad though is in love and living peacefully and being kumbaaye with his lovely, open minded wife…until she is killed by the church. That’s when all hell breaks loose, literally.
We saw him bring his army, make a declaration of war and just evicerate the church. As a way stopping him we saw heros rise to stop him; his own son Alucard, who feels strongly for humans joins forces with a demon hunter named Trevor Belmont and Sypha Belnades, a Magician who leaves her people to help fight off the monsters rising in the darkness.
Season One ends and they’re prepping to start their own mini Vlad hunting expedition.
Season two picks off from where it left off practically a couple of minutes later. We’re drawn into a character introduction phase where we meet Dracula’s generals and advisors and find out that poor old Vlad is grieving and wants to kill of all of humanity to avenge his wife’s death.
We watch them grow, see their motivations clash and some pretty messed up desires that lead to a lot of scheming, some surprisingly naive betrayals, some important saves and most importantly Dracula’s death.
By the end of season two the names Belmont, Belnades, Alucard, Camilla, Isaac and Hector are important because they are left standing amidst all the blood and flying guts and confusion in the season finale.
Season three begins couple of months later; Belmont and Belnades are now all lovey dovey, enjoying adventuring in the months following the death of Dracula.
Alucard on the other hand is lonely and at the brink of madness (he’s made his own Belmont and Belnades dolls and does impressions of them so the dolls can keep him company. Yep, going mad).
Their successful efforts to rid the world of Dracula’s wrath has unfortunately broken the peace that existed.
Now night creatures and humans are fighting each other and no one’s even aware that Dracula’s dead. It’s a bummer for Alucard because he’s stuck punishing himself for what he’s done while B&B have gone steady.
The season is divided four arcs for each surviving side, between Belmont and Belnades, Alucard, Isaac and Camilla and Hector along with her vampire sisters.
Belmont and Belnades end up in a town called Lindenfeld, where the Monks there, led by their leader Sala, have renounced God and are fanatics of the Dracula now. We find out they received a very demonic visitor after it attacks their town and somehow manages to force a change of heart in the Monks in particular.
They are now very strange, against the church and seem to be enlisting frightened and damaged priests that find their way into the town for some purpose.
The leader of the town, The Judge, enlists B&B to find out what happened to The Monks and what they might be up to before it’s too late.They meet a European Magician named Saint Germain, who helps them uncover what the demon who visited them did and said to them and what that means for Lindenfeld.
This arc goes the way you’d expect, B&B investigate and end up finding out about the Monk’s plan to bring Dracula and his dear old wife out of Hell and back to the living. Their plan involves sacrificing the souls of the townspeople of Lindenfeld to able to open a portal to hell in order to bring the dark Lord back.
The plan works, people’s souls get taken and some monsters come out through the portal. Luckily Saint Germain has found himself trapped in a teleportation dimension before and is on hand to help out but things don’t go smoothly and well, the ending is tragic.
Alucard on the other hand is visited by two twins from a member of Dracula’s Generals court, Cho. Sumi and Taki have traveled from Japan and after they learn of Dracula and their master’s death they stay to be trained by him in the art of monster killing.
They’re young, they’re pretty and they’ve been held captive their entire lives so they end up expecting too much from him. And He’s lonely and and expects a very questionable bond from them.
This leads to a very tragic ending, as the siblings become suspicious of Alucard, believing he is refusing to teach them how to kill vampires and Alucard is slowly losing his mind because of his isolation and their suspicion of his innocent intentions lead him to the edge of madness. Like father, like son.
The other characters who survived the mess of season two are also moving things along elsewhere.
Isaac, the forgemaster who was saved by Dracula in season 2 is looking to avenge his master and is making his way to Camilla and Hector in Styria.
He goes on a journey of self discovery of sorts while doing this; going through various people, literally going through most of them, blood, guts and all to get to his old colleagues. On the way he meets a couple of people who have an effect on him that changes his perspective somewhat.
He meets a blind merchant who at least gives him hope of some kindness left in a world that is cruel and constantly betraying him. He travels with a ship captain who gives him great advice on what his purpose is and should be now that he is his own man with his own army.
And finally he Miranda, a magician who gives him Intel on his next destination and even helps him find a source of bodies for his undead army and probably a new purpose.
He wants his revenge and to also complete Dracula’s wish but he ends up fighting a war with another Forgemaster that makes him test his will and reexamine himself and his goals moving forward.
Camilla and Hector Arc
And then the conniving master and her idiot. Camilla has captured Hector and taken him to her castle in Styria where she plans to use him to create HER army that’ll help her take over the regions left by Dracula.
She’s looking to form her own empire with her sisters Striga, Morana and Lenoore where they can rule and have their share of stable limitless blood supply for eternity
If you watched the previous seasons, Hector is still Hector and Camilla wants that obediently naive part of him.
They need him and he actually manages to complicate things more than he does last season. Linoore manages to (I say manages but it was pretty easy) get him and his potential army in line in time for the finale.
By episode 10 all the honeymoon adventure and hope is ruined by the sick realities of the hell they all helped to unleashed now that Dracula is Dead.
Alucard becomes a chip of the old block after Sumi and Taka give him hope and a little something MORE only to let it all come crashing down in their bid to learn the secrets of killing vampires.
The Judge saves the day and leaves but leaves an odd sensation of loss and betrayal because his actions to, in his words, “take care of his town” and his “guilty pleasures”. The battle in Lindenfeld has no happy ending for anyone and B&B are left as scarred and angry as Alucard in the end.
People are cruel, the series wants to tell us this. You are left wondering if they’ll meet and whether Alucard, Belmont and Belnades will fight on behalf of humanity again.
Hector, with him you’ll ask yourself how one human can make so many awful decisions and be so gullible. Camilla will get her army, but how she manages to get his loyalty will annoy you and make you hate him.
The characters alone drove the series and each of them wanting different things with somehow conflict with one another and build up the anticipation even while they’re miles apart. I cannot wait for season 4.
Before I end I need to make this very clear to you.
Episode 1-8 of this season is hard storytelling. They didn’t put too much “action” in these eight episodes, and it’s all about setting up for season four.
For those eight episodes you’re introduced to new characters and meet the old ones again. It sets up the world of Castlevania and the effect that Dracula’s death has had on the world and who wants to capitalize on it.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, is fleshed out and wants to have a piece of the pie dear old Vlad has left. And beautifully, every arc we see has a set up that pays off in the end; where every motivation is examined and the strong ones survive to leave an impression on you.
You get twenty minutes of a war in a episode 9, literally a whole episode of Violence, Sex, Nudity and some Strong Language and episode 10 caps it off with half an episode of fighting and payoff, leading to events of the next season.
You will enjoy this. It’s an easy 4.5/5 🌟 s