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Reviews WesternAnimation / Castlevania 2017

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03/14/2020 11:16:55 •••

Finally realized what was miffing me about these series.

I started seeing Castlevania every season that got out, and overall, I liked it! But there was something... weird about this whole deal, like a lasagna that you chew and think that there is something odd, but it's so wrapped in ham and pasta and cheese that you have a hard time knowing what it was...

Was it the writing? Nah, the harrowing tale of how a town is condemned to suffer because of the ignorance of the church and the apathy of the people under it, or how grief can be so maddening that destroys everything a good person stood for.

Was it the dialogues? Nope, Dracula talking with Isaac about the nature of trust is really good, and I dare you to not be touched by the "I'm killing our boy!" scene.

Was it the animation? Close, but no cigar. While the animation has its problems with flapping mouths, stationary characters and sometimes wonky scenes, it is known that the producing value is focused on the action scenes (which sadly took a hit on the third season but it still has quality).

The characters? My only problem is how Cypha keeps berating Trevor, insulting him left and right, but she isn't the focus.

Then the third season arrived, and it hit me.

The series is badly directed.

Warren Ellis is the beast behind the script, the story overall and the dialogues, but the brunt of it, pacing, selected scenes and combat is handled (as far as I know) by the director, and when you have a series with limited budged and episodes, you need to focus on essential scenes that will flesh out the characters as much as they can, right?

Then why waste seven minutes of screentime in a flashback for Godbrand that serves no purpose? I love the character, Peter Stormare is as awesome as garlic bread, but if the intent was break the monotony of the dialogues, you have a literal castle full of vampires in the middle of a war and a trio of vampire hunters. And it gets worse in the third season where there are five minutes for a character that is already dead!

Carmilla is painted as a genius schemer by the other vampires... five times. That's four times too many, and repetition such as this plagues other parts of the scenario eating precious time that could be used fleshing out characters. The party takes too long to act in a town that is obviously endangered for the sake of keeping things to the last episode, sure, the priests have numbers, but the militia has armor, experience and halberds, it would be such a one-sided fight it could belong to a one punch man episode.

spoilers ahead Who the hell stops the middle of a climax fight to show sex scenes?! Where are the bows the militia used against the monsters? And while their fights were awesome, Cypha and Trevor say that they got each other's backs to... go fight individually and nearly die individually.

Honestly, I still enjoy the series and this actually shows that a good story can most of the times surpass a bad directing. I just hope things don't get worse in season 4.

03/14/2020 00:00:00

I think you nailed it on the head: season 3 had ten episodes, but far too many arcs to cover in those ten. We have Trevor and Syphia\'s, Alucard\'s, Carmilla and gang\'s, Isaac, and Saint Germain\'s all vying for adequate attention. Sadly, there just isn\'t enough time and relevance for all of them, so the series is starting to derail from the tight focus it had in season 1.

I\'m also starting to think that the further the series deviates from being an adaptation of Castlevania 3, the more messy it becomes. Like, the games are inherently good material to work with, since there\'s a basic goal for the protagonists (Kill Dracula) but enough fluidity to spin that basic goal into unique territories. Now, what\'s the threat? What do we want our heroes to accomplish? Kind of hoping we move on to Simon within the next two seasons, if only to get that focus again.

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