A Horror Fantasy Epic: Castlevania Season 2 Review

by Tito W. James

There was a time a decade ago when vampires were everywhere in pop culture. The popularity of vampire stories was only matched by their lack of quality. With Castlevania, writer Warren Elis has put a stake through the heart of vampires as an emo adolescent cliché and resurrected vampires to their smartest and fiercest form.

Castlevania Season 2 doubles the number of episodes from Season 1 and treats audiences to more action, intrigue, and character development. Trevor Belmont, Alucard, and Sypha seek magical means to defeat Dracula on the old Belmont estate. Meanwhile, Dracula furthers his war on humanity by assembling an army of vampires from across the globe. Vampires and humans join forces–each with their own perspective on Dracula’s war and their own reasons for aiding or dethroning the Vampire King.

Some have debated whether Netflix’s Castlevania is a true anime because its writer and director aren’t Japanese. To this end, I’d say that Castlevania is an anime where it counts. The show is richly animated, mature, and tells a very human story about immortal entities. Castlevania is also a breath of fresh air in that we are told a story for adults with adult characters instead Anime High School archetypes.

Dracula has been my favorite character since childhood. I’m very picky when it comes to interpretations. I can confidently say this is the best one. This is Dracula at his most powerful, most frightening, and most empathetic. As a horror fantasy, as an anime, as a successful video game adaptation, and as a vampire story Castlevania is a triumph.
Fans can expect a third season of ten episodes. Castlevania producer Adi Shankar is also developing an Assassin’s Creed anime for Netflix.

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