11

Warning: spoilers

Castlevania has been one of my favourite animated series in recent years. I love the strong female characters and I'm particularly in love with Striga this season, I wish she and Morana got more screen time. I thought the scene with her day armor was incredible! My partner and I watched the new season together and I think my incessant fawning over her has made him question my straightness.

I was a bit disappointed with the direction they chose to take with Carmilla's storyline, namely the trope of the man-hating woman going off the deep end. Also disappointed with what happened to Lenore... like, why? She had no reason to do what she did at the end. It felt like it was just sprung on us out of nowhere because the creators had no idea what to do with her character now and just came up with a convenient and unoriginal way to get rid of her. Overall, it felt like the Council of Sisters' storyline came to a premature end when it had barely begun.

Nonetheless, I thought the finale was great. I didn't at all expect the return of Lisa and I'm pretty thrilled about the next season.

What did you think?

Edit: I just found out there won't be a next season!!! Wtf Netflix?

Warning: spoilers Castlevania has been one of my favourite animated series in recent years. I love the strong female characters and I'm particularly in love with Striga this season, I wish she and Morana got more screen time. I thought the scene with her day armor was incredible! My partner and I watched the new season together and I think my incessant fawning over her has made him question my straightness. I was a bit disappointed with the direction they chose to take with Carmilla's storyline, namely the trope of the man-hating woman going off the deep end. Also disappointed with what happened to Lenore... like, why? She had no reason to do what she did at the end. It felt like it was just sprung on us out of nowhere because the creators had no idea what to do with her character now and just came up with a convenient and unoriginal way to get rid of her. Overall, it felt like the Council of Sisters' storyline came to a premature end when it had barely begun. Nonetheless, I thought the finale was great. I didn't at all expect the return of Lisa and I'm pretty thrilled about the next season. What did you think? Edit: I just found out there won't be a next season!!! Wtf Netflix?

8 comments

[–] crlody 2 points (+2|-0)

So good, I never even played the game but love the show, kinda like how I never saw the karate kid movies but I love cobra kai [the show]

[–] terventer_magister 1 points (+1|-0) Edited

Never played the games but was interested in watching the animated series. I did really enjoy some aspects of it but was somewhat irked by others.

P.s. it seems that Warren Ellis's gross creepy behaviour may have prompted Netflix to get the series tied up swiftly, which may explain why this final season came across as rushed and unpolished.

Some of the highlights for me:

Isaac finally determining what kind of person he wanted to be, which IMO somehow integrated how loving he was as a youth with adult insight / maturity to recognise the flaws in Dracula (someone he deeply loved and respected) and develop his understanding of humanity and the world, and being able to forgive Hector for them to peacefully disengage from conflict and work together once more. Absolutely loved Isaac's VA performance - capable of emotion but mostly meditative, serene and regal. His polite comment basically saying 'don't let this annoying greasy asshole contact me again' re Varney to his mirror made me LOL.

Alucard's despondent sobbing at the grief and loneliness of losing his mother and being forced to kill his father and following his seduction / reluctant slaying of Sumi and Taka will always make my eyes water. But Alucard finally getting a well-deserved sense of belonging, happiness, genuine love and trust in friendship and community was so satisfying; in fact, the relationship between him, Sypha and Belmont = just thoroughly touching and wholesome. So happy that Sypha has not only the baby, but Trevor survived too!

I loved Germain up until Season 4. But it irked me how he changed from a pretentious and snooty but decent, caring and witty man into a morally bankrupt idiot who let his dick do the thinking. The rapid deterioration of his moral fibre came across as jarring. I did however love the development / repercussion of his terrible choices which caused his lover to silently disown him in his dying moments. Her silhouette facing him directly for a long moment, motionless - not reaching out in an attempt to soothe him nor reunite them, seemingly conveyed a sense of disappointment and disgust 'How could you do all of this to see me? You're not the man I knew and cared about' before she turned away. Sure, Germain did try to rectify his mistakes but he got a lot of good people killed for an utterly selfish goal.

The bickering but ultimately stanch, affectionate and loyal friendships between the Council of Sisters - loved it, and the genuine loving lesbian relationship between Morana and Striga. Even though Carmilla had gone mad (seemingly due to her traumatic past with men taking things from her, her ambition becoming wilder and the sisters being scattered) was a threat to the living and needed to be removed, I still felt sad for her at the end. I get weirdly emotional when characters with strong convictions who don't have a place in the world lose their sanity and would rather die on their own terms than die at another person's hand. Mata Zyndu from Ken Liu's The Dandelion Dynasty springs to mind - I hated how fanatical, ruthless and self-righteous he became, but still grieved for how he died. IMO Lenore's suicide made sense for her experiences and realisation: she'd lost her place as a diplomat for a vampire nation and become a nobody; lost Carmilla to Isaac and Hector joint efforts; Morana and Striga never returned; she mentioned how vampires hate change... and she pretty much experienced severe upheaval which stripped her of everything she actually cared about. To add salt to the wound, her only companion was Hector - once a pet, but now her caretaker / overseer in a small confined space for the rest of her existence. Oof. I thought it was sad but kind of nice how at peace she was in her final moments - she didn't flinch or scream in agony as the sun set her alight, quite unlike the other vampires who got exposed - presumably because she willingly gave up her vampiric lifestyle.

The voice-acting in general was terrific, and I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite because the VAs' performance was immersive and therefore enjoyable. i.e. They sold the characters they portrayed. Also, the animation and character designs - gorgeous or else memorable and freaky.

My favourite characters would probably have to be Alucard, the Elder Speaker, Isaac, Sypha, Morana, Striga and Miranda. He was kind of flat but I quite liked Dragan - loved the Middle Eastern (?) theme it played before his final battle, appearance, mannerisms, voice and his reserved demeanour. The man was ridiculously huge compared to everyone else lol - like a Qunari. Seriously speaking, he could have done with lines hinting at his motives to give him a more rounded personality - Varney and Ratko got it. The vampire witch quartet were pretty intriguing too - would have liked to see and hear more of them too.

As for what made me smh... how did Hector go from being utterly miserable and despondent at being betrayed and turned into a sex-slave / used and abused by Lenore at the end of Season 3 to chummy, joking and relaxed around her in the first episode of Season 4. Apparently only six weeks had passed in universe but am not 100%? Germain's lover not having a name or a voice - maybe it was unintended but it came across that although she may have liked him, he was way more into her while she was enjoying life as an explorer / adventurer. Also, Germain rapidly changing from a benign trickster to a completely amoral dickhead... sigh. I'm glad that Dracula and Lisa are out of hell because they do deserve some measure of happiness but am iffy on them being restored to life (not helped by Dracula's rage and the amount of disproportionate gory slaughter which ensued) - it will be interesting to see how they're handled in future projects.

The script-writing wasn't great at times - either too repetitive (I recognise that repetition is useful at times in a narrative or description but not how it was used in-show) or excessive swearing which didn't add to the narrative. It came across as juvenile and uninspired and spoiled what had been a great scene.

Otherwise I'm glad I watched it as the positives outweighed the negatives for me. :)

[–] Poppy [OP] 1 points (+1|-0)

I agree with most of your thoughts! Lenore's suicide was really unexpected to me and I suppose just felt unwarranted, though looking back I can see how losing the council and her place in it could mean no future in her eyes. She was already feeling like she had lost her purpose with her diplomacy role no longer being needed even before the council was gone, but I still can't help feeling like her storyline was wrapped up in a rush and somewhat clumsily.

On the topic of excessive swearing, Ratko's "fuck your eyes" to Trevor in his last moments was a wtf moment for me. I don't know if it's just my being a non-native speaker, but I had never heard the expression before and thought it was completely weird and ridiculous.

And wow. I had no idea about the accusations against Warren Ellis. I'm just reading about it now. Over 60 women have come out accusing him of abusive an inapproriate behaviour, and apparently lying about his relationship status and being in nearly 20 relationships at one time. Like almost all the other creeps who have been exposed in recent years, he came out with a pathetic response to the effect of "I was ignorant and didn't know what I was doing is wrong." I want to say I'm disappointed, but abusers turn out to be involved in like half the media I enjoy. It's just depressing how pervasive the issue is.

[–] Lilim 1 points (+1|-0)

I dropped Netflix a few months back because there wasn’t much new on. Understandable for ongoing series due to the pandemic but even the older movie section was stale. Mind you, I’m in Canada and we get a quarter of what the US gets for the same price. Might get another month just to watch this and a few other new things recommended to me.

[–] Tez_Morena 1 points (+1|-0)

I'm re-watching since the beginning in preparation for the new season. I just finished season 2 and looking forward for the next.

Other female characters I like: In season 1, I like that Alucard's mother is shown as a smart and compassionate woman, a doctor, interesting and brave enough to attract Dracula. I can say that in season 2, I like that Carmilla is portrayed as an ambitious woman trying to make most of the chaos, similar to Little Finger in Game of Thrones.

I'll comment more once I finish.

[–] IronicWolf 1 points (+1|-0)

I really loved the previous seasons but this just didn’t do it for me. I hated the ending: all happily ever after. I never took to Sypha. Alucard becoming all good and opening up the castle just made me roll my eyes.

I do not like Dracula and Lisa’s love story. It played into the harmful trope that even the most evil man can be cured by the love of a woman. This is responsible for so many women flocking towards ‘bad boys’ and abusers and idolising serial killers. It is garbage. Women are not rehabilitation centres for broken men. Bad men don’t just need a woman to love them to cure them.

[–] FireproofWitch 1 points (+2|-1) Edited

There’s a new season of Castlevania? 👀 Time to binge seasons 3 and 4, I suppose.

[–] Poppy [OP] 2 points (+2|-0)

Yeah, it came out a few days ago! Apparently, there won't be 5th season though. :(