Castlevania Season 3 Review

Disclaimer: Castlevania is an incredibly mature show, no mature themes will be covered in this article, but be considerate of its themes of gore, violence, sex, and more before watching it on Netflix. It is advised you be over the age or 18 or have parental permission to watch. 

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Castlevania is an animated video-game adaptation created by Warren Ellis (a prolific comic book/video game writer) and directed by the Deats brothers. Season 1/Season 2 of the show was met with large critical acclaim, reaching high scores on review outlets. Castlevania is one of the most successful original animated shows to hit Netflix, renewing it for a third season which recently released on March 5, 2020.

Background (Pre-Season 3)

Castlevania takes place during a dreary 15th century, with a world overtaken by Dracula and his demons. Dracula rains hell over the world after humans slaughter his beloved wife. With the world in chaos, it is up to three main characters to save humanity. Trevor Belmont is the last survivor of his vampire hunter family and follows his destiny to destroy Dracula. The second character is Sypha, a “Speaker” who is saved by Trevor during the first season, who follows Trevor on his quest to defeat Dracula. The third character, Alucard (son of Dracula), is driven by his hatred of his father to follow Trevor and Sypha. After they succeed in the absolutely fantastic second season, Trevor and Sypha split from Alucard to pursue their own ambitions.

Story

If Castlevania Season 1 was a set-up season, and Season 2 a pay-off, Season 3 is a fall-out season. It highlights the aftermath that occurs after Dracula is defeated in Season 2, while brewing up new trouble to likely be more explored in future seasons. Unlike the somewhat linear story-telling in the previous seasons, Season 3 takes a different approach and carries several plot-lines, switching from character to character as the run-time flies by.

The first story follows Trevor/Sypha/Saint Germaine. Trevor and Sypha, after defeating Dracula, travel to a quaint town of Lindenfeld. They meet several imperative characters, such as the town’s Judge and Saint Germaine. Saint Germaine is an enigmatic man with unknown ambitions, yet seems to be a man of importance. Lindenfeld’s priory is run by Dracula extremists who wish to resurrect Vlad himself. Trevor and Sypha, little do they know, entered a town filled with sinister secrets.

The second plot-line follows Alucard, isolated in what used to be Dracula’s castle. He suffers grief and loneliness, which is relieved after he meets two twins who beg to be trained by him. This story has a lot of mystery to it, so this is one story best left to viewing experience.

After Dracula fell, his council was largely defeated. Those who survived fled, and many of those survivors have mischievous plans for the future. One of the survivors, Isaac, was a forge-master (a human magician who spawns hell creatures) for Dracula, and now aims to carry Dracula’s legacy. Dracula’s main goal was to make humanity pay for their crimes with their lives, and Isaac plans to do just that. Isaac builds his hell army and embarks on a journey to find and probably kill his former council members.

There are two other surviving council members, Carmilla and Hector. Carmilla is a female vampire and runs a small vampire nation with her three sisters. Carmilla’s plan is to capture the Earth over vampire rule. Hector, a human forge-master much like Isaac, is taken captive by Carmilla. Hector is thrown in to prison and efforts are made to sway Hector to the vampire side.

There’s a lot to cover in this season, many of these being set-ups for the future of the show. Overall, this season has easily the best pacing of all the seasons. It never bores the viewer and is an incredibly easy season to binge. Castlevania Season 3 is similar to its previous seasons in one regard, the satisfying climax. Season 2 has one of the best plot peaks of any Netflix original, so Season 3 had a lot to live up to. Season 3 does an incredible job satisfying the viewer in the last couple episodes, carrying high action and shocking plot closures that’ll make the viewer think about what they watched long after they finish.

Characters

Just like the previous seasons, Castlevania spends a lot of time digging deep into the characters’ different psyches and motivations. It spends a lot of time, especially with Isaac and Alucard, picking at each character and what makes them tick. Along with building on the old characters, it introduces a lot of new ones as well. All of Carmilla’s sisters have unique attributes and personalities that make them each individually interesting. Saint Germaine and the Judge have intriguing characteristics which are revealed as episodes run by. The dialogue in Castlevania has always been exceptional, it feels surprisingly natural and gives the characters each individual spice rather than a bland flavor that some shows tend to give off. As usual, the character-building in this show is incredibly impressive.

Animation/Soundtrack

The animation in Castlevania is what makes the show so attractive in the first place. It’s colorful, gritty, and refined. The animation especially shines when action takes place, with fluid movement and satisfying blows that grips the viewers effortlessly. The action scenes are also complimented by the audio design and soundtrack. The soundtrack is composed by Trevor Morris and he returns to Season 3 with flare. Season 2’s soundtrack was fan service at its best and Season 3’s soundtrack only adds on to this wonderful assortment of tracks.

Conclusion

Castlevania Season 3 is a welcome addition to the show, building characters and providing satisfying action to the audience. Castlevania Season 2 is still among the best, but Season 3 is a close contender. Season 3 does a perfect job getting the audience ready for Season 4, which will likely be even better! Castlevania remains to be one of the best original animated television shows among all streaming services, and will guarantee a great time to both long-time Castlevania fans and casual viewers.

Score: 9/10