There are spoilers in this brief commentary. Consider yourself warned.
So the current series of Castlevania has come to a close after four short seasons. There is some talk about spinoffs, sequels, and prequels, but, as of writing this piece, that all seems to be a bit up in the air. I haven’t said anything about the series on this blog since the first season, but as the story seems to be wrapped up, I’ve decided to share some more feelings.
By in large, my opinion of the whole show is a lot like my review of the first season. To quote myself, “Trevor Belmont is sexy. Richard Armitage is my bishi. I like the parts with the whips and the swords.” The writing did improve later on to the point that I was genuinely into the St. Germain arc.
There were a few things I didn’t like as much, such as the obviously-inspired-by-a-different-fantasy-show court intrigue with the vampire sisters. Don’t get me wrong, a sisterhood of vampires is a fun idea, but I think that the show didn’t use them in a way that I found super engaging. Like (spoiler alert) the way that Carmilla’s story ended with being suddenly murdered by Isaac, who literally just had to teleport in to smoosh her. I mean, yeah, he was Dracula’s best pet and wanted vengeance or something like that, but still, it didn’t feel like a good ending to Carmilla’s story. It even comes across as a bit a regressive: pious dude smashes powerful woman (implied context from being viewed by a currently living person: because female power is too scary). The rest of the sisterhood did very little in season 4, appearing basically just to say, “yeah, they still exist” (until they didn’t).
In general, there were many stories at the beginning of season 4, and they didn’t manage to wrap them together into a single cohesive idea for the finale and that kind of bummed me out. They should have let Brandon Sanderson consult them. He pulls off malarkey like that every Tuesday.
Other than those story bits that didn’t quite mesh well with the rest of the experiences, I had a pretty good time. The finales for season 2 and season 4 were particularly fun. Both delivered very well on the experience of playing the Castlevania game series translated into animation. Personally, I preferred watching Trevor’s action scenes for all the reasons I put in my season 1 review. I can see why someone would like watching Alucard, with his looking cool because he wants to and things working out because he’s just too beautiful. I was slightly disappointed by Sypha’s action scenes (although I greatly enjoyed the voice work by Alejandra Reynoso), because she seemed to suffer from a bit of “being exactly as powerful as she needs to be.” And despite not loving how Carmilla’s demise was written, it can’t be denied that I’ll never forget the imagery in the scene where she takes her final stand.
Anyway, in general I enjoyed the series. I would recommend it to anyone who’s ok with gore and has a permission slip from their mom.