Castlevania Season 3 [NO SPOILERS]

Castlevania, Castlevania Netflix, Castlevania Season 3

From Netflix: “Belmont and Sypha settle into a village with sinister secrets, Alucard mentors a pair of admirers, and Isaac embarks on a quest to locate Hector.

What I liked:

  • How events within the first two seasons have shaped Trevor and Sypha’s relationship.
  • Alucard’s dolls FOREVER.
  • The action sequences (once they finally get there) are always spectacular. The framing, the cutting, the music and even the bits of humor all add up to impeccably thrilling segments.
  • Sypha is still a babe. She’s strong, funny, warm and has some cool powers. Someone buy me her action figure please.
  • The voice work is superb. Each of the main character’s voices feels so natural, almost like the actor’s behind them are just being themselves.
  • I’ve been a follower of writer Warren Ellis for many many, years and the intro scene to episode 3 feels like the most “Warren Ellis” dialog sequence ever.

What I didn’t like:

  • Speaking of Warren Ellis, he’s very anti-Christianity, and this entire series seems to be a place for him to really vilify anything church related. It’s his series and he gets to do what he wants, but sometimes hammering one specific message (whichever way it leans) can be too much. I don’t remember the games being like this. Matter of fact, The Belmonts themselves use Holy Water as a weapon and throw a Cross as a boomerang. Even in the game Aria of Sorrow, the rooms where you can save your game are adorned with a statue of the Virgin Mary. Because of his atheist beliefs, I feel that Ellis (who admits to never playing the games) does his best to get as far away from the Faith-based monster-slaying as possible just because he doesn’t like that aspect.
  • Speaking of getting as far away, I think the series isn’t much of an adaptation anymore. Sure, it still has the name, character names and some monster cameos from the game series, but it’s no longer a directly translated anime version of that popular game series that’s been around for almost 40 years. It’s about as accurate a “Castlevania” adaptation as the “Super Mario Bros” movie was an accurate adaptation of the Super Mario Bros video game series. They just borrowed names. And I’m not saying Castlevania is as bad as that ’90s Mario Bros movie, I’m just saying it’s no longer telling a story based on those games, but merely borrowing a few elements from it and making it its own. Now, I’m all for experimenting, but that experimentation should still come with being faithful to the source material.
  • The first season was only four episodes. Four episodes that perfectly balanced the drama, action and humor into a delightful package. Season two double the episode count, adding a lot more drama into the mix. Season three is ten episodes, and EIGHT of them are nothing but dialog, with the occasional mystery thrown in. Think about that: EIGHT EPISODES OF PURE EXPOSITION. That’s FOUR HOURS of PEOPLE JUST TALKING, with the last hour saved for action. Can you imagine being in a movie theater and watching four hours of people talking? You’d leave. Too many talking heads revealing too many plots and subplots had me lost at many points.
  • And the story boarding during these many dialog sequences aren’t even interesting. I’ve seen better cinematography in the Instagram stories of people I follow!
  • Honestly, I found this season to be quite boring and fell asleep multiple times.
  • Although I was awake during most of it, the show is also too heavy on all the evil themes. I seriously need to watch something light hearted for a long while.

Overall:

There are times when writers and directors are given too much freedom by their bosses, which can lead to too many ideas getting lost in the product. It’s like children who had no rules as children going completely off the rails. That’s how I feel about this season, like the pace is getting out of hand and the story is deviating too far from the source material, with no one checking in. I don’t think I can handle another season, or would even like to try to watch it.

Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production and has been published both online and in print for Los Angeles City College’s award-winning Collegian newspaper. He is also a news writer at DC Comics News. Jose is on Twitter and Instagram, and is also currently writing his first short novel.

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