Oh hey, I’m back to something that is animated but isn’t anime. Haven’t done that since the Dragon Prince Season 3 a few months ago. I suppose that I don’t watch as much western animated series as I used to. Maybe I should look into changing that for the new future. There is a lot of western produced animated shows on Netflix that I haven’t checked out. I was watching the Carmen San Diego reboot, but I dropped out when I heard about the horrible way the Filipino animators were mistreated and underpaid. You know, worse than a lot of Japanese animators? I couldn’t go back to season 2 because of that. How was She-Ra? Should I spend some time looking into that?
Yeah, I am jumping into Season 3 when it comes to Castlevania. There was a more active and better blogger talking about Castlevania at that time who basically said everything I had to say about the series. (Yes, it’s Karandi). I will do my best to write something into their place. Honestly, it feels like big shoes even for me. Yeah, I hope she comes back soon unless she comes back before this comes out. Then yay! For my quick reviews: Season 1 was a four episode, well done introduction to the world of Castlevania and season 2 was an eight episode build up with good political intrigue that I loved before the quick and explosive finale that felt well developed to that point. All good things so far since Dracula is dead now. Or are is he?
Maybe it’s strange for me to say this, but this season has been my favorite season so far. Yes, it’s a true fact. I know that season 3 is a slower, chess piece setting up season and might not be to a lot of people’s tastes. Still, I really like these kinds of seasons. Seeing characters make movements that are going to most likely have a lot of excellent pay offs. I say this because season 4 doesn’t exist right now and I can’t say anything about its quality because of this. That’s ok, I’m here for season three. That’s all that really matters right now. Even if season 4 is more then lackluster, which I don’t think can happen because the writing has been pretty good so far, season 3 is still a great on it’s own.
Season 3 is made out of four, separated or thinly connected parts. Those parts being Alucard and loneliness from after season 2, Trevor and Sypha’s adventures at a lonely out of the way village that turns to have monks working to bring the apocalypse underneath the scenes, Hector in a vampire prison with vampire scheming to take over the world and falling, and Isaac wandering the country side with his evil army of ungodly creatures and his many encounters. Each of these are very mixed in quality. One is incredible and worth watching the season only for that one, two are great and have a lot of fun build up, one is average at best and happens too fast. Going to cover those separately in a random order for fun.
Trevor Belmont and Sypha are two of the trio that defeated Dracula last season and are a well-established couple now. They’ve traveled the country side handling monsters like heroes of some sort. All of that before they head into the out of the way town called Lindenfeld. A town that seems nice and has an “interesting” mayor plus a random old guy named Saint Germain who knows what they are up to. Oh, there is also a bunch of monks whose religion has changed since a monster fell in the monastery and are continually doing more and more crazy things.
It’s a very flat sort of season where the main developments happen in the last episode and that’s ok. The intrigue of Lindenfeld and its many characters in that situation is crazy to understand. So many sorts of complicated movements, hidden things in the background that come into light later on, and an end result that finally does change one character. Sypha, our resident mage bad ass. The situation at hand broke her feeling of heroism and broke her understanding of the world itself. She now understands how Trevor sees the world. All of this happened with some really cool and creative action sequences too. Yeah, that intrigue is what keeps this arc interesting but there is nothing wrong with that fact.
Next up, the last member of the heroic trio that was left behind at Dracula’s castle and the remains of the Belmont estates is Alucard. The half vampire son of Dracula that has been dealing with some loneliness when two vampire hunters from Japan shows up. Sumi and Taka are here to learn about Vampire hunting because they expect another vampire upraising to happen to them in the future. So that’s the arc, Alucard finding a temporary end to his loneliness while training these two people from Japan in the ways of vampire fighting. If only it wasn’t so far and so contrived.
Alucard’s friendship between Sumi and Taka is really fast. At first they are best friends with each other and then at a turn of a hat, Sumi and Taka are planning on doing some horrible things to Alucard because he’s starting with lower level stuff. Not the stuff that they want. There is a lot of well directed scenes in this arc that keep it propped up more then it was. The conclusion is very hot, steamy, and powerful. Rated M for content. I can see why someone would be frustrated in that situation for multiple ways. Still, Alucard losing faith in humanity by that is a little annoying. You could have had this arc taken out and have him not appear and not much would be changed. More time for the other three parts.
Hector and his stay at the vampire villainess stronghold was pretty interesting. Not because it had him thrown in prison and slowly have a relationship formed (to as a some sort of trap) with the great vampire, Lenora. We also get to meet the other two Vampires before Carmilla from season 2. Carmilla had a larger part to play in Dracula’s death, so it’s interesting to see where she came from and how she seduced/tricked forge master Hector to work for her or die. You can say this arc is similar to last season except Hector’s prison is different now, but I can’t really say that. There are absolutely, definitive reasons here.
A lot of fun things happen in this episode. For instance, Vampiresses Striga and Morana have an absolutely wonderful relationship besides the fact that they consume human blood for reasons. I also find Lenora’s relationship scheme with Hector kind of relatable too. For instance, Hector is stupid but I can see myself in his shoes and fall for the same tricks from a sexy vampire too. Plus, the four Vampiress scheming was kind of fun and the plan coming together before they act was great as well. Too bad, Isaac is on the way. Solid story arc with some flaws. Completely believable.
Isaac’s story was my favorite part of Castlevania Season 3. It’s just so interesting despite how simple it was. As a former slave that worked for Dracula as a forge master and is now by himself, he had a fantastic and character building journey. You know, on the way to the Vampiress’ Castle to raid it. Something those Vampire sisters don’t even expect or even think about so that’s going to be a fun surprise for them. He faced dangers, different people, and all sorts of this on his journey with his ungodly army of death and destruction. Yeah, that creates some tension for sure. Isaac’s journey is about him questioning if his hate in humanity.
In season 2, Isaac is one of the few human beings that Dracula trusted because he openly stated he hated humanity with all his heart. Honestly, you can’t blame the guy considering he was a slave. Now that he’s running his own show with his army of horror, he’s beginning to question that. He meets some kind humans on his journey or people that generally don’t care about the army of demons he wants transported across a large body of water. At the same time, there are people that do care about him wandering around with his death army and try to destroy them for legitimate reasons. I’m honestly astonished that humanity is alive at this point. Some good action and horror elements at the end make this arc powerfully strong and potent.
So yes, the quality over all is strong, despite the lack of consistency. That’s ok though, because it was still great over all. The visuals of this season were the best that Castlevania has been. The world of Castlevania was wonderfully expanded on in this story and fits the very apocalyptic tone of the series provided by seasons 1 and 2. Considering that those seasons took place in a small amount of locations, that’s pretty great. Then there were the fights and the creature designs. All stellarly put together and animated well too. There is a lot of standing or sitting around talking in this anime, but there is also some crazily well animated action scenes here too to go along with some crazy cool monster designs and such. This season was about expansion in some ways and Castlevania 3 did that in a lot of ways. Highly recommended after watching the already solid previous Castlevania Seasons. Solid rating.