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Castlevania: Nocturne Scores Another Goal In The Animation Adaptation Front

Netflix’s Castlevania series back in 2017 was a tour de force in making adaptations of video games great again, taking the classic game story and recontextualizing it for a new audience. After four seasons, people are clamouring for more adventures, especially with the more iconic characters in Castlevania lore: Richter Belmont and Maria Reynard.

Which is why it’s important for a show to start off with its building blocks involving Trevor Belmont and his rise to being a famous monster hunter: to satiate longtime Castlevania lore fans. At the same time, four seasons of a show is hard to catch up to, so making a new story in the same universe would be the ideal situation to get people onto the animated series.

Does the latest offering, Castlevania: Nocturne, succeed in doing so while putting a fresh new spin in the classic lore? It does, and in a bold new fashion too.


Den of Evil

Castlevania: Nocturne is about the next vampire hunter in the Belmont line: Richter Belmont (Edward Bluemel). He’s the last of his clan after his mother Julia was killed by a powerful vampire named Olrox (Zahn McClarnon), who somehow spared him since he was really young at the time. Fast forward nine years, and Richter is with a foster family of sorts -with spell-casting little sister Maria Renard (Pixie Davies)  and her mom Tera (Nastassja Kinski)- living in France, fending off creatures of the night while mounting a revolution against the vampire aristocrats. Plans are set in motion as two other rebels Annette (Thuso Mbedu) and Eduouard (Sydney James Harcourt) join the cause from across the ocean, to deal with a supposed vampire messiah coming down to France to wreak havoc.

Without saying much, this is definitely a different take on the original 1993 Castlevania: Rondo of Blood storyline, featuring a new setting, new bunch of antagonists, and new bits of character lore and relationships tweaked to fit the Netflix Castlevania universe. And it all works, given that certain characters like Maria, Olrox, and Annette have upgraded roles, and we get to see a more inexperienced Richter rise up to the occasion throughout the series. And also how he scores his trademark bandana, which leads to a very epic scene featuring a blessed arrangement of his 1993 theme “Bloodlines”.

Said new character relationships include Maria’s mom Tera, who lends her warmth to the cast and shines bright, though she harbours her own secrets. Eduoard too gets some decent screentime, though not in the conventional way you would expect. The flashback scenes involving Annette and him are also welcome and are paced well, being placed early in the season instead of somewhere else. We also get to see a “humane” side of Olrox as he somehow lived through the ages and is in France for his own reasons.

The animation never fails to impress, though it’s clear as day that the team used some clever corner-cutting techniques in bits that don’t involve vampire-killing and spell-casting. Nonetheless, it still holds its own considering that there aren’t any major adaptations of the material featuring the more popular characters in the video game franchise.


Bloodlines Bequeathed

Long story short, Castlevania: Nocturne is another lovely entry for Netflix’s animation roster, being able to bring in new viewers to the world of the vampire killers and the domineering antagonistic bloodsuckers. Die-hard fans may not love the changes to the lore, and most people may not like how it ends on a cliffhanger, teasing a second season (which we’ll talk about later this week). However, this is Netflix’s take on the game’s lore tailor-made for adult audiences looking for a good balance between character-building and whip-heavy and spells-loaded action.

Also, how can you resist some of this brother-sister banter?


Final Score: 80/100

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  1. Castlevania: Nocturne Season 2 Is In Production | Kakuchopurei

    October 7, 2023 at 12:52 am

    […] Castlevania: Nocturne is out right now on Netflix; you can check out our review of Season 1 here. […]

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