Anime Review – Castlevania or can Americans make Anime?

In this new category, I will talk about animes, who excel in some ways, above the others. In general, most people think of the anime as some sort of children animation, but that is not entirely true.

As all other arts, it has different divisions. People tend to link anime with children, because of Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh and others that fall in the genre Shonen, which targets teen and pre-teen. However another genre is Seinen, which is targeted towards adults and include themes, such as love, relationships, drama, violence, bloodshed and others.

It includes Berserk, Elfen lied, Mirrai Nikki (My future diary), Parasite, Claymore, Attack on Titan, Hellsing and many others. the anime that is in the spotlight today, Castlevania, also falls within that category. The thing that is unique about it, is that it’s an American production. Although, its basis is an arcade game, with the same name, published by Konami, the screenplay and direction are mainly American, with Japan supervision. For that reason, the only audio for the anime is dub, sorry sub fans. 

The story is set in the fantasy world of Wallachia, in which the main character is Dracula Tepes. The anime opens with a young woman, named Lisa, seeking out Dracula’s lair armed with the hope that he will teach her modern medicine. That is possible, because Dracula has the greatest book collection in the world and his castle itself is a magical and mechanical marvel. This young woman later becomes his wife and little by little takes him out from his isolation, encouraging him to travel the world and meet new people. That is of course until she’s burned alive at the stakes, twenty years later by the church. Branded as a witch, for using vials and books, banned by the church she is forcedly taken from her home and publicly executed at the town of Targovishte. Dracula, who was traveling at the time fails to save her and despite her last words being to leave everyone alive, he decides to lay all his anger on them, giving them one year to atone for their sins. Of course, knowing the human nature, none of them takes the threat seriously, and after the given year, he engulfs the world in flames and monsters with the sole purpose to destroy it.

Fighting against him in this war are our protagonists. Trevor Belmont, a drunkard, gambler and the last son of the house of Belmond (the equivalent of Van Helsing), the travelling speaker, wielding magic Sypha Belnades and the son of Dracula, Adrian Tepes, a.k.a Alucard. This band of misfits, must face Dracula and his legion of monsters, his vampire generals and two humans, who despise their kind. The last two, were especially interesting, given what were their motivations to want their kind to perish. All of these characters are mixed in a great story of medieval battles, magic, vampires, betrayals and more.

The anime itself takes on topics that are quite relevant at the moment for us, presenting them in an interesting, fantasy kind of way. You might not like anime, but this one is a must to be watched. Considering the fact, that vampires originated from Balkan mythology, it is filled with references towards our end of the world. I can say that it was extremely fulfilling to see the city of Targovishte, presented here and the mentioning that we staked the dead, so that they wouldn’t rise from their graves. The balkan mythology, mixed with american movie production, elevates this anime above the others. I strongly recommend it!