Based on Konami's 1989 Japanese video game Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, and set in the latter half of the 1400s, in Wallachia (a former principality of Romania near the Transylvanian Alps), Netflix's Castlevania builds upon the plot of the game that it's based on: the leader of a family of vampire hunters, Trevor C. Belmont, is called on to protect Wallachia from Count Dracula (aka Vlad Dracula Tepes) and his army of monstrous minions. Unsurprisingly, it's the church that fucked it up for everyone; a clergyman falsely accused Vlad's wife of witchcraft and burned her at the stake, which prompted ol' Vlad to issue a death sentence for all of the people of Wallachia and a vow to plunge Europe into everlasting darkness.
In the series, which premiered in July 2017 and included a mere four episodes, Trevor is a disgraced anti-hero and drunk who offers his help reluctantly (though in his defense, the townspeople generally treat him like total shit), and is eventually joined in the fight by Sypha Belnades, a young powerful priestess-elemental magician, and Dracula's halfbreed (dhampir) son Alucard, who can transform into a bat and possesses some of his dad's extraordinary powers. (He's vowed to defeat his pop because his [burned at the stake] mom was inherently good and didn't want her husband to take out his anger about her death on the entirety of humanity.)
Over the weekend, Netflix confirmed that the show—which is gruesome as all get-out and definitely not for children—is finally coming back for a second season on October 26. Check out the trailer below.
The animation is an old-school 2D hand-drawn style that takes its cues from anime films like Ninja Scroll and Vampire Hunter D; it was also heavily influenced by director Satoshi Kon's work on character expressions and emoting in Cowboy Bebop, and Berserk's mode of infusing moments of humor into pitch-black storylines.
And in not entirely related, ICYMI news: last week, a trailer dropped for the forthcoming James Cameron-Robert Rodriguez collab, Alita: Battle Angel. The post-apocalyptic cyberpunk adventure is based on Yukito Kishiro's manga series, Battle Angel Alita, and stars Rosa Salazar as the female lead, though with her oversized anime character eyes and mech body, she looks CGI, which is probably because they used that match moving/motion capture technique, which basically means they inserted computer graphics onto her live-action footage.
The plot: a cyborg who's lost her memories is discovered in a garbage heap by a cybernetics doctor who rebuilds and takes care of her. But the mystery of her past soon comes back to haunt her...