To call this production an anime is a not even a bit of a stretch. It’s a 100 foot long broken, stretched out bungee cord kind of stretch, which to say it’s not really an anime at all. It may have some anime style elements, but that’s more owing to the original designs the show was based on, rather than being produced by a Japanese animation company. I noticed several Korean names in the credits, so clearly it was outsourced.
I have not played Castlevania since it came out in the 80s and don’t remember much so my thoughts on this are solely as an adult cartoon in itself. (No, I’m not going to call it an anime.)
Right off the bat the animation style reminds me of 90s American cartoons. That’s not a bad thing though. The style suits the story really well and looks decent. Don’t expect any fabulous sakuga-filled fight scenes though. The animation itself can be a bit stiff in some parts and downright clunky in others, but it works well enough to keep the plot moving without being too distracting.
The voice actors are completely A+ and chosen well for the characters. I was shocked when I recognized Richard Armitage’s voice as Trevor. I’m a fan of his and like most of the British shows/movies he’s done. The gravely voice of Matt Frewer as the bishop was excellent, but I had a hard time hearing him. I don’t know if that was just due to his low voice or if maybe the audio could’ve been done better for him. James Callis (from BSG) also does a fantastic job as Alucard and Alejandra Reynoso sets the right tone for Sypha, who is caring but also stern and can be a BAMF when necessary. There is a lot of profanity in the show, mostly from Trevor. I’m fine with it, but I can see how some would be put off by it. If there’s any complaint I had about the voice acting, it would be these are not seasoned voice actors and so the finer sort of moments where you need to hear the combating grunt or some sort of audible exclamation to indicate the character is exerting him/herself and showing surprise/anger/emotions did sound stiff and forced. This was especially true for Trevor, who gets most of the action.
I had no idea this was going to be set up as a trilogy so by the end of episode three I thought: wait, how the hell are they going to wrap all that up in one more 25 minute segment? Why this wasn’t done as a full 12 episode series is anyone’s guess, but it does give me something to look forward to. Overall, I liked it and thought it did a great job.