Since i don’t have time to review the whole series right now (maybe for october), i’ll just talk about Season 4 of Netflix’s Castlevania animated series in a less composed and more “first thoughts” kinda way.
One season with the tall task to basically undo the damage the crappy (and honestly problematic in handling its themes and issues) third season did, and keep in mind i didn’t even know of the allegations of Warren Ellis (the writer) being a sex pest when the third season hit, i found out a bit later, and sure as shit it didn’t make me like the absolute trainwreck Season 3 was.
Not that i expected much, since by the time the allegations surfaced the studio simply didn’t had time to rewrite the episodes already penned by Ellis, even as he was kicked out of the project and team, but it is what it is, and i will simply judge the writing provided, for the sake of brevity and not wanting to shoulder myself with another case of sexual molestation allegation, i obviously don’t condone it, but the pandemic is already depressing enough, you know? We’ll see what comes out of that, but – as i just said – for this instance i’ll just quickly critique the actual work i’ve seen and heard.
As i’m curious to see if any of the many teases and unresolved subplots will bear any fruit, even more because this is (and clearly was always meant to be) the final season of the show, one i quite liked before season 3 arrived. There’s plans to do more shows set in the same universe, but we’ll see about that.
And… it’s “good”? For one, the animation’s quality is far more consistent this time around, even if at times -usually the battle scenes – it goes to being pretty good to being kinda lame in a manner of seconds, but it’s not jarring as it was in Season 3, and sadly not as good as it was in the previous seasons, with some notable exceptions (the 2 final episodes) where it’s undeniably pretty good.
Many of the subplots being introduced and left hanging by the end of the third season are developed upon and come to a resolution…. sadly sometime it’s an oddly anti-climactic resolution that makes you go “what? really?” because it kinda happens more than develops, but on the upside some characters arcs are built upon and make sense, when are not good, like Hector’s arc, surprisingly the better one, and one of the most sensible characters in the show all together.
It almost makes up for some of weird, downright cruel and hackeneyed stuff of the third season… especially for Alucard’s side of the story, and how this time we’re gonna pretend that awful shit with the twins didn’t happen… until Alucard goes outside to take a piss and might as well urinate directly on their impaled corpses, since i’m sure his giant teleporting magical castle has a bathroom of some kind.
Of course after Season 3 pretty much anything was gonna be better, but overall i was FAR more entertained and intrigued to see where the story was gonna go this time around, instead of just dreading any potential, bullshit development, seeing some more of the iconic monster designs from the series it’s nice, and the final battle is actually very, very satisfying to watch and fully feels like it’s supposed to, not gonna lie.
The ending… kinda doubling down on some really convenient bullshit isn’t good, let’s just say that. Didn’t hate it, but i’m not gonna celebrate such obvious banality.
Even with the flaws it has, this show is still the better thing Konami made out of the Castlevania IP.. well, in decades, i’m not counting that smarthphone title, Grimoire Of Souls, because it softlaunched in Canada only, was never made available (officially) anywhere else and it got shut off not ever 1 year after.