Is ignorance bliss? I’m loving Richard Armitage in Castlevania

Trevor Belmont in Castlevania 1.2.

 

I did NOT predict this.

I wasn’t going to stay up all night, I was going to wait till tomorrow, but then I resubscribed to Netflix and screwed around for a while and one thing led to another and I was only going to watch one episode but then I watched two.

Take it for what it’s worth, because I don’t like vampire or Dracula stories — I don’t think I’ve ever read or watched one all the way through* — and my relationship with anime is extremely limited, cursory, sparse. So I’ve no clue about whether this is good or bad. I can’t venture to say what actual Castlevania fans will say about this.

However: it is fun to watch. Even though I do not like vampire or Dracula stories. I’m going to have to think about why that is — my best guess at this point is because it’s an odd combination of serious, ironic and silly. Yes, there are clichés, but they also make fun of the clichés (like a character asks Vlad Tepec if it was rude to eat garlic for dinner before she met up with him). The animation is, hmm, how do you describe animation? It’s dark and striking and you know it’s animation but it’s neither kitschy nor avant-garde. The story is very spare; not a lot of extra detail, so it concentrates on the essentials. But there are lots of amusing vignettes, like the bar scene in episode one.

And the character of Trevor Belmont? This is what I was not anticipating. He’s world-weary, sarcastic, and: funny. He’s like an ironic mélange of an aristocrat from a Georgette Heyer book and a hungover modern undergraduate and a superhero. I was not expecting a funny vampire-hunter. He swears a lot (a little too much for my taste, but I’m old). And he’s violent but after two episodes, not inordinately so. He has a constant, mildly annoyed, internal dialogue that we get to hear. And he’s a badass and I felt a certain humorous glee at watching him wield his whip.

I bet Richard Armitage enjoyed the hell out of voicing this project. He’s never gotten to be this sarcastic in his entire acting career.

Graham McTavish was good, too.

OK, now I am going to bed before I watch the other two episodes. So there’s something left to enjoy tomorrow.

Going to bed with a smile on my face.

 

***

[with the exception of the first Twilight film and the first two Twilight novels, because I was trying to find a common cultural language with my students about a decade ago.]

~ by Servetus on July 7, 2017.

35 Responses to “Is ignorance bliss? I’m loving Richard Armitage in Castlevania”

  1. Glad to hear it’s worth watching! Sweet dreams

    • Thanks. Love to hear what you think!

      • Haven’t watched it yet (I am following the horrible events from the G20 summit protests right now) but I’ll let you know

        • I would be, too, if I were anywhere near a TV … which I’m not … it’s extremely upsetting.

          • Yes, it is pure madness. SO stupid to protest like that!!!!!!! Plus all the gazers who interfere with the police….
            To watch the SEK with loaded weapons marching the streets to get everything under control makes me sick.
            Lets pray no one will die tonight!!!!

  2. I have got to find someone who has Netflix and will let me watch!

    • Netflix uses a geoblock so you’ll have to ask someone in your own country. I saw a funny tweet today with someone saying that she’d have ot think of something else she wanted to watch when she asked someone else for their logon.

  3. Yay, I am so hyped! Can’t wait to watch. 😀

  4. Right, that moves right up my watch list! I hardly watch anything but will have to make time for this 😀

  5. I’ll be going in the same way, no taste for anime nor vampire or Dracula stories except for the same exceptions as yours 😉 none of my kids are interested which is rather disappointing. But then I’m lucky to have fellow fan friends who manage to watch it together while we chat our commentary online – I know what I’ll be doing tonight

  6. Great 🙂 Sorry I could not find my WordPress email 🙄🙄

  7. i am watching Castlevania right now, and it is good. Mr. Richard Armitage(his voice/character) is really good, some things he says in this show are very funny. I think it would be really great if they turned this into a live, not Japanese anima movie, and have the actors who voiced these characters, play the live version.

  8. Hmmm…I guess I will try this one. I had not been to excited about this. I just downloaded Berlin Station so now I have 2 projects to watch this weekend! It will be Visine and cans of Monster all weekend! I’m in!

  9. Well now I understand completely why you watched two episodes last night – the three (just possibly four) words uttered right at the end of episode one in that unmistakable rich tone 😃

    You may all hate me for saying this but I’m so chuffed that all the accents are so English. In keeping with the Hammer horror films of the 60s 😊

  10. I have to finish watching the last episode. Am a bit sad that there are only four of them. Yet, they are brilliantly done. I’ve not played the games but if they decided to make a new one I hope that RA would voice the lead. I would definitely do several play throughs.

    • LOL. That’s an interesting question — would i take up actually playing video games? Not sure. But his voice is great here.

  11. I was of course going to watch no matter what, just for that voice of his… but yeah… I binged the whole series just now and can’t wait to find out when Season 2 is going to be launched. I’m trying to think of any animated character I’ve ever developed the hots for, prior to Trevor Belmont. Never happened. Loved the character. Armitage nailed it!

    • I always liked Shaggy 🙂

      Yeah, I’d like to see the rest of it now. I wonder what the rationale for that was — build up more buzz for the next part? Not having all the episodes done on time?

      • LOL! Shaggy did have his charms. I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope they do have more episodes already in production… this seemed like such a tease. Like an appetizer. And if the next season also has these short 22 minute episodes, maybe it can be finished relatively quickly. I can’t help but think it would be a perfect treat for Halloween….

        • Now having read a lot more by “insiders” there are a bunch of different theories, one is that we just saw the “pilot” chunked up into four, another is that it was actually desisgned as film, the third (based on a lot of evidence) is that there were scripts for a trilogy and htis was the first third.

  12. I read an article that this Castlevania was originally developed as a movie and later changed to a series when Netflix bought it.

    I agree with everything servitus says here. The humor was a surprise. I’m encouraging Netflix to add a nude scene for Trevor next year. Ha-Ha! I think that would be a hoot!

    • Thanks for the comment and welcome.

      Armitage might like that — he could have a body without wrinkles.

  13. I was surprised to find I liked it. It is not something I would ever stumble across under ordinary circumstances.

  14. I ended up bingeing all 4 episodes in one go. I love Trevor’s character. That tavern scene is legit funny. The one thing that did bother me was how the people in the city had all this food when they were being ravaged by the hordes. But that is a small quibble. 🙂

    I think ignorance is bliss when it comes to comic/anime adaptations. It was surprisingly easy to follow along.

  15. […] the big screen, my ears were primed for more of a booming John Proctor voice. But as observed by Servetus, the performance is in large part reminiscent of his earlier audiobooks where he played “an […]

  16. I liked his performance but I feel he was a bit subdued when he should’ve been commanding.

    • Hi, Justin — thanks for your comment! I think the vast majority of his fans just had no idea what this would even be like. All we knew was “vampire hunter” and “video game”. So we’re learning from all the reviews what the people who “knew” the character before were expecting him to be like. One thing I will say about Armitage is that he is usually in the “less is more” camp.

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