Netflix has been killing it lately with their original exclusive and original shows! After making a splash with various Marvel TV shows like Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, Netflix is now expanding into the realm of anime production with their newest original show, Castlevania. Based on the classic video game series by Konami, Castlevania follows vampire hunter Trevor Belmont as he tries to save the country of Wallachia from the undead maurading hordes of Dracula. The Netflix series features the voice talents of Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit”) as the hero Trevor Belmont and Graham McTavish (Dwalin in “The Hobbit”) as the elusive Dracula. The series is written and produced by comic legend Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Red), who originally penned the script for the adaptation of Castlevania back in 2007. After nearly ten years of being stuck in development hell, the series finally entered production in 2015 and aired on Netflix in July 2017.

It’s not often that video game adaptations turn out so well, but Castlevania is a solid anime take on the classic vampire series. When a human bishop has Dracula’s forward-minded, scientist wife burned at the stake for being a witch, Dracula goes mad with hate for feeble humanity and takes revenge against the people of Wallachia who failed to defend her. He summons a horde of demons to raze the country, killing every human they find. Trevor Belmont, last son of the excommunicated, demon-hunting house of Belmont, finds himself caught in the middle of the chaos and must fight against the horde of Dracula to save humanity.

The series is surprisingly good with a decent production value and an excellent cast. Trevor Belmont is an apathetic hero who begrudgingly fights for the people of Wallachia despite their hatred for his family, who were famous demon hunters condemned by the church for practicing magic. Despite the dark setting, there is still plenty of humor in Trevor’s sarcasm and general “over-it-all” attitude towards the hordes of Hell. When we meet him, he is just a wanderer searching for nothing more than a warm bed and some food and drink, but his perpetual drunkenness is eventually interrupted by plight of the people being torn apart by Dracula’s demonic forces. While Trevor could care less about these people, he soon discovers that the evil that plagues this land is far worse than anything they have ever seen and it isn’t going to go away anytime soon. He joins forces with the Speakers, a tribe of nomads who seek knowledge and magic, as well as Alucard, Dracula’s dhampir (read: half-human) son and hero from the classic video game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, to find a way to stop Dracula before all of humanity is wiped out.

Season 1 is available on Netflix and is comprised of four 25 minute long episodes. Be forewarned, this series is gory and gruesome, and definitely not for little ones, or anyone with a sensitive stomach. The art style is reminiscent of classic action animes like Berserk and Vampire Hunter D, yet with more humor and facial expressions. If you’re hungering for some vampire goodness or just want a short, action anime that’s easy to jump into give Castlevania a try.