Third Season of Castlevania
Genre(s): Dark Fantasy
Age-Appropriateness: 18+ (Lots of Strong Language, Gore, Violence, scenes of Sex and Nudity)
TheAwersome Rating: 8.0 / 10 (Better overall)
Premise (Spoilers for Seasons 1-2): Dracula is defeated, but that doesn’t mean that all is peaceful in Wallachia. Carmilla is scheming to create a Vampire Empire, Isaac is intent on fulfilling Dracula’s dream, and Trevor and Sypha continue hunting the myriad of night creatures that plague the land. Stopping in the small village of Lindenfeld, they are greeted by a suspiciously adversarial group of monks intent on “doing right by Dracula,” to remove his punishments. Meanwhile, Alucard is saved from his maddening loneliness when visited by humans formerly enslaved by the vampire Cho as they seek knowledge in ways to fight back.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: I feel that Season 3 had a more concrete structure, tone, and better pacing than the second. It really scratched that Gothic Dark Fantasy/Horror itch that I had wanted the Diablo series to be, which I didn’t know I needed scratched. While this season follows four separate stories (Isaac, Sypha/Trevor, Alucard, Hector/Carmilla) I didn’t feel that the pacing was too slow or too quick, which was my main complaint about seasons 1-2. There’s still a hefty helping of “See how much foul language and crude jokes we make? You don’t have to worry about thinking you’re a kid for watching this,” which bothers me because it feels so insecure. Go ahead and have your gore, language, and nudity, but trying to prove you’re not childish is a pretty childish thing. No doubt having a primarily English-speaking target audience has a big part to do with that; they tend to equate animation and childishness.
Despite the improvements, I wasn’t as emotionally invested as I was before, largely because no Dracula. So, no cries this time around, but still good and more immersive.
TLDR: More polished than previous seasons, better dialogue and vibe.
Something weird with this season (and show) is that my interest in it comes and goes. I had originally started this season and got about three episodes in before dropping it for six months. While interesting, I felt it lacked a good drive to keep me going. Then I came back and binged the rest of it in a day or two, so clearly something kept me going. Definitely a big part of that is the outstandingly gorgeous animation and monster design.
Season 4 has been confirmed but doesn’t have a release date as of yet.