This is a spoiler-free review of Castlevania: Nocturne, which is now streaming on Netflix.
Netflix’s Castlevania: Nocturne delivers on the high expectations set by its predecessor. Building upon the success of the earlier series, Nocturne introduces a captivating storyline that adds a new layer of depth to the franchise. While taking inspiration from classic Castlevania games like Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night, this adaptation takes creative liberties that make it stand out as a unique and engaging experience.
Castlevania: Nocturne Gallery
Nocturne’s historical backdrop is more intriguing than its revenge-focused plot. The Belmont family’s ongoing war against vampires takes an exciting turn as new characters and villains are introduced. Our protagonist, Richter, is a fiery 19-year-old who joins a group of freedom fighters in France during the French Revolution to eradicate the vampire presence.
Erzsebet Báthory, a real-life noblewoman known for alleged serial killings, takes on a vampiric role as the “Vampire Messiah.” With a sinister presence and a thirst for despair, she becomes a formidable antagonist. Franka Potente’s voice performance brings a chilling level of cruelty to the character.
The monsters in Castlevania: Nocturne embody the classic good vs. evil trope without feeling one-dimensional. While the Vampire Messiah may echo other power-hungry final bosses, her power and cruelty legitimize the hype surrounding her. One-note villains have their place, especially when they contrast with the morally ambiguous heroes like Richter.
The action sequences in Nocturne are a standout feature and continue the excellence established by the previous series. One of the best fight sequences occurs in an underground cell block, demonstrating the fluidity of the animation while enhancing the tension and character development. The showrunners recognize the significance of action as a means of character progression. Additionally, the art style shines when showcasing fast-paced combat scenes, adding to the overall appeal of the series.