There’s a long-running debate going on over the status of the Netflix series ‘Castlevania’ being an anime. We are here to settle the score and end the debate once and for all. Does ‘Castlevania’ have it in itself to be called an anime? Read on to find out!
Ever since Netflix brought out its animation series ‘Castlevania’ into the world, it has created a buzz that stands proof to the evolution of animation content in Hollywood. Adapted from a Japanese video game, the show has grabbed attention for all the right reasons. For what it’s worth, ‘Castlevania’ has also kicked the restart button on a debate among the Netflix audiences over the right to call the series an anime. Keep reading as we break it down for you.
- Netflix has labelled ‘Castlevania’ an anime
- Does ‘Castlevania’ qualify as an anime?
- Fans tussle over the anime question
Netflix has labelled ‘Castlevania’ an anime
America has never stepped away from playing with the idea of “anime-inspired”. Starting with shows like ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender‘ to the ‘Voltron’ reboot, Hollywood has never shied away from contesting the genre. In fact, when we really want to, we can discover many other American shows with an anime like structure, look, and feel. For instance, ‘Code Lyoko’, ‘Teen Titans’, ‘Totally Spies’, and ‘Martin Mystery‘, all have been worked up with anime-like storytelling, look, and humorous style. Can they pull the title of being called an anime, is the main question.
Netflix describes its animation series ‘Castlevania’ as an anime. Its exact words under the genre section are “Horror Anime, Anime based on a Video Game, Action Anime“. As mentioned, Netflix adapted the show from the Japanese video game ‘Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse’. Although the plot does incorporate some material off ‘Dracula’s Curse’, it also takes in elements from several other games, say ‘Curse of Darkness’ and ‘Symphony of the Night’.
It follows the vampire hunter, Trevor Belmont, on his quest to put a stop to the evil actions of Lord Dracula seeking revenge on all humanity for executing his wife, Lisa. The creators of the ‘Castlevania’ series, however, have confirmed that the settings as shown in the series are different from the ones in the Japanese video game. Thus implying that the plot and the style don’t necessarily have to be parallel to the original storyline and can develop separately.
Nevertheless, does being remotely related to Japan, the anime hub, make ‘Castlevania’ an anime?
Does ‘Castlevania’ qualify as an anime?
At the first look, ‘Castlevania’ would score high on the anime test. However, while looking like an anime is one thing, being one is definitely another. The biggest conflict is, of course, geography. The Netflix show might have one foot set inside the Japan borders, but ‘Castlevania’, the series, had most of its creative part made in America with a little help from the Korean studios for animation, which contends its anime status. Most people believe that since the genre of anime had originated in Japan, any animated form that is not made in Japan or by the Japanese should not be called an anime. It’s a matter for another day that anime took birth from a Japanese and American cross-cultural association.
If noticed carefully, ‘Castlevania’ has it all – everything that it needs in order to be called an anime. Had anime been just a set of rules or general guidelines instead of a style of art, everything about the Netflix show characteristically would make it an anime. The character designs, camera angles, movement fluidity, cel-shading – these are just some of the basic things similar to the anime style presentation that can be seen in ‘Castlevania’. ‘Castlevania’ has the best things about an anime and then some.
A beautifully executed intro, exciting animated fight scenes, stylistic fixings, and a gripping story. Although, if anything seems off about it to the strictest anime eyes, consider it the show’s inherent American-ness. In the end, it all boils down to one thing – perspective.
Fans tussle over the anime question
Fans of the anime genre and of ‘Castlevania’ the show, are finding it hard to come to a proper conclusion over the debate. There are folks who believe that art cannot be confined into a category, and then there are hardcore anime lovers who take offence at the thought of including ‘Castlevania’, the Netflix series, into the genre.
A fan said,
“Castlevania is not an anime, it’s an American produced animation show influenced by anime. Calling it anime is like saying California Roll is Japanese”. In defence, another fan replied, “I assume you use a different word for what the rest of us call pizza as well? I mean what with it being not the same as the original”.
Which team do you play for? Would you call ‘Castlevania’ an anime? Let us know in the comments below!