“We accidentally ended up there”: Castlevania Directors Needed a ‘Balancing act’ to Make Sure the Series Never Fell into Any Extremes

Castlevania directors were focused on balancing the creative aspect of the show, which contributed to its success.

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SUMMARY

  • Netflix series Castlevania gained global acclaim thanks to staying true to its video game material.
  • However, balancing brutality and beauty was something that the directors meticulously focused on.
  • Reflecting on its creative process, they shared that the juxtaposition technique further enhanced its overall aesthetic.
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Castlevania has enjoyed massive fan attraction over the years, which expanded beyond video games into other media, including animated series. The Netflix series further brought the story to a larger audience, performing incredibly well, cementing its place among the best video game adaptations.

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Trevor vs. Death - Castlevania | Trevor vs. Dracula - Castlevania | Powerhouse Animation Studios
Trevor vs. Dracula – Castlevania | Powerhouse Animation Studios

Given that it brought justice to the video game series, the directors delve deep into the creative process behind the show, avoiding extremes in their creative choices that would appeal to a broad audience.

Castlevania Directors Reflecting on Balancing the Creative Aspect of the Netflix Show

Given that the video game adaptations have often turned out to be disappointing, it was hard to find rare gems that would be actually good. However, things have changed in recent years with Castlevania being one of the great examples of video game adaptations.

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The Netflix series remained true to its source material while expanding on its stories in certain ways, creating a subtle balance. It won longtime fans’ trust and garnered new audiences, thus expanding the fanbase.

Trevor vs. Dracula - Castlevania | Powerhouse Animation Studios
Trevor vs. Dracula – Castlevania | Powerhouse Animation Studios

However, finding the balance was never an easy task. In an interview with But Why Tho?, director Samuel Deats and associate director Adam Deats reflected on the series’ journey, commenting on its aesthetic that balanced both brutality and beauty, which is often missing in Western works.

Adam Deats shared,

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In a sense, we accidentally ended up there, because we like to have fun during battle. We’re also trying to hit horror notes for sure in kinds of sequences, and that sometimes comes packed with a certain level of body-horror.

The associate director noted that the creative process often incorporated gore elements as a fun part, but sometimes it was intended to feel intense.

A lot of the time, we’re not even taking it all that seriously, the gore part, because it’s all in the fun of the battle. In other instances, the horror is supposed to feel as horrific as possible. Juxtaposing that with beautiful people? I don’t know, it’s one of those things that anime has been doing for a very long time.

What’s unique about this series is the juxtaposition technique, which is quite common in anime and makes a unique aesthetic by blending beauty with horror. Avid fans can already comprehend his idea as the series has meticulously used the technique throughout its run.

Castlevania Directors Reflected on the Show’s Success

Alucard in Castlevania | Powerhouse Animation Studios
Alucard in Castlevania | Powerhouse Animation Studios

What started with 4 episodes in Season 1 continued to expand its episodes before eventually releasing its final and fourth season in 2021. The show also garnered significant success and acclaim across its seasons, which began to show its impact from releasing its first teaser only.

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In the same interview, the associate director reflected on its success, stating,

We absolutely had no idea that [Castlevania] was gonna take off. We were just so nervous because it was our first time working on a series and we were stumbling so much that first season trying to figure out how to make things happen.

Series producer Adi Shankar reflected his thoughts on the same topic by telling ComicBook,

The fact that Castlevania has generated not only a spin-off but has essentially sparked an entire vertical of adult-oriented animated content for Netflix is insane. This is a case of right place right time, and I’m honored that I got to be a part of this ride.

In the end, the show ended up strengthening the franchise’s name, which became possible due to the dedication of a great team. The streaming giant continued the arc with Castlevania: Nocturne series which premiered on September 28, 2023.

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You can watch Castlevania on Netflix.

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Written by Priya Sharma

Articles Published: 1217

Priya Sharma, Senior Content Writer and Social Media Manager at FandomWire and Animated Times. Having graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication, she possesses extensive expertise in crafting engaging and informative content. She has written over 2000 articles across Animated Times and FandomWire on pop culture, showing her dedication to delivering diverse and trending content to readers across the world. Apart from pop culture, she is quite enthusiastic about the Hallyu culture and is exploring the world of anime, expanding the horizons of her knowledge.