Successful transitions from the video game medium to movies or television have been few. Having been burned by this ineffable truth so many times before, my conditioned response to hearing there was a Castlevania series coming out on Netflix was to shudder and look away. The game and its sequels feature a centuries-spanning conflict between a dynasty of well-armed monster hunters and the evil forces of Dracula. (For a very accessible history of the franchise—as well as one of the purest expressions of human joy I have ever borne witness to—I recommend this podcast episode.) Having played many of the games several times, especially the triumphant Symphony of the Night, I was prepared to completely ignore what was sure to be a pale mockery of the series: a cobbled-together TV show in vaguely anime style would only disappoint.
So, here’s the odd thing about it: the Netflix series is actually really good.