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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:27 pm 


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Skykid wrote:
But the entire thing smacked of people with no understanding of what made the material what it was during the time period in which it was most eminent.

I felt like the show captured exactly the subtle mood of gothic horror that I applied to the series when playing it as a kid, rather than the jumbled mess of incoherent lore IGA would later turn it into.

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In modern Hollywood cinema every movie needs to have 100 characters and be bogged down with at least 20 tandem plot threads whose banality is meant to get so overshadowed by special effects that you forget they were ever there. I'm not saying this show is like that exactly

That's pretty much exactly what the show wasn't. I really appreciated the simplicity of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:28 pm 


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Why do people insist on calling it an anime? Asking for a friend.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:54 pm 


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Skykid wrote:
Might try again with the JP dub, because that's bound to make it less offputting.

This is one of the few cases in history where I actually prefer the English dub, and not because Goku doesn't sound like my grandmother.

Normally most English anime dubs are mediocre English voice actors trying to dub Japanese material by imitating the original Japanese performance, or by making the voice direction up on the fly, either way resulting in cringe and shattered eardrums. But in this case we have versed English voice actors performing for English material with the help of English voice actors, which results in a dub that highlights several differences between traditional Japanese voice acting and English voice acting.

Here, the English voice acting tends to be more subdued and subtle whereas the Japanese voice acting is more exaggerated and bombastic. For an (?anime) which takes itself a bit more seriously, I think the former is a better fit when it comes to the general atmosphere. In the English dubs, characters aren't as outspoken, more natural things such as inhaling while speaking or minor tics are more audible. English accents are more distinct than in the Japanese dub, though I think the opposite would apply for native Japanese speakers.
To name some other examples, when Dracula was just finished with raining blood and then proceeds to rage in his chamber as Alucard appears, he sounds like he's fucking mad in Japanese, whereas in English he's on the verge of breakdown while still trying to hold himself in. When English Trevor approaches the Gresit Outskirts, he mumbles to himself out of frustration because he just woke up from a hangover and a crappy bed, whereas Japanese Trevor just talks to himself because talking to yourself is normal in Animeland.

They're differences we rarely ever get to see materialize because of inept/absent voice directors and voice actors, and I do hope there's more like this in the future.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:21 am 



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Sumez wrote:
Why do people insist on calling it an anime? Asking for a friend.


All cartoons that aren't funny are now anime, costumes are now "cos-play," and things aren't cute, they're kawaii, especially in gamer/"nerd" culture.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:52 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Why do people insist on calling it an anime? Asking for a friend.

It's the style of drawing, the proportions of character bodies and facial features, and my aforementioned corner-cutting of animation keyframes. This all replicates the popular art style from Japan series animation.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:31 am 


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facial features

yeah, I mean, have you taken a gander at Trevor's yaoi-seme horse face?


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:36 am 



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I've just watched the first episode. I was receptive to this after the trailer, but while I think there are some nice animation sequences, the plotting and dialogue are pretty bad. I'll probably give one more episode a chance.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:30 am 


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Blinge wrote:
Skykid only needs 10 minutes to take a grandiose ol' dump on the series :o


Ten-minutes usually gives a fair insight into the tone or quality of something, but I'm not done with it. I just didn't have time to go any further.

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I want the music from the fucking games, a guy with a whip, a journey with a bunch of obstacles and gothic traps, and shit getting killed along the way in nicely animated fight sequences.


I get that obviously, but I don't think I could stomach another corny 90's style videogame adaptation.


As opposed to what? Something created for the kids of 2017?

Fuck that.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:47 am 


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Skykid wrote:
As opposed to what? Something created for the kids of 2017?

Fuck that.

I didn't get the feeling that it was aimed at kids


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:50 am 


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Teens then. Surely you don't think kids won't watch it either.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:53 am 


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I'm also happy that they didn't shoehorn loads and loads of music and monster fights from the series yet.

This needs to be it's own thing, not just "here are all the series most well-known staples one right after the other".

Also, I like that it's more story/context than battles. I mean, for how many minutes per ep can it be entertaining to watch Trevor battle skeletons and Fleamen and medusaheads?


The battle ratio we've gotten so far is fine IMO


Last edited by FinalBaton on Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:55 am 


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Skykid wrote:
Surely you don't think kids won't watch it either.

And how does this impact the series development exactly?


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:28 pm 


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FinalBaton wrote:
Skykid wrote:
Surely you don't think kids won't watch it either.

And how does this impact the series development exactly?



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I get that obviously, but I don't think I could stomach another corny 90's style videogame adaptation.


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As opposed to what? Something created for the kids of 2017?

Fuck that.





Starting to feel like I'm repeating myself.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:59 pm 


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Skykid wrote:
Starting to feel like I'm repeating myself.

you didn't get what I was saying.

kids watching the show doesn't make this a kids show.
it was developped as an adult show so wether kids watch it or not, that's irrelevent.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:06 pm 


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I would not allow my kid to watch this. The content is to violent and gory, the themes are too mature. Revenge, contempt with Christianity, faith and despair...this is not a kid's or teen show, nor did the creators intend it to be. This is aimed at us, the nostalgic 30-somethings that still cling to our old games, and the 20-something hipsters that follow along cause it's deemed cool right now.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:38 pm 


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I have no idea how a simple comment can be so misunderstood. I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be for kids, I'm saying if it was made for a target audience weaned on dogshit then it's not for me.

opt2not wrote:
This is aimed at us, the nostalgic 30-somethings that still cling to our old games


Fine, that's great.

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and the 20-something hipsters that follow along cause it's deemed cool right now.


Not so great. Now I just have to watch the thing to find out where it's more heavily weighted.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:37 pm 


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My wife & I were very skeptical of the Netflix series and enjoyed it overall. We both felt it was firmly (and surprisingly) OK. Looking forward to more.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:43 pm 


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The series starts off with a woman stabbing one bat out of a thousand in a swarm of bats that are flying harmlessly past her off into the sunset. It makes no sense, but it's supposed to look cool I guess. And that's pretty much the tone for the series.

Trevor's stance against the church is an unusual take from the series where the Belmonts generally were closely tied to the church in terms of their religious tools, being shown praying (to restore health in CV2, at the start of the game in CVIII and praying over a dead person in CV 64).

It was okay. I watched the four episodes - gory, clearly aimed at an adult audience (probably to capture a lot of the audience who grew up with the series as well as teens who knew the series later on). My main issue is that there hasn't really been much plot so far. It's all been establishing of character backgrounds and basically 'setting up' the main characters per se.

The most interesting episode arguably was the first, because we actually see Dracula interacting in a way that isn't just RAWR I'M THE FINAL BOSS. Sadly, any potential chances we could have had to see how his relationship with a human woman developed, how Alucard came to be born, the complex family issues behind a vampire falling in love with a human (who never gets bitten/turned into a vampire)... there's a potential character drama here, but it's pushed aside as the show quickly needs to fill its arbitrary action/violence/gore quota. The woman is quickly killed off as the excuse for why Dracula destroys the countryside so we can get to KILLING THE MONSTERS, and we're only going to see more of her and Dracula if flashbacks appear.

There's lots of gratuitous swearing as Trevor tries to be the edgy anti-hero. Characters repeatedly survive long, bone-shattering falls with barely a scratch (often multiple times in a row in one scene). The design of Dracula's castle, along with Dracula's high-tech machinery is all classic Castlevania. The gore is frequent, and explicit. It's all very flashy, but four episodes in and it's been fairly shallow stuff in terms of plot, character development, etc. There's a few very good moments here and there (
Spoiler: show
demon 'kissing' the priest)
but mostly it's forgettable, and none of the characters are particularly likeable.

I get it, it's Castlevania, so there's an expectation for it to be action based. But Dracula's never even given the chance to be genuinely interesting or have much more than the bare minimum of interaction with other characters before he's thrust into the Final Boss hotseat. We've not seen anything of what actually happened to the Belmont family before they were labelled outcasts. It feels like a waste - they could have had a few episodes of genuinely interesting character development before Dracula descends into madness and goes on a rampage.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:30 pm 


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Skykid wrote:
I have no idea how a simple comment can be so misunderstood. I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be for kids, I'm saying if it was made for a target audience weaned on dogshit then it's not for me.

opt2not wrote:
This is aimed at us, the nostalgic 30-somethings that still cling to our old games


Fine, that's great.

Quote:
and the 20-something hipsters that follow along cause it's deemed cool right now.


Not so great. Now I just have to watch the thing to find out where it's more heavily weighted.


Yeah, sorry, I reread what you wrote and jumped the gun there. My apologies. I had to re-watch it again (luckily it's really short), to validate my points. I might be bias because of fandom, but I would say it's weighed more in the direction to appease us old farts than the dogshit weaners. (for the record, I equate those weaned on dogshit to the younger generation, because well, everything new sucks ;) )
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:42 am 


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Finished the first two eps.

In a word: malnourished.

It's actually fairly watchable. I agree tonally it's about on the money: dark, gothic, foreboding. But for every forward step, there are so many glaring missed opportunities and issues with the production that I can't help feeling dismayed. What I imagined it to be from the ads is not what it is, exactly.

First off, why wouldn't you let your kids watch this? A little cartoon violence never hurt anyone, and Manga Entertainment were pumping out far more graphic than this when I was a kid.

That aside, my gripes are as follows:

Some of the key framing is dreadful. Since your key frames are the most important as they're the most static, it's not good to have them badly drawn. It's kind of hit and miss - there are some nice character designs in there and the rendering is decent, but occasionally they're really crummy. The first episode was more guilty than the second.

Voice acting is oddly distracting. It doesn't feel cohesive with the animation, and has a very 'secondary element' feel. I don't really like the voice actors they've chosen either. I don't think any of them are bad, but they're all jarring somehow. Dracula doesn't have the right elegance, the priest is too waspy and light, and the townsfolk are clumsy cliches.

Worse still, Trevor sounds like an old man. to be precise, he sounds like the actor who plays Shaun's stepdad in Shaun of the Dead, which is completely the wrong type to fit the youthful appearance of the character. It simply doesn't work and keeps breaking the suspension of disbelief. This may be controversial, but to nail the 'characteristics' that they've given Belmont - flippant, cool, alpha-ish - I would have picked an American actor, simply because they can command those things a lot better, and it would have helped to differentiate him from the rest of the cast.

Finally the dialogue is bad, and since dialogue in animation is about two-thirds of the thing, because it also denotes the direction of the screenplay, it's not good to fuck this up. What's with all the cursing, for starters? Making it 'edgy' can stop with the violence - having your lead character curse every three seconds is really bad form and puts the scriptwriter in a poor light.

Additionally the dialogue issues extend to a severe case of verbosity. When the exchange should be over - and you think it's over - there's another line. And another. And another still. It's dragging out scenes that should last two minutes, to about 7. For example, the whole Belmont bar fight sequence went on forever. It's easy to condense the tone of the townsfolk and Belmont brawl into a much briefer sequence with much more pace and entertainment. A few flippant lines and a quick, smart back and forth, a fight, and then out the door. But like the rest of it, it takes forever for them to finish mouthing off.

Plot wise it's fine, just not executed particularly well. I don't mind the whole burning of Drac's wife thing, but there are better ways to spell it out. Oh, and the whole Christian bashing thing has been done to death. I don't feel as though the sentiment sits well with the original games at all, either. It's kind of a new attempt at depth shoehorned in heavy handedly.

I suppose I would say it lacks the finesse of a Japanese production.

And the music? Well actually having the original score would have elevated what's here considerably! I have no idea why they can license the material but not the tunes. Big shame.

Otherwise it's ok. I particularly like the opening titles. That Last Blade 2 sketch style has always been a hit with me.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:54 am 


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I kind of agree with every point you're making, I guess I just didn't find any of it as jarring as you did. In general I found that the dialogue has enough shining moments to pull through.

It's funny how the lack of use of original Castlevania tunes is something that keeps coming up where I see this series discussed, but I honestly never considered it myself. There are times where I was thinking "oh now they are gonna probably play some chords from Beginning to please the fans", but I don't think there are any scenes in the show that lend themselves to using video game music. I think the score actually worked fine as it is, even if it's not particularly memorable.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:34 am 


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Sumez wrote:
It's funny how the lack of use of original Castlevania tunes is something that keeps coming up where I see this series discussed, but I honestly never considered it myself.

I'm the same. Errrrrrrybody mentions this but I'm personally not disapointed over the lack of Castlevania music. Having the context and charcaters of CV3/SotN is plenty fine for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:35 am 


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Skykid, hopefully you will watch eps 3 and 4. they're the 2 best ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:41 pm 


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@Sumez

I don't find it overly jarring tbh, I just don't like to watch something where I can see all the opportunities being wasted or done poorly. Otherwise it's not bad, just not great.

It should be great.

Regarding the music, I disagree. Music is integral to Castlevania lore - it's brilliantly scored and famously so. Injecting that into the show would have elevated it somewhat.

More importantly, I can't think of a good reason why it's not there.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:59 pm 


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I guess the music part is personnal preferences

for me the series wouldn't have been better had bloody tears started blaring at some point in an episode


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:02 pm 


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FinalBaton wrote:
I guess the music part is personnal preferences

for me the series wouldn't have been better if bloody tears had started blaring at some point


Arrangements of course, with careful usage. You have to balance these things, it can't undermine or cheapen your production. Handled badly that would undoubtedly happen. Handled well and you enrich the show.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:19 pm 


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Skykid wrote:
Arrangements of course, with careful usage. You have to balance these things, it can't undermine or cheapen your production. Handled badly that would undoubtedly happen. Handled well and you enrich the show.

I can agree with you there. A modified, short version of this when Alucard raises up from his coffin would make me giddy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6ROnj6QLR4
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:41 pm 


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First off, why wouldn't you let your kids watch this? A little cartoon violence never hurt anyone, and Manga Entertainment were pumping out far more graphic than this when I was a kid.


Regardless.... they (kids) will watch it even if you don't want them to. I managed to watch all sorts of things WITHOUT the internet as a kid.

My biggest complaint is the lack of OG 'vania tunes as well. I could have also dealt with some more whip smacks to the face.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:42 am 


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I don't have netflix and so I'm not watching this stuff but...

It seems to me that we're witnessing a small miracle. They're handling a license, and they're *not* fucking it beyond repair.

Unlike Lords of Shadow.
Unlike the comic book mini series, "Belmont Legacy".
Unlike Wii's Judgment
Unlike whatever hollywood makes 95% of the time (see: Alan Moore)
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:58 am 


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Was very sceptical about this and reluctant to see it, but when launching Netflix last night it was the first thing on the screen.
So for some reason (not knowing what else to watch) I clicked waiting to see my fears confirmed.
But once launched I just kept watching and actually got a bit sucked in.
Main thing that got me in was the short background about and character of Vlad Tepes, which made me feel
that he has good reason of being who he is (as last episode explains more about Alucard's reasons).
After that I kept watching all the other episodes, digging Trevor Belmont as a character and generally
thought the story wasn't too corny, and had some wit in it too.

It's not super or anything but certainly enjoyed it and thought it was worth watching.
I look forward to the next "season". :)
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