So here we are. The fourth and final season of Castlevania. An anime show that surprised by being way better than it had any right to be. Well, the first three seasons were anyway. You can read our reviews of each season below.
With this being the last season and considering the events that were left hanging at the end of season three, you must wonder if it would end satisfyingly.
Not a first. In fact, the first few episodes you’d be forgiven for thinking that the show creators had forgotten that we’re supposed to be witnessing the end of this group of character’s stories. Pretty much everyone feels like they’re treading water at first.
Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage) and Sypha (Alejandra Reynoso) are travelling, slaying monsters and trying to protect people. Alucard (James Callis) is still trying to find his place in world. Dracula (Graham McTavish) remains in hell with his wife, Lisa (Emily Swallow). Hector (Theo James) remains captive in Carmilla’s castle, forced to create her an army of night creatures. Isaac (Adetokumboh M’Cormack) is contemplating his next steps after his season three conquest. Carmilla (Jaime Murray) is scheming, Lenore (Jessica Brown Findlay) is dealing with her desires for Hector and Morana (Yasmine Al Massri) is out winning battles for the vampiric war council.
Nobody is really doing anything of note in the first few episodes, aside from Trevor and Sypha, who have a few spectacular battles here and there. It’s pretty clear early on, that each character has hit their apex and the first half of the season is about setup for the second half but what a second half it is. The greatest run of episodes this show has produced with a phenomenal ending and a very satisfying conclusion to the show overall.
It is with the coarse and colourful vampire, Varney (Malcolm McDowell) and the brutish Ratko (Titus Welliver) and Dragan (Matthew Waterson) that things really begin to move forward.
They want Dracula back and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. To do that, they secretly team with Saint Germain (Bill Nighy) whose time in the Infinite Corridor has renewed his hope of being reunited with his wife.
It was in the Infinite Corridor that he met The Alchemist (Christine Adams) who told him it could be done. First though, he will have to help Varney resurrect Dracula.
The less said about this major plot-point, the better. It might sound par for the course – vampires want to resurrect their master again, but it is done in such an interesting way this time round, it makes for a compelling watch. Not only that, it results in the show’s best twist, the sort of thing you don’t want spoiled (so we won’t).
Elsewhere, the other stories really start to take hold. The introduction of Greta (Marsha Thompson) was an inspired choice. We’re so used to characters giving up on the world and its people, her optimism is a breath of fresh air. She and Alucard get a lot to do together and it makes the moody pessimist’s final story a joy to watch. He gets the ending he deserves, while also having a few thrilling fights himself.
It’s not just Alucard who gets an ending though…
Carmilla, her sisters, Hector and Isaac all have their stories brought to an end. The latter, waging war on Carmilla’s castle to end her reign of terror, once and for all. This section has one of the show’s greatest battles (I’m still quite partial to the final battle over this… just) and is easily the finest bit of animation it has produced.
Which leaves Trevor and Sypha, drawn into one last epic fight alongside Alucard as the resurrection of Dracula looks likely. The finale, from the battles to the aftermath, is Castlevania at its best. It’s so good, that the slow start is more than forgivable.
It’s beautiful to look at, violent and gory, has excellent voice acting and delivers great Castlevania storytelling. This season, coupled with the previous three, might very well be the best video game adaption ever seen.
Castlevania - Season 4
The Final Score - 8/10