Have you ever loved something that was considered odd or even frowned upon by others? When I was growing up, I was, and still am, quite the fan of anime. From School Rumble to Cowboy Bebop I've assorted myself a wide and deep, I've nurtured a deep and passionate love of it, but I never used to be proud of it. It was quite common, at least from where I grew up, to be seen as a dweeb or a dork for admitting to watching it. Nowadays, with anime becoming more and more mainstream to Western audiences, it not only brings a tear to my eye, but it also is satisfying to see more people get into it and for bigger companies to take it more seriously. Netflix is a prime example for this as they've developed a wonderful assortment of anime for all of its subscribers (disclaimer: I'm considering anime made in the West to be anime). With their most recent anime title Castlevania, which is also a video game adaptation (which is historically a woe sign indeed) you'd think this would be a recipe for disaster. What you don't know is that it worked quite well.
Why it worked
Video game adaptions traditionally have never worked because the director has strayed too far from source material or it became far too complex for its own good. Castlevania shines through by remaining relatively simple and easy to follow, at least for season one. It's smooth, gets you where you want to go, and contains a plethora of memorable moments and characters. My absolute favorite moment is when the main character, Trevor Belmont, is introduced via bar fight. On top of memorable character moments, the plot is relatively simple and easy to understand. Dracula gets mad at humans and wants to destroy them all, you know, the usual. Why I like this is because it tries to paint Dracula in a sympathetic light, which is admittedly hard to do. While there isn't a lot of development on Dracula, Trevor and Sypha take center stage and are fantastic leads.
I give Castlevania a solid 3/4 and a hearty recommendation. The only thing really holding it back from a perfect score was how short the first season was, being only four episodes. Now, I think it worked being this short because it left most people wanting more, but the result was the missed opportunities at introducing more side characters, expanding more on other characters and villains, etc. Again, I cannot stress enough that Castlevania is great and worth your time. This show has left me with the highest hopes for season two and the seasons to come. If you haven't already, go and check it out!