The first season of Castlevania was a movie length pilot cut into four quarters and telling a relatively tight story. The second season is not, it's an eight episode narrative that is the second act to the first season's prologue and if anything it's not tight to the needs of the plot enough.
With the triumvirate of heroes now together, Belmont (Richard Armitage), Sypha (Alejandra Reynoso) and Alucard (James Callis) travel to the remains of Belmont Manor to try and gather knowledge for stopping Dracula (Graham McTavish). Meanwhile in his castle an increasingly frustrated Dracula deals with the political scheming and machinations of his vampire court.
The plot description also serves as to show the division between what I liked about the second season, and what I didn't. Animation remains great, with some gloriously horrifically violent moments. Vocal performances still have that strange redubbed feeling to them - they're too ... clean, maybe, lacking interaction with the background - but the performances themselves are still good and I like some of them a lot. Particularly I still enjoy Richard Armitage's sardonic Trevor and his interactions with his two heroes. All the time spent with them is fun.
The problem is, it's all weighed down by the time spent in Dracula's court. We're introduced to four new characters pretty early on in this. Godbrand, voiced by Peter Stormare and Carmilla, voiced by Jamie Murray are interesting, if a little cliché Vampires. Godbrand is an ultra-violent nutcase, Carmilla a scheming seductress. But we're also introduced too (and given lengthy backstrories for) two human Necromongers, Hector and Isaac who are supposed to be running Draculas war - trouble is, it never feels like an organised campaign. They send out some creatures at night that do some killing and then come back. . . There's no grand tactics, either demonstrated or required. The interactions between these four characters and Dracula feels like it takes ages, particularly as you'll understand what everyone wants from the first interactions.
This issue doesn't totally derail the season, I'd still say I liked it overall and there are enough Easter Eggs and action scenes to keep me engaged, but if they'd switched a bit more time to the heroes and away from the villains, I'd have enjoyed it a whole lot more.
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