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The animated Castlevania series has been out on Netflix for close to two months now, and while critics and fans seem to have enjoyed it well enough, one franchise veteran has shared an opinion that warrants the respect of all gaming fans. Former Castlevania producer and video gaming legend Koji Igarashi spoke to CinemaBlend's own Deputy Games Editor Dirk Libbey at PAX 2017, where he shared his thoughts on the dark series:
Yes, I have seen it, I thought it was great. We feel that the people that were working on the Netflix series understood what the game was all about and probably enjoys the original titles. We thought it was great because they knew the ins and outs of it. The art style was also very fitting for the series.
As far as stamps of approval go, that's about the most honorable one Adi Shankar and the Castlevania crew can get. For those unaware, Koji Igarashi is partly responsible for what is widely regarded the best Castlevania game of all time, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Beyond that, Igarashi has had a hand in several other Castlevania titles that are frequently mentioned as high points in the series, and his newest game Bloodstained has a lot of hype solely because of the success he's had in the Castlevania franchise. (Not to mention it being a half-spiritual successor to Symphony.) So basically, this series just got the thumbs up from a man who spent a bulk of his career developing Castlevania titles, so they must be doing something right!
Of course, Koji Igarashi could be just a tad bit biased about things, since the Castlevania TV series may never have happened in its current form without his own personal invovlement. The talk of an animated adaptation of the game's world first started in 2007 with comic book genius Warren Ellis announcing he was developing a straight-to-DVD film based on Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. Ellis collaborated with Igarashi in developing the story and new timeline to make sure he got the details right, and Igarashi repaid the favor by demanding 8 full rewrites of pre-production material before signing off. While that version got bogged down in production limbo, Dredd producer Adi Shankar later attached himself ahold of the project, and ten years after it was first conceived, Castlevania finally aired on Netflix.
Surprisingly, Warren Ellis has noted that very little has changed from his script written in 2007 to what made the final cut in Castlevania. No doubt Koji Igarashi and his incredibly strict approval process likely clued Netflix execs in on Ellis being successful in telling a Castlevania story in the most faithful way he could. In any case, the series got a Season 2 order not longer after it came out, and Adi Shankar soon got involved with another video game series, an animated Assassin's Creed project, so Netflix almost definitely made the right call. Maybe Igarashi will have more thoughts on the next batch of episodes, too, even if he wasn't previously involved with the writing process.