lokifan (lokifan) wrote,
lokifan
lokifan

Castlevania S4

Spoiler-free reaction: mixed feelings about a couple of aspects, but overall I loved it, and even the stuff I wasn’t a huge fan of was executed flawlessly.

Doing separate cuts for different characters cos this is 1000 words, but it’s 100% pure spoilers, including for the ending.

WELL. WHERE TO BEGIN.

Isaac I loved. I found his conversation with the night-creature genuinely rather moving, and he’s come SUCH a long way and changed the most of anyone, imo, except maybe Trevor. I’m so pleased with where he ended up. I loved his conversation with Hector, where he showed such clarity, and that he comes to the conclusion that Dracula shouldn’t be raised. (I can’t decide whether he believes his contention that Dracula deserves his rest, or it’s just what he says to Hector because it’ll convince him.) My immediate reaction to his telling Carmilla that the world was better off without her, true as that obviously is, was “I mean, you were on board with the last vampire who wanted to rule/destroy everything” so I liked that he’d evolved enough that he wasn’t being a hypocrite.

Speaking of Carmilla - I have slightly mixed feelings. Like, that last scene was fantastic, and I loved her ravenous urges and her sense that the men who owned the world were not just evil but incompetent, and therefore earnt her scorn. I’ll always wish they hadn’t given the name Carmilla to a vampire who’s straight by all indications (she’d sleep with Godbrand only if “all the vampire men”, “half the women”, and “some of the animals” were dead, which could be taken to indicate bisexuality I guess but to me suggests the opposite) but I love her. She’s such a great villain, and such a fantastic vampire character - the endless thirst for more and more is such a great vampiric villainy. She thinks big, on a scale female villains are often denied, and her charisma and ability to get people to follow her is so consistent. Her line, “I’m nothing but ambition” is just. Instantly classic.

That said, ambitious women who go mad of their ambition and need to be put down by men is such a standard, icky trope. Including the aspect that Isaac is enormously ambitious himself, in a way that isn’t condemned (though of course it’s much less destructive too). She goes out on her own terms - “you don’t deserve my blood” - so for me it works.

That said, at the end of that episode, I was getting distinctly worried that the most significant female characters were all going to end up with Lady Endings. I suspected Sypha’d end up pregnant, and Carmilla had gone mad and died of ambition, and Lenore had the tables turned on her by a man she’d claimed power over. I don’t really feel that way now - Greta helps, as does Xamphir, and Sypha’s ending talked about other stuff, and the fridged woman the series is built on comes back to life. Striga and Morana survive and travel. On Carmilla, though… hmm. Undecided.

Speaking of the sisters: Striga and Morana’s arc really goes nowhere? I suspect s4 wasn’t intended to be the last season and they needed to wrap things up, so I’ll let that go.

Lenore (and Hector, and Lenore/Hector) was taking over so that gets its own post, which can be summed up as ‘wtf? Where did the chill banter come from?’

I’m so happy Alucard got people again! Him and Greta are cute. (LOL, his dopey expression when she yanked him through the castle door, and told him he was lucky to have her running his life. SUBBIEST SUB IN SUBTOWN, I’m happy for you sweetheart.) I still feel HEARTBROKEN by the season he spent all alone then betrayed, but Greta’s such a fantastic hero - a politician and builder far more than a fighter - and now he doesn’t need to be alone! Also bi4bi is such a good.

AND OMG WHEN ALUCARD/TREVOR/SYPHA FINALLY REUNITED. And they were perfectly in sync, on either side of him again, all moving as one and saving each other as they went. YESSSSSSSSSSSSS THIS IS ALL I WANT OMG.

I ship em in fic but I never expected it to be endgame - I don’t get romantic vibes from either Sypha or Trevor towards Alucard, and I don’t really think he’s got feelings for either of them? Like, I don’t think that’s a crazy interpretation or anything, but his pining felt to me like intense loneliness and wanting how perfectly the three of them slotted together, and that doesn’t need to be romantic. But I LOVE the way they work together and their dynamic and I was so so happy to see them together again. Alucard & Trevor remain hilarious, and omg Alucard actually spoke up and asked Sypha to stay, and Trevor/Sypha’s so great.

I really liked the tension between Trevor and Sypha early on, how their frustration and exhaustion gets to them and that she’s not wholly pleased by how she’s changed. When they were out of sync in battle, especially when Trevor almost got killed, it HURT omg. But they get back into sync, and Trevor’s so heroic, and omg SYPHA. She’s so ludicrously cool in battle, such a badass, and I LOVE her organisational superpower and how she helps in practical ways, like yelling at people to move their planned latrine before they get sick. I was so happy when she and Greta got to meet. And the implicit recognition from Trevor when he talks about how he and Death need to step aside for the builders.

It’s all so well-done - the character design, the imagery, the music, the fight scenes, the writing, the line reads, all of it. The scenes at the end with everyone like “I guess we’ll be okay!” was some of the clunkiest writing of the show, but the whole thing gave me big feelings and the trio was reunited and I’m happy. This was originally posted at https://lokifan.dreamwidth.org/384542.html. Comment wherever you like :)
Tags: castlevania, meta
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