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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:25 am 
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Another detail, another spoiler:
Note how Trevor calls for a "real" priest (supposedly in contrast to the Bishop's gang). I'm probably reading too much into it, but this could be the writers doing a bit of research - The region saw power struggles between factions of christianity around this time. However, the consecration and use of holy water is more closely tied to catholicism, which the bishop and his men would represent in this case. Moreover, eastern orthodoxism was the major religion at this point, and curches should've reflected this with mural writings in old church-slavonic. It seems they inserted the spanish inquisition instead. I wonder if the Belmonts would be catholics or protestants. :P Judging from their family crest; not orthodox; which also follows the swapout of orthodoxism. Trevor wouldn't be Calvinist as this faction came along a bit later.

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:00 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
I wonder if the Belmonts would be catholics or protestants.

Given that they were excommunicated from the church (from the same church that the bishop belongs to, that is) they were definitely Catholic.
(Besides, the Protestant church didn't exist until after 1500. As far as I remember, the anime plays in 1400-something.)

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:14 am 
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Ah, that makes perfect sense. And yes you're right, historically protestantism came along a bit later, shortly followed by the subfaction calvinism. The struggle in wallachia at this point is largely between Orthodoxism (majority) and catholicism, with judaism as a recognized minority.

In addition, Wallachia was yet a moderately independent protectorate of the Ottoman Empire (the correct term is Suzerainty (effectively mening semisovereign)).

The Belmonts, however, have their family line continued into times of protestantism.

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:28 am 
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Independently from the actual historic situation, I don't think the anime is really aware of the existence of any other churches besides the Catholic one, as it's the case in so many movies.
So, the bishop and his gang are not intended to represent struggles between the various denominations. The other priest that was shown might not be part of the power hungry gang of priests, but they all still belong to the same church.

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:39 am 
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Yeah, that's probably right too, judging the clothes of the good priest. I think that'd be true for Hammer horror movies, too (even though they take place at a later point in time). At least they got it right which city in Wallachia was the capital at that time.

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:44 am 
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I find it interesting that Trevor is shown as pretty unreligious. He doesn't only have a grudge against the church, he also seems to be pretty indifferent towards God himself. Which is in total contrast to the games where the first thing you see of him is kneeling in front of a giant cross.

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:59 am 
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Being (halfhandedly) raised as a catholic, where the ritual of kneeling before the cross is not only very important and expected, but also one way to display that you're part of the congregation (non-catholics are very easily detected when they visit a catholic church because they don't know their way around "our" various micro-rituals, like what you're supposed to do with the holy water upon entering), i never read Trevor as kneeling in front of the cross, at least not "properly". He's faced the opposite/wrong direction, and is merely huddling near the ruined sanctuarium. Though, the theme song is called "Prayer", and i think it is clear that he's meditating or gathering mental fortitude for the task at hand.

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:11 am 
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Well, this is obviously just an oversight of the designers. I don't think that it has the in-universe meaning of "He isn't really a Catholic."

Back when "Castlevania III" came out, the Belmonts were probably intended as people who fight for the church.
(They were driven out of the land by the people out of fear, but the old games don't mention anything about excommunication, so it was just some stupidity from the superstitious common folk, not a papal decision like it is shown in the anime.)

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:48 am 
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Probably true. But i personally find it easier/more enjoyable taking it for what it is via what is expressed, rather than extrapolating what the intentions of the team were. (Like in ghosts n goblins and similar titles, when they treat "the devil" and "satan" as two separate entities, or stretching it, perhaps two forms of the same, i just take it as served and buy into that game's particular mythos). For me, then, Trevor could be anything between agnostic, superstitious, and devout/religious. Except for now b/c the anime, which i also thought was an interesting take. More plausible, too, than being exiled by "the good people of Europe".

Thinking about it, how often have ordinary people excommunicated a particular noblehouse without reprisal? In the best of cases like the prosecution of Elisabeth Bathory, it was a priest who sounded the alarm and a nobleman (and relative) who conducted the much delayed trial. Her less noble and female accomplices were tortured and burned (except a guy who simply got beheaded and a servant girl who got life sentence), while the ring leader herself simply got house arrest in her own castle (the king wanted her dead but was convinced of a lucrative compromise). To convince people that justice had been made, a symbolic red gallows was erected on the hillside.

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:17 pm 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
Probably true. But i personally find it easier/more enjoyable taking it for what it is via what is expressed, rather than extrapolating what the intentions of the team were.

Well, yes, in this case, what is expressed is simply: The guy kneels/prostrates/whatever before a cross, so he's depicted as a devout Catholic.
So, the expressed scene and the developers' intentions are identical here.

This:
FrankenGraphics wrote:
For me, then, Trevor could be anything between agnostic, superstitious, and devout/religious.
is definitely not what is expressed.

But we can find a definite answer by having a look at the literal translation of the Japanese intro text of the game, which is quite different from the actual translation of the American version:
Attachment:
Story.png
Story.png [ 10.83 KiB | Viewed 535 times ]

Source:
http://www.romhacking.net/translations/730

The anime took some liberties here.

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:35 am 
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Ralph/Trevor could be more or less religious, but the fight between good and evil and European Christian myth is a big theme of the series. The Belmonds use holy power to fight evil, and the bad guys usually resurrects Dracula at Easter once a hundred years when the power of Christ is at its weakest. Sure Trevor's praying could be ceremonial or meditational (although I believe prayer and meditation goes hand in hand so one thing does not exclude the other) but he is definitely catholic and I don't think he could be agnostic.

I don't think the Belmonds where driven away by a mob of peasants that were afraid of the "unknown" or anything like that in the games. It was most likely people in power that made up some excuse to exile the Belmonds because they understood that they were a potential political threat due to their powers. Leon Belmond's defection probably didn't help their cause either.


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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:02 am 
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I had long forgotten that piece of folklore - the notion that the power of christ would wax and wane at different calendaric events.
And yeah, it's essentially an iteration of saint goran/göran/george and the dragon. Or beowulf. Have your pick.

<bad joke>
Maybe the frightening power of the belmonts is that they're the only ones in all of europe crazy enough to actually use ball and chain in battle. It ought to be a good way to get friends at arms pissed and self-inflict death. And is that holy water, or is it really aqua regia? That'd be a clear mark of a maniac.
</bad joke>

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:09 am 
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Heh interesting point about ball 'n chain flails not having long chains. Flails like nunchaku and sansetsukon (three-staffed nunchaku) do have equally long ends, but on the other hand they are not spiky, and both ends are used as both handle and striking area (and it's easy to hit yourself without proper training). Also I heard nunchaku was probably historically not that popular either since there is no traditional kata for that weapon.

I think the Belmonts' powers that are passed down the generations is a combination of divine power of God based on faith and knowledge, the Belmonts' own style of martial art discipline and an inherited talent for warfare in their blood (that may not show up in all members though). This is what scared people and made them chase off the Belmonts.


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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:10 am 
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Yeah, in later games they took some time elaborating how there was mythical powers tied to the various bloodlines present in castlevania. Though to be honest, in the beginning they were just solving the problem of "wait, simon has already defeated dracula. how do we make a continuation?" to which the quickest answer is "let's say it's his grandfather". Then, they won't have to struggle with why a different character plays so identically (which grant, sypha, and alucard doesn't). They had to keep the core mechanics in for the game to feel familiar, so that ought to be the reason for trevor's existence.


Btw, here's the AVGN review of the season. All valid, i think.

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 Post subject: Re: "Castlevania" anime
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:43 pm 
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Yeah well designing the story around gameplay is a common and good strategy in game development. Especially in those days when hardware was more limiting. When the series was more established and games needed to become bigger, there was more room and need for elaborating the story and world. IGA and his gang took over the series with Symphony, the style and atmosphere was bound to change at that time. I think the same thing happens with any series that gets new parents, including Zelda getting adopted by Aonuma.


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