It's a Castlevania/Zillion matinee double-feature on Episode 188
Two cartoons based on games, two conversations with the folks behind them.
Neither of this week's topics should be unfamiliar to Retronauts listeners, as we've covered both Zillion and Castlevania in various permutations over the past few years. This particular configuration will be new, however; rather than talking about the games in question, this week features conversations with people involved in the creation or localization of their animated adaptations.
Castlevania should need no introduction to Retronauts regulars, since we've talked about it a lot (like, a lot). The Netflix original animated adaptation, on the other hand, is new—the second season of the series debuted at the end of October, and it has received almost universal plaudits. I wasn't entirely sold on the first season myself, but the second season didn't simply take a more ambitious and textured approach to the story while drawing on fairly esoteric franchise lore—it retroactively made the previous season better, too. Executive Producer Adi Shankar dials in for this episode to talk a little bit about the show and the games it's based on... but mostly about respecting beloved legacies and the retro-future of gaming.
Before that, I chat with Godswill Ugwa and Paul Bisette from Funimation about their work on bringing Zillion over to the U.S. Zillion, of course, was based on a toy line whose molds were used for the Sega Master System Light Phaser. It had deeper ties to Sega products than that, too; not only were there two tie-in games, Fantasy Zone hero Opa-Opa appears as the show's mascot character, and J.J. plays a Master System in one of the later episodes. The anime ran in the mid-’80s in Japan and also got a strange one-shot original video animation tie-in, and Funimation has released it all as a dual Blu-ray/DVD set in the U.S. It's surprisingly good considering its licensed nature—the first season in particular features some dazzling Tatsunoko A-team animation, especially in the big climactic battle episodes.
In any case, it's great to have two new (or newly released) shows based on classic ’80s games available to enjoy, and it's great that Adi, Godswill, and Paul were able to take the time to talk about their work. Give the show a listen, and be sure to check out both Castlevania and Zillion.
Episode description: An animated feature double feature! First, Funimation walks us through the decades-overdue English version of Sega tie-in anime Zillion. Then, Netflix's Castlevania creator Adi Shankar talks about indie games and preserving Belmont lore for television.