Can we talk about how Castlevania has a healthy representation of masculinity?
Usually masculinity is defined in opposition to feminity. That is, putting down women or “girly” things, aversion to emotions, etc. But the male leads treat Sypha like an equal, and nothing is super sexualized. Even if there are hints of her and Trevor, it is a mutual thing, and not the guy taking the lead over the woman. There was also none of the “we must protect Sypha cuz she a woman”. Instead, all three of them fight together, and try to protect one another if possible.
The main guys aren’t unnecessarily violent or cruel. They are fighting for a goal; it’s not just violence for the sake of violence. And we have Alucard breaking down and crying, which is big no-no for a male lead (strong men don’t cry).
Collaboration is also a thing. In many series, it boils down to the main guy taking care of most of the battle, and you wonder why the other two characters are even around. In Castlevania, anyone of the trio contributed an equal part to defeating Dracula. In the sense that each character’s skill was used to defeat the final boss, and no one was overshadowed. Also, screen time is shared equally.
The guys acts homoerotically friendly to one another. Which is great, because it portrays men as actual decent humans, with feelings and all. And both male leads have depression to some extent. Mental “weakness” for my male leads? What? And the solution is to open up about it. And accept help and empathy from other people.
Even the main “antagonist”, Dracula, is severely emotional: he wants to destroy humanity for love. But his feelings are not portrayed as bad, in the sense that his love for his wife was not wrong. It’s cruel and undeserved punishment he wants to inflict upon humanity that is wrong.
Other cool male representation this season had: Hector is autistic. Trevor is thicc/bara. Alucard is feminine. Isaac is guided by passion and love, and possibly gay.
Update 1: Some people were confused, and thought I was saying masculinity is bad. I was referring to how the type of masculinity we see in shows is toxic masculinity. It was mostly about the behavior of characters, not their looks. So nothing wrong with a character being manly or muscular, that is, physically masculine. Also, when it comes to behavior, nothing wrong with “masculine” traits. Although I would argue it is wrong to consider some traits as masculine, and other traits as feminine. But that’s another issue. Masculinity is bad when it becomes toxic, which is what me mostly see in shows. Castlevania managed to introduce good male characters. That’s all.
Update 2: When I said each character in the trio contributed equally to defeating Dracula, I didn’t mean that the expectation was for a mortal to do as much as a vampire. What I was trying to say was that the entire journey leading to Dracula had all of them contributing based on their abilities. So Sypha moves the castle. Trevor fights while she is busy with the spell for moving the castle and Alucard is trying to fix the mirror. And when they finally reach Dracula, Alucard being a vampire takes the bulk of physical fight. Basically not one guy running the entire marathon, but different tasks for different characters. I wouldn’t expect it to be exactly the same screen time. But you can tell the creators tried to give each character a good share of the spotlight. Always within the limitations of what a character can do. If all of them contributed equally to defeating Dracula all the time, it would feel forced.
Update 3: The homoerotic part was meant to be a joke on how male characters are supposed to act detached to one another, or else they are gay for each other. The range of emotions male characters can show is so limited, that we start thinking something homoerotic must be going on, instead of considering they are acting like wholesome human beings.
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Imagine if the suitors went to the beach for a whole day in the modern world...what crazy crap do you think will happen
Here are a handful of crazy and/or cute headcanons that came to mind! :D
-Mozart swatting away seagulls because HE IS TRYING TO EAT IN PEACE
-Jeanne watching him, MC offering him two water guns with a silent nod (sunglasses on, we’re going full meme)
-Jeanne then proceeds to shoot at them (no gulls were harmed in making of this promotional video) and his aim is impeccable it would be disturbing if the thwarted squawking wasn’t so funny
-Little kids start swarming around Jeanne asking how he’s so amazing and wanting to play team battles, inviting him to join
-Napoleon encourages him, and even Mozart joins in despite not liking getting wet very much (he wants Jeanne to have some positive fun times bc he BIIIIIIIG depressy)
-In the end they both admit to having fun, and one of the kids even teaches Jeanne a special ten step handshake (Jeanne has no idea what that was but the kiddo was smiling so he figured he’d go with it)
-HE AND MOZART STILL SECRETLY USE THE HANDSHAKE FOR FUNSIES BUT TELL NO ONE BECAUSE THEY DON’T LIKE F U N DON’T LOOK AT THEM
-Dazai, alternatively, gathers the fallen gull army and becomes their god with a singular cylinder of Pringles. No I will not elaborate--THE SEA GULLS GOT HER!!!!!!!!
-Spends most of the beach day wetting his feet in the tide pools and talking very earnestly to the gulls about this new thing he learned about called tax evasion while people pass by this fucker in full kimono at the beach and are convinced he’s lost it
-Dazai is very much not sane but we knew this already, offers sea shells to little kids that ask him what he’s doing and tells them to listen to the secrets bird friends can tell them
-If Dazai sounds like an Animal Crossing Villager, that was entirely by accident but remains no less true
-Surprising absolutely no one, Arthur suggests volley ball after watching people play and invites some pretty ladies to join him
-Arthur ends up needing two more people to play, so he invites Vincent and Theo (Vincent is so excited about trying something new that Theo can’t say no despite wanting to make a volleyball-shaped crater in Arthur’s face)
-The funniest part about the volleyball game is that not only is Arthur a shit player (CANON WEAK ARMS FOOL) Theo destroys with his spikes, and Vincent’s reach is insane--the two brothers end up becoming the talk of the beach
-I just laugh imagining Vincent sincerely complimenting people around him and the ladies swooning because he’s just so nice and pretty is he even real
-Men aren’t happy about that^TM but at the sight of Theo’s defensive glower they keep their malicious traps shut--which turn on whichever girls weren’t interested in Vincent jahkslgjh
-**Kaguyasama narrator voice** Today on Arthur Shenanigans: Arthur loses
-Poor Isaac is hiding under the umbrella clutching sunscreen bc HE IS A PASTY BOY HELP HIM
-MC brought a few of the newest Maths/Physics books in her time for him to read, and while he doesn’t enjoy the intensity of the sun--not like vamp weakness, it’s just the strain on his body (too many stimuli too many people too much noise) that makes him tired and ultimately thirsty bc aberrant. But the change of scenery's not so bad.......
-MC laughs when she gets out of the water and the salt dries visibly on her skin, Isaac’s eyes bug out and he asks if it hurts (startles when Leo flicks sea water at him and asks how on earth they got in the water when it’s so cold!!!)
-Leo chats with him and he likes being able to draw theorems and the like in the sand, it’s like one big chalkboard (until a kid tramples across them in the middle of writing, POPPYCOCK!). Isaac ultimately has fun but prefers to stay inside poor bub
-Leonardo, surprising no one, falls asleep in the sand the second he gets there HE IS HOME (Italian beaches, amirite)
-MC decides to, after a point, bury him fully in the sand for shits
-Comte notices and aids in her shenanigans from his beach chair, snickering the whole time
-When the two are satisfied they go for a swim together, trusting Leo to look after Isaac if need be (even if he’s a mummy rn)
-Comte is relieved to hear that she knows how to swim, but also watches carefully and doesn’t let her drift out too far by keeping closer to the shore himself (riptides!!!! can be!!!!!!! dangerous!!!!!!!!!!) if he had his way (he would never impose but he worries ;-;) she’d be wearing floaties SAFETY FIRST
-They splash at each other like maniacs and chat amiably until they start swimming away as fast as possible when Leo wakes up, laughing
-How do we know that Leo woke up?
-Because he sat up ramrod straight and a tower of sand fell. He then proceeded to jump up and sprint to the water despite Isaac’s startled cries about being careful, and swam after them like a shark to get his revenge (it was like something out of an anime s2g)
-Mostly just tugs on MC’s leg, picks her up in the water, and yeets her across in retaliation; really harmless, she’s cackling the whole time
-Dunks Comte’s head in the water while he’s being scolded, and MC has to de-escalate their increasingly dangerous shenanigans before the life guard comes after them LMFAO
-They concede only bc MC looks sad/worried abt being kicked out, and agree to keep things fun FIGHT TO THE DEATH LATER TONIGHT
-Napoleon goes for a nice long walk along the shoreline and climbs the rocks if he finds any til he gets to the top (he does not go to his happy place HE GOES TO HIS HIGH LONESOME PLACE) wishes that Jupiter could be here to enjoy the brine
-Our boy Napoleon is simply just vibin he loves the beach. A little further off the sound of people is p muted, it’s just the crashing waves and crisp smell of salt, the light breeze ruffling his hair
-Sebas is absolutely watching through binoculars and writing down how majestic Napoleon is while making sure no one gets lost/wrecked as he takes notes
Bonus: since volleyball games can often happen back to back on a sizable beach, the boys^TM were playing and Arthur called out “Theo duck!!!!” and just as Theo was saying “Are you fucking kidding me did you really think I’d--T H W A C K” Theo gets nailed in the back of the head (Arthur later died after being put in a headlock)
Shakespeare didn’t feel like playing volley ball and didn’t have much else to do (can’t swim and has no interest), so he just sat back and tried to throw Theo off his game as much as possible
Por ejemplo: Theo misses a serve and Shakespeare just “For never was there a story of more woe; O bard Alexa, verily, play us Despacito” “SHUT THE FUCK UP”
Jeanne also gets hit by a stray volley ball, but when Vincent said “Oh no, Jeanne, duck!” he has one of either two reactions: 1. Boulevard of Broken Dreams plays obnoxiously loud as he dodges inhumanly fast 2. he quacks, gets nailed, and doesn’t react because he doesn’t have any brain cells to damage
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