On September 27, 2023, Netflix hosted a DROP 01, a 90-minute global virtual showcase featuring surprise announcements and never-before-seen sneak peek “drops” from the streaming service’s upcoming animated series. 

netflix drop 01 visual

Headlining the event was the live worldwide premiere of first three episodes of Power Animation Studio’s Castlevania: Nocturne, the day before the series officially debuts on Netflix. 

Here are the series previewed at this event, in order of appearance. Besides summarizing the shows, we’re also sharing our “bottom line,” watch it or skip it first impressions of each series.

CASTLEVANIA: NOCTURNE (debuts September 28, 2023)

castlevania nocturne

Director: Sam Deats
Animation studio: Power Animation
8 Episodes all available on September 28, 2023
Set 300 years after Season 4’s conclusion, Castlevania: Nocturne is a spin-off of Power Animation Studio’s core  Castlevania animated series. It’s set to cover the events of Konami’s 1993 video game Castlevania: Rondo of Blood following the last direct descendant of the original series’ protagonists, Simon Belmont and Sypha Belnades Richter Belmont.

What’s it about?
Amidst the 18th Century French Revolution, the aristocracy have forged an alliance with the Vampire Messiah Erzsébet Bathory who intends to “eat the sun” so they can release an army of vampires and night-creatures to enslave all of humanity.

The last descendant of the legendary vampire hunter Richter Belmont will lead the Vampiric resistance with his cousin Maria Renard, Caribbean sorceress Annette and her companion Edouard.

What was previewed:
The first three episodes of Castlevania: Nocturne‘s eight episodes established the formation of the aristocracy’s alliance, Richter Belmont’s diverse resistance and revealing the identity of the Vampire messiah.

Bottom line:
Definitely a must watch for Netflix Castlevania fans, however, this interpretation is not going in our watchlist.

In addition to Castlevania: Nocturne, Netflix previewed eight additional animated series at this event. Here’s what they’re about, when they’ll debut, and first impressions.

netflix drop 01

DEVIL MAY CRY (“coming soon”)

devil may cry anime

Director: Adi Shankar
Animation studio: Studio Mir
Based on Capcom’s Devil May Cry franchise the series will be supervised by the game’s director since Devil May Cry 3 Hideaki Itsuno.

What it’s about?
Capcom’s Devil May Cry series centers around the demon hunter Dante war against demons striving to merge the human and demon realms.

What was previewed:
Devil May Cry‘s announcement trailer gave fans a first look at Studio MIR’s iteration of Dante equipped with a new voice actor and his iconic pistols Ebony and Ivory a blazing on his enemies.

What’s the buzz? 
There seems to be a mixed fan reaction to Adi Shankar’s latest video game adaptation.  While fans are excited that Netflix finally announced Devil May Cry’s anime others are concerned how faithful Shakar and Studio Mir will be to the original source material.

Bottom line:
As fantastic as the long overdue announcement was, we are not the biggest fan of Dante’s design but still intrigued to see if Devil May Cry will live up to the hype


lara croft anime

Director: Misha Green
Produced by Legendary Entertainment
Animation studio: Powerhouse Animation
Release Date: 2024
Based on Crystal Dynamics Lara Croft Tomb Raider series

What’s it about?
Netflix official synopsis reads “Picking up after the events of the highly successful Tomb Raider videogame’s Survivor trilogy, as told in 2013’s Tomb Raider, 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider, and 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the animated series will chart the globetrotting heroine’s next chapter as she takes on the role of the iconic tomb raider that she is destined to become.”

What was previewed:
With each deep breath, Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft sees the titular Lara taking  aim with a bow and arrow, dropping into darkened caverns, exploring ruins, rising battered and bruised against a wall of fire and various artifacts.

Bottom line:
Legendary’ s animation for Lara and the ruins she’s seen exploring are looking very promising and we can’t wait to see more.

SONIC PRIME, SEASON 3 (debuts in 2024)

sonic prime

Director: Kiran Sangherra
Animation studio: Wild Brain
Release date: 2024
Based on Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise

What’s it about?
“The action-packed adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog go into overdrive when a run-in with Dr. Eggman results in a literal universe-shattering event. Desperate to piece his prime reality back together and save his old friends, Sonic races through the Shatterverse, discovering strange worlds and enlisting new friends in an epic adventure of a lifetime!”

What was previewed:
The 3D CGI trailer shows  Sonic team up with Shadow to take down various opponents.  Sonic will confront Nine who plans on using the restored shattered Paradox Prism to created a new world.

Bottom line:
Sonic Prime should definitely be on every Sonic fans watchlist, including ours.


Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix

Director: Mehdi Leffad
Animation studio: Bobbypills
6 episodes, all available on October 19th, 2023
An original anime series mixing alternative Ubisoft video game characters in a highly-referenced homage to the early 90s.

What’s it about?
“The year is 1992. The country formerly known as the USA is now called Eden, a technocracy ruled by propaganda and corruption. Super-soldier Dolph Laserhawk has just been betrayed by the love of his life and locked up in Eden’s top security prison Supermaxx. He must now lead a team of rebel outcasts on risky undercover missions in order to survive.”

What was previewed:
Throughout the action-packed cyberpunk dystopian trailer, fans had fun spotting all the different characters and references from various titles in Ubisoft’s gaming catalog including Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, Beyond Good and Evil and Rayman.

It was especially hilarious when Rayman appeared as a news anchorman reporting on Dolph Laserhawk and Alex Taylor. 

Bottom line:
Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix‘s may not have Studio Trigger animation, but the 90s homage is more than enough to be on our watchlist.

BLUE EYE SAMURAI (debuts November 2, 2023)

blue eye samurai

Director: Jane Wu
Animation studio: Blue Spirit
Release Date: November 3, 2023
Original series created by the married duo Amber Noizumi and Michael Green

What’s it about?
Set in 17th-century Japan, the 2D/3D hybrid cartoon follows mixed-race master of the sword Mizu’s quest for revenge while hiding her gender and blue eyes.

What was previewed:
In the first official trailer for Blue Eye Samurai, Blue Spirit gave fans an inside look into Mizu’s very bloody, vengeful quest to kill her father.  

Bottom line:
Regardless of the intriguing story, the off-putting animation is keeping Blue Eyed Samurai off our watchlist


masters of the universe scare glow

Director: Kevin Smith
Release date: 2024
The next entry of Kevin Smith’s 2021 direct sequel to the classic 1983 cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is Masters of the Universe: Revolution.

What’s it about?
“The newly mechanized Skeletor, armed with the might of Motherboard, attacks the heart of Eternia while Prince Adam grapples with a new responsibility and what that means for him as He-Man! Adam is forced to choose between the scepter or the sword, and a life as either the King or the Champion! Meanwhile, the new Sorceress Teela searches for the secret of Snake Magic in the mists of Darksmoke to rebuild a magic realm and help He-Man hold off the greatest threat Eternia has ever faced: the return of the despot Hordak, the ruthless leader of the Horde Empire!”

What was previewed:
Netflix’s first official clip for Masters of the Universe: Revolution featuring He-Man with his armor-clad father King Randor take on Scare Glow in different incarnations.

What’s the buzz?
Fans are saying they enjoyed seeing King Ragnor fight alongside He-Man and hope Revolutions will expand on their father-son dynamics.  However, they have not forgotten that Revelations replacing the franchise’s titular main protagonist He-Man with Teela and are concerned Kevin Smith will sideline their childhood muscular hero.

Bottom line:
Powerhouse’s He-Man animation looks fantastic, but it remains to be seen if the quality of Masters of the Universe: Revolution‘s story can honor the wishes of fans of the long-running franchise.  

SCOTT PILGRIM TAKES OFF (debuts November 17, 2023)

scott pilgrim ramona

Director: Abel Gongora
Animation studio: Science SARU
8 episodes, all available on November 17, 2023 based on the Oni Press-published comics by Bryan Lee O’Malley and the live-action movie directed by Edgar Wright.

What’s it about?
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off follows the title character as he falls in love with New Yorker Ramona Flowers. But in order to date her, he must defeat all seven of her evil exes. Then things get even more complicated.”

What was previewed:
After Julie Powers telling the series “hero” Scott Pilgrim that his crush Ramona Flowers works as a Netflix DVD deliverer, Scott goes to his friends place to order a Netflix DVD off the world wide web.

As a millennial who remembers renting videos from Blockbuster and the early days of  Netflix, this clip was very nostalgic.  

Bottom line:
We may not be well versed in the Scott Pilgrim universe, but Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is definitely on our watchlist

PLUTO (debuts October 26, 2023)


Director: Toshio Kawaguchi
Animation studio: Studio M2
8 episodes, debuts October 26, 2023
Based on the manga series Pluto by Naoki Urasawa (published by VIZ Media), based on the Osamu Tezuka Astro Boy short story, “The Strongest Robot on Earth”

What’s it about?
The suspense drama takes place in a neo-futuristic world where humans and high-functioning robots live in complete harmony.

What was previewed:
The Swiss hero robot Mont Blanc and a key figure in a robot-rights group is murdered. When both bodies are found arranged in a bizarre arrangement, topped off with makeshift horns placed by the victims’ heads, robot detective Gesicht steps in to investigate these bizarre murders.

Bottom line:
As fans of the classic PLUTO manga, I’m interested to see if Studio M2 will adapt the entire manga’s story in eight 60-minute episodes.

The rebroadcast of the Netflix Drop01 animation showcase can be viewed on the Netflix Anime YouTube channel. You can also follow then on Twitter/X at @NetflixAnime