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Vampire Hunter D (1993)

Art House & International and Horror movie directed by Carl Macek and Toyoo Ashida

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  • Oct 25, 2010
Vampire Hunter D


I have been watching anime since I can remember or at least since I was able to get my hands on it many moons ago. This one in particular is one of my favorites of all time and regardless of what any one tells me this will forever be in my one of the best ever. I know that some will say that I like this film just because it is older and is widely considered a classic while others will say that I should not rate it so high because of dated animation or what have you. All I can say to that is both of your points are true, this is the older film and is considered a classic by most and by today's standards it is dated. But that is were you are at fault for being overly judgmental and not understanding certain things.

Let's say that the dated argument is a legitimate flaw to the film but by that logic all those who say that about this film and praise "Bloodlust" so much for its looks will have to go back on that at some point. For those who love the second so much because of the animation just think of what the next film will look like especially if there is as much a time delay as there was between these first two. By the logic of the first is not so much a classic because of dated animation then that would mean eventually one would have to take back all the positives of the second in favor of the new and highly polished third film if there is to be one.

Don't get me wrong I love both films and enjoy both equally because I don't judge one against the other as far as animation. Story telling, voice acting, and even direction will always be up for debate because those are really constant from different time periods, there are those who do those well in every generation. The thing that is truly unfair is judging something based on things it can't help, animation gets better over the years because of the progression of technology and budgets. Therefore judging for the time period and such I would say this is excellent.

I love the animation in this first one mainly because it gives an other worldly and dark feel to the film, to be honest with out this animation the film may not have been the same. Be honest and really think about this, do you really think this would be better with the production value of the second film. The second film is a romance tell when it really comes down to it, therefore I think that the polished look and feel to the animation adds onto the over all storyline. Were as the fist film is about a girl taken against her will by creatures of the night that have a bloodlust as deep as their master, this film is more about the evil in that world not the beauty that could be. That means the grainy [dated] and dark feel of the animation is a perfect fit.

Now finally on to the actual film, "Vampire Hunter D". This first film is said to be based on the first in the series of books I believe, I have bought all of them so far but I have yet to find to time to read them. So to say this is the case would not be true n my part. What is true is it is based on the series and it's characters but I will have to read the first book to find the actual stories source material. As far as I know this is loosely based on the first book and did make some changes in the film version, but all is forgiven because I love this anime. "Vampire Hunter D" was brought to life on the screen by director Toyoo Ashida based on the works of D creator Hideuki Kikuchi, to me these two are legends because they helped create one of my favorite characters/stories/films of all time.

Our story is about a dhampir or dunpeal [which do you prefer] named D which means his of both vampire and human decent as his mother was human and you guessed it his father was a vampire. When we first happen upon D it is after a night spent with a girl named Doris [werewolf hunter like her father] who after hunting down some unfriendly creatures is bitten by a rather large fellow named Count Magnus Lee. Turns out that in the year 2,090 A.D. vampires and things like them are coming to an end even after many many years of ruling the lands. Well this Count is still holding on to all those old memories of ruling because he rules the land and all those in it just by taking what he wants, and what he wants is Doris.

Well this would not be what it is with out a skilled vampire hunter and he arrives in the form of D, who after easily dealing with Doris's attack on him agrees to help her in her fight with the Count. Of course Magnus is not a fan of this and sends his goons out to get her and each time D is there to either stop them or rescue the girl. The story really is that simple but the characters in this film are very interesting and the straightforward story telling of the first is excellent. The dark tone and feel of the movie is great and the fights, gore, and action are excellent. It doesn't hurt that the count has a pretty and interesting daughter who is opposed to his wanted arrangement with Doris. Add in some crazy looking creatures and vampires along with some more interesting characters like the majors cocky son and you have one great anime.

The acting is good especially for D { Michael McConnohie in the English version and Kaneto Shiozawa in the original} and Count Lee { Seiz Kat in the original and Jeff Winkless in the English}. Also it should be noted that Carl Macek is the man who produced and directed the English version of this film. Any way all involved on both sides should be commended.

As far as I can tell most people either love it or like it because I never have really meet any one who hated this film. And those who only like it seem to be the ones who judge it based on the animation thing, there are those who only like it but prefer the second film based on story, structure, acting or what ever. Those seem like more legitimate reasons to prefer the second film over this one not just disliking it more because of "dated" animation. Any way different people have different taste and for me this is a classic by far as is the second one in my opinion, I don't know maybe I am just a sucker for vampires. Also there is a huge thing about what his real name is like D could not be his real name at all, what if it is? Also he could just ride under the title Vampire Hunter D as in Vampire Hunter dhampir or dunpeal. But you could also say that D is the initial of his very famous vampiric fathers name, now who do you think that could be?

What did you think of this review?

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October 26, 2010
I normally can't stand anime but this sure is different - as is your terrific review! Thanks!
February 19, 2011
Thank you very much
October 26, 2010
I really really liked this and I would perhaps rate it the same. As for being my favorite anime--I have seen so many that it is hard to pick one--but Ghost in The Shell and Perfect Blue comes very close as well as this one and Ninja Scroll. Nice review!
October 26, 2010
Yeah those are all great as well but I would add "Akira" to that list. Also what do you think of the "Ninja Scroll" series?
October 25, 2010
I still need to see this. Well done.
October 26, 2010
It is a fun one man, as is the second.
More Vampire Hunter D (1993) reviews
Quick Tip by . October 25, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
I love this film, one of my all time favorites.
review by . January 24, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: See what D faced before Bloodlust     Cons: Erm...choppy editing...or something     The Bottom Line: ...Who names their kid Doris anyway?     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. People seem to get confused when one mentions Vampire Hunter D because if they’ve heard of it, chances are they’ve heard of the second one, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. This, however, is Bloodlust’s predecessor …
review by . August 09, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
Funny how the cover has nothign to do with the feeling of the movie. I know it was done like 18 years ago, but the color scheme is aqua,pink,navy,black,white, etc very dull, the characters look like they have been drawn by a kindergarden class, and the story isn't that interesting, honestly i got through half of it, and turned it off. I couldnt even finish the movie!   Watching this, all i could recomend is sticking to cheesy cartoons on tv, because they are highly more superiour to this. …
review by . April 14, 2002
As the movie opens, we find the young Doris running through the goth night, in between the sage. She raises her rifle and spurts hot rounds into the neck and head of a fierce night creature. The monster falls squirting streams of blood into the night air, as Doris' horse appears. With only half of its remaining head, the creature grabs the horse in the throat and begins tearing. Doris fires enraged shots, wildly destroying the remnants. Behind her, appearing from no where another night creature …
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About this movie


D, a haunted half-human, half-vampire warrior, wanders the countryside of a feudalistic future, hunting his own kind while battling his own evil nature. Like a rogue samurai, the silent, solitary hero wanders into a small hamlet terrorized by the all-powerful Count, a monstrous vampire lord, and his demonic minions from a castle that casts a long shadow over the countryside. The Count has claimed the human Doris (who wields a mean cutlass herself) as his bride. D becomes her protector and--when she's captured by the Count's shape-shifting minions--her savior. Designed in slashes and sharp, angular images and directed with abrupt explosions of lightning-fast action,Vampire Hunter Dis violent and bloody in the mode of a samurai adventure. The sleek D is appropriately dark and quiet, cutting a mysterious figure, while the Count is a veritable demon of a vampire, a supernaturally powerful monster whose appetites know no bounds. The undercurrent of sexuality never spills over into the sadistic vein of so many "adults only" thrillers, but it is recommended for mature audiences.

The DVD features both English and Japanese language soundtracks with optional English subtitles. It also has a documentary featurette, deleted footage, and an artwork gallery by Amano among its supplements. --Sean Axmaker

Based on the novel D-YOUSATSUKOU by Hideyuki Kikuchi, VAMPIRE HUNTER D follows the exploits of the mysterious vampire hunter known only as D. Half vampire himself (Count...

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Genre: Action, Animation, Horror
DVD Release Date: October 17, 2000
Runtime: 80 minutes
Studio: Urban Vision
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