Posted on September 24, 2004 by Flames
Ah, Vampire Hunter D. The second anime that I ever saw, thanks to Sci Fi networks Saturday anime. True, Lensman did set the bait, but VHD is the one that reeled me in and firmly hooked me into anime for the rest of my life.
In the far future, monstrous creatures have once again risen from the depths at which they lay, vile, evil creatures, from Vampires to Werewolves, to Zombies, to gelatinous blobs that descend upon you from the sky and rend the flesh from your bones in a matter of seconds. Here, Vampires are lords and masters, ruling over these minions of the dark, and terrorizing villagers wherever they decide to settle. One man rides alone, one man to stand against this tide of evil, one man to fight. And fight he does.
D is a Vampeel, or Vampiir, or Dunpeir as some say. To us it means that he is a half breed, the coupling of a vampire and a human to produce offspring with both the good and the bad of both breeds. Vampiric strength, eyesight, and a thirst for blood, yet the ability to walk in the sunlight, and counter said thirst, with ever the hint of a more powerful force at work behind the scenes. And he never ages, for until he is killed, D will never die. D is a specific Vampiir, for his sire is none other than THE Count Dracula, and D’s powers are unrivaled, tho cursed, with a demon for a hand, who is a complete smart ass, but yet can be useful, removing stakes by moving independently from D’s body, and the ability to feed on magic which comes in handy at times. He is also said to serve as D’s conscience, although we do see evidence that he does have one, the hand merely is a loud, outspoken, hard to ignore voice of reason.
Count Magnus Lee has once again returned to his castle, Lee is one of the old ones, more than a thousand years old, and is extremely powerful. Every few hundred years he chooses a village woman with whom he will marry, and have his way with until he grows bored again. The village girl in question is a woman named Doris, whose father was a famous Werewolf hunter, now slain, and whose brother is a little crybaby imp. ( Not a real imp, just…useless.) Of course, Doris objects to wanting to marry Lee, and hires on D to rid the land of this Lord of Darkness. The marriage is also apposed by Lee’s daughter, Ramika, who in herself is also a half-breed, tho she does not know it, and sets out with her minion, Reiginsei, ( Pronounced Ruh-ghan-zee) to kill Doris. Reiginsei is a mutant who has the ability to twist time and space, as such, for example, D stabs him in the chest, Reiginsei twists it around so that the blade instead pierces D.
D fights his way through legions of minions, and mutants and even fighting an evil witch for his final showdown with Lee. All in all, this anime had me sitting, staring with an open mouth the entire time. The animation isn’t what you see anymore, since this was first released in 1985, but it was the first erotic horror anime to grace anime lands, quickly followed with other titles as well, like Wicked City. But VHD stands alone, and up on high, with it’s enthralling story line, moving pace, and frequent action, with enough gore to satisfy most, as well as a couple of anime girl boobies. Well, one girl, really, Doris, but you see it twice. ;). All in all, to me, Vampire Hunter D is a classic which I classify as a Must See and Must Own for every true anime fan, and like most who have been attracted to this genre, and particularly this movie, as well as the sequel, are hungrily awaiting the third and final chapter in the story that is Vampire Hunter D.
Reviewer: Matt Mulholland