All Vampire Hunter D (2000) released episodes
Vampire Hunter D is a really long running novel series, starting way back in 1983, about a half-vampire who hunts other vampires in his ridiculously wide-brimmed hat. It had a movie adaptation way back in 1985, which was a cult hit back in the day (or so Wikipedia says) but has been all but forgotten nowadays. The 2000 adaptation Bloodlust is generally considered to be far better. It has 15 years advantage in animation technology. It has the acclaimed director Yoshiaki Kawajiri being given an absolute monster budget with Madhouse doing the animation, who were on serious top form in this period. And it shows. Oh boy does it ever show.Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust is gorgeous. When it comes to sheer detail, I can't think of a single other anime that matches it. Maybe Akira? For all the detail Akira puts into its cyberpunk setting, Bloodlust puts even more into being as gothic as possible. It's the kind of movie that an angsty disenfranchised teenager with no friends would go crazy finding desktop wallpapers and making t-shirts from various screencaps of, possibly covering his walls in pictures from the movie and thoroughly worrying his parents, and maybe even wearing a wide brimmed hat to school and then getting it stolen by the football team. A younger me, being one of those football team bullies, would probably have been put off by something so unashamedly soaked in gothicness that I wouldn't have been able to enjoy it, but an older me found how dedicated it was to this tone quite enjoyable and refreshing.The movie is set sometime in the distant future in god-only-knows-where-land. By removing themselves from any kind of timeframe or specific culture, they've allowed themselves to drape themselves in whatever type of set dressing they feel, giving the movie eclectic imagery that still all ties into the gothic tone it's going for. It's a movie you let yourself soak in as you get wrapped up in its world, even if it gets really cheesy sometimes. Heck, that cheesiness just adds to my enjoyment, because is shows how dedicated they are to this tone that they're willing to put in the slightly dumber stuff associated with that tone. It has an air of self-awareness to that sillier side too. For example, the vampire queen had a giant portrait in her house where she has one of the most ridiculously elaborate hairstyles, to which one of the bounty hunters remarks under her breath "nice hat". It's that same kind of tone Lord of the Rings has. It knows some of this high fantasy stuff is nonsense and a bit silly, but it's so dedicated to presenting that tone that you allow yourself to be swept along with it.I can't say I've ever been that big on Kawajiri stuff in the past. While they sure look nice, they've lacked any sort of soul to the characters or the story. It's just a bunch of fancy looking dudes and women that all have the same hairstyle swooping around looking cool under fancy lighting, like the Cyber City Oedo OVA. Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust...well now, don't get me wrong. It's hardly Ghost in the Shell in terms of character depth or philosophising or anything, but it's got enough to it to keep me interested beyond the pretty pictures. There's no clear correct side to the war between vampires and humans. On the one side the humans look like bigoted ignorant morons who have hunted down vampires to the point that they're nearly extinct. On the other side though, the vampires terrorise humans and kill them, looking down on them as merely cattle.That said, for the most part I was just allowing myself to be swept up in the tone and the set pieces of the movie rather than pay attention to the plot. This doesn't just mean that I was being over-awed by pretty pictures, although they are undoubtably pretty. It's how everything, from the setting to the way the characters act, to their dialogue, to how they dress, to how everything ties into this gothic tone it's setting. It's really masterfully crafted, with the possible exception of the dialogue between the vampire they're hunting and his lady friend, which were so full of "oh my dear how sweet are the petals that grace your vagina" and stupid sappy stuff like that. They were eyeroll inducing.But yes, for the most part I was just allowing myself to be swept up in the tone and the setting, paying rather little attention to the plot details. It's the mark of a good movie, though, that you find yourself caring about all the characters without even realising it. Right at the end of the movie (spoiler warning here, but honestly this is a movie I could spoil from here and back and it would have no effect on your enjoyment of the movie)The scene of the rocket lifting off. It's falling apart as it's taking off, taking with it the vampire and his lady friend. His kind are dying, he's just trying to find a place to rest with his female friend, who I'm pretty certain is dead at this point. We see the rocket taking off from the perspective of the female bounty hunter, and bear in mind that, at this point, the vampire and his minions have killed off all of her comrades. Yet as the spaceship takes off, she starts pleading for it to make it. It's a symbol of the dying vampire race, once majestic and awe-inspiring but now falling apart, yet still proud. The vampire's attempts to get away from the world with the girl he loved, you want him to leave the world nobly. You too start pleading for its safe voyage along with the female bounty hunter. And when it makes it, you feel so fucking good, without realising you'd ever really cared for their endeavours beforehand.Also in Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust, when a vampire goes out into the sun, he doesn't sparkle. He starts to catch fire in little separate parts of his body as though he has patches of oil splashed over his skin that are spontaneously combusting with every second he remains in the sunlight. So yes, proper vampires =D
Didn´t watch the original movie. Just this movie. Very nice animation and sound. Surprisingly well and detailed. Because of this the atmosphere is overwhelming. The story plays in a world where vampires rule the night and the only one able to oppose them are the vampire hunters. Especially the vampire hunter D being very strong and the son of the Vampire king. This movie is just about another big job of D. The Charackters are ok, but there is no time to build up many facets or get them to know because it is a movie. For that the characters and fights are staged well. An old fashioned anime you do not have to see, but is still great to watch. I would definitely watch a remake of this as an anime series.
\[Old review is old.\] Fifteen years after the unintentional comedy film was released, studio Madhouse decided that it would be a good time to show the fantastic work of Hideyuki Kekuchi in a more deserving light. Breaking away from the aged animation, weak story, and laughable characters of the first film, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust provides a much needed reboot to an impressive vampire world. Bloodlust begins when a woman is kidnapped by an infamous vampire, to which her family hires a band of vampire hunters to rescue her before it’s too late. However, a dunpeal (half human, half vampire) named D is also hired as backup for the other hunters. The pursuit progresses, more characters converge, and secrets are revealed to change the way that relationships between man and monster are seen. While the story is able to get in some very exciting moments, especially during the climax of the film, the entire plot line seemed too simple in comparison to every other factor in the anime. Character relationships were straightforward and their motivations seemed concrete, but the developments and execution were too predictable and underwhelming. I ought to give credit to the film for at least having these aspects, but the urge to play things safe and familiar is evident in the script. Fortunately, playing things safe means that nothing too disastrous happens with the writing, and so the basic structure for story and emotional connection is still there, if not impressive. The production is now able to show D as an especially cool fighter, while his inner issues with being a half-human half-vampire shine through the writing. He is infinitely more memorable than his counterpart in the previous adaptation, and you get a better sense that this guy is a real legend in the setting. The supporting cast all have their moments and quirks, which result in basic entertainment and memorabilia. Like the story, they felt too simplistic and unsurprising in how they change, so most of the merit is given to their respective “cool factor” and their artistic designs. On the subject of art, the animation is entirely cinematic, fluid, and committed to portraying the artstyle. Everything is depicted so beautifully with fantastic inbetween animation. Everything flows, everything moves with grace, everything acts as pure eye candy. If any one thing should describe the entire film, it’s how damn cool it looks. The world that the original creator made is displayed in impressive detail, and we are constantly surrounded with information and description about it. The backgrounds are painted with utmost care and the final product is so polished that it’s nearly chilling at times when the fear factor of the vampire world takes full effect. Seeing as how this is technically a horror anime, I guess that’s a very good thing that it fully celebrates the horror lore and Hideyuki’s take on it to the point where a superficial shocker scene can send shivers down my spine. The sound of the film also surprised me. The dub was quite good in that each voice was able to accurately match the character, adding even more atmosphere to an already well done world. The soundtrack was comprised of great energetic tracks and fantastic choirs for when the movie wanted to amplify its dark mood. The music added a lot to some of the great action sequences, resulting in a solid soundtrack that can probably stand on its own. The unfortunate thing about the final product is that the production values were able to skyrocket so high from the last film (and the quality of this film will still be very impressive for many years to come), the actual writing wasn’t able to jump as far. The story and characters are honestly average compared to many other films, and when these factors are put side by side with fantastic animation and an amazing presentation of the creative world, it feels even more disappointing. Expectations for something legendary is given when going into Bloodlust, and the quality of the script just isn’t able to hit those marks. But much like Redline, the fantastic artistry is the biggest factor to check this thing out regardless of the script. Bloodlust is a quintessential vampire anime, and it will certainly remain that way for a long time. <u>Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)</u>\: 6.4/10