Vampire Hunter D
Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Action, Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Vampire
First Released: December 1985, 80-minute film.
Summary: It is 10,000 years in the future and the world has become a very different place. A post-apocalyptic setting means that monsters roam the land freely while people live a simple life, besides the cybernetic horses and high-tech weaponry. The story focuses on a small area inundated by monster attacks and watched over by Count Magnus Lee, a powerful vampire who has ruled the land for thousands of years. When Doris is bitten by the Count and chosen to be his new bride, she hires a vampire hunter named D to protect her from being forced into marriage. Luck has it that D is an amazing vampire hunter, although he does have a mysterious secret…
Vampire Hunter D is clearly a 1980s anime film. The animation and sound effects give it away, not that there’s anything wrong with that. The animation presents a good depiction of a post-nuclear world with gothic and horror themes. The fight scenes are bland at times, feeling like a lot of time is passing with nothing happening. The film has potential, but at a mere 80-minute run time, it is too rushed in its storytelling. If the film had been longer, I probably would have enjoyed it more. That being said, it is a product of its time and I applaud what they were able to do with it. Vampire Hunter D was one of the earliest anime targeted to the male teenager/adult demographic. It was also working on a limited budget comparable to anime TV series instead of having a theatrical movie budget.
You might enjoy this if: You want to get back to the roots of anime and watch some of the early influential work. If you enjoy the original film check out the sequel, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, that was released in 2000. Also, it was announced in 2015 that a new series, Vampire Hunter D: Resurrection, is in production!
You might not like it if: The latest and greatest in anime is what you’re interested in. Vampire Hunter D is dated and a lot of it does not withstand the test of time in a lot of ways.
Note to the Viewer: Audio dramas were created in the late 1980s by Asashi Sonorama! It’s pretty regular for an anime to be combined with a manga, video game series, and even a live-action adaptation, but to have an audio drama adaptation is pretty unique!
Vampire Hunter D trailer