Vampire Hunter D (1985)

Not Rated   |    |  Animation, Action, Fantasy

Vampire Hunter D (1985) Poster

A young girl requests the help of a vampire hunter to kill the vampire who has bitten her, and thus prevent her from becoming a vampire herself.


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User Reviews

5 July 2006 | KharBevNor
| Great adult anime of the old school
Vampire Hunter D is the kind of stuff that Manga Entertainment built their business on: old school, action heavy anime with buckets of style. The animation, whilst heavily stylised and nowhere near as crisp as todays fare, works perfectly with the material. Compare the 2000 sequel, 'Bloodlust': the animation in the latter is incredibly slick and the action comes thick and fast, but it might as well be robots fighting in outer space or samurai battling on a mountaintop. What the original does, with its dirty, old fashioned animation is create a decidedly other-worldly and eerie feel, perfectly encapsulated in the strange, mutated beings that roam the hostile countryside, glowing and sidling in a sinister fashion. The overall colour scheme, as well, is very Dario Argento: dark blues and browns prevail over the modern, Akira and Ghost in the Shell inspired trend for green overkill. Character design is, as said, very stylised, but perfectly acceptable, and D himself looks as cool as all hell.

As for the plot, there are no problems there, although there are a few cliché moments. The counts boredom, as opposed to the angst that seems to be all the rage in vampire flicks nowadays, is a nice touch, and at no point do characters motives seem unbelievable. The setting is a nicely realised far future post-apocalyptic landscape full of the standard juxtapositions (horse riders with laser rifles) bought to life by the supernatural element, which seems to have taken monsters and critters from anywhere and everywhere, to no detriment. The voice acting is competent, much better than some eighties dubs I could mention (unfortunately I only have this film on VHS, so I can't compare to the original Japanese).

Overall, not the best of 80's anime. It lacks the sophistication of Akira or the sheer camp hyperviolence of Fist of the North Star, but it's still a very enjoyable film, and a solid part of the collection of any anime connoisseur.

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


Hideyuki Kikuchi, the writer of the Vampire Hunter D novels that this movie is based on, uses more of the Hammer Horror universe of Dracula stories as his basis for storytelling rather than the original Dracula novel written by Bram Stoker. In the original novel, Dracula was more of a magical being who was able to walk around in daylight, could shape shift into multiple forms (bats, a wolf, fog), and could use hypnosis as a means of distant communication between himself and his victims/cohorts. There was also more of an emphasis on natural elements being the tools to fight him off (and fight vampires in general) that included - garlic, rose stems, communion wafers (bread), mirrors, silver, etc. And while Universal Pictures subtly changed and added to many of these elements with their own Dracula (1931) movies, it was actually the Hammer Horror studios who nonchalantly refined and created the more commonly known (and popular) rules that future vampire films adhered to: Crosses frighten, paralyze, and burn vampires. Holy water burns a vampire like acid. Sunlight turns any part of a vampire it hits into dust. If a vampire falls into a body of water, they would become paralyzed and fall into a coma. Human blood could immediately cure most ailments and injuries a vampire has sustained. Only pure wooden stakes through the heart would kill a vampire while anything else through the heart would just stun them. And any item associated with the Catholic church would automatically be a weapon that can be used against a vampire (cloaks, bibles, incense, and the building itself). These rules and regulations have all appeared in many of the Vampire Hunter D novels at some point or another.

And so one can then assume that the main protagonist in the Vampire Hunter franchise, D, is the descendant of the Dracula played by Christopher Lee and not the Dracula from the original novel or the Dracula played by Bela Lugosi.


Reiganse: An eye for an eye. And a hand for a hand.

Alternate Versions

In the Streamline Pictures English-dubbed release, a graphic shot of Count Magnus Lee's face crumbling during the final battle with D is replaced with a red flash. This change remains present in all subsequent North American prints, including the bilingual DVD and the subtitled VHS released by Urban Vision.


Your Song ('D'Mix)
Lyrics by
Tetsuya Komuro
Music by Tetsuya Komuro & Naoto Kine
Arranged by Tetsuya Komuro
Performed by TM Network


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Animation | Action | Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi


Release Date:

26 March 1993



Country of Origin


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