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  • 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.
  • One of the things I have learned to appreciate in my ongoing exploration of Japanese Anime is it's willingness to tell a reasonably adult, well-thought-out and plotted story. Vampire Hunter D is the best example of such storytelling that I have seen in any recent fantasy piece (animated and non).

    The one thing I appreciated about this film was that no one in it is a cardboard cutout. Evil is not portrayed as monolithic (if anything, it's shown as just amorality cubed) nor all humans automatically "good guys". Just like in the real world, everybody wants something. Doris wants revenge on a personal level and safety for her village on a community one. Count Lee wants to marry a bride to pass the time. His daughter wants this marriage to be stopped. The Count's time-twisting underling wants to go beyond his current station as loyal henchman. Doris' suitor wants her all to himself. D wants...well, what does D want?

    Of all the characters in this story, D is the most enigmatic. If movies do indeed have a Tarot deck, as Stephen King suggests in "Danse Macabre", then D falls under the Eternal Loner (which also applies to such cinema protagonists as Eastwood's Man with No Name in the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns and Lee Marvin's Walker in "Point Blank"). A half-human, half-vampiric descendent of the legendary Count Dracula himself, he is a man of two worlds, yet not truly a part of either. In one, he is barely tolerated out of necessity. In the other, he is hated for his chosen profession. His terse dialogue makes Eastwood look as talkative as Groucho Marx. By personal choice, he has cut himself off from all emotional ties to the people around him who, I'm fairly sure, will die long before he will (consider the comment regarding Doris' confession of love: "I know.").

    The big question regarding D is why? Why does he do what he does? I'm not sure that he actually killed his father, as his conversation with Count Lee's daughter would seem to disprove. Perhaps his father saw how the vampires were changing the world and not for the better. Perhaps he instilled in his son the need to always protect those who are weaker than he from the many predators that this world had to offer (as a nobleman who felt a genuine, if patriarchial, concern for his people, it is not impossible that this would be so). One thing is certain: he does not kill his chosen prey for the common reasons that other men do: money, power, prestige, or even love. Maybe he kills to make the world a better place. Who can truly say? Maybe the new movie on the way will provide some answers.
  • dee.reid15 October 2004
    In the 13 years before Wesley Snipes would pick up a sword and proceed to slice and dice the undead that frequented blood-soaked raves in 1998's ultra-cool "Blade," the eponymous character "D" of "Vampire Hunter D" was slicing up vampires and other horrors on the Japanese countryside.

    "Vampire Hunter D" is certainly one of the better Anime' flicks to be released during the 1980s, when most Japanese animation films were either relentless bloodbaths, borderline pornography, or both. "D" fits in with the eldest category: it's not short of graphic violence and gore, and there's some explicit nudity to boot.

    As a fan of Anime', I know that Japanese animation is not all that welcome in American mainstream cinema because of the stigmas that are attached to it. Because "Vampire Hunter D" was released amidst a blossoming season of bloody, sexy Anime' films, it has earned a small cult following in America.

    It is sort of slow in the beginning, but gets going once D makes his appearance, riding into town on a cyborg horse and wrapped in a long black cape. His eyes are partially obscured by his over-sized brim hat. He's hired by a local girl to exterminate the vampire that bit her and because she's been bitten, people have grown fearful of her since they believe that she is contaminated. So D goes to work, taking on the Count's legion of ghastly demons and other hideous creatures.

    "Vampire Hunter D" is not the greatest Anime' ever made, but it was one of the first that I ever saw growing up. It's one of my personal favorite Anime' flicks and it definitely ranks within my top ten Japanese animation films.

  • I find it hard to classify anything with this much blood, guts, entrails and brain matter as "camp," but others seem to think it is so. They are entitled to their opinions.

    The story is what I can't get over; it's really incredible. We've got actual characters here, with inner lives of their own; dreams, hopes, fears, and prejudices. Nobody does anything because it's convenient for the plot, the characters act because that's who they ARE. It's really quite refreshing, actually.

    This is the original classic film, though I have it on authority that the comic is better. Be that as it may, this is a wonderful story with some great characters (and cutie females) that doesn't waste a second of its 85-minutes running time.

    Supremely good for 1985. Anyone know where I can see the sequel?
  • By the same director of 'Fist Of The North Star', 'Vampire Hunter D' is in much the same mould as 'Fist' - post-apocalyptic setting, brooding heroes, exploding heads and plenty of gore to boot! I personally love this anime, the story, characters, music and even animation (albeit a bit rough and 80's) all combine together well to make this an anime to watch again and again. Another parallel with 'Fist' is the amazing amount of cheesy one-liners - they keep me and my friends 'occupied' for hours! (I was once told of mutant that could twist space around him, and now it seems I have met him! - a good example!)
  • I knew of this movie several years before I decided to buy it on video. Firstly, this anime single handely is a landmark in Japanese animation. Not because it has a brilliant plot, infact the plot is quite basic, and is nothing that hasn't been brought onto the screen prior to this video's release...but what this film does hold is the honor of it being the first animated horror film ever, Never before has Japan produced a horror featuring scenes of bizzare fungi-like demon ozzing through tunnels, demons tearing through horses necks, etc.

    Being one of the very first anime to have a western release, Vampire Hunter D was dubbed by Streamline pictures for American in 1988, and then appeared in Europe in early 1993 via agreed distribuition by Manga Entertainment. The story is quite basic and low bass, basically; a young girl finds herself fighting through a forrest of demons, and it isn't long beofre she realises that she is trespassing on the Count. Magnus Lee's land, and involuntarily teh Count takes her blood as compensation (i.e. passing on the Vampire infection). She seeks out the aid of a Vampire Hunter on the open road, who goes soley by the name of "D." The girl hires D to storm the castle and seek kill the Count so that she may be cured of her vampirism, what the girl doesn't know that D is half Vampire Himself. But the Count sends out his minions to intervine, alongside his Daughter and her Mutant hentchman, who are sercetly trying to kill the girl, rather than bring her to the Count, as they feel that she will disgrace the Lee Family.

    Origionally, Vapire hUnter D started out as a novel by animator Yoshitaka Amano, then later progressed into art. The interest of his concepts grew so much that an agreement was made between him and SONY to animate the film, Amano being the chief animator and character designer. The film achieved audiable success in it's time, being many of the first wave of anime to be introduced to the highly expensive "VCRs" at the time, and remains a classic in the West, marked out for it's originality. The character's hero, D, is the main interest, ebing a dark almost emotionaless hunter, dedicated to the oblivion of the darkside, and those who dominate with supernatural powers, forever tormented by thebickering of his own left hand who lives to remind him of what he is. It's this that draws the viewer into focuss on the film.

    I recomend this to any anime viewer who can appreciate "old skhool" efforts, yet many people who watch anime are beging to forget this film, due to the anticpated release of the modern superior "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust." I haven't seen this film as of yet with it been only so cinematicaly released in Asia, but considering it's directed by the renouned Kawajiri, I expet the plot and animation to be something else. Though that is no excuse to discard this film as trash, just because it is some 17 years old, and is "retro." It's obvious that modern times will progress further in animation, but people shouldn't regard any film as crap purely because it's pre-decessors have become superior to it.

    Overall a worth a watch film if you like anime, particularly Yoshitaka Amano artwork, but if you hate anime, dont bother,and stick to George Clooney films***7/10***

    This film went onto inspire the style of other animated horror films from this decade such as the aimated adaption of Go Nagai's Devilman, and Toshio Maeda's controversial Urotsukidoji: Legend Of The Overfiend.
  • dryamore27 January 2000
    Vampire Hunter D, holds true to the dark fantasy genre. The animation gives the appropriate feel of darkness and desparation. With concepts both original and historical. The legend of the Dhampyr exists in both eastern and western mythos. Not a cartoon for children, but if you like vampires and action this is the movie for you.
  • Before the likes of Hellsing and Blood: The Last Vampire, there was "Vampire Hunter D". A haunting tale about a half vampire, half human hybrid named "D" who travels the post apocalyptic wastelands of future earth, hunting down powerful vampires. As this story opens, D is tasked with killing a member of "the nobility" who terrorizes the local populace and in a fit of "I have nothing else better to do" has forced a girl to become his bride.

    Wow, what some people would do with too much free time on their hands eh?

    The narrative may seem like a jumble of clichés at first, sharing many aspects in common with western vampire novels and movies. Though not the most original of stories, Vampire Hunter D was a great film for its time, combining elements from science fiction, horror, romance, and western genre to create something refreshingly new. The world as realized in this movie is a dark and dangerous place. Monstrous mutants lurk about in the dense jungles and unknown dangers lie along the treacherous mountain paths.

    What stands out for me is the ability of the director to stick close to the horror aspects of the original novel and produce a movie with a hauntingly eerie atmosphere. The watercolor backgrounds, stylish character designs, heavy black shadings, creative lighting and block shadows all lend themselves to a very surreal and other-worldly feel. The opening scene with Count Magnus Lee shrouded in darkness, his silhouette lit only by flashes of lightning and his two glowing eyes, is only the first of many sinister and creepy scenes. An Omnious and unearthly synthesizer musical score permeates the entire movie and adds to the distinct atmosphere that truly makes Vampire Hunter D earn its "horror" status.

    I had the pleasure of listening to both the English and Japanese vocal track and I personally recommend the English one. Both are just as well acted but seeing as how most of the characters have western names and Caucasian appearances, hearing them in English gave a more realistic viewing experience. Whats more, the English actors saw it fit to give the various characters different accents. British for some of the townsfolk and eastern European for the nobility.

    As much as i like Vampire Hunter D as a classic anime, I would admit that it clearly shows its age. The animation style is severely dated and may come across as a little bit on the "cheap" side even for a 1985 OVA production. There are a number of animation short cuts like looping a conversation over a single still shot and long lingering close up shots to save on the number of cels that would have to be drawn. With its limitations in the animation department, the action scenes naturally suffer. Fights are generally quite stylish but the animation, or rather, LACK OF animation is painful to watch. Characters pause in weird stances as colorful streaks zip about behind them to give the illusion of motion. Normally I would criticize a movie that has too many long slow camera pans across a background, but this style just builds up the ominous atmosphere and thanks to the musical score, helps to increase the suspense.

    Another flaw is its story pacing. The narrative tends to drag at times and the story seems to "jump" from setting to setting. There also seems to be a eschewing of character development in favor of advancing the plot. Each of the characters are more or less stuck in their pre-set mold of stereotypical archetypes. Only D comes across as mildly interesting due to his mysterious nature and the unknown limits of his powers. Though the voice actors do a great job at trying to flesh out the characters, a generally uninspired script hamper their best efforts. I actually found myself feeling bored during couple of dialog scenes.

    Vampire Hunter D is a fine example of how an animated movie can enthrall its audience by its atmosphere and feel alone. There are few anime that manage to capture the actual "feel" of the horror genre and Vampire Hunter D is one exceptional exceptional example of an anime that can. If you have an open mind for a good story and a unique style in an anime movie, Vampire Hunter D is highly recommended.

    I personally encourage newer fans who are more used to the glossy pastel colored modern day anime to give this "grand old horse" a chance. Immerse yourself in the grim, gritty world of Vampire Hunter D and find out what made this the cult classic that it is today.
  • This is one of those anime movies I first saw on regular television. It was very cool and unique and started my love affair with these types of cartoons. The only other anime movie I saw before this one was one called in English "Warriors of the Wind". I saw that one when I was a bit young though and I didn't know what was going on so I can not really review it. I remember it being rather good though. The reason I like this one though is that it is sort of the old plot of a man going against vampires and wolfman and all sorts of other supernatural creatures, but there is a bit of a futuristic twist that I rather like. The story has a girl bitten by a vampire and destined to become his bride. She is in luck though as a vampire hunter named D has come to town. This guy really is a good fighter and he uses every trick in the book to take down the evil in the castle. He has a rather unique sidekick as well. Twists and turns abound in the movie as do betrayals and vengeance. This one has it all and some great animation and action as well. When I saw this one later on cinemax I was kind of surprised to see it had some brief nudity in it as well, but nothing that lasts to long. Quite frankly, that was about the only difference I saw from the television cut to the movie cut...not really too much of a big deal. All in all a very satisfying anime classic.
  • I first saw this anime on the USA channel when I was 13 and it introduced me to the world of anime. Every since that fateful day I have been watching anime; and I still find this film to be one of the best anime films I've ever seen. So what does the film have. An awesome gothic tale, a kick butt main character, who is cool and taciturn yet surprisingly sensitive. Even if you don't like Japanese animation you may like this movie, it being in the same vein as Blade and John Carpenter's Vampires. The film is dark, violent, and ultra-hip, I suggest it to anyone who wants to get into Japanese animation. A+
  • Warning: Spoilers
    BANPAIA HANTA D (Vampire Hunter D)

    Director: Toyoo Ashida, Carl Macek Writer: Hideyuki Kikuchi, Yasushi Hirano, Tom Wyner

    "You and your kind do not belong among the living. You are nothing but visitors from the past, shadows from the world of darkness."

    Japanese animation comes in whirlwinds of both creativity hand-in-hand with quirks, and naive science fiction fares. The characters are often disjointed and one-dimensional, and supposedly comical, yet by American standards, very mundane. Yet the creative side of the art remains to be surpassed even by the 'great' CGI era. Sticking to the old techniques of hand-drawn as opposed to computer-generated, Anime reflects on the human spirit more than anything else, which is surprising in the midst of so many far-fetched scenarios brought forth in the genre. It is fiction, we suppose, as we sit down in our seats with a bucket of popcorn and maybe some Twizzlers or soda, but as we delve into the storyline it can also be aggravating to watch so many grandiose scenes of mayhem meshed in with as many blatantly stupid and over-the-top characters.

    Do people really laugh every time a stupid cat is shaken out of a tree by quasi-martial art ninja on screen? Is it really funny to see some teenage girl get her skirt blown up by a sudden gust of wind? These types of moments plague the stories of many an Anime feature, as well as frustrate the h*** out of yours truly. This is why this may be one of the few features worthwhile for any moviegoer. Skip the bulls***, give me action, blades, and bloody slaughter, I say. Color it red and black, put a sticker on it, and I'll buy it and enjoy it as much as I can.

    Be forewarned: "Vampire Hunter D" is NOT for the faint of heart. Nudity is prevalent, blood is spilled by the bucket-load, and the gore is beautifully choreographed so as to astonish yet captivate any viewer. Even the first scene is sure to mind-boggle.

    The real strength of the Anime is the animation, as previously stated. "Vampire Hunter D" will not disappoint in this aspect. Surely, we won't see much in the dark, but when the finale begins, and the light finally shines along the hills that D has traveled throughout the film, it is no less than inspiring. Left with afterthoughts of how great this film would be if it were all drawn in such vibrant color, we are easily mislead at the end to fantastic wishes. This is a vampire flick, though, and it just doesn't seem right to have such ideas floating around. Beautiful, because of its double-edged art and yet gnawing loss of concentration towards the end, the film is certainly one of the finer moments in animation history. But how great can it be for a whole hour to watch blood get splashed around, even "hand-drawn", and then have the whole thing cascade when we see how really talented the artists were at the end?

    Well, it's rewards are well worth the watch. The snake-women are guaranteed to send shivers down the spine of even the more avid horror-freaks who view the film for the first time. Also, the fact that this is an animation really alleviates the need for real scares, which to be perfectly honest, never quite worked for the vampire sub-genre. Instead, we are given the truest depiction of the vampire subculture, complete with the werewolves, monsters, demons, and terminology that should be in any great vampire cinema.

    The main vampire, Count Magnus Lee, is one of the more colorful characters in the film. His subtle impatience mixed with superiorly crafted monologues are a point of reference through the chaos that warps the short-lengthened movie. He was actually named after Count Dracula's most played actor, Christopher Lee, and of course the similarities are in focus throughout the film. Dracula, doesn't got s*** on this guy though.

    D, the hero/anti-hero of the film is truly one of the more great characters I've ever seen in cinema, ever. The less-is-more approach is conducive to the atmosphere, as well as mentally arousing to allow the punctures of every pair of teeth to seethe and cut through the viewer's own skin.

    As over-glorified the Anime genre became in the late 90's, this classic of the mid 80's remains one of the finest pieces of cinema never viewed by the common public. Hats off to the creators and artists that worked on this piece, I wish they had done more.

    "I've lived for almost ten thousand years. Believe me you have no idea what that means: boredom. Everlasting and hideous boredom. A never ending search for ways to pass the time..."

    VAMPIRE HUNTER D (1985): 10/10

    Actors: Kaneto Shiozawa, Michael McConnohie, Barbara Goodson

    Art Direction: Toyoo Ashida Music: Tetsuyo Komuro Producer: Shigeo Maruyama, Yutaka Takahashi, Carl Macek, Hiroshi Kato, Mitsuhisa Koeda
  • Spidey-184 October 1999
    This is a great anime simply because it brought new elements to anime. A vampiel (half vampire half human, kinda like Blade, only ten times better) rejects his vampirism to hunt the bloodsuckers. When he comes to a small village a girl tries to steal his sword, but he just does his little magic trick and continues riding. He then finds out about the vampire that bit her and decides to help her. Count Lee is old and powerful, but D is the only son of Dracula, the first vampire. We never find out if D killed his father, but it's a good bet he did. Personally I think this film spawned the Blade character found in marvel comic books. Only D is much better. The anime isn't top rate by any means compared to what we have now, but during it's time it was fantastic. It's a must see for any Anime fan.
  • One of the earlier feature-film anime releases to find popularity outside of Japan, "Vampire Hunter D" is also amongst the earliest of its genre to be aimed primarily at adult audiences with its inclusion of Gothic horror, brutal violence and some sexuality. Based on the characters and novels created by Hideyuki Kikuchi, the film is often highly regarded in the world of anime fandom for its important contributions to the art-form, both aesthetic and in terms of broadening its worldwide appeal. Even to this day- more than thirty years after its initial release, it stands tall thanks to these contributions to the entertainment world. And while its quality might not quite measure up to its historical importance, it's very much a fun and engaging piece of Sci-Fi/Horror, and fans of not only anime but film in general should definitely give it a shot.

    Thousands of years in the future, the Earth has crumbled into something of a post-apocalyptic dystopian world, with human culture having fallen apart and somewhat regressed while supernatural terrors roam the land. After headstrong teenager Doris Lang is attacked and bitten by the Vampire Lord Mangus Lee while patrolling her property, she seeks the help of a famed and mysterious bounty hunter known only as "D" to protect her and her younger brother Dan- knowing this dark lord of the shadows seeks to make her into his newest bride. And so, the three will have to band together to fight off Lee's mutant assassins, corrupt townsfolk who now fear Doris, and the dreaded count himself to survive!

    While the plot line is a bit simple and is comprised of mainly the most basic of cliché and trope, I find it actually works quite well thanks to the wonderful use of atmosphere and the very likable characters. Despite showing its age, this is still very much a beautiful film and the immense talent of all involved (including director Toyo Ashida, original novel illustrator Yoshitaka Amano and composer Noriyoshi Matsuura) is on full display. It's got a great, grand and very captivating mixture of both Gothic and Sci-Fi design philosophy, in addition to keen character and setting design that sets up such a delightfully dreary mood from the opening frames to the end of the climactic battle. It sets just the right tone from which it builds its thrills and chills upon.

    The characters are very archetypal and highly enjoyable. D makes for a wonderfully moody anti-hero. His classic design of long flowing black robes and pale skin evoking a wide spectrum of feelings in the viewer. His lack of dialog and crytptic backstory also help us view him as something of a blank slate, where we can put ourselves in his shoes and get sucked into the story. Doris and Dan make for a great sort-of foil to D's simplicity, and both are infectiously likable characters that you just can't help but root for. And Lee makes for a very fun villain. Obviously inspired by a famous actor with the same last name and was famous for playing a certain vampire in a series of films, Lee's just pure, old-fashioned Universal monster-movie cheese and contrasts wonderfully with the Japanese sensibilities of the storytelling and character design.

    However, part of both the biggest strength and weakness of the film is its fun but very uneven sort-of episodic approach to storytelling. It both does and does not adhere to traditional three-act structuring, with some sequences (particular in the middle section of the film) that begin to feel more akin to volumes or chapters or even video-game like "levels" than thought-out scenes there to develop the plot line. It's all in the spirit of giving D and the others increasingly fierce opponents to fight, and it is a lot of fun in a sort-of schlocky way. But I find it distracts from the overall narrative. It leads to too much of a disconnect to the story, and eats up a bit too much screen time, making you lose focus of just what's at stake. Yes, it's fun seeing D battling various monsters... but not at the expense of the basic storytelling. I think this style of story structure was a fun experiment here that didn't quite work, but lead to future films perfecting the concept, including notably the second film in this franchise, "Bloodlust", which had more of a "road-trip" quality where the episodic approach worked significantly better.

    Still, despite this quite severe blunder to the narrative structure of the film, I can't condemn it too badly. Because it's still great fun. It's still very moody and sometimes spooky. And it's still wild and thrilling entertainment that should leave most audiences satisfied. Not only is it an important film in the grand scheme of anime's history... it's just a really good, solid film in general. I know plenty of non-anime fans who have seen it and enjoyed it for what it is. And I'm still waiting for more feature-length adventures from this character. It may not be a perfect film. But it's perfect entertainment.

    I give "Vampire Hunter D" a very good 8 out of 10.
  • worthy of mythological status. Vampire hunter D is orgasmic in its' display of visual animated vampire slaying over the top fighting plus witchcraft eye candy- seeing this under the influence of heavy mind altering substances could wind up being downright spiritual since this is so intensely well depicted and intensely graphic.

    Vampire hunter D is our quiet talking wildly slaughtering Vampire Bounty Hunter- but he as a Dampire - a half vampire - so he is the lonely anti-hero warrior persona ever so popular in anime films- with a flash of his sword he can leave scores of men shooting blood from their lopped off appendages.

    D, as he is called runs into some competition in trying to track down the girl that it is his job to return to her family at all costs- this creates competition, tension and a romantic moment or two as well- very rich characters, lots of intense, superb witchcraft animations of ancient spells and such- this movie is a work of art!!

    -One funny thing- if you can read German- is to read the note the vampire reads in the carriage- and compare it to the speech of the English dub voice-over.
  • Vampire Hunter D(1985)

    Review: I have seen this a number of times. This has aged well. I remember on the original VHS copy on the back saying, The First Animated Movie For Adults! Indeed.

    Vampire Hunter D is a classic in it's own regard. The story is straightforward and effective. A village girl has been bitten be Count Magnus Lee and now hires The Dunpeal to take care of him. This movie has the old feel of the modern vampire lore like crosses work as well as garlic. This also takes place in the very distant future.

    Here are the basics: The animation: Subpar. Not bad, but could be better, but this is 1985, so I can definitely give them a break. It's still not that bad.

    The Voice acting: Pretty good with the exception of Doris' little brother sounding way to much like a girl. I always hated that. Otherwise fine.

    The Characters: All not fully developed, but that was not meant to be, but there is some development and it works. Just enough character. Does not suffer from over crowdedness.

    The Last Word: The good olé days. This is how the anime genre got it's grand start. Takes me back. This has aged well.
  • Vampire Hunter D, a man torn by his own nature, at war with himself must defeat the evil vampires that plague the desolate earth which he roams. D is a dumpheil (a Whampyr- half-vampire spawned by the womb of a living women pregnant and bitten by a vampire.) so he feels that he must undo the evil that his ancestors have wrought on the earth. though their numbers dwindle, vampires still rule the night and humanity must live in fear of these monstrous creatures. Hired by Dorris, a young woman 'kissed' by Count Magnus Lee; Lee being one of the oldest and most powerful of the remaining vampires. When the town finds out that she is bitten Dorris and her brother find themselves the target of mistrust and simple minded hatred, much like D himself. Involving a few rather confusing trips to the Counts' castle D really ticks him off so Lee sends his mutants and daughter to deal with him. As the climax draws nearer you are given a closer look at the honor bound life which D forces himself to live by, however you learn precious little more about his actual history or personality - if he has one. Drawn in a stunning anime style based on some extraordinarily beautiful original concept artwork by the same guy who did final fantasy 8 and 9, plus he did Sandman's ENDLESS NIGHTS. The characters are a little but hard to deal with, any fan of DBZ should find themselves quite at home with Dorris' little brother, but the artwork is original and creative enough to keep you very visually entertained. The dialogue, or what little there is too speak of is terrible just like the toss away paper tissue characters, but this like many other 80's animes' holds a special place in my heart. It's graphic violence and stupid use of gratuitous nudity (only in 1 spot but still it was really useless)and usual objectification of woman as eye candy it opened the door for a lot of stuff that we see today and is a god quality anime. Usually when you say Anime or Manga to someone they think of either Akira or Vampire Hunter D; however until two years ago when the subsequent sequel, "Bloodlust", came out few people answered 'D'. Released a few years before Akira, Hunter D missed out on the explosion of Anime films in America during the later nineteen-eighties and early-nineties. It sat on video shelves for two or three years in the states before its' popularity exploded, and for a time it flourished. All good things end however and so did it's popularity escaping quickly into the realm of obscurity. Recently it was re-mastered (questionably) by the original releasers in preparation for "Bloodlust" and is now widely available on both VHS and DVD.
  • I wouldn't say the story was perfect... or there was anything that would link to your heart. Some will feel compassion for D, some will not. I didn't think it was pretty much about killing vampires, like it was in Blade or something. It wasn't the thing that caught me. What was really capturing about it was the atmosphere of the Great Loneliness. It was like in the Great Desert of Ghosts, there wasn't any "smell" of normal human life. Nothing comical or satirical. I can't find an exact word for it. I'm only depicting here my own feelings, as a child of the Desert. Dangerous, Dark and Sweet Attraction.

    But... of course all this will appear only if you're in the same kind of mood.
  • This has got to be my favorite anime movie, first of all because I typically like movies about vampires, and because we have a cool hero, not one who spits out stupid catch phrases every 10 seconds, but one who "Speaks only when he has something important to say". It's unusual, theatric, violent, and requires little if no explaining to anyone watching the film. It's a Final Fantasy movie to me!
  • This is by far the best vampire anime flick I've seen in years. All the blood and core and the fights are just awesome! This movie may be old but it doesnt matter because it gets better with age. Go out and buy NOW!!


    (lots of blood & nudity)
  • Vampire Hunter D was one of the first anime movies I ever saw, but it is still my favorite by far. The characters are wonderfully developed, the animation style was perfect for the genre and for the story, and the overall sense of good triumphing over evil was still solidly there, even amidst the overlay of a horror setting.
  • Watching this film for the first time, I was glued to my seat the entire time. I love vampire movies, so when I learned of this movie, I ran as fast as I could to get it. I wasn't disappointed. Sure, like all animes, it got a bit cheesy at times, but thats to be expected. The characters are splendidly unique, and for the time it was made (1985) the artwork was impressive. The story follows D, a half human, half vampire (called a dempeal) who is hired by a young woman named Doris to hunt and kill the vampire that bit her. The problem is that this particular vampire is over 1000 years old and very powerful. Not to worry, though, as D has a few tricks up his sleeve (or on his hand?). If you are any kind of anime fan, WATCH THIS MOVIE.
  • GreyFox3722 February 2001
    now we're talkin!!! this is a classic that everyone has got to see!!! vampire huntin has never been so much fun, especially with D. the story is great, the gore is great, the monsters are creepy, and the characters rule! the only problem is that the love side-story was a little rushed, but overall, vampire hunter d is the one to see!
  • Vampire Hunter D is good the first watch but doesn't hold up well under multiple viewings. Why? First- you really start to notice the animation shortcuts (i.e. static characters with moving backgrounds)- not that the animation is bad, just that they recycle the same shots over and over. And once you know the story, the suspense is gone. There's definitely some cool ideas and concepts making it worth a watch. The remake coming out soon should be great if they can improve the animation and at the same time remain true to the story of the original.
  • If you're a lover of vampire movies *and* old, campy horror movies, do yourself a favor and *first* watch the newer movie in this series, "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust". That is seriously one of the best vampire movies ever - animated or otherwise.

    And then watch this movie. This is where the "old and campy" kicks in.

    This animation is *just* like any old and campy horror movie. Let's forget the "anime" angle here; all cartoons made in 1980s and earlier look pretty much the same, regardless of country of origin.

    Here, we have a classic horror movie plot, we have a classic horror movie hero, we have simply a... *classic horror movie*. By that, I mean it's not really that frightening anymore, but rather very, very *amusing*.

    The only thing that jars is really the 1980s cartoon look, and the obvious fact that money has not been spent a lot (judging from the frequently repeated shots); but then again, "classic horror movies" should look cheap too. You'll probably appreciate this far more if you also see the newer movie, just to balance things. Together, these things are yin and yang of horror anime.
  • For a long time this used to be one of my least favorite anime. I still don't like this at all, but I no longer think this is the worst anime ever made: Now I know that dubious honor belongs to stuff like "Demon Lord Dante" or "Genma Wars". Or "Duel Masters". Or "Dinosaur King". Or any other anime series that tries to be the new Pokémon/Yugioh

    Anyway,I still found this to be a terrible movie: The character designs have potential, but are very poorly animated. The plot is extremely basic, being something one would expect from a cheesy B movie, something that would have been tolerable if it wasn't for the dull and uninteresting characters, with can be easily described as a combination of tired clichés that were done to death even by the time when this movie was made.

    While I don't think that every single movie should have complex or entirely original plots, I consider that at least should have some interesting elements or at least some entertainment value. This didn't have any of that..

    "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust" is much better than this in every possible way.
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