Vampire Hunter D is a Japanese Horror Anime Film that came out in 1985. It is directed by Toyoo Ashida and was based on a series of Japanese novels written by Hideyuki Kikuchi. I am not familiar with the novels and never read them. I first found out about this anime when I started buying anime movies on the old VHS video format in the early to mid-1990’s. I first bought this on anime when Streamline Pictures who were licensing and dubbing many popular anime into the U.S. market during those days. There was no Japanese audio available for that VHS release but the dubbing was somewhat tolerable at least a lot better than dubbed anime from the very early days such as Go-Lion Voltron and Macross/Robotech in the 1980’s
Vampire Hunter D 1985 Anime is set in the far future in the year 12,090 AD, in a post-nuclear holocaust world where vampire nobility terrorizes human peasants. It begins with young Werewolf hunter Doris Lang being attacked by Count Magnus Lee, the 10,000 year old, long-lost vampire lord. Count Magnus Lee intends to make her his vampire bride. She enlists the services of a mysterious horseman named “D” to protect her from the Vampire lord and other monsters. Soon after the Vampire Hunter D finds himself battling his way to the Vampire Lord Magnus Lee giant gothic castle to rescue Doris and prevent her from turning into a vampire.
Along the way there are hurdles to overcome such as the lecherous creepy Greco Rohman, the mayor’s son who wants Doris for himself. Vampire Hunter D must also battle Magnus Lee mutant servant Rei Ginsei and his daughter Lamica who both eventually turn against their master Magnus Lee with Lamica most surprisingly since that’s his daughter. D also must overcome his natural Vampiric tendencies and lust for Doris because all the while this is going on he falls in love with her. D is also aided by some strange talking symbiotic/parasite that is inside his hand.
The parasite is really cool because he adds some humor into the film with his funny voice and the argument he has with Vampire Hunter D when D is trying to resist the urge to bite Doris. He also revives Vampire Hunter D at one point when D is staked and his hand is cut off by Rei Ginsei and is left to die in the sun. Vampire Hunter D is both human and vampire meaning his mother was a lower class human and his father being of high vampire nobility, which makes him a Dhampir. You will find out in the movie that some other key character in the movie is a Dhampir also.
Vampire Hunter D 1985: The Review
Vampire Hunter D 1985 anime film is very dark and violent. It has some nudity in a couple of scenes but no sex. There’s lots of blood and gore. The film has several cool characters with even the bad guys being likeable. Rei who is my second favorite character next to D has honor to his personality because he isn’t totally evil. He shows it in a couple of scenes like when he kills the opportunist creep Greco, and when he saves Doris little brother from falling to his death and smiles at the boy after he rescues him. He continues his redemption when right after that sequence he attempts to kill Count Magnus Lee. Lamica also redeems herself by aiding Vampire Hunter D in his fight against her father Magnus.
My Special Edition DVD that I own is in serious need of a Blu-Ray upgrade because the picture transfer is horrible at 4:3 full screen aspect ratio on my HD TV. As for the sound it doesn’t go that well with my receiver because it’s rather thin sounding. The instrumental music played in the film is very nice and epic sounding, which fits D in his battle scenes. I particularly liked the ending song, which was very beautiful with Vampire Hunter D riding off into the sunset and Doris with her little brother waving and say goodbye to him. I have watched it both in its original Japanese language with subtitles and the dubbed version. The Japanese language as always is the way to watch anime or any foreign film since that is respectful and the way it is intended for. The dubbed version is tolerable though since some of the voices do add a comedic effect. I suggest you watch the year 2000 follow up Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, which is also equally excellent with, improved animation quality.
Vampire Hunter D 1985 Film Review: Done by Rancel
Vampire Hunter D 1985 trailer
Vampire Hunter D 1985 Heroic Ending Theme
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