Vampire Hunter D 1985 Film Review: Done by Rancel
Vampire Hunter D is a Japanese Horror themed 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 somewhat better than anime from the very early days such as Go-Lion Voltron and Macross/Robotech in the 1980’s.
Vampire Hunter D 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, a 10,000 year old 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, D the Dhampir finds himself battling his way to Magnus Lee’s home, a giant gothic castle to rescue Doris and prevent her from being embraced by the Vampire Lord. Along the way there are forces in D’s way, such as the lecherous creepy Greco Rohman, the mayor’s son who wants Doris for himself. Count Magnus Lee’s mutant servant Rei Ginsei and his daughter Lamica challenge D as well. They both eventually turn against their master Magnus Lee, with Lamica most surprisingly betraying him 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 bizarre looking talking symbiotic/parasite that is in 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 D when he is trying to resist the urge to bite Doris. The symbiote revives D the Dhampir at one point when D is staked, his hand is cut off by Rei Ginsei, and is left to die in the sun. D is a half breed, meaning he is both human and vampire since his mother was a lower class human and his father being of high vampire nobility, which makes him a Dhampir. You will find out while watching, that some other key character in Vampire Hunter D 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. Vampire Hunter D 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 he has a heart in a couple of scenes. Rei kills the creep Greco, he saves Dan (Doris little brother) from falling to his death, and smiles at the kid after he rescues him. Rei continues his redemption when after saving Dan he attempts to kill Count Magnus Lee. Lamica also redeems herself by aiding D in his fight against her father Magnus. My Special Edition DVD of Vampire Hunter D is in serious need of a Blu-ray upgrade, because the picture transfer is horrible looking at 4:3 full screen aspect ratio on my HD TV. The sound is low in volume and depth when using my HD receiver.
The instrumental music played in the Vampire Hunter D film is epic sounding, which fits D in his battle scenes. I particularly liked the ending song, which was very beautiful sounding. It highlights the scene with D riding off into the sunset, Doris with her little brother waving, and saying goodbye to him. I have watched Vampire Hunter D 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. To see more of D the Dhampir’s adventures, watch Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000). The sequel is better in many ways and has improved animation. Click here to buy Vampire Hunter D (1985) DVD
Vampire Hunter D 1985 Heroic Ending Theme
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