Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Adapted from the third Vampire Hunter D book by Hideyuki Kikuchi, this was an international production done in part by American anime distributor, Urban Vision. Unlike some other companies, Urban Vision actually put forth its own moola to get anime made, in much the same way they did for Ninja Scroll: The Series. The film was headed up by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who did the Ninja Scroll movie, and later on went on to do other American-funded anime projects like Highlander: Search For Vengeance, The Animatrix, and Batman: Gotham Knight. This was viewed as being the sequal to the 1985 VHD anime film(always respect the original!!!), although you can watch it on its own without having to see the first one.

Set about 10,000 years in the future, the world is still suffering effects from a nulear fallout that happened sometime in the late 20th Century, and vampires have come out of their coffins to take over. The only thing keeping most innocent humans from being eaten alive are vampire hunters. One of them is the tall, dark, and mysterious D, a dunpeal(or "dhampir"), a well-renowned hunter who is also half-vampire who happens to have a living parasite in his left hand he uses to dispell curses and suck up ghosts. His daddy was actually Dracula, and D tries to defy his bloodsucking nature by hunting down his kind for money. D takes up the job of tracking down the young lady Charlotte who was taken away by the vampire lord Meier Link. Also on their trail are the Marcus Brothers, a team of vampire hunters that were apparently remodeled for the movie to look like the A-Team(I'm not kidding!). Their made of four brothers with their adopted sexy sister Leila, and tour around in their own badass anti-vampire A-Team van. Meier is heading for the castle of the vampire empress Carmilla, D's stepmother that had been killed by Dracula a long time ago. Meier hires the mutant tribe of the Barbarois to protect his carriage on their journey to Carmilla, and they kill off two of the A-Team. Once finally at Carmilla's castle, the remaining Marcus Bros. are taken down leaving only Leila and D. It turns out that Carmilla was using them to resurrect herself from Charlotte's blood. D goes full vampire-Saiyan on her, and then has a last duel with Meier. The movie ends on what is argruably the greatest final scenes in an anime movie ever.

There was alot of changes that were made from the book, like the story was more shown from the POV of the Marcus Bros. instead of dealing with D and his journey. Plus, Carmilla is not in the novel at all, and was added to bring an over villain into the story. The movie has a unique roster of voice actors in it, like Michael McShane(of Whose Line Is It Anyway)as the Left Hand, Pamela Adlon(Bobby on King Of The Hill)as Leila, plus John DiMaggio and Dwight Schultz doing a great job as some of the various cast members. Yoshiaki Kawajiri does a fantastic job on this movie, even better than his previous films. The world it takes place in has a lush elaborate feel to it that slides between dark gothic backgrounds and post-apocalyptic ruins. This was as close to doing a Castlevania anime as we're probably going to get, so for a fantastic vampire action/adventure thrillride, then this should be the #1 choice on your Halloween hitlst!

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