The general milieu of Vampire Hunter D strongly evokes that of Stephen King’s Dark Tower novels. Both fantasy worlds feature a Clint Eastwood-style gunslinger hero exploring a futuristic land that is equal parts Old West and Mordor. The story takes place in the distant future where technology has taken a large step backwards. The world is shrouded in a veil of medieval times and twisted forms of life have risen preying on humankind. Every 50 years or so the ancient vampire lord, Count Magnus Lee resurfaces to terrorize the area of Ransylva and to take a new human bride. One such human, a young girl named Doris, has been victimized by a deadly vampire Count Magnus. Only a mysterious vampire hunter known as D intervenes to help her.
The movie is an older title and the visuals reflect that fact. The animation is nothing to write home about, but the artwork itself isn’t too bad in some scenes. Many of the villains are downright odd in Vampire Hunter D and often resemble jokers or harlequins. This should come as little surprise to those familiar with the graphic design work of Yoshitaka Amano. Some scenes are beautifully done but others look like they’ve been taken out of the South Park school of animation with cut out shapes bobbing across the screen. The background artwork is adequate but nothing special.
This is one of the more thoughful animes I’ve ever watched. The most interesting part was D’s struggle to be human. The vampires in this world do not consider themselves outsiders at all, and certainly not monsters. They see themselves as the nobility, and all normal humans are just commoners. It is in my honest opinion that this movie is WAY overrated and although it’s wildly popular for no particularly good reason, it does hold its own as an old-school anime gore flick with a fair amount of style.
It’s not a spectacular movie in any way, but if you enjoy a good bloody horror action flick, you’ll no doubt enjoy Vampire Hunter D. All in all, even thought its overrated, Vampire Hunter D is a classic which I classify as a must see for every true anime fan. Oh, and in case you were wondering if there was any nudity in addition to the blood shed, yes, there are a few shots of anime girl boobies. Just thought I’d mention.