If you’re familiar with this sequels first film you should know already that the main character, D, is a half-human, half-vampire whose dark legacy affords him near-supernatural qualities. He uses his abilities to fight evil, and is considered the best vampire hunter in the land. D is hired by a family to recover their daughter Charlotte, who has been kidnapped by Meier Link, one of the most deadly of the surviving vampires. Charlotte’s family does not completely trust D, and in addition, he unexpectedly develops a strange bond with Leila, the beautiful member of the the other team hired to find her as well. The animation that’s presented in this tale is really mesmerizing–giving us terrifying scenery and the tone of certain doom or uncertainty.
Now, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is hardly deep, but then again it was never meant to be. It’s simply a hack-and-slasher flick set in a world where vampires and demons rule the night and one of the best parts of the movie was the music, which was wonderfully orchestrated and always fit the scene. An improvement over the original is definitely the look of D, and everything else is richly detailed. Although it’s a “vampire” story it is much more futuristic and imaginitive than what you might expect.
The action comes fast and hard and often, more so than the original. They did a nice job of breaking up the dark subject matter with some levity and human emotions. This post apocalyptic world is very enchanting in a very ominous and creepy manner. The architecture is an odd blend of creepy gothic style and almost high-tech designs. The original film is superior is many ways but at least this sequel proved a great addition to the franchise. I wish there were more character development with D’s left hand and its powers.
In an innovative twist, the demons are able to travel at swift speeds through shadows and foliage, the camera chasing them up and down trees, buildings and bridges. Yoshisaki almosts drops the ball during the climax inside the castle when ancient spirits employ all manner of elaborate illusions to confound D and his rivals hunters and the whole sequence just about becomes too convoluted for its own good. Other than these quirks, this anime is an excellent addition to any collection or a great introduction to the world of anime. In my opinion, this movie isn’t just another slice of authentic Japanese anime, it is essential viewing no matter who you are.