The story revolves around D, the infamous "dunpeal" (born of a vampire father and a human mother) outcast and renowned vampire hunter. His prowess at hunting the creatures of the night allowing his acceptance among humans, he is called upon to locate Charlotte Elbourne, the lovely daughter of an affluent family who has been mysteriously kidnapped.
When the sun sets, the hunt goes on! Charlotte's father offers a rich bounty, be she dead or alive, a task D willingly accepts, even with notorious Markus brothers and their gang of bounty hunters seeking the prize as well. Amidst the chase and unknown to all lurks, a sinister evil which has been secretly manipulating their every move and has set a chilling trap that none will expect and few will survive. With the tables turned and the secrets revealed, the hunters could quickly become the hunted!
This movie gripped me from the opening sequence, that set the tone for the movie. Flawlessly artistic animation, the way the camera pans on Iron Crosses being bent out of shape, the shadowy cape of a *whisper* vampire, a woman screaming then the opening credits. Suspense, action, great animation. I was hooked.
The story seems simple on the face of it, but couched in the plot are beautiful layers of character develpment. A vampire hunter, D (a dunpeal or vampire/human half breed) is commissioned to recover a rich man's daughter, Charlotte, who has been kidnapped by a vampire. She is wanted dead (if turned) or alive
(if still human).
D meets up with a band of bounty hunters, all of whom have their own special powers, and personal demons. Against them are an array of gypsy monster/vampires. The animation and sound are so good that one feels compelled to watch and rewatch the fight scenes just because they are so well done. Each character is different and their story comes through, the only fault is the minor villians' motivations could have been made more clear.
The pacing of this movie is excellent, and it is definately theatre quality in all respects. I've introduced my friends to anime by showing them this movie, a few have become fans. The only drawback is after viewing this masterpiece, some of them complain it is hard to get other anime of this calibre quality (plot, action, animation, character, sound).
Unlike the original Vampire Hunter D, the Bloodlust movie is gothic, gory, beautiful and touching. Highly recommended to be watched on a big screen, preferably with surround sound. You won't be disappointed if you rent/download this. It's so good you'll want to own a copy to add to your anime collection, as the rewatch value is very high.
Other than the magnificent turd-like mass that was the first Vampire Hunter D movie, this one managed to take the first one, pulverise it, and make a nice hat for itself to strut about it. Because it deserves to strut around, really.
D is a half-vampire, half-Mexican--er, wait. Anyway, D is not human but he's not exactly a vampire. His powers allow him to hunt most other evil vampires and he takes up a mission to save some stupid human girl who wants to get it on with the undead, and so runs away with her vampire lover. While D tries to get the hussy back,
a rival gang who also hunts vampires compete with him. This movie was excellence. Watching all the action, the fabulous choreography of the fights were simply jizz-in-your pants worthy.
Art and sound were pure amazing. It looks beautiful, and D can make the straightest of men drool over his beauty, really. He was hotter than the chicks, believe it or not. Sound was cool, felt like I was listening to an epic horror flick. Which I was.
Characters weren't so hot except for D who we've established is walking, delectable man-meat for the ladies and just the sort of guy folks like myself just wanna hang around and kill things with. Anyway, D's just cool and aloof and can kick all types of behind. The rest of the characters were cool as well, I didn't have a problem with them, since most knew when to die anyway.
All in all, Bloodlust is the best Vampire Hunter D movie ever. And it is better than you, too.
Vampire Hunter D. I read the book as the first "anime" thing I ever did. And now I own this movie and most of the books, I'm going to be ordering Coffin as well. This anime is definitely great but it does have it's flaws.
The dvd available in North America (at least in Canada) is only available in the english dub. For elitetists this is a huge problem, but the dub isn't terrible, it's pretty good as far as dubs go.
The theme for this, doomed love, is played so beautifully in this. There were a few scenes that
almost moved me to tears. I loved the way the story progressed, they adapt it quite well from the book. The Markus Brothers and Leila also keep the pacing of the story quite well. There are a few scenes with them that really add alot to the story. There aren't alot of loose-ends, and it ends semi-ambigously but they add a very comforting scene right at the end.
The art in D is good. It's very distinctive, there are some beautiful subtleties to it. They put alot of time into some of the scenery which really show off the skills of some of these artists. Some of the character designs bug me, villagers all seem to have the same kind of frame and all moved very similarly. But they play a small part in the movie and the Markus brothers have some nice designs.
The gothic soundtrack in this is very nicely composed. It definitely suits everything that happens in this. It greatly heightens all the emotions you would feel anway. It conveys the hope and the hopelessness of it, as well as the darkness of the time.
The characters have changed slightly from the novel. These changes are for the most part quite nice. As far as progression of the story the characters pull them off quite nicely. I had a few problems with the changes that were made, but the changes they made push the anime in a completely different direction. D is how D always is, they don't change him at all...and they don't need to.
As far as vampire anime go this one is quite good. They show vampires in both ways, both as super-powerful as well as being weak zombies. So people who like both style of vampire won't be dissapointed. If you've seen the first movie and were highly dissapointed then you definitely need to watch this. It's a great movie, but if you can't find the jap audio don't sweat it too much, the dub is decent.
Based on the third novel Vampire Hunter D: Demon Deathchase written by Hideyuki Kikuchi. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is the sequel to the 1985 cult classic Vampire Hunter D. The sequel is directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, director of Ninja Scroll, Wicked City, Cyber City Oedo 808, and several others. I have followed a majority of Kawajiri's work, and I will say this still stands as his best. Now, I'll be the first to admit that when it comes down to his trademark ultra violence. This film ranks somewhere in the bottom. However, I feel it outshines his earlier works and later work when concerning story.
Therefore, those whom are use to seeing the Ninja Scroll like violence along with that gratuitous sex found in the aforementioned film as well as Wicked City, should eliminate that from their list of "want to sees" because you won't find it here.
Immediately, the viewer will notice the production values. I have seen many anime series and films with stunning visuals, and this movie can hold its own with some of the best out there. Studio Madhouse brought their A game for this. After watching it several times, I still haven't noticed the slightest bit of jumpiness or reused cells besides the quick passing of lights in tunnels or road ways, which doesn't count as a flaw in my book. There is plenty of attention paid to the outstanding artwork and magnificent animation. The visuals are a feast for the eyes. The facial expressions, eye movements, rain drops, very detailed background, are all done with precision and care.
Most of the action scenes are incredibly cool to watch due to the well use of lighting and even camera shots; but I will mention the few scenes of sword swipes being followed by falling bodies and nothing more. Therefore, I can't praise this for overall good choreography. Still, when concerning the production values this is a budget well used. One scene that truly stands out to me takes place on a bridge. I won't give it away, but be on the look out for it should you ever see this. I will also mention now that the soundtrack is superbly done and fitting for the films overall look. The BGM at times utilizes fantastic piano pieces, among other well orchestrated instrumentals, along with solid vocals that brings out the best in its Transylvanian like setting. The voice acting is very good, and properly fits each of the characters in personality and design. Unfortunately, there is no Japanese language track.
The anime also sticks to its guns, and continues using what the original used so well. This happens to be the accurate combining of sci-fi elements with its Translyvanian and futuristic style, which greatly compliments its Gothic setting. These features are especially detected in the weaponry. The imagination was allowed to run wild because the viewer will be treated to seeing traditional crossbows, in conjunction with a fortress that utilizes a cloaking device and is heavily protected by lasers. The setting is a mix of styles, which is so well meshed together that nothing feels out of place. After re-watching this film recently, I think it's safe to say that Afro Samurai drew some influence from this.
When talking about style, the film definitely has to be given its props. However, the film also possess one of the negative aspects of Kawajiri's works, which happens to be weak character development. However, this area is a mixed bag in a way. Many of them were added only to provide some variety to the action scenes. This wasn't exactly a bad approach because the action scenes can be awesome. The battle tactics used by the hunters against the undead is a refreshing take, and at times, D is completely overshadowed; yet I felt no connection with any of them. This also applies to the villains. When looking at the villans, with the exception of Meier Link, they're also used as plot devices to carry the action scenes. Thus, giving them little to no depth. However, they are interesting concerning their abilities, such as a shape shifter and another creature whose ability I'll leave open.
D especially is shortchanged here with his development. The mystery surrounding his character worked in the original, but by this time he comes off as a mere shonen stereotype. You can actually pull almost anyone with a sword from the action genre to fill his role, and the story could very well be the same. This is actually in the bad thing category.
The story is very easy to follow and plot twist are minimal. I say that's the only problem concerning the plot. Other than that, it delivers some very good action, good character interactions, and memorable moments. The plot gradually builds and only gets better until the end.
Although not a perfect movie by any stretch; it's an entertaining one that hits what it aims for. I enjoyed this sequel far more than the original and the animation was not the only reason. I recommend this one to diehard and casual anime fans both, along with vampire fans. I already addressed the Kawajiri fans, so check it out at your on risk.
Highs: Very high production values, cool action scenes
Lows: Lacking character development, almost all characters are mere plot devices
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