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.
[minor spoiler within below]
I start off this review by saying that I haven't read any of the books the film is based on, nor have I watched anything “Vampire D” related before. Fortunately, none is needed as I believe that the movie works really well as a standalone. The score I gave may already tell that I don’t feel positive about this movie, but in all respect and seriousness though Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (Bloodlust from hereafter) had a lot things to make it an anime movie classic but sadly it didn’t live up to potential it has.
Onto the good part first. Now, I’m not
gonna including the post-apocalypstic setting because it is a matter of preference on whether you like it or not. But I must say the artwork in the movie was gorgeous and very detailed. It is having a style that is quite different than most anime; it feels neither “old school” nor it does resemble any of “modern” anime”. Having said that, the overall movie color is black/gothic and it is more like a western animation with a level of attention to the background that is on par with Studio Ghibli films. The design is stylish too, with each character having their own design difference to one another and each is very easy to recognize. Even though released in the old days I’m confident to say this movie really holds up well with today’s standard. This is easily the best looking series for its time and personally one of the best looking anime movies I’ve seen.
Another good part is that the movie did a good job on developing the chemistry between the hero and the heroine. D and Leila’s chemistry feels natural and really well-developed over the course of the movie. It is shown in the ending sequences where Leila isn’t afraid to ask a ride to D and D still keeping his promise to Leila even after she already had a granddaughter.
Moving on to the soundtrack, it was okay, while not being anything noteworthy, it matched the mood of the scenes and was worded well overall. I watched both the Japanese and English dubs and I have to say the dub was better although the Japanese one is quite solid in its own right.
Now onto “the not so good part”, there’s the story. The premise of this movie is actually fairly simple or I would say quite classic; a maiden is kidnapped by a vampire and the maiden’s family hired “vampire hunter” named “D” to rescue her. With that premise alone it is safe to say that you would expect an exciting action movie with a lot of thrilling moment over the course of “D’s” journey rescuing the maiden, but sadly there isn’t. I just thought the overall movie was pretty boring because there’s a lot of talking, which don’t make the show bad, but one should note that this is an action movie yet the battles are somewhat lacking. Most of the battle ended up with “D” killing his enemy instantly with one slash which makes me wonder why they just don’t allocated the budget for some of the artwork sections to make at least some decent battles. There isn’t any tension because D is quite overpowered and wherever he’s in a situation where he would get killed there’s a lot of plot convenience happing which makes the action often anticlimactic. It is not bad by default if “D” has some charm in his character, but again sadly there isn’t. He is just robotic, doesn’t do much and doesn’t talk too much. It’s hard to relate to characters like that considering he got a lot of screentime in the movie yet at the same time I feel empty with his character.
There is also a downside on the side characters, which is Leila’s group, consisting of Leila and four guys, they are just there in order to add a required death count for an action flick. Funnily enough the guys have the same amount of the side enemies that will hold the journey one by one as the story goes on and as you may guessed the guys getting sacrificed one by one aswell, which makes the plot even more predictable.
There is also the vampire noble named Meier king, who, very underdeveloped as a villain. Now, considering the movie lenght, it actually doesn’t matter if the guy is still 1-dimensional for the rest of the movie as long as the movie really didn’t want to do anything with his character. But again sadly the movie was trying to make viewers feel sad about Meier by viewing his soft spot for his love upon the maiden he kidnapped, but due to the length this attempt fail miserably. There’s one moment where he sacrificed himself into the sunlight to save the maiden, but honestly that doesn’t mean much, over the course of the movie he acted as a cold, ruthless villain and now do you really expect me to suddenly feel bad for him just because one moment that happened?
My opinion of Bloodlust is pretty negative, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it completely. The early 20 minutes or so were mildly entertaining, and hooked me quite well. The ending closure was nice and a little bit depressing at the same time. If you’re looking for a fun hack and slash anime this is an option, but to be honest this wouldn’t be very recommendable to me.
Overall I found Bloodlust to be a quite unimpressive movie. I really wanted to like `Bloodlust`, I really do. The show has a lot of things that I’m a sucker for; It has a interesting post-apocalyptic setting which I quite like, an interesting artstyle that is different to most anime and a classic yet cool action premise that still has a lot of subversion if developed further. D, being the main character, wasn't particularly interesting even less than the villain. What they did very well is just the artstyle and attention to detail to the background but that alone really wasn’t enough to carry the minor side the movie has.
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.
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