Vampire Hunter D
Vampire Hunter D is one of the very first full length anime movies I ever saw. It dates back to the mid-80’s, and was originally produced in the U.S. by Streamline Pictures which also did several other movies including 3×3 Eyes and Eight Man After. VHD was instantly my favorite movie, and has remained so even today. The plot is a typical one, that of a wandering vampire hunter, “D”, who comes across a lovely damsel in distress. However, I found many things about Vampire Hunter D that made me watch it over and over. Even though I have seen this movie over 30 times, I never miss the opportunity to see it again. Every time I see something new that catches my attention. Unlike some anime movies and series, where the story-line is cut and delivered neatly with a definite understanding of beginning and end, VHD lets the viewer think about what he or she has seen before drawing any conclusions about the story.
Also, VHD was one of the first anime to use many different trick animation techniques. While now, many of these are common in anime, it is good to look back at an older film to see where they were started.
I enjoyed Vampire Hunter D for a number of reasons. First of all, I found the story somewhat sad and poetic. This may be due in part to the fact that VHD was not based on a manga like most anime, but on the first part of an epic novel written in Japan some time ago. This movie covers only the first part of the journey of the vampire hunter.
Even though I saw this movie far after its original release over a decade ago, I found that it was able to hold its own against some of the newer flashier anime. Part of this may be due to the unconventional character design. Hideki Amano, also known for his character designs for Final Fantasy VII created the characters to act out this story. The result is a classic piece of anime that is still talked about today.
Unfortunately, you can no longer get the original Vampire Hunter D in stores. However, there has been a re-release of the movie, including a subtitled version. Also, when the Vampire Hunter D movie was released in theaters; I definitely planned to see this second installment of the story, and I suggest serious fans of anime do the same.