tek's rating: ½

Vampire Hunter D
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This film was released in Japan in 1985. I guess it was released in theaters on the same day it was released on video, so I'm not sure whether to consider it a theatrical film or an OVA, but most sites call it the latter, so that's what I'm going with. Anyway, I first saw it on VHS sometime in the early to mid 90s. I'm writing this review after watching it on DVD in 2021. The dub I watched this time is different from the one I saw on VHS. But I didn't really remember anything about it, except the word "dhampiel", which is changed in the newer dub to the proper term, dhampir (half human, half vampire).

So, the film is set in the year 12,090 AD, according to the internet. There's no specific mention of the year in the movie, but it's been around 10,000 years since a war that resulted in a nuclear holocaust which has left humanity... well, considerably less than it was. The land is now filled with mutants and monsters. And there's a vampire hunter called D, who is a dhampir. He gets hired by a young woman named Doris Lang, who had been bitten by a vampire (or "noble"; "aristocrat" in the original dub) named Count Magnus Lee. He's like 10,000 years old, and extremely powerful, so beating him before he can take Doris as his bride isn't going to be easy. But we don't actually see too much of him throughout the movie. Most of the fighting D has to do is against monsters that work for him, most importantly a mutant named Rei. There's also the count's daughter, whose name I never heard in the movie, but Wikipedia says it's Lamika. She's infuriated by her father's desire to take a human as a bride, believing it will tarnish the family's bloodline.

Doris has a younger brother named Dan. There's also a douchebag named Greco Roman, the son of the town's mayor, who wants Doris for himself. But Doris definitely doesn't want Greco. And... D's left hand has a face on it that talks to him, generally annoying him. But it can suck things in through its mouth, which reminded me of Miroku's wind tunnel on Inuyasha, though of course this movie came well before that show, so now I'm wondering if that show was influenced in that respect by this movie. In fact, I wonder how many shows or movies have been influenced by this one. Probably a lot. This is rather a modern classic of anime, after all. Still, I ultimately thought the movie was just good, not great. Anyway... there are plenty of battles, and... I'm not sure what else to say. Except that D is kind of like a classic hero from westerns or samurai movies, always quite stoic, and finally riding off into the sunset on his cyborg horse....

In 2000 there was a sequel called "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust", which I definitely hope to see eventually.

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