SpeculativeFiction


Vampire Hunter D


Fans of the vampire genre and anime have both embraced Vampire Hunter D, the tale of a conflicted vampire hunter in a far-future world where a nobility made up of vampires rule a distinctly more supernatural and dangerous earth. A bizarre mix of magic and technology allows humans to hold their own against the monsters, but when especially powerful monsters are involved, they must turn to the specialists. Want to know about vampires? Ask a vampire hunter.

The title character is almost the stereotypical enigma. The real meat of the anime comes from watching the effects of his actions upon the fully-realized supporting characters and their own interplay. The story is not about D; it's about those around him.

There are aspects of this film that call up some truly awful b-movie dialog. This will only ruin the experience if you aren't used to the sometimes weird translation articles that show up in anime; only the really good translations manage to avoid that problem, and this is not one of those.

Astute viewers will realize that the anime is deliberately playing to some of the stereotypes, not so much mocking them for comedic effect as engaging in deliberate exaggeration for dramatic effect. The dialog and characters are distorted from reality in the same way that anime distorts the images of everyday life into two-dimensional pastels.

The best way to enjoy this anime, however, is to understand one thing: it's all about style. Style and "cool" are the driving forces. Towards that purpose the art, dialog, and characters are well suited and unified in purpose. Don't expect too much depth, and you'll come out the other end having enjoyed the experience -- and quite possibly with a few nuggets of unexpected wisdom as well.

This entry was published Tue Jan 04 12:30:45 CST 2005 by Matthew and last updated 2013-08-15 10:47:57.0.

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