Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

I think if I saw this nine years ago when it came out, I would have been more into it. But I want more out of anime these days than just some, blood, and the aesthetic is just sort of weird and off-putting. I did like it as a story more than the first D movie, although by the end it seemed to be a lot more muddled. I'm guessing it takes place after the first movie, though I'm not sure how many years because of D's whole immortality thing. The Western influences (Western as in cowboys, not western as in American movies. Although Westerns are generally American movies.) are a bit more obvious, especially in a couple scenes that tended to be the most interesting in the film. One of these is the opening, when D is hired to track down a rich man's daughter who's been kidnapped by a vampire and rescue her, or if it's too late, put her to death.

There really wouldn't be very much to the story if it weren't for the Marcus Brothers, a group of mercenaries who have been hired to the same job, with a variety of abilities. They cross paths and butt heads with D a bit, especially Leila, the adopted female of the group. They're not exactly good guys, but they're made to be relatively sympathetic, as they're slowly picked off by the various groups of monsters they encounter while pursuing the vampire. There's a twist eventually, that in most cases would sort of result in the end of the conflict, but not when there's money on the line. It's a pretty solid film until the end, when some pretty incomprehensible stuff starts happening. Like, I was eventually able to make some sort of sense of it after a certain point, but for a while I was totally lost, and I still don't understand a few bits of it. The plot goes in an unexpected direction, and it kind of ends up with no one being totally happy. Which is pretty appropriate for a dark, violent anime like this. Again - it was pretty good. Holds up better than the first film by a lot. But it doesn't exactly feel like 16 years of progress either.

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