Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vampire Hunter D

I don't think I've seen a more thoroughly 80s anime than this. Two animated D films have been released, based on a series of books, sixteen years apart. They feel fairly different thanks to the immense gulf in visual quality that represents, but otherwise they share the common elements that makes the setting unique and kind of weird. It's a crazy mishmash of influences, both post apocalyptic science fiction and horror. It's like a futuristic Gothic action western or something. It takes place many of thousands of years in the future, when humanity is struggling to survive against demons and a society of vampires who all somehow happen to come from nobility. I don't know if the vampirism spread among an elite class that formed after our current civilization was destroyed, or if they made themselves elite because they were vampires. Either way they terrorize normal people, but there are hunters like D who try to stop them, for a price.

D is half vampire himself, and thus an outcast everywhere. He's the strong silent type, although he has a talking hand and rides a robot horse, so he's kind of weird too. He's hired by a young woman to protect him from a local count who's marked her as his next plaything, and so D spends a while fighting off his henchmen and resisting the temptation to get involved in her life anymore than he's being paid to. There's a bunch of other characters to worry about in the town she lives in, some who are all right but mostly they're unreliable. There's some unusual action peppered around along with some more exploitative stuff, before the inevitable final confrontation. It's a reasonably entertaining movie in some parts, but in others it really isn't. Some of the issues can be attributed to the movie's advanced age, but others are just some clumsy storytelling. Overall I'd call it decent, but I don't think they realized the world well enough for it to be better than that. The sequel addressed some of this while having other issues of its own.


Tuskus said...

>> I don't think I've seen a more thoroughly 80s anime than this.
What, you haven't seen Fist of the North Star?

Adrenaline said...

No, I haven't!