Sunday, December 15, 2002

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Genre: Horror
Parental Guidance Recommended
2000. Mata Yamamoto, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Hideyuki Kikuchi. (Orig illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano). Asahi Sonorama

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Cover Description:
"D" has been hired to track down Meier Link, a notoriously powerful vampire who has abducted Human woman. Charlotte Elbourne. D"'s orders are strict - find Charlotte, at any cost. For the first time, "D" faces serious competition. The Markus Brothers, a family of Vampire Hunters, were hired for the same bounty. "D" must intercept Meier and conquer hostile forces on all sides in a deadly race against time. Despised by Vampires for his profession and by Humans for the blood in his veins, "D" relentlessly pursues his prey... for a price.

Very Final Fantasy >>> by Darth Paul
Beautiful, seductive, and elegant combined with darkness, death and surrealism-the classic description of vampires. Hideyuki Kikuchi is, hands down, a genius who is very much ahead of his time. His concepts of vampires were given a very unique perspective and excellent ideas, which only enhanced the basic knowledge of the essence of a vampire. All this while he took it to a whole new level, which is to be the template for the next generation of vampire fanatics. Another thing is the story allows the viewers to view the vampires, as well as the other characters from different angles. All of these combined with guru character illustrator, Yoshitaka Amano, whose best works depicting surrealism include the Final Fantasy series, have formed a solid masterpiece.

Artwork has definitely used original vampire concepts and added a lot of new innovations and unique ideas to make an excellent setting of extremes, the old fashioned action and violence enhanced by the finesse and class of the new-the best of both worlds. They seemed to have used more than the standard 24 frames per second giving the characters and every moving aspect fluidity. Scenes were very dynamic and full of motion without compromising the quality of the animation. Background is given great importance with great detail as it is often used to highlight the mood-great enough for viewers to notice the difference but made subtle so as not to be too overpowering. Also utilizes a combination of great shifting and subtle movements of the background, giving the viewers a very real feeling of atmosphere. Very Final Fantasy!

Sound, dubbing (Japanese subtitling is included), and music were all first class. Good move in using powerful orchestra music to heighten the dark, stoic, and mysterious atmosphere. No expense was spared for the sound and voice actors. Definitely of big screen quality.

Adept: Obviously, time and talent went into shaping the character depth and personalities. Every character was given enough emphasis for viewers to remember each of them. The vampire known as D (cool!) was one kick ass and unique character. Very composed, cool, silent and deadly but still has with him an element of comedy (it's in his hand, actually). The best thing about it is that somewhere in the middle of the story, the writer did a good job of slowly blending a few of D's, first unnoticeable, human elements-making it easier for the viewers to understand D's nature without delving too much into his history.

Fight scenes. Two thumbs up for the choreography of this anime. It has a lot of excellent elements that make action scenes memorable; exaggerated movements, unique weapons, fast paced, and excellent attack exchanges.

Story has a very Final Fantasy feeling into it. Very good twists, with smooth flowing plot, great antagonist and a few surprises thrown at the hero (but still manages to maintain his coolness). Definitely worth buying.

Inept: Not really a big factor but I was kind of left wanting to see more of the supporting characters' history. Example of which was the most powerful member of the competing vampire hunter. Those kinds of characters and their dialogues made me curious, and I wanted some questions answered.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 9; Characters 10; Sounds 10

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