Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vampire Hunter D Manga

Genre: Action / Horror
Definitely not for kids.
Credits: 2007 Hideyuki Kikuchi (original story), Saiko Takaki (illustrator) Digital Manga Publishing

Manga and Illustration Books
Vampire Hunter D DVDs
Video Game Shop
Toys & Accessories
Original Soundtrack
Vampire Hunter D Fashion
Everything Vampire Hunter D Product Description:
The year is 12,090 A.D., and what little is left of humanity has finally crawled out from the ashes of war and destruction. From the darkness of fallout, mutants and a race of vampires known as the Nobility have spawned. They rule the weak with no remorse. Once bitten by a Nobility, one is cursed to become a member of the undead. Villagers cower in fear, hoping and praying for a savior to rid them of their undying nightmare. All they have to battle this danger is a different kind of danger - a Vampire Hunter.

Blood and gore galore. >>> by skysenshi
I have to admit that I have never read a single Vampire Hunter D novel, which was written by Hideyuki Kikuchi and illustrated by legendary concept artist Yoshitaka Amano. This manga is based on those books. But I loved Vampire Hunter D's anime incarnations. If anyone cares to remember, D spawned a movie and an anime series (Blood Lust, comprehensive review written by my brother Darth Paul). The manga began in 2007 and each volume is meant to be an adaptation of each volume of the novels. As of this writing, we are now on the 5th.

Since I have not read the original books, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the adaptation. All I know is that illustrator Saiko Takaki did her best in recreating Amano's masterpieces. While somewhat faithful to Amano's fanciful art style, Takaki's brand is a little bit edgier. I'm actually shocked that she is female (you can see her comical omake musings at the end of each manga). Not to say that women aren't capable of drawing blood and gore (in every tankubon THERE ARE LOTS), but her characters look hard even when they're supposed to look fragile.

Here's a larger sample of her colored work:

It does have a 21st century feel to it, ne?

As for the writing...There are times when I find myself confused and I go back a few pages to re-read what I may have missed, especially when the characters are in the middle of a conversation that is suddenly followed by bloodshed and you're left not knowing what triggered the killings. I should probably blame the fact that I purchased the Kindle edition and I'm viewing the manga through my Android phone, which makes the images look so small that I keep zooming each page (x5!) just to read properly. (Gad, don't get the Kindle edition until they fix this. Volume 2 was so so so so small I had to zoom so many times per page.)

I'm not sure if I want to read the original manuscripts just to check for accuracy. I have issues with literature that have been translated because many things might get taken out of context and you have no photos to expedite comprehension. In any case, I still enjoyed Vampire Hunter much that I didn't even notice how much I spent on them. (Boooohooohooo!) Let me put it this way: I am dying to know D's history. This was never unraveled in the movie or the anime series. I wish each tankubon would be released quickly because I don't want to be an old lady by the time the last volume is launched. (And I know I will be, since I have enjoyed D's existence for the last what? Nearly a decade now?)

Individual Rating: Art 8; Story 8; Characters 9

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