VAMPIRE HUNTER D
VAMPIRE HUNTER D: BLOODLUST
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is made by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who also made Lensman (1984), the amazingly perverse Wicked City (1987), Demon City Shinjuku (1988), Ninja Scroll (1993), Highlander: The Search for Vengeance (2007) and one of the episodes of The Animatrix (2003). The original Vampire Hunter D was simplistically animated and stylistically crude. It is immediately apparent from the opening shot in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust a 3D pullback through a forest of crucifixes that then moves about the town as the vampires shadow passes through the streets, causing flowers and crosses to wilt and animals to cower that this is a new generation Vampire Hunter D. The difference between the two might be the same as that between the simplistic two-dimensional animation of Hanna-Barberas tv shows and the high-art animation of modern Disney.
Yoshiaki Kawajiri enthrallingly leaps into the intensively driven action, mass destruction and changes between small and epic scale that makes anime such cult material. The action here is frequently breathtaking battles with the likes of a tree woman and flying coffins, a character with a wolfs head emerging from its stomach, the various hunters engaged in sword battles with vampires and zombies, horse and cycle flights through a minefield of laser beams and the like. The introduction of D comes in the midst of a full-scale battle between the Marcus Brothers and zombies with D catching a silver arrow fired at him in his hand and his cape resplendently opening like bat wings silhouetted against a full moon. The backgrounds are beautifully stylised Gothic renderings Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is one of the few animes to adopt the essence of the modern graphic novel. Indeed, with its sharply drawn contrasts of light, shadow and emphasised muscular shadings, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust could almost be the work of comic-book artist Jim Steranko brought to life. The characterisations are slim and ... well comic-bookish. D gets slightly more dialogue than in the original but is still kept appropriately monosyllabic and mysterious.
Full film available online here:-