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[ a parent's guide to anime ]

[ rated m ] Vampire Hunter D

A Parent's Guide to Anime
Rated: M
Recommended for Mature Audiences

Review by David Bingham:

This film takes place in the far future, where monsters, mutants, and vampires make life very difficult for humanity. The story begins when Doris, a young woman trying to take care of her brother now that her parents are gone, is bitten by the Count Magnus Lee. Count Lee is a 10,000 year old vampire who lives in a castle some distance away from the town. Doris enlists the help of D, who is a Vampire Hunter by trade, to kill the Count and free her from the bite's curse. In order to save Doris, D must fight Lee's minions and daughter. This leads to a final confrontation with Magnus Lee himself and the revelation of D's vampire parentage.

[ Vampire Hunter D LD cover ]

This is one of the more thoughful animes I've ever watched. The most interesting part was D's struggle to be human. The vampires in this world do not consider themselves outsiders at all, and certainly not monsters. They see themselves as the nobility, and all normal humans are just commoners. Dracula is referred to as "our honored ancestor," and there are also a few hints that this Dracula was not the evil monster of myth. The most fascinating character is the Count. He is evil not out of some driving urge to hurt people, but as a way to stave off endless boredom (it happens about the time you hit 9,956 or so.)

This is a fantastic anime, but very dark and violent. I wouldn't recommend it for the gentle of stomach.

Parent's Guide Rating:

red (recommended for mature audiences)

This is a very dark, stylized movie, and takes place mostly at night. Personally, I loved it, although it was quite violent. There was plenty of graphic violence, including a few hands cut off, and several truly grusome deaths (two creatures are cut completely in half: one lengthwise and one through the chest.) In addition, even the relatively clean deaths had lots of blood. Still, it isn't as bad as, say, Akira. Fortunatly, the gore is not the point of the movie, but is generally just used to establish the stark feel. Still, not one for the exceptionally weak of stomach.

There was little swearing, and what little there was went pretty much unnoticed. There was some nudity, but not in a sexual context. The briefest was when Doris's necklace is ripped off and her left breast came out of her dress for just a second. The other two were longer--a ten second pan shot with her in the shower (just upper front, lower rear) and twenty seconds on three snake witches in the Count's castle (upper only).

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