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[ rated m ]

Vampire Hunter D: Blood Lust

A Parent's Guide to Anime
Rated: M

Recommended for Mature Audiences

Reviewed by Roger Hammond:

This anime was very rich and complex.

It is the year 12,090 A.D. and vampires and demons used to rule the world, but their numbers are dwindling. Their reign has ended, but they still rule over small towns and rural areas. That's where the hunters come in. Certain hunters, the dunpeal (half vampire-half human) are the best and one of them is known to everyone. His name is D.

The movie starts with a horse drawn carriage rapidly moving through a village, destroying crosses as it goes. It stops in front of a house, and a dark ominous figure emerges. He opens the bedroom window of a young girl and takes her away in his carriage.

The young girl's father puts a bounty of 10 million dollars on the head of that vampire, and the return of his daughter. His son sends for some well known vampire hunters known as the Marcus Brothers (and sister) to get the girl, but his father has other plans. He sends for D.

D accepts, after raising the price to 20 million, and is ordered to kill the girl if she has been changed into a vampire.

The Marcus Brothers chase after the horse drawn carriage in their fancy tank-car with crosses galore, shooting zombies as they go. They see D as their competition and have frequent bouts with him along the way, even though D eventually saves the Marcus sister.

The carriage moves from a camouflouged safehouse to the demon city of Barboroy, where the vampire hires three demons to be his guards: A werewolf, a man that can meld with shadows, and a woman who controls plants. D and the Marcus's meet up at this city and have a very eye-pleasing confrontation, but the carriage escapes.

Soon, the carriage makes its way towards the castle of Chathe, where the vampire has been invited to take a ship to the city of the night in the stars by the 'blood queen' Countess Carmilla...

Character Descriptions:
D: The title character, he is as stoic as stoic can be. You don't learn much about him in this movie. Clad in black armor and cape and a large black hat, his left hand is possessed by a demon that talks to him and gives him advice.

Charlotte: The young girl that has been kidnapped by the vampire. Doesn't do much in this film except be a damsel in distress. Or is she?

Meir Link: The vampire that 'took' Charlotte. You could say that he isn't really evil. In fact, the reason he does what he does is because of love. Which is strange to see in a blood sucker...

Countess Carmilla: Very evil and very twisted. She plays tricks on nearly everyone. You'll wonder who's side she really is on...

The Marcus Brothers: (They, oddly enough, bear no family resemblance)
Borgoff: The leader of the group. His weapon is his arm bow that has pinpoint accuracy. Though he lets D escape the first time they meet, he is definitely not a nice guy.

Nolt: The big black guy with a huge hammer and a cross tattooed on his face. He is a cyborg, but is in it for the money, and that's it.

Kyle: Skinny, agile, and two spinning blades that makes this guy a really tough adversary.

Grove: Grove is a bedridden young man that can project himself astrally and do some wicked damage, but this ability is slowly killing him.

Leila: The one Marcus sister. She is in skin-tight red and black armor and wields a large hand gun. She and D team up after a while, and her worst fear is that she'll die with no one to mourn her.

The Barboroy Guardians:
Machira: A werewolf that has a wolf mouth in his chest. Freaky...

Caroline: A buxom woman that controls plants and can even meld with them.

Benge: A twisted little demon that melds with shadows. Makes for some odd fight scenes.

Fans of the first movie, as well as people who have never heard of this before, will marvel at its animation and intense action sequences. The whole movie was just a pure joy to watch. It ranks up there with Princess Mononoke and Akira. (Personally, I think it is better than Akira). It was also directed by Yoshiaka Kawajiri (Wicked City, Bio Hunter, Ninja Scroll) and he did a great job. Those fight sequences really do stand out above the rest. It did get a little bit confusing towards the end, but nevertheless, it maintained a strong dark gothic, exciting, and somewhat poignant mood. There are also good humourous bits thrown in by D's hand. Overall, this movie tells an epic tale worthy of recognition.

Parent's Guide Rating:

red (recommended for mature audiences)

Violence: I was surprised to see that the violence was no where near the violence level of the first movie. It was toned down a lot in this movie. Most of the violence is directed at zombies in the beginning (a little blood splatter), and then the worst would be a little face slash, a knife impaled in the throat, and a face sliced in half (but not graphically). There is also a scene where Carmilla is covered in blood, and that was a bit shocking.

Language: Nothing beyond S---.

Nudity: A little. Nothing below the waist. A brief scene of Carmilla.

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