Yoshiaki Kawajiri | Japan | 2000 | 103 mins.
There is a fight between humans and vampires in a distant future. The one called D stands on both sides, he is the human-vampire mercenary who is willing to haunt anyone.
In the distant future there is a war between men and vampires. On both sides one man, called D, stands, half-human, half-vampire. A pilgrim who hunts down his own people for money. Charlotte from the Elbourne family is kidnapped by vampire Meier Link. The family calls D to save Charlotte and bring her back. There is also another pair of hunters who trail the kidnapper – the Markus brothers. After some time D discovers that Charlotte left her home willingly to follow her dark lover and leave the Earth for the land of everlasting night. The chase for reward gets more and more personal...
Japanese anime Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000) loosely follows film Vampire Hunter D (1985) but it is technically better, less dark and more complex. It does without explicit erotic scenes but is subtle and lyrical. The music was changed too – minimalistic music was replaced by composer Marc D´Ambrosio´s new varied and very suitable soundtrack for a film with such outstanding images.
The genre of Vampire Hunter is a mixture of action movie, cyberpunk, trash sci-fi, vampire film and dark western. The story is simple but with an epic storytelling of adventurous film, on the other hand it also has lyrical moments. More than the difficult storytelling technique, what is important is the visual side of the inner world; stunningly beautiful pictures and scenes. Surprisingly, what strikes us most is the coherence of the visuals which draws inspiration from various seemingly unconnected sources. Some scenes will remind you of Sergio Leone´s spaghetti westerns and dynamic action scenes will bring anime spirit to the film. But there are also moments where light pathos or nature lyric emerges. Regarding architecture, the film combines decent victorian England, aureate baroque, darkly majestic gothic, gracious antic shapes and also monumental futurism.
The design of clothing, weapons and machines will remind us of cyberpunk and trash. Kawajiri placed his story in an unspecific period of the very distant future which allowed him to make the world more abstract and fantastic. And even though the depicted world is very varied, it doesn´t feel fussy at all. All this has resulted in a postmodern film that is interesting in details and also as a whole. The voice of the main character, half-vampire, half-human D belongs to Hideyuki Tanaka whose voice you can hear on many Japanese animated tv series (Angel Heart, 2005, Hellsing Ultimate OVA Series, 2006) and computer games (e.g. Metal Gear Solid franchise, Ace Combat).
Yoshiaki Kawajiri Since his first anime project, Wicked City (1987), he continues as an author and filmmaker. His most famous works are Ninja Scroll (1993), The Cockpit (1994), tv series „X" (2001) and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000). He is also signed under Animatrix (2003) where he wrote and directed a segment called Program (2003). He co-wrote and co-animated another short from this movie – World Record.