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Urban Vision Entertainment
Official Site
Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Producers: Masao Maruyama and Mataichiro Yamamoto
Written by: Yoshiaki Kawajiri and Hideyuki Kikuchi
Cast: English Dubbing: Andrew Philpot, John Rafter Lee, Pamela Segall, Wendee Lee, Michael McShane

Rating: out of 5

Chances are, youíve either never heard of Vampire Hunter D or youíre a huge fan of the original anime movie and possibly even the series of 23 novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi, currently available only in Japanese. VAMPIRE HUNTER D: BLOODLUST, based on the third novel, Demon Deathchase, takes the anime version of our hero to new heights in both animation and characterization.

The VAMPIRE HUNTER D series takes place in a future Europe dominated not by amazing technology, but by the declining rule of vampire overlords and their love of expansive gothic architecture. The standard rules of vampire lore apply, sans the innovations wrought by newcomers like ďBuffy the Vampire Slayer,Ē but vampires arenít the only demons populating the landscape.

For fans of Japanese animation, D represents a departure from the norm: Not only is the editing slower and more evenly paced but the plot makes sense from start to finish. The rich mix of both CG and traditional animation strongly contrasts the beautiful but very dated original film without altering the design of the familiar characters and settings.

But enough tech talk. The excitement of traveling with D (Philpot), half man, half vampire, as he wrestles with his conscience and talks to the demon parasite that lives in his Left Hand (McShane) beats most buddy movies hands down. Plus, who can resist a movie created in Japan and set in Germany where everybody speaks English? And donít forget that true to standards, thereís not a female depicted who doesnít get the full anime treatment. (Youíve got a way to come yet, baby.)

I sincerely hope that VAMPIRE HUNTER D: BLOODLUST represents the first in a long series of well-done anime films created to bring the genre to the American public. No one who cares about anime should miss this movie, and itís a great introduction to the genre for folks who havenít gotten around to seeing AKIRA or LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND. Itís even got a great gothic romance to boot!

óReed Oliver

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

Mike Doughty

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