Vampire Hunter D is what Twilight could have been. It wasn’t the best anime, but not terrible either. The future is a Wild West wasteland a la Cowboy Bebop but with a Victorian Goth twist to the decor. Humans have almost made vampires extinct or flee the planet on rockets. A few half-human, half-vampire hunters still exist and hunt their full blooded brethren. The main character, D, is one of them. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust opens with D, who looks like a character from a Final Fantasy game, accepting a bounty to kill a vampire and bring home the noble’s daughter – alive or dead.
Another crew of all human (well kinda) vampire hunters is already in pursuit of this vampire and missing woman. After facing off against the vampire’s blood sucked zombies (who strongly reminded me of Hellsing‘s zombies), D discovers the human daughter is genuinely in love with the vampire. Sounds familiar? And like a certain sparkly vampire, this vampire also fights his urge to feed on her out of genuine love. Well anyway, the vampire decides to seek help to escape the hunters so he and his human love can live happily ever after. Of course, this being anime, things are not as they seem.
Vampire Hunter D is incredibly detailed. The environments look like paintings hanging from a museum, and D looks wicked as a Final Fantasy wanna be complete with a body length sword. Unfortunately this anime suffers from the 1980s-90s animation despite being made in 2000. In fight scenes you convulse in epileptic seizures to make the action feel more exciting. Flashing backgrounds behind static, detailed characters in action poses does not action make with action like Naruto, Bleach, and Ghost in the Shell the norm.
D has some type of demonic parasite living in his hand. The creature is useful, but the anime would be better without it. It was annoying and unnecessary.
Vampire Hunter D had the same love story of Twilight, only these vampires are violent and cruel. They were also very hard to kill. Even a split head can’t kill these ones. This makes the love story far more interesting than the wimpy, safe vampires of the cult phenomenon. The anime is violent and bloody but nowhere near the vampire insanity of Hellsing.
Vampire Hunter D was a decent watch. The action animation greatly detracted from an otherwise beautifully drawn anime. I don’t like to have seizures just to feel like violence is happening. The music was forgettable and barely noticed. At least the voice acting was decent; although D sounded like he was mumbling through his few lines. If you enjoy vampires, beautifully drawn landscapes, and love stories you will enjoy this one. If you think Hellsing is the measure of vampire than you may want to skip this one. Vampire Hunter D doesn’t measure up to the intensity and insanity of Hellsing, but then it wasn’t intending to.