Anime Review: Vampire Hunter D (1985)

The most amazing thing about re-watching Vampire Hunter D for the first time in years was the realisation that this anime came out in 1985! That makes it 31 years old as of 2016 & it still looks & sounds utterly amazing.

Set in 12, 090 AD the world is a dangerous place filled with all manner of beasties including vampire lords & werewolves.

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Doris Lang, while out hunting, is attacked by Count Magnus Lee who has returned to his castle after an undetermined amount of time away. Magnus Lee is 10,000 years old & bored with undead life. His only form of entertainment is to take a human bride, something he plans to do with Doris.

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Sometime later Doris hires a vampire hunter named D to protect her from the Count. After she spurns the Mayor’s son’s advances he reveals that she has been touched by the Count to the entire town making her an outcast along with her younger brother, Dan.

D promises to protect Doris & kill the Count. He is more then just a normal vampire hunter; he is a ‘dhampir’. A half human, half vampire with royal blood running through his veins (that reveal at the end of the movie is utterly fantastic).

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Count Magnus Lee & his servants are very powerful & it is going to take everything D has to stop him making Doris his bride.

I’m not much of an anime fan but Vampire Hunter D changed that, it is an incredible movie filled with imaginative monsters. It has such a compelling story with excellent voice acting & it never feels hammy nor does it appear over-blown. The violence & gore is stellar stuff & certain scenes will stick with you long after (such as the Snake Women of Midwich’s section).

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Being an adult anime it does have its fair share of nudity but its tame stuff here (topless women). It’s more the massive amount of blood that is split that gives this the ‘adult’ feel, it is relentless!

However, my favourite thing about Vampire Hunter D is the music. It’s fantastically gothic with moments of flourish that fit every scene, every moment. This movie wouldn’t be complete without the incredible score that accompanies it.

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The music combined with lovely animation, buckets of blood, great voice acting & an exciting plot makes Vampire Hunter D an anime to remember. If you’ve never seen this movie, now is the time…it holds up so well considering its age.


  • Carl Fisher

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Vampire Hunter D
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