Vampire Hunter D

Starring: Hideyuki Tanaka, Ichir˘ Nagai and K˘ichi Yamadera
Optimum Asia
RRP: ú19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 18 October 2004

D is a fearless yet outcast bounty hunter, half human and half vampire who is shrouded in melancholy and scorned by both humans and vampires alike. With only a wisecracking parasite on his left hand to keep him company, he has been hired by the wealthy Elbourne family to track down their missing daughter Charlotte and the notorious vampire Meier Link who they believe to have kidnapped Charlotte in the night. However, D has some tough competition from a group of vampire hunters called the Markus brothers who have also been hired by the Elbournes for the same dangerous task...

Based on Hideyuki Kikuchi's graphic novels, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust combines elements of horror, romance, fantasy and graphic violence to make a thrilling and visually awe-inspiring film.

Written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, this movie was made in 2000 and, unlike most anime productions, the dialogue was originally recorded in English.

The original Vampire Hunter D anime was one of the first to be released in this country. It soon became a fan favourite, combining action and horror with the attractive concept of vampires, it was a big success.

This second anime was made almost 15 years after the original and boy does it show. The animation on display here is some of the finest ever committed to celluloid. Bloodlust also received a very limited cinema release in the States; this is its first outing on region 2 DVD and to some it is very eagerly anticipated.

The only downside is that if you are a hardcore fan of this film then the chances are that you own this on disc already. The animation and plot in this piece are outstanding. And if you are a fan of the original then I can only hope that you either own this already or you are gonna get it soon. If however, you are fairly new to anime or have not seen the original then I recommend this DVD. With all the right elements present and superb direction, you would be mad to miss this.

On the disc itself we have a storyboard to feature comparison and a behind the scenes featurette. Whilst a few more extras would have been welcomed, this should be more than enough to keep fans entertained and drooling for more. Highly commended.

Simon Lee

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