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volume 3 issue 3

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Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
English DVD
105 minutes
Urban Vision
Domo Corporation
This D film is even better than the original.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold

Vampire Hunter D has long been one of the gems of American anime fandom, and it's not surprising that a new movie featuring everyone's favorite anti-hero would be the best of eastern and western cinema styles. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is simply breathtaking, and puts other movies like Blood to shame in both appearance and plot. It could be argued that the new film surpasses the original by far.

In many ways, the two films go hand in hand and complement each other because of their different takes on the character. However, Bloodlust paints a much larger picture of D's origins, his motivations, and even his frailties.

The tale begins simply enough with the kidnapping of a young girl named Charlotte by the vampire Meier Link. The vampire hunter named D is summoned to find Charlotte and bring her back... preferably alive, if at all possible. The catch is that the family is a bit too eager to get their relative back. They've also hired a band of bounty hunters known as the Markus Brothers, and D has to deal with them competing against him for the bounty.

As fate would have it, things aren't exactly right with Charlotte. She seems to have fallen in love with Meier Link, and this complicates things quite a bit. The vampire ends up leading the hunters on a cross-country journey through monster-filled wastelands and demon-filled towns. Can a bounty really be worth all this torture?

Undoubtedly the coolest part of this movie is how awesome the animation is. The characters just seem to come alive and make the movie much more intense. There are times when the movie will make you jump from surprise or even cry due to the events portrayed. Different people experience the movie on a number of different levels. For me, it was just sitting there being awestruck from the animation and the action. I guarantee that this isn't a movie that you'll fall asleep too.

What surprised me the most about this movie was the English dub. I had my doubts about this film after seeing how lackluster the dub was on Blood, but I was pleasantly proven wrong by this film. Andrew Philpot's portrayal of the soft-spoken D is completely in character, and Mike McShane is perfect as the voice of D's annoying left hand. The supporting cast is pretty strong as well, with John Rafter Lee giving a devilishly good performance as Meier Link. Top all of that off with a soundtrack that sounds totally wicked, and you've a total audio experience.

The DVD release of the movie is a real beauty. The disc is packaged in both a stunning blood red armory case and also a black slipcase. The outer box has a sweet looking depiction of D with some bats flying around him, and the inner sleeve on the armory case is a picture of a red cross. The weird thing about this release is that the outer box doesn't have any description of what the movie is about. Instead, the rundown of the plot and the pictures are on the inner sleeve. This was kind of a bad move if Urban Vision was looking for the non-otaku crowd to pick this movie up, if you ask me.

As far as extras go, this is pretty stacked for a single-disc release. The biggest extra is the behind-the-scenes featurette which is close to half an hour long and focuses on pretty much everything, from the conception of the film to the dubbing and even the premiere. It's pretty cool to see, but be warned there are a lot of clips and interviews in this that spoil some key points of the movie.

For trailer fans, there are some cool ones from not only the American and Japanese releases, but also the Korean release as well. What's interesting about these is actually getting to see the kinds of subtitles that the rest of the world had to read to enjoy this English only release. Filling out the disc are a series of galleries and a list of the top fan favorite scenes in the movie. Not overly original, but a nice extra and a nice way to round out one of the cooler anime DVDs on the market.

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