Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Vampire Hunter D

Vampire Hunter D. Directed by Toyoo Ashida (1985).

Yoshitaka Amano illustrated the novels since 1983 also worked on some of my absolute favorites like Gatchaman (Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman, 1972-74) and Speed Racer (1966). The setting of VHD is a nuclear wasteland and the creatures, demons and nobility vamps are all that's left after the atomic holocaust. Vampire Hunter D (which stands for Damphir)’s left hand is another character in the mythos and there are 53 books in the series. 

This is one of those Animes that every kind of mouth breathing geek tries to shame you into watching by saying “Why haven’t you seen it”? The main reason I’ve avoided this one is that I think most big-eyed cartoons from Japan are interchangeable but let me tell you folks, this is one of the more impressive ones! It’s very brief too and packs a lot in, but it’s no Akira (1988). It’s more like a vampiric Fist of the North Star (Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman. 1984). I did have a short Anime phase, but honestly, I prefer shit like Kamen Rider (1971) or Johnny Sokko (Jaianto robo. 1967-68) to this. 

The setting is a futuristic wasteland with dinosaurs, one gets his face blown off by Doris Lang (voiced by Michie Tomizawa). Doris is a laser whip totting big-eyed cutie in an obscenely short shirt (what else). 

Vampire Hunter D has intense eyes (that are painted black) and long flowing hair with a floppy hat. It’s unusual to see Japanese kids wear Christian crosses but you know protection again the unholy immortal. Dan and Doris are the main siblings who tag along w VHD. 

No Stakes or Steak-um jokes Crank!

There’s a camp for those bitten by the Count. VHD gives Dan some hurtful advice about suppressing his emotions around his sister who may end up quarantined. She has worse problems however we later find that Count Lee plans to make her his undead bride. The animation is super inventive and gory. 

Bloody wolf bite!

Some Billy Idol looking creep named Rei Ginsei stabs VHD but it has no effect on him. When they go to battle there’s a web of action lines surrounding the characters. The version I had was in English and I find it hard to focus on the action while reading.I think the original language is the best the way to go for authenticity. In this case where you’re dealing with frenetic action and lush animated backdrops, it's hard for me to read and see all that's happening. The big cowboy hat with duster look VHD has reminds me of the band Fields of Nephilim or Richard Stanley. 

Once we get to the castle there are so many beasties and ghouls lurking. Biting ghost beasts also. There are a couple of film sequels and many books, so I reckon there’s monster manual that catalogs each goblin. 

After I saw Akira I went through a brief phase with anime. I used to rent them from "Videowaves", a store I later would exclusively rent porn at—that’s right I went beyond the saloon doors. I liked the rape tentacle one (Chôjin densetsu Urotsukidôji. 1989) and Golgo 13 (1983) but most were forgettable and I think that kept me away from this subgenre. That’s probably why I avoided this one for so long. I’m willing to check more out, the older I get the more I try to open my mind. 

Biting beasties

There’s a really cool scene with 3 snake sisters who drain VHD and subdue him. Not for long though as he bites his way out and they melt into a puddle of blood! 

Joanna Newsom sucks

I forgot to mention VHD has a face on his hand (this voice performed by Ichiro Nagai totally grinds on his nerves). At least it’s helpful though and slices up a horde of ginormous monsters plus a golem like figure. Nagai has been working as a voice actor since 1960 and was in Wicked City (1987), Crying Freeman (1988-1994) and tons of others. 

Chili cheese Frito breathe!!

Down at a local hotel, a bunch of sordid jealous characters of “The Hunter” try to trick him. They bait him by using Dan. 

Billy Idol ends up w a chopped off appendage and can’t stop bitching about it. 

Ahem, I'm dancing with myself if you know whatta mean.

Doris constantly threatens suicide at almost any opportunity. She says I’ll just bite my tongue off and kill myself”! She might need mental help. The world she lives in pretty much sucks! Good thing she doesn’t commit the sin because VHD bails out both her and Dan again. Keiko Toda performs the voice of the male child in the tradition of Charlie Brown. Or like how Bart Simpson is voiced by Nancy Cartwright. 

I'll just bite my boobs off and kill myself.

VHD gets tempted by Doris’ sexy shower scene and almost bites her neck. I keep forgetting he is also a nocturnal being. There are lots of franchises connected to this series so I’m betting their relationship will bloom in those. There are 3 films and a series, not to mention all the books, breakfast cereal, fidget spinner and butt plug!

merchandising merchandising.

The Big Daddy vamp character is based on Christopher Lee/Hammer Films rendition of Drac, he rips the hell out of Rei Ginsei, the character who resembles Billy Idol. The beginning of this saga all ends with a triumphant stabbing battle as the black fortress sinks beneath the earth. Some reviewers like this one even more than Akira, which I don’t understand. I did however read up on his folklore and sadly I never read any of the Katsuhiro Otomo comics. 

I give it 2 Richard Stanley Duster Hat combos out of 5.

ouch that smarts!

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...