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Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 02/14/2003

Synopsis:
Charlotte, the daughter of the illustrious Elbourne family, has been kidnapped by the vampire Meier Link. Charlotte's father commissions a mysterious vampire hunter known as D and the renowned mercenary group the Marcus Brothers to rescue Charlotte from the vampire's clutches. Whoever brings Charlotte back first will get a sizeable amount of reward money. There is a condition, however. Should the rescuers find that Charlotte had already been turned into a vampire, they are to kill her immediately...

Review:
I had seen the original Vampire Hunter D a few years back, and to be honest, I was not really impressed with it. I found that it lacked the suspense and excitement I was looking forward to, and the characterization left something to be desired. Fortunately, Bloodlust does manage to surpass its predecessor -- not only with its superior visuals, but also with its enhanced storytelling and character development.

Bloodlust is mainly about the kidnapping of a young woman named Charlotte Elbourne. However, D and the Marcus Brothers soon discover that Charlotte's not really a kidnap victim -- because she's actually in love with Meier Link! Is she under a spell? Or do Charlotte and Meier truly have feelings for each other? Meanwhile, D saves the Marcus Brothers' female member Leila from certain death, and an unlikely bond forms between them. What starts out as a vampire-hunting adventure soon turns into a Dracula-esque romantic drama... albeit I'm not complaining. Bloodlust is not a conventional let's-slay-the-bad-vampire story that its predecessor was, and this time we are given more insight on what drives the main characters. I must say though that D's talking hand is still the irritating chatterbox that it was in the original movie -- incessantly stating the obvious, throwing in side comments that are neither smart nor funny... just useless and silly.

With regards to the visual aspect, Bloodlust is incredible. Character designs, backgrounds, and movements are exceptionally smooth, polished, and detailed. The animated sequences are done so skillfully that even ordinary actions like running or walking around present an awe-inspiring spectacle. There's also a lot of no-holds-barred fighting action, blood, and gore. I was pleased to discover that one of my favorite Do-As-Infinity songs is Bloodlust's main theme. The English dubbing is excellent. There were no mispronunciations since all the characters had more or less western names, and the voices suited the characters perfectly.

All in all, Bloodlust is a solid movie and a vast improvement over the original Vampire Hunter D. You can even watch it without any Vampire Hunter D background because the story stands on its own and is totally unrelated to the first movie.

Miscellanies:
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust R1 release has no Japanese dialogue version. Contrary to popular belief, there IS an original Japanese language version.

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Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
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Review Title:
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Type:
Movie
Episodes:
1
Duration:
105 Minutes
General Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Aired:
2001
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Genres:
Action, Drama, Fantasy,
Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi,
Vampires
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