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Vampire Hunter D: Special Edition DVD
Bilingual DVD
80 minutes
Toyoo Ashida
Hideyuki Kikuchi
Yoshitaka Amano
Epic/Sony, Inc.
Movic, Inc.
CBS/Song, Inc.
Urban Vision
A true classic that no anime fan should be without.

ANIMEfringe Reviews:
Vampire Hunter D: Special Edition DVD
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold

I remember when I first saw Vampire Hunter D long, long ago back in 1993 during the Sci-Fi Channel's first Anime Festival. This was back when Sci-Fi was a satellite only commodity, but by did those movies leave an impression on me. This was of course the Streamline dubbed version, but never the less, Japanese animation was just beginning to gain more interest thanks to MTV's animated programming.

By now you probably know the plot of Vampire Hunter D by heart and have seen a lot of Yoshitaka Amano's original character designs. And that's all well and good, but I don't have anything to write about the plot if you do. So, bear with me.

It's the distant future, 12,090 AD to be exact, and the world has gone through a number of wars that have left the humans living in high-tech villages while the aristocrats broad over them in the distance and demons prowl the nights. One night, a young girl named Doris is out protecting her property by hunting these devilish beast when she is attacked and marked by Count Magnus. Now, the village has ostracized Doris and the demon world is set on making her the Count's next bride. There is only one last course of action for Doris to take, to hire a Vampire Hunter to rid her of the curse she now possesses.

Like I said, you know the story. So, let's touch on the DVD itself. As with most American DVDs the language track begins on the English dub, but I found that the opening sequence to be very loud and my speakers made popping noises frequently. So, since I had seen the dub before, I turned on the subtitled and switched the disc to the Japanese language track. Big difference. The Japanese language track is much softer and didn't rattle my speakers until the end of the movie with the cliff scene.

Sound isn't such a bid deal, but the subtitles are. They are white letters with a thin black outline that often fads into the scenes early in the movie making them very hard to read. Yellow would have been a better choice. Yet, it's easy to see why white was chosen due to the extreme light and dark portions of the movie.

In contrast to these forgivable problems, the DVD does have some very nice extras that make it an excellent buy. Of course you get the Streamline dub and the Japanese language tracks along with the original Japanese credits, pretty much a given that would be worth the disc price regardless. No, what makes the disk special is it has a series of trailers including the original Japanese trailer from 1985, the English trailer for the new Vampire Hunter D film, and some Urban Vision trailers. There is also a movie of the Playstation game in action and an Image Gallery that isn't your standard ‘step' interface, no this one is a short clip giving info on Amano's Vampire Hunter D work, some sketches and pictures, and some info on Amano's new project, HERO. But, what makes this disc a real treat is the subtitled 10 minute Making of Vampire Hunter D documentary from 1985. This short movie gives a rare look at what Japanese animation studios were like in the mid-80s. Truly a rare treat.

You know you this movie is a must have. You probably already have a favorite scene. If you are curious, my favorite part is when Doris says she will bit off her tongue. Trust me, this disc is a must have. The movie's a classic for crying out loud.

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