The "sequel" to the classic Vampire Hunter D, Bloodlust certainly makes an impression.
D returns in his role as half vampire half human Vampire Hunter. The basis for the plot is similar to the original, but takes a few rapid twists about halfway through, not always well explained or justified.
This time he has to contend with another team of bounty hunters as well as the ever present evil folks, vampires, their hench monsters and the like. The bounty hunters are actually more interesting than the supernatural folks, at least until the last quarter of the show.
I have to say I didn't feel they delved deeply into the human/vampire aspect at all this time, while it was practically the focus of the last movie.
Overall, the storyline is compelling, although it does run around in some circles before reaching any points. The ending was a bit contrived, but worked.
D is a Dunpeal (english translation... wasn't it something like Wampyre in the original?) half human half vampire, torn between both natures. D is pretty typical gothic hero other than his origins; dark, brooding, powerful, emotionless.
Left Hand returns in a supporting role as... Left Hand! Left Hand adds some comic relief to the proceedings, although he is an integral part of D. (Get it?)
Meier is the opposing vampire. He's got some very cool powers, a bit unusual in the vampire line, but they serve well for drama and atmosphere.
Charlotte is Meier's "victim". A human, kidnapped by the evil vampire. Her family hires D to recover her or kill her.
The bounty hunter team is pretty neat, they have a nice combination of abilities (although certainly not usual; firepower, stealth, strength, etc) with nice twists on each of their roles.
The opposing monster cadre again have nice twists, although somewhat reminiscent of the Ninja Scroll crew. That's only now that I think about it, though, I didn't feel the movie was copying anyone specifically.
Overall, the characters are a fresh take on their somewhat stereotypical roles.
The animation was flat out stunning. While the long angular faces in D take some getting used to, effects, action sequences, mood etc were all brilliantly done, absolutely first rate.
The computer assisted special effects aren't obnoxiously or obviously computer generated (a la Zoids) but bring an incredible fluidity and speed to the animation, without disrupting the style.
The english dub wasn't terrible. Not mind blowingly awesome, but not terrible, not really a factor in watching the show. It didn't distract me from enjoying the rest of it.
Those action sequences! Woo woo, awesome stuff. Great direction.
It was a Vampire Hunter D rehash. There was nothing stunningly new apart from the characters who were pretty neat.
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5.0 (From 2 comments)
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