Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

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Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Teaser poster
Japanese name
Kanji吸血鬼ハンターD ブラッドラスト
Revised HepburnBanpaia Hantā Dī: Buraddorasuto
Directed byYoshiaki Kawajiri
Screenplay byYoshiaki Kawajiri
English adaptation by
Based onVampire Hunter D Volume 3: Demon Deathchase
by Hideyuki Kikuchi
Produced by
Starringsee below
CinematographyHitoshi Yamaguchi
Edited by
  • Harutoshi Ogata
  • Satoshi Terauchi
  • Kashiko Kimura
  • Yukiko Itō
Music byMarco D'Ambrosio
  • Madhouse
  • Filmlink International
  • BMG Funhouse
  • Movic
  • Goodhill Vision
  • Softcapital
Distributed by
Release dates
  • July 2000 (2000-07) (Fantasia Fest)
  • April 21, 2001 (2001-04-21) (Japan)[1]
  • September 23, 2001 (2001-09-23) (United States)
Running time
102 minutes[3]
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • United States[3]
Box office$151,086

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (吸血鬼ハンターD ブラッドラスト, Banpaia Hantā Dī: Buraddorasuto) is a 2000 dark fantasy[4] vampire adventure[5] anime film produced by Madhouse, Filmlink International, BMG Japan, Movic, Good Hill Vision, and Soft Capital. It was written, directed and storyboarded by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, with Yutaka Minowa designing the characters, Yūji Ikehata serving as art director and designing the setting, and Marco D'Ambrosio composing the music. The film is based on the third novel of Hideyuki Kikuchi's Vampire Hunter D series, Demon Deathchase.

The film began production in 1997 and was completed with the intention of being shown in American theaters. It was shown in twelve theaters across the United States and received generally positive reception from American critics.


In the middle of the night, Charlotte Elbourne, a young human woman, is abducted by Baron Meier Link, a vampire nobleman. Charlotte's wealthy father, John, hires D, a dhampir, to rescue her, dead or alive.

At the same time, Charlotte's older brother Adam hires the Marcus Brothers, composed of their leader Borgoff, the hulking Nolt, the blade master Kyle, the frail/physically bedridden psychic Grove, and Leila, a woman who holds a grudge towards vampires. D and the Marcus Brothers race after Meier, learning that Charlotte was not kidnapped but chose to accompany him out of love for the vampire.

Meier hires the mutant Barbarois to guard him, consisting of the shapeshifter Caroline, the shadow manipulator Bengé, and the werewolf Mashira. Nolt is killed by Bengé, resulting in the brothers confronting the Barbarois in their home territory. At the same time, D visits them. Grove causes a large ruckus using his psychic powers, and D becomes trapped in a void that Bengé creates. D escapes the void, and the Marcus Brothers avenge Nolt by killing Bengé. They then travel to a nearby western town, where Leila convinces the local sheriff to stop D. Fortunately, D is saved by an old man who recalls the dhampir rescuing him as a child from a vampire.

Meier's carriage stops to rest during the daytime, and Charlotte wanders out, meeting D and Leila. The two fight against Caroline while Mashira escapes with the carriage. D defeats Caroline but is forced to seek shelter after absorbing too much sunlight due to Heat Syndrome-(a condition that is common among dhampirs and vampires). Leila faces a revived Caroline and survives only by chance when lightning strikes the mutant, killing her instantly. She takes shelter with D after and reveals that a vampire back in her childhood kidnapped her mother. This resulted in her being stoned to death by the people of her hometown when she returned as a completely different person and killed her father. Leila joined the Marcus Brothers to avenge her parents' deaths. The two make a pact to visit each other's graves upon who dies first.

The Marcus Brothers trap Meier's carriage on a bridge by bombing it and carjacking Charlotte. However, their trap is foiled by Mashira's enhanced senses, resulting in Kyle being killed and Borgoff falling off the bridge but surviving, losing an eye. Meier and Charlotte reach the Castle of Chaythe, where Countess Carmilla Elizabeth Bathory awaits them. Meanwhile, Mashira stays behind to fight D, but the vampire hunter slays him.

It is then revealed that Meier and Charlotte had reached out to the Countess, hoping they could fly to the City of the Night, a vampire refuge located in space. However, Carmilla betrays the couple, temporarily slaying Meier and tricking Charlotte into being bitten. Revived by Charlotte's blood, she uses hallucinations to haunt D, Borgoff, and Leila. D is unaffected and saves Leila from her hallucinations depicting her tragic childhood, but Borgoff is tricked and turned. Grove reappears and saves Leila by blowing up the now vampiric Borgoff with an embrace. He then dies as a result. D confronts Carmilla and is able to destroy her spirit whilst a reawakened Meier destroys her physical body. D and Meier then clash for a final time, with D gaining the upper hand. The final battle ends after D spares Meier's life and leaves the castle with Leila while taking Charlotte's ring as proof for her father and brother. As Meier uses the castle's ship to depart to the City of the Night, D and Leila look on, with Leila wishing the vampire success.

Years later, a funeral is held for Leila, with a large crowd attending. Among the crowd is Leila's granddaughter, who recognizes D from a distance and invites him to spend time with her family, but he kindly refuses. D reveals he is glad Leila was wrong about nobody being at her funeral and leaves contentedly.

Voice cast[edit]

Character Japanese English
D Hideyuki Tanaka Andy Philpot
Meier Link Kōichi Yamadera John Rafter Lee
Leila Megumi Hayashibara
Akiko Yajima (Young)
Pamela Segall
Charlotte Elbourne Emi Shinohara Wendee Lee
D's Left Hand Ichirō Nagai Mike McShane
Carmilla Bibari Maeda Julia Fletcher
Borgoff Marcus Yūsaku Yara Matt McKenzie
Nolt Marcus Ryūzaburō Ōtomo John DiMaggio
Kyle Marcus Houchu Ohtsuka Alex Fernandez
Grove Marcus Toshihiko Seki Jack Fletcher
Polk Takeshi Aono John Hostetter
Sheriff Rikiya Koyama John DiMaggio
Bengé Keiji Fujiwara Dwight Schultz
Caroline Yōko Sōmi Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Mashira Rintarou Nishi John DiMaggio
John Elbourne Motomu Kiyokawa
Alan Elbourne Koji Tsujitani John DeMita
Priest Unshō Ishizuka
Leila's Granddaughter Mika Kanai Debi Derryberry
Old Man of Barbarois Chikao Ōtsuka Dwight Schultz
D's Mother Chiharu Suzuka Julia Fletcher


Yoshitaka Amano created the design for the main character in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.

The idea for a new Vampire Hunter D film came after there was a fan demand to make a follow-up to Vampire Hunter D (1985).[6] Hideyuki Kikuchi was also in favor of this as he had often complained about the "cheapness" in the look of the original film.[6] Plans for a new film started in 1997 by director Yoshiaki Kawajiri and production company Madhouse.[6] Producer Mataichirō Yamamoto wanted to pick up the rights to Madhouse's Wicked City.[7] During the discussion about Wicked City, Yamamoto heard about the new Vampire Hunter D film and wanted to not only get involved with video distribution, but in production and possible theatrical release in America.[7]

The story of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is based on the third novel in Kikuchi's series D - Demon Deathchase.[7] The main character's design is by artist Yoshitaka Amano.[2] Amano's art style was matched for the rest of the characters in the film by animation director Yutaka Minowa.[2] The animation for the film was created in the Madhouse Studios in Tokyo while the post-production work was done in California. The English soundtrack for the film was recorded in 1999 before the Japanese dialogue was finished.[2] The film's title of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust was a last-minute decision to distinguish it from the first film.[8]



To promote the film, a two-and-a-half-minute-long trailer was finished in 1998 and was shown at American anime fan conventions.[2] A work-in-progress print was shown in 2000 at the Fantasia Film Festival in July in Montreal and at the New York Anime Film Festival in October 2000.[2]

The completed version of the film was only released theatrically in an English-language version. On its Japanese theatrical release, it was subtitled in Japanese.[8] It premiered on September 23, 2001, in America where it played in six theaters. It grossed $25,521 in this run and $151,086 in total, making it the highest-grossing Japanese film ever in a language other than Japanese.[8]

Home video[edit]

Urban Vision released the movie on DVD and VHS on February 12, 2002,[9][better source needed] and it was listed at #7 on the Billboard Top DVD Sales chart for the week of March 9, 2002.[10] Then on February 3, 2015, Discotek Media announced their license to release the movie for Blu-ray on September 8, 2015, and DVD on September 22, 2015, however, due to licensing restrictions, all releases have the original English audio only.[11]

In Japan, the film was released on DVD on December 19, 2001, by Avex Entertainment with both English and Japanese audio.[12][better source needed]


The film received generally favorable reviews from American critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 72% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 32 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Vampire Hunter D's gothic charms may be lost on those unfamiliar with the anime series that spawned it, but the crisp action and nightmarish style will satiate horror aficionados' bloodlust."[13] It received a rating of 62 on the website Metacritic based on 15 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14] The Chicago Reader gave a favorable review of the film, referring to it as a "gorgeously animated surrealist adventure".[4] The New York Daily News referred to the film as "Beautiful, witty and provocative" and that it should "appeal to fans and non-fans alike".[14] The San Francisco Chronicle praised the director Yoshiaki Kawajiri stating that he "has a gift for striking visuals" but also noted that "his story manages to be simultaneously thin and chaotic."[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b バンパイアハンターD (in Japanese). Japanese Cinema Database. Retrieved July 6, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f Patten, 2004. p.344
  3. ^ a b Browning, 2010. p.26
  4. ^ a b Alspector, Lisa (26 October 1985). "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust". Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on 29 December 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  5. ^ Høgset, Stig. "Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust". THEM Anime Reviews. Archived from the original on December 3, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Patten, 2004. p.342
  7. ^ a b c Patten, 2004. p.343
  8. ^ a b c Patten, 2004. p.341
  9. ^ "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust -". 12 February 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-10-01. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
  10. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2002. pp. 66–. ISSN 0006-2510. Archived from the original on 8 February 2023. Retrieved 8 February 2023 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust". Facebook. 2015-02-03. Archived from the original on 2022-02-26.
  12. ^ "バンパイアハンターD(劇場公開バージョン) [DVD]". Amazon (in Japanese). 19 December 2001. ASIN B00005R6AB. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
  13. ^ "Vampire Hunter D". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. 28 September 2001. Archived from the original on 9 October 2021. Retrieved August 27, 2022.
  14. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Vampire Hunter D". Metacritic. Archived from the original on August 27, 2022. Retrieved August 27, 2022.
  15. ^ Guthmann, Edward (October 5, 2001). "FILM CLIPS". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 5, 2011.


External links[edit]