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Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Produced by Taka Nagasawa
Masao Maruyama
Mataichiro Yamamoto
Written by Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Starring Ichirô Nagai,
Hideyuki Tanaka
Kôichi Yamadera
Music by Marco D'Ambrosio
Cinematography Hitoshi Yamaguchi
Distributed by Urban Vision
Release date(s) 2000-08-25
Running time 97 minutes
Country  Japan
Language Japanese
English
Preceded by Vampire Hunter D

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (バンパイアハンターD) is a 2000 Japanese anime film, written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, with characters designed by Yutaka Minowa. It is the sequel to 1985's Vampire Hunter D, and is based on the third of Hideyuki Kikuchi's Vampire Hunter D novels, D - Demon Deathchase.

Contents

Characters

  • D (English voice actor: Andy Philpot; Japanese voice actor: Hideyuki Tanaka): The protagonist of the movie, he was hired by the father of a young human woman named Charlotte after her abduction by Baron Meier Link. D is a dhampir; the son of the Vampire King and human woman. He possesses inhuman strength and speed, allowing him to perform feats such as cutting through trees and catching arrows in flight. He suffers from "heat sickness" when exposed to sunlight for too long, and has a thirst for blood. In his confrontation with Carmilla, it is hinted that he has never given in to the latter. D has a "partner" in the form of Left Hand, a parasite that is attached to his left hand.
  • Baron Meier Link: The antagonist. Link is a full vampire. He abducted Charlotte, with whom he is in love. Like D, Link is far stronger and faster than a human. He is capable of altering his cloak and hand into blade, shield, and/or claws.
  • The Barbarois: A much feared and little seen tribe of monsters and mutants. While all of them identify themselves as Barbarois- they are in fact a large confederation made up a wide range of creatures. Their skills and reputation allows them to be hired at high prices and they also appear to have a long history of serving vampires. While some consider their work only jobs, other display fierce loyalty to their client. Carmilla hires three very powerful Barbarois to guard Meier Link's carriage.
    • Mashira: With long hair and Arabian-esque clothing, Mashira is a mutant werewolf. He can transform into his wolf form at will. He has very keen senses and hears sounds over great distances. He is probably the most loyal of the three- and is often the first to communicate with Meier.
    • Benge: A shroud-encased mutant with a warped sense of humor and a kabuki-like white face and hands. He crafts illusions and ensnares D with a trap of shadows. He can expand and flatten himself into a shadow-like darkness, he can move along inside shadows and can kill a being by attacking their shadows.
    • Caroline: A tall, curvaceous female demon covered in a brilliant layer of green fur (with gold streaks) over parts of her body that converges into a wild mane of similar hair. She can assume the molecular structure of other materials, such as wood or metal, and then manipulate them- such as to cause spikes to jut out from the surface.
  • The Marcus Brothers: A group of five vampire hunters hired by Charlotte’s older brother for backup, they consist of four brothers and one (though not blood-related) sister. They compete with D throughout the movie to rescue Charlotte from Link.

The brothers are:

    • Borgoff: The leader of the group, bites cigars and has a bossy demeanor. He wields a repeating crossbow on his right arm, which is capable of launching hundreds of silver arrows at its target.
    • Nolt: A huge-bodied man who uses an enormous war hammer with a silver tip at one end. His face is painted in the shape of a cross and he seems to be partially cybernetic.
    • Kyle: Fights with a pair of boomerang-like blades that turn into crosses and spin on his fingertips; he usually throws wisecracking insults.
    • Grove: The fourth brother, he is bed-ridden and is capable of astrally projecting his soul and dealing massive psychic attacks after receiving a special injection. In the movie, Grove is very close to Leila.
    • Leila: Conspicuous as the sole woman of the group, although she isn't related by blood to the Marcus Brothers, they consider her their little sister. She fights using a very powerful gun. Leila joined the Marcus Brothers to avenge her parents, as her father was killed trying to rescue her mother from vampires, who in turn, turned her into a vampire too. The town's people stoned Leila's mother to death while a young Leila watched, helpless.
  • Charlotte:A young human woman who was abducted by Link. Her father hires D to find her and bring her home, but makes a provision in their contract for D to humanely kill her if she becomes a vampire.
  • Carmilla: An ancient vampire who resides in the Castle of Chaythe, where Meier and Charlotte go hoping that a still-functional ship can take them away from Earth. Many years earlier, Carmilla's bloodlust had become so rampant that D's father, the Lord of Vampires, impaled her in her sleep, leaving her body to rot and her spirit imprisoned within her haunted castle. Carmilla turns out to be the true villain of the film: her invitation to Meier Link and Charlotte is a ruse, and her true intention is to sacrifice Charlotte and steal her body. Her plan is foiled, and she is killed once and for all by D with aid from Link.

Plot

Charlotte, a young woman, is abducted by Baron Meier Link, a vampire nobleman who is known not to harm humans needlessly. Charlotte's father hires D to find her and kill her humanely if she turns into a vampire. At the same time, her older brother also hires the notorious Marcus brothers for backup. The two parties (D and the Marcus brothers) race inexorably after Meier Link. However, Meier Link hires the Mutant Barbarois; a group of lethal mercenary body guards. They consist of Caroline, a shape shifter; Benge, a shadow manipulator; and Mashira, a werewolf.

As the story progresses, Meier Link's abduction turns out to be an escape by him and Charlotte, as they are lovers. Through the journey, D talks to Leila and tells her that she can have a life that someone like him could never have, the life of a normal human. They make a pact, if either one of them survives, the survivor can bring flowers to the other's grave. Near the end of the movie, Meier Link goes with Charlotte to the Castle of Chaythe, where Countess Carmilla, Meier Link's patron, waits for them. Carmilla, a ghost of a vampire who died long ago, reigned supreme within the Castle of Chaythe when vampires were all-powerful and unchallenged. However, her bloodlust was so strong that Count Dracula, D's father, killed her in disgust. After going to the Castle of Chaythe, D fights Carmilla's ghost, who plotted to kill Charlotte and return to life. D, along with Leila, let Meier Link leave for the City of the Night with Charlotte's body.

In the final scene of the movie, D arrives at Leila's funeral, watching from a distance. Leila's granddaughter greets him and invites him to stay with them for a while. D declines, saying that he simply came to "repay a favor to an old friend, who feared no one would mourn her death." He admitted he was glad she was wrong. The girl thanks him, and D replies by smiling gently at her, and leaves.

Differences between the novel and film

The novel is both more violent and bleaker than the film; what it lacks in the movie's sympathetic character development, it replaces with greater background detail—both for the world, and the story setup. The book focuses on the Marcus family, not D, and is far less charitable to them. Several show some form of enhancements, implied but not stated outright to be deliberate genetic manipulations, bordering on mutations, allowing them supernatural physical skills.

Leila, the only daughter in the Marcus clan (not adopted as in the movie), is described as having predatory cat-like eyes. Although she is extremely skilled with mechanical objects—particularly vehicles—far exceeding her brothers, she is repeatedly victimized by them. Novel Leila is younger than movie Leila, with long hair rather than a utilitarian butch cut. Novel Leila drives a battle car she made herself and unlike in the movie confronts D on her own when they meet at the Shelter, displaying great skill that even D remarks upon and defeating the Shelter's defensive system. She is the victim of forced incest: all of her brothers violating her when she attempts to settle down with a suitor. This made her become colder and crueler. In the movie, the Marcus brothers are cold-blooded, hard-nosed hunters, but nevertheless fond of their adopted little sister; Leila is ineffectual. She doesn't kill Benge as she does in the novel, she attempts unsuccessfully to have D ambushed and she gains her near-mortal wound not through skillful manipulation of her own car as a defense but when her own projectile is turned back against her; the only person she successfully perseveres against is Charlotte, whom she slaps and chastises, unlike in the novel where she points a gun at D to make him let the girl go free.

The four brothers are also quite different. Borgoff, the largest and the leader, is often referred to as a "granite statue with whiskers". His bow is primitive (merely a stick with a string attached, the arrows just metal darts) but used with enough skill to nearly incapacitate a vampire. He dies gruesomely, devoured by flesh-eating ants, when a trap set for Mayerling (Meier Link in the film) turns against him. Although not turned into a vampire, Borgoff is possessed by Mashira, and fulfills a similar role of threatening the characters in the climax. Borgoff also possesses strange psychic abilities and implied genetic enhancements, including a form of projected remote viewing and weightless running.

Nolt is far smaller than his movie self, without a tattoo. (The effectiveness of crosses against vampires is completely unknown among humans in the books due to hypnotic programming but remain a part of the iconography of the movies). His staff grows and changes length with the swing. Also he is killed by D, not Bengé, when he tries to finish him off after D is blasted into a river by Borgoff.

Kyle wears black, and his weapon is just a crescent moon boomerang blade on a string, similar to Rei Ginsei's in book one. He shows a fondness for Leila, but rapes her to provoke Grove into a seizure. He is turned into a vampire zombie slave by Caroline and is killed by Borgoff when he gives his change away by light sensitivity.

Grove (short for Groveck) is a much more unpleasant person; he apologizes for being a burden, but rapes his sister and carries out wholesale slaughter with an 'angelic' smile. He feels protective instincts following an encounter with the nameless girl (Charlotte in Bloodlust). He is featured more prominently in the book, as opposed to his brief appearances in the movie. Instead of dying nobly to save his beloved sister from a zombie Borgoff, he is butchered when Borgoff tapes a small bomb to him to trigger one last psychic attack. In the movie he is kinder, which raises some problems in that in both he is portrayed slaughtering an entire village, and only in one is this action seen as problematic.

The opening setup is entirely different, with the Marcus clan first arriving at the dead zombie-ridden town to meet the last inhabitant with some human faculties left—the girl's father, who addresses the unseen D instead with his plea to rescue his abducted daughter. Throughout the entire book, her name is never given. In the movie, her name is Charlotte, and her role is largely one of silent fear and declarations of love; in the novel she is a dignified young woman who takes Mayerling's knife to protect them from D when he begins to force the door, ultimately decides upon their destination, and shares several scenes of romantic interaction and familiarity with Mayerling, unlike in the movie, where their shown interaction is scant. In the novel, she leaves her house of her own accord; in the movie, she is terrified, knocked unconscious and taken out of the window by Meier Link. She also fights off an attempted rape, flees Mashira, and confronts both Leila and D, successfully convincing them to abate their efforts in hunting Mayerling. In the novel, the nameless girl is endangered by sexual assault twice: once by Mashira, and again by a nameless lascivious huntsman. However, the condition of the dead town is more thoroughly explained in the novel.

In the novel, D also has some suspicions regarding the nature of the relationship between Mayerling and the girl from the very beginning.

The three Barbarois bodyguards are significantly different in the novel. Instead of mutants, they are the descendants of a variety of halfbreed demons, indebted to Dracula, who appears in their past as a savior.

Bengé, while still a trickster, is completely black and unnaturally slim, as opposed to having kabuki-like white face and hands in the movie adaption. He still crafts illusions, but never ensnares D with the movie's dramatic time-space warping trap (an element apparently borrowed from the second novel). His death occurs when he attempts to attack both Borgoff and Kyle; in the movie he is killed by Kyle, and in the novel Leila avenges an earlier attack and saves her brothers' lives. Caroline and Mashira both show disgust with his antics and modus operandi.

In the novel, Caroline is a powerful dhampir, though her origins are vague. Rather than controlling substances through bonding with them, she can turn anything she bites into an "undead slave" by drinking its lifeblood: here, a mechanical arm's fuel or a tree's sap. Blonde and voluptuous, a siren rather than a feral, green-haired mutant, Caroline continually wears a dress, emphasizing her use of proxies in battle rather than her own efforts. Her powers lead to an exploration of the world's history, when she possesses the remaining piece of a long-dead, gigantic machine race who independently achieved sentience and fought ancient ideological wars observed by the Nobles. In the novel she is killed by Leila.

The book's tragedies ensue from the lusts of both the Marcus Clan and the hired bodyguards—as Caroline plots with Mashira to separate the human and vampire couple. She seduces and turns Kyle, then bites Leila while D lies prone under the dirt, the battle ending in a stalemate. Leila succeeds in resisting Caroline's bloodcall; in the last scene Caroline gives her a knife and orders her to kill the nameless girl; Leila instead manages to turn the knife on the dhampir and kill her.

Mashira is not the noble young bodyguard who acts with gentle consideration toward Charlotte as in the movie, but a lascivious traitor bent on raping her. He is not a mutated werewolf but a parasite like Left Hand, inhabiting several stolen bodies throughout the movie. Much about the nature of Left Hand's race is revealed in dealing with him, implying that D and Left Hand share a unique bond, as Left Hand's mind and will have not dominated D.

The characterization of Left Hand is also different; in the book it is still a symbiote, but one with a sometimes-malevolent sense of humour who taunts D, consumes his brethren and is ultimately more practical than D. In the movie it is blustery and chiefly provides exposition that the visual medium doesn't allow for in the narrative.

Very little of this novel is written from D's viewpoint, and the movie's theme of overcoming racism and xenophobia, highlighted in the relationship between Leila and D, is never addressed in the novel. Both novel and movie Leila is rescued several times by D, but in the novel she returns the favor. Novel Leila shows evident love for him, rather than the lighter implications demonstrated in the movie. The movie's prime characterization scene, where they both talk while D recuperates, never happens in the novel; D remains unconscious while Leila defends him from Caroline, receiving grave injuries in the process. The town scene where D encounters an old man he once rescued as a child also exists only in the movie (the events described are somewhat similar to what occurs in the second novel, where children are kidnapped).

The name Meier Link is phonetically close to the version originally used in the novel (マイエルリンク —literally Maierurinku, Maierlink); it was split into two words for the movie. However, the novel version of the name is the standard Japanese rendering of the geographical name Mayerling, and for the English translation Kevin Leahy chose to use a transliteration faithful to the origin of the word rather than a close phonetic adaptation. Novel Mayerling's character is similar, but given actual segments of the book directly from his viewpoint; his relationship with the nameless girl is given more depth; whereas in the movie all that is shown is their mutual willingness to die for each other in the climax, in the book there are several lengthy scenes of them interacting and conversing. More detail is also given in the novel on their meeting and the girl's "abduction".

The ending is markedly different from the movie. Instead of Chaythe, the ruined spaceport of Claybourne awaits the ill-fated lovers; but when they arrive, the rockets are completely ruined. The girl knew this, as demonstrated by her reply to D earlier in the book concerning its status, and comforts him, telling Mayerling they'll simply travel over the earth instead. D and Mayerling face off, and at the end of their duel, presumably motivated by the conversation he, Leila and the girl have earlier in the woods, spares him and promises to lie about their survival, leaving them to go free. But Mayerling is killed by the possessed Borgoff, and the girl then commits suicide on his claw.

D and Leila leave without much commentary; he pays a man to bury the lovers, and still has a characteristic smile in the end, but it's for Leila, who leaves to find the man who offered to marry her a few years ago, the only one who ever knew of her membership in the fearsome gang and didn't care.

Carmila of Bloodlust does not appear in the novels, and is based in part upon the fictional Carmilla and in part upon the historical Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Báthory.

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