Well, it is time for part 2.
Unlike the first part, the timeline here is much different. It is set in the distant future resembling a mix of western and medieval settings. While in the first part vampires were feared and seen as “Aristocratic”, here, they are now on the run from the ever growing number of bounty hunters and the ever shortening number of vampires.
D. is tasked with saving the daughter of a nobleman who has been kidnapped alongside a rival group of vampire hunters. A simple story but a story that has so much to offer. From the hypnotic atmosphere to the enchanting music, this animated feature had it all. I was entranced from the moment that it started.
Although I loved the first part, this felt like it was something completely different. And the reason is probably the director – Yoshiaki Kawajiri who is known for Wicked City, Ninja Scroll, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance and many other works, all of which I absolutely love. He has a style like no other director and honestly, it is very hard to match. Nowhere is this more evident than in this movie. It is a work of art.
Interestingly enough, this movie shares a similarity with the original that works in its favor here. We do not know much about the world, it is very rich with a plethora of monsters and creatures of the night, but in this movie all of this only makes the entire story better. The way that it is made makes us take the passenger seat alongside D and we see first hand how the world works and we learn everything alongside D.
And boy is there so much to unpack. We are taken on a wild ride that shows us not everyone who is seen as evil is really evil and just because there are a lot of evil monsters in the world, the humans are not automatically good, shown to us by a big cast of supporting characters of which none are one dimensional.
Of course, the best example of this is D himself. He is someone that should be on the side of the vampires yet he fights for the humans that despise and shun him. It seems like he lives a life with no purpose, a life of solitude and sadness and yet he hunts down his kin, going against his nature which in turn makes him shunned by the creatures of the dark as well.
There is so much to talk about D, after I read the novels I might do an entire character study on him because he is such a fascinating character but for now, to keep the focus on the movie itself.
The only thing that I did not speak much of was the cinematography. This movie was one of the most visually stunning animated movies that I have ever seen. And it had some of the best gothic art ever, not just in anime, especially the last part of the film. It made you feel like you were there. Only a handful of movies have done that. I am having difficulties with expressing just how much I loved it and how well it was made because I feel like no words would give it the proper justice it deserves.
Overall, it would be a great disservice for any fan of cinema and horror to not watch this movie. It is a masterpiece.
Final verdict: 10/10