This entry is cross posted with my other blog at https://www.aliciasanime.com/blogs/blog/anime
When I was a teenager I was into Star Wars and X-Men comics. But I was always on the lookout for something new. Late one night while browsing satellite TV (I lived in an area so remot that there is still no cable TV there), I ran across a station called Network One which was playing their block whose tagline was something along the lines of ‘Japanimation – the ultimate in Japanese Animation.’ (That’s as close as I can remember it, anyway.) I had never even heard the term, but it seemed interesting. The feature that night was a movie called Vampire Hunter D.
I’d never seen anything like it, especially the character design. The animation was amazing and the whole movie just had a different feel tham anything I’d ever experience. I was captivated, and thus began my trip down the rabbit hole of anime.
Set in the distant post-apocalyptic future (the year 12,090 AD), the story tells the tale of D, a dhampir (or half vampire) hunter. It has a truly immersive sci-fi and horror feel. It was originally released in 1985, although I didn’t discover it until about 12 years later. I won’t get into the story to avoid any potential spoilers, but I loved at, and it’s been not only one of my favorite films, but my gateway into the world of anime (and eventually Alicia’s Anime).
The anime is based on the first story in the series of novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi, which were illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano (who I’m sure many of you will recognize as the character designer for Final Fantasy games among his many other works).
In 2000 there was a second movie, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. This one is also special to me because my wife and I (who were dating at the time) got to see it’s limited theatrical release at a really cool, small theater in Washington DC which played lesser known movies. Bloodlust was an amazing experience as well, with absolutely beautiful art, animation and music along with a great story. I need to find the name of the theater so I can give them a shout-out!
What was your first anime? How did it it influence or inspire you? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook!