Vampire Hunter D (Banpaiâ Hantî) will always be remembered for being one of the first feature film animes to break through American stereotypes, and to create a fan base for other animes to feel welcome in America. The story began in 1983 as a series of novels written by the popular Hideyuki Kikuchi. It was taken to it's movie form in 1985. The movie is a melding pot of genres, from science fiction, to horror, to fantasy, with a dash of romance and the old west thrown in. As it is so multifaceted, it appeals to many, even to those who have never watched anime before.
The movie starts in 12,090 A.D. with Doris Lang, a werewolf hunter's daughter, trying to track a monster. She ends up facing a vampire who says that his name is Count Mangus Lee directly before he latches onto her neck and takes a good long drink. The next day Doris, distraught, ends up finding a vampire hunter who is simply known as D. She hires him to kill the count, as that will be the only way she can retain her human form, and D does everything he can to help her.
Vampire Hunter D is really a story about the future. The movie says that in 1999, a nuclear war occurred and the earth was all but destroyed. A race of vampires prepared for the future and managed to survive the war. They created a strange human civilization in order to harvest them for food. Vampires in Vampire Hunter D do not generally turn civilians into vampires, but instead mate and have children. These children stop growing after they reach adulthood and are able to procreate themselves. When a vampire mates with a human, and a child is conceived, it is known as a dhampir, or a half-breed. D is a dhampir.
He has the ability to walk among the light, and his skills are all slightly magnified, although not as much as a vampires are. He is noted to be a dhampir due to his beauty, which is beyond that of a mortal, and the aura he gives off, which is why he is not accepted in the human world. He chooses to hunt and kill vampires, which is why he is not accepted in the vampire world. D is truly a man without a home.
As an added bonus of oddity, D has a symbiant known as Left Hand, due to the fact that it resides on his left palm. Left Hand takes the form of a face and has some amazing abilities, such as being able to create a wind vacuum and suck in various things. It is very rare that anybody other than D knows of his existence, and for a time you are led to wonder if he truly does exist.
The story of Vampire Hunter D, although written quite a few years ago, is one that does not diminish with time. It is a story of the possible perils of the future, and of continued heroism in the face of danger.