Home > emanga Reviews, Manga Reviews, Reviews > Vampire Hunter D, Vol. 1

Vampire Hunter D, Vol. 1

Original story by Hideyuki Kikuchi, Adaption by Saiko Takaki
DMP, 228 pp.
Rating: M (Mature Readers)

I’ve got to admit upfront that I’m a bit of a Kikuchi fanboy. Vampire Hunter D was one of the first anime titles I ever saw and I absolutely adored it. I first took a look at the manga incarnation back on Manga Recon when I reviewed the fourth volume, but now I’m getting a chance to look at the earlier volumes. The story follows D, a pretty and enigmatic vampire hunter as he takes a job involving a young woman being terrorized by the local vampire lord. Sci-Fi, horror and the western collide in this fairly faithful adaption of Hideyuki Kikuchi’s best known creation.

As mentioned above, the story is fairly straightforward and is reminiscent of many a western or samurai flick. Mysterious loner wanders into a town beset by a powerful menace, and he ends up staying to deal with the menace. It’s a fairly classic and timeless formula that’s been used in just about every corner of the globe. Of course the town in this case isn’t really worth trying to save, but that’s what Doris and her annoyingly upbeat younger brother are for. It’s this duo that brings D into conflict with the menace of the local vampire lord and his minions, including a werewolf servant and his daughter Larmica. D, like every Kikuchi protagonist I’ve ever encountered, is a man of unearthly beauty and intensely enigmatic. He speaks little, is shrouded in mystery that only serves to make him more interesting and desirable to just about everyone that lays eyes on him. Unfortunately some of the characterizations for the supporting cast fall by the way side. The tension between Larmica, D and Doris never really develops and I think the story suffers for it. We never really get a good reason for Larmica’s dislike of Doris and her attempts to undermine her fathers plans. Doris also suffers a bit as we never really get to see how capable and independent she was prior to her run in with local vampire lord, which makes her dialogue about growing dependent upon D feel a bit out of place.

Saiko Takaki’s artwork is lush with detail and her rendition of D and his cold, almost eternally solemn expression is fantastic. That said there are some odd bits of anatomy here and there. Throats that are inhumanely long mar several scene’s, particularly with the women. Speaking of the women, how Doris manages to fight with breasts so enormous that they must surely have their own gravitational pull is beyond me, but the rather large bosom is something she seems to share with the other major female in the book, Larmica. There are also a few comedic moments within the artwork when it goes borderline chibi that didn’t really click for me. The storytelling is ok, though the action scene’s can be a bit hard to follow and there were a few moments where I wasn’t sure which word bubble follows which. Still, it is a very, lovely looking book.

All in all, I thought it was an ok adaption. It’s not without its flaws, ranging from some oddities in the artwork and everyone feeling a bit flat in the story. Still, I did find myself enjoying it and despite the odd bits of anatomy the clothing of the characters and her rendition of D are really fantastic.

Vampire Hunter D, Vol. 1 is available now at Emanga.com. Review copy provided by the publisher.

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  1. August 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Gundam model kit begins in Japan yet it grows into a world hobby currently. I leant the way to assemble a model at six and it is my own fav hobby. The style is becoming more and more practical

  1. August 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm

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