The Anime Primer

Capsule Descriptions of Anime: V

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Vampire Hunter D (1985)   Vampire Hunter D (2000)   Vampire Princess Miyu   Vampire Princess Miyu TV   VanDread   Venus Wars   Video Girl Ai   The Vision of Escaflowne   Votoms

Vampire Hunter D (1985)

A.D. 12,090 is a lot like the Old West, except for the mutants and vampires. When Count Magnus Lee, an ancient and powerful bloodsucker, sets his sights on a young woman of the frontier, Doris Lang, she hires a cape-clad, sword-swinging stranger known simply as D to get rid of a suitor who doesn't understand "No." D must fight his way past a horde of supernatural guardians as well as taking on Count Lee himself, and also must contend with his own unnatural aspects. In addition to being a dhampir (half human and half vampire), D has in his left palm a symbiotic creature that exercises weird powers on his behalf but also taunts him for his shortcomings at every opportunity.

Some fans look down on VHD for its crude animation and cliched storyline, but it has become a cult classic, perhaps for its stunning imagery and larger-than-life conflicts. There's romance as well when Doris starts falling for her half-human savior. VHD is also notable for its violence, as D's blade slices through nearly anything that will make a blood splash. Tetsuya Komuro's soundtrack gives a rich atmosphere to both action and quieter moments.

Licenced by Urban Vision.

[Entry by Cathy Krusberg]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Vampire Hunter D (2000)

A second Vampire Hunter D movie was released to Japanese theaters in April 2001 and is slated for American theatrical release in September 2001. Also titled Vampire Hunter D, it is based on the third novel in Hideyuki Kikuchi's VHD series, D - Yousatsukou (D - Demon Deathchase). D is hired to retrieve a woman kidnapped by the vampire Meier Link, but his task is complicated by two factors: a competing set of hunters, and the true love that led the woman to accompany Meier of her own will. The character designs in the new movie are much closer to Yoshitaka Amano's vision, and the animation is top notch.

Licenced by Urban Vision in North America, by Optimum in the UK, and by Madman in Australia.

[Entry by Cathy Krusberg]

Vampire Princess Miyu
Vampire Princess Miyu: Miyu

An enterprising young woman crosses paths with a strange girl named Miyu, a demon-hunter who is the last of her kind, and follows her as she banishes Shinma with her flame. This dark, frustratingly short tale about the monsters without and within is a pretty refreshing take on the vampire genre, giving us just enough tragedy without seeming too ham-handed.

Parental Advisories: Heavy violence (blood and gore) and implied adult themes.

Licenced by AnimEigo in North America, and by Madman in Australia.

[Entry by Dot Warner]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Vampire Princess Miyu TV

This 26-episode series follows Miyu's life as a schoolgirl. In addition to fighting monsters, the focus is placed more on Miyu's need for blood. She also gets a cute anthromorphic talking monster and spends way too much screen time angsting about being a vampire. I consider it to be vastly inferior to the OAV series, although some fans think that the TV depiction of Miyu is more sympathetic.

Parental Advisories: Heavy violence (blood and gore) and implied adult themes.

Licenced by TOKYOPOP in North America, by MVM in the UK, and by Madman in Australia.

[Entry by Dot Warner]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

VanDread: the main cast (promotional image)

A series with two seasons by Takeshi Mori. A group of men have lived for generations on a planet without women. The women in this show are the enemy who are feared as monsters by these men who are created in genetic laboratories. When Hibiki, our young hero, finds himself stowed away on a ship that is captured by the women and subsequently cast into deep space by a missile, he and a few others must learn to work together to return without killing each other in the process.

The series is fraught with wonderful CGI scenes where the man's mecha-inspired Vanguard fighter merges with the women's jet-fighter-inspired Dread units to create extremely powerful fighters. On top of this the sexual tension of two cultures that have never before encountered each other and so have no concept of "relations" between the sexes is hilarious to watch.

Licenced by Geneon, now out-of-print.

[Entry by Charlie Smith]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Venus Wars

A group of racers on Venus and a reporter from Earth are caught up in the war for the dominance of Venus. A dark film from the "sand in my spacesuit" view of the future which sees the racers being turned from a group of stunt racers who defeat a tank by sheer fluke to hard fighting riders who become instrumental in the war's conclusion.

Licenced by USMC.

[Entry by Chika]

Video Girl Ai
Video Girl Ai: Ai, wearing the outfit Yota gave her

Youta Moteuchi has a crush on his schoolmate, Moemi Hayakawa, but she has feelings for his best friend, Takeshi Niimai. Since Youta is too nice for his own good, he tries to get the two of them together, despite how sad it makes him. A mysterious new video store called Gokuraku appears on Youta's path home, and he winds up renting an adult video entitled "Ai Amano - I'll Cheer You Up." When he plays it on his defective VCR, Ai pops out of the TV screen into his life, and promises to help him square things away with Moemi. There was one thing she hadn't counted on, however: Amongst other flaws, the broken VCR caused her to eventually fall in love with Youta, which is forbidden for Video Girls, and causes heartbreaking complications for both of them. A six-OVA series based on the popular manga by Masakazu Katsura (who had previously distinguished himself with Wingman).

Licenced by Viz Video, now out-of-print.

[Entry by David Watson]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

The Vision of Escaflowne
Escaflowne: Hitomi in silhouette

A sixteen year old girl, Hitomi, who is magically transported to the land of Gaia, is embroiled in a battle with the evil Zaibach empire, bent on manipulating destiny. She aids the boy king Van Fanel, who pilots the mecha Escaflowne, the alluring knight Allen Schezar, the cat-girl Merle and the willful Princess Millerna as she discovers latent psychic powers which may be key to the fate of Gaia. This 26 episode series mixes romance, magic, mecha and plot in a pacy, beguiling mix, with above average TV animation and a musical score widely regarded as one of the best in anime. The dub is either loved or loathed.

Licensed by Bandai in North America - a commercial subtitle, unedited and cut (Fox Kids) dub are available on VHS, with the DVDs containing uncut subtitle and dub. In Australia, Escaflowne has been released by Madman.

[Entry by Andrew Hollingbury]

DMOZ Open Directory Project


Old TV series of post-WWIII world. The army controls the world with their mecha, but not everyone goes along. Mellowlink is a related series in the same universe (set before Votoms, made after.) Votoms has been licensed by USMC.

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Any images on this page are copyright their respective creators or licencees, and are used under Fair Use (review) provisions of the Copyright Act. All reviews on this page are copyright their respective authors, and are used with permission. The compilation copyright for this page is held by Rob Kelk.

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