The Post-Apocalyptic World of Vampire Hunter D

Twelve thousand years into the future, much of the world has been changed. The human population has experienced a rapid decline, along with the degeneration of the world’s proud cities. Forests became deserts and deserts became seas. With the changing of the climate, people now fear to go out late at night. Armed with their machine guns, laser whips and sabers, they must now protect themselves from the ferocious creatures of the night: vampires.

Baron Meier Link and his victim Charlotte

In the year 1999, a nuclear war had occurred. After the devastation, Vampires known as the Nobility, planned to restore the world into their image. Leading the pack was their leader, the Noble Ancestor Dracula. They fortified their castles with magic combined with technology; created powerful creatures to serve as their guards and servants, while the few remaining creatures which survived the apocalypse were left to further mutate and evolve. Although the Nobility had the power and technology to create substitute for blood, they still prefer to take theirs from humans. Thus, with their success complete, they have managed to create a society to co-exist with the humans. However as they reached the peak of their domination, the Nobility has swerved to the path of decadence.

The Post Apocalyptic World of Vampire Hunter D

Humans, in turn, have also been transformed: along with the survivors of the holocaust, their fear of vampires has been woven into their genetic code, and simple knowledge about vampire weaknesses such as crucifixes and sunlight has been forgotten.

But there are people who are determined to fight back and reclaim their freedom under the dominion of the Nobility. Vampire hunting became a lucrative profession. And the greatest of them is a vampire hunter called D.

Lone wolf and knight errant, the vampire hunter D

I first discovered Vampire Hunter D a few years ago while I was searching for books to read. The only vampire-themed books I’ve actually read are Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Bram Stoker’s classic, Dracula. Vampire Chronicles are full of drama- too much drama for me sometimes. I did enjoy the first few books of Rice but after I started reading Merrick, I started to get bored with her plot twists. Stoker’s classic is good, except the pace of the story is slow it made me sleepy the first time I attempted to finish it.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Vampire Hunter D. Vampire Hunter D has been around since the 80s, created by one of Japan’s horror masters: Hideyuki Kikuchi. Kikuchi’s storytelling style has been compared with his Western contemporaries such as Robert Bloch (Psycho), Robert E. Howard (Conan the Cimmerian and Solomon Kane), Lovecraft (The Call of Cthulhu and The Shadow Out of Time), Fritz Leiber (Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series), and even Stephen King. In fact, its first movie has been one of the notable anime films released in the 80s targeting older teens/adult audiences and is considered a classic: Vampire Hunter D and its follow-up, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. Personally, I prefer the second movie, as the tones are really dark, and its violence and gore befits the world I imagined where D is currently living.

Volume 1, Vampire Hunter D (english translated light novel)

Although Vampire Hunter D’s adventure has been compiled in several volumes, it was only until recently that they were translated to English. Fans of the light novels were not able to enjoy D’s heroic exploits due to the fact that they were only available in Japanese. But the increasing popularity of Japanese manga to the western audiences contributed to its huge demand for the novels to be translated.

Who the hell is this mysterious vampire hunter called D?

D is a dhampir: a half-vampire, half-human offspring of a vampire and a human. He is considered the best vampire hunter, being a product of both worlds, but belonging to neither. He is both feared and loathed for his skills, powers and unearthly beauty. Unlike vampires from traditional folklore, the Nobility have the capacity to reproduce sexually, their offspring will permanently cease aging as soon as it reaches physical maturity.

D, with his superior intellect, supernatural powers and unearthly beauty makes him a formidable opponent

D’s powers supposedly make him one of the strongest in the world, possibly second only to his father. It has been hinted several times in the light novels that his father is possibly the Nobility’s Sacred Ancestor and Vampire King, Dracula, who bedded a human called Mina the Fair, as D is intensely familiar with Dracula’s experiments, works and achievements, sometimes even quoting his words during his encounters with his enemies. Indeed, even his symbiotic sidekick, Left Hand confirmed in the book, Demon Deathcase, that his father ” Dracula became impatient with the Bloody Countess, and your father, The Vampire King, became impatient with her gluttony. And impaled her on ‘The Sword’ ” (referring to the Countess Carmilla, the real villain on the book).

The Countess Carmilla, the real villian on Volume 3: Demon Deathcase

D’s powers extend even beyond the magical realm. He has a few weaknesses, among them sun-sickness every 5 years or so. But his recovery time is exceedingly fast, about 1-6 hours, which is remarkable for a normal powerful dhampir.

Travelling the world has been the fate of D, along with fulfilling contracts by his supposed clients. His assignments differ on a case to case basis, sometimes even serving as an escort or bodyguard of a Nobility, eventhough he is a vampire hunter. As long as the client can pay his exorbitant price, he will fulfill the terms of the contract. Even with his cybernetic horse and the advancement of human and technology from the Nobility, the earth’s landscape has been vastly altered: small towns reverted back into feudal decline. Large tracks of desert and unknown boundaries define the geography. Most people prefer to stay within their known hamlets as traveling is too dangerous for a mortal who have no weapons of his own. Once in a while, an electronic traveling bus would take people en route to other places and into the Capital. Some brave souls would venture out into the open eventually, but few survive the journey as they encounter creatures of unexplained origin and phenomena. And D’s strength would also be tested with these harsh conditions under his contract.

Just what is the purpose of D? Does he really intend to wipe the world of the Nobility? Or is he really searching for his father, who, rumours say is still alive. Whatever happened to his mother, the legendary Mina the Fair? will he ever find solace with his wanderings?

Hideyuki Kikuchi has always been keeping us in toes with his novels. So far, he has introduced a great many characters with each volumes, but he has been keeping us in the dark on what the future may bring for D.

Catch any of these novels to find out more about D’s legendary adventures:

Vampire Hunter D
Raiser of Gales
Demon Deathchase
Tale of the Dead Town
The Stuff of Dreams
Pilgrimage of the Sacred and the Profane
Mysterious Journey to the North Sea
The Rose Princess
Pale Fallen Angel
Twin-Shadowed Knight
Dark Road
Tyrant’s Stars
Fortress of the Elder God
Highway of the Enchanted Troops
Account of the Demon Battle
Record of the Blood Battle
White Devil Mountain
Iriya the Berserker
Throng of Heretics
Immortal Island
The Hellish Horse Carriage
Nightmare Village

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~ by confessionsofbricknmortar on May 8, 2011.

One Response to “The Post-Apocalyptic World of Vampire Hunter D”

  1. […] Vampire Hunters confessionsofbricknmortar.wordpress.com […]

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