Vampire Hunter D

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Name: Vampire Hunter D (吸血鬼ハンターD Kyūketsuki Hantā Dī)
Abbreviation(s): VHD
Creator: Kikuchi Hideyuki
Date(s): 1983 - present
Medium: books, anime, manga
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links: Official Vampire Hunter D website (E)
Vampire Hunter D.jpg
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Vampire Hunter D is a long-running of series Japanese novels written by Kikuchi Hideyuki and illustrated by Amano Yoshitaka. Although the series began publication before the genre category was created, the Vampire Hunter D books are sometimes called light novels. Set in the far future on a post-apocalyptic Earth, the books chronicle the adventures of the epynonymous D, a dhampir who works as a vampire hunter. The series combines genre elements from horror, science fiction, westerns, Lovecraftian mythos, and the occult.

The first Vampire Hunter D novel was published in 1983 and the series became officially available in English in 2005 through DH Press, an imprint of Dark Horse comics. The first novel was also adapted into an anime in 1985. A second anime film based on the third novel in the series, Demon Deathchase, would later be made in 2000. Both anime films are currently licensed in the U.S. by Urban Vision. A manga adaptation of the series began in late 2007 due to a collaboration between Kikuchi Hideyuki and Digital Manga Publishing, which led to the simultaneous publication of the first volume in Japan, the U.S., and Europe.

English Language Fandom

The first Vampire Hunter D anime was originally licensed in 1992 by the now-defunct Streamline Pictures in the U.S. This made it one of the first anime films released outside of Japan, granting it cult status in the English-language market. For many anime and manga fans, Vampire Hunter D is the first anime they ever watched. As expected from an older source canon, fannish activity is small and quiet. Despite this fact, fanfiction is regularly posted on Fanfiction.net.[1] It also routinely appears on the nominations list for Yuletide.

Prior to the publication of the original novels in English, fans often congregated to The Vampire Hunter D Archives where unofficial summaries were posted by a fan named Kevin Leahy who lived in Japan. In addition to the novel overviews, Leahy would also post reports about author talks Kikuchi often gave. [2] Leahy would later translate and adapt the novels to English for DH Press.

Due to the episodic nature of the novels and D's loner nature, shipping is a low-key activity. Because the first anime was available in English for far longer than the novels, the main het pairing is that of D/Doris. Some fans, however, dislike the pairing and have posted Fandom Secrets-styled graphics confessing this on Tumblr. [3] Slash pairings, while rare, can be found although usually only in the context of crossovers with other series.

American Wasteland Controversy

In June 2008, Devil's Due Publishing announced that they'd struck a deal with Digital Manga Publishing to create a comic book miniseries based on the original franchise. The mini-series, Vampire Hunter D: American Wasteland, was intended to "have a noticeably North American feel never before seen in the Vampire Hunter D mythos." [4]

Reactions on the Vampire Hunter D mailing list ranged from wary to concerned. Some fans thought the project was a bad idea while others were puzzled as to what "American feel" meant. Many assumed it meant more sex and violence. Other fans drew their own conclusions:

Tune in next week for another installment of The World Revolves Around America!

I think one of the things that annoys me most about a lot of media that comes out for widespread public consumption is how it's geared to "appeal" to Western audiences -- by which they mean, noticeably Western... as if Western audiences are completely incapable of liking/understanding anything that isn't Westernized." [5]

The news took even the novel's translator, Kevin Leahy, by surprise but he confirmed that Kikuchi would have final sign-off on the finished product. [6]

In an October 2009 interview, Jimmy Palmiotti said the project was cancelled, citing creative differences with the original license holders. [7]

Resources

References

  1. Vampire Hunter D stories on Fanfiction.net (Accessed November 15, 2011)
  2. Vampire Hunter D: The Text Archive (Accessed November 15, 2011)
  3. An example found on Tumblr (Accessed November 15, 2011)
  4. Devil's Due Adds 'Vampire Hunter D' (Accessed November 16, 2011)
  5. wow, this is kind of annoying (Access November 16, 2011)
  6. from the comments of wow, this is kind of annoying (Accessed November 16, 2011)
  7. LBCC '09: Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex, Powergirl and More) (Accessed November 16, 2011)