The lore, the legacy , the legend. Castlevania is a video game franchise that defined vampires and vampire hunters in both the game and anime industry. The first Castlevania game or “Akumajo Dracula” (Demon castle Dracula) in Japan came out in 1986 and has led the way in gothic-horror video games ever since. Though the first few games of this series really didn’t have much of an anime style to them, most had muscle bound heroes from the Belmont family, that all changed in a huge way in 1997 when Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was released. This was one of the first games from the franchise that featured a main character (Alucard) that not only wasn’t from the Belmont family, he was actually a vampire! The new character design for Alucard was a lot more anime like in appearance than any of the main characters before this game, and even the story and NPC’s had a more anime feel. Ever since Symphony of the Night, the Castlevania franchise has been known for it’s anime like character designs, family drama, and being the authority on all things vampirey and Dracula-esque. Though the Castlevania franchise seems to have come to an end, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy the same thrills from the anime that were inspired by it and may have also inspired some great Castlevania moments!
Vampire Hunter D
Based on a series of novels from the 1980’s, this anime is a blend of supernatural and sci-fi. Unlike in most of the Castlevania franchise, Vampire Hunter D takes place not in the distant past but in a post-apocalyptic future where evil vampires and their high tech minions terrorize the country side. The villagers that live on the frontier have to deal with the worst of the vampire nobles cruel antics, so as a counter measure for the supernatural threat, the villagers hire vampire hunters (like D) to vanquish the evil scourge. The main character (D) is a half vampire half human (dhampire) that wanders from one town to the next, and puts down evil vampires that he comes across. Unlike the vampire nobles that D hunts, he is as strong or stronger than the standard vampire, but doesn’t have any of their weaknesses. So in his line of work, D makes for one heck of a vampire hunter! If you are a fan of tough guys that are short on words, but big on coolness, than Vampire Hunter D is the anime for you!
Trinity Blood is based on a series of light novels, and may have been inspired, at least in part, by the Vampire Hunter D series. It also takes place in the future, but vampires were actually created by humans infected with a virus found on Mars. 900 years later, vampires and humans don’t get a long and they have divided into 2 main factions. The Vatican, now a global super power, has a huge army with agents and works to protect humans (most of the time).
The other group is the Methuselah, which are mainly just super powered vampires that also have their own army and agents. The main character (Abel) is a crusnik, a vampire that drinks the blood of other vampires and was actually created via nano-machines rather than a virus. He works on the side of the Vatican (mostly). Both groups have “lost technology” and extremists that cause trouble for the other side and themselves. With all these groups and factions, it’s not surprising that there is quite a bit of political intrigue in this anime.
The story centers around a young police officer, Seras Victoria. While completely out muscled, Seras tries to stop an evil vampire that is killing people in the village of Cheddar. Not surprisingly, she doesn’t do well and ends up mortally wounded. Just as she’s about to breath her last breath, the secret weapon of the Hellsing organization appears. Alucard, a very powerful vampire working for Hellsing/the royal order of protestant knights, a secret branch of the British government, under the leadership of Integra Hellsing. Their job is to hunt down and kill vampires, ghouls, and other monsters.
Once Alucard is on the scene he has no problem wiping the floor with the evil vampire. Finding the wounded Seras just in time, he offers to turn her into a vampire, and she accepts. As a result of her being turned into a vampire, Seras gets recruited into the monster hunting organization to work along side of Alucard. Little did Seras know, she wouldn’t just be fighting vampires. Throughout the series they have to face everything from a rival branch of the Vatican that is also hunting vampires (including Alucard) to extremists to remnants from WW2!
The anime exclamation of the week is: Subarashii! meaning Spectacular!
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