Skip to main content


Japan, 2001 (MIFF 2001, Animation Gallery)

Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Classy, intelligent and visually complex animation by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, a veteran with at least two of the most internationally successful animes ever to his credit, Wicked City (1989) and Ninja Scroll (1995).

The enigmatic, Eastwood-like D is one of the few surviving vampires in a dark far future where his kind have been practically wiped out. A being at war with himself, D struggles to balance his humanist impulses with the bloodlust that burns within. A noble mercenary, D is hired by a wealthy rancher to rescue his beautiful daughter from the clutches of the malevolent nightstalker Meier Link. D must outwit competing bounty hunters and numerous trials sent to test him by the seemingly omnipotent Link.

The film boasts outstanding character design and a script with depth and intricacy. Director Kawajiri has been careful not to rely on the standard trappings of the vampire film - stakes, garlic and crucifixes are all but absent - and decided instead to expand the mythos with superstitions and a lexicon all his own.

"Striking visual ideas and an intriguing concept that blends the look and loner ethos of a Sergio Leone western with the crumbling, gothic settings of a Mario Bava horror film." - New York Times

Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Yokohama, 1950) began working at Mushi Productions, one of Japan's most renowned animation studios, in 1968, before moving to Madhouse in 1972. Kawajiri's directorial debut came with two installments of the Lensman series (1984, 87), followed by Neo Tokyo (1987) and Demon City Shinjuku (1988). Other credits include Cyber City Odeo 808 (1991) and the X (MIFF 2001) television series.

See also...


A new animated feature by Nakamura Takashi, chief animation director of Japanime classic Akira (1988). At the base of a huge tree, Fow, an ancient botanist, lives in a hut with a malfunctioning ... More »


Those familiar with the universe of Bubblegum Crisis:Tokyo 2040 will immediately recognise the hi-tech dystopia of Parasite Dolls, a film sure to terrify and outrage with its depiction of rogue ... More »


The new millennium. The final battle to decide the fate of humanity is about to take place Kamui Shirou's destiny has already been decided by the time he returns to Tokyo to face the ultimate ... More »


Tokyo Express 06 is a programme curated exclusively for MIFF, once again, by anime fiends Madman Entertainment. This offers a rare chance to preview four key episodes of upcoming series on the big ... More »


"Nowhere is the level of sophistication of Japanese animation more apparent than in the work of Studio Ghibli ([Princess Mononoke], [Spirited Away], [The Cat Returns]). It also happens to produce the ... More »

TOKYO EXPRESS 03 (package)

Following the success of Tokyo Express 02, Madman Entertainment, Australia's leading distributor of quality anime features and series, have compiled an exclusive programme previewing four pilot ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director