- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse Manga; Translation edition (May 10, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1595820124
- ISBN-13: 978-1595820129
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 113 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vampire Hunter D, Vol. 1 Paperback – May 24, 2005
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About the Author
Hideyuki Kikuchi is a Japanese author famous for his horror novels. His most famous works include the Vampire Hunter D series, Darkside Blues, and Wicked City. He has been compared to both Stephen King and H. P. Lovecraft. Kikuchi was born in Chōshi, Japan, on September 25, 1949. He attended Aoyama Gakuin University and was trained as a writer by famed author Kazuo Koike. His first novel, Demon City Shinjuku, was published in 1982. Kikuchi became close friends with writer and director Yoshiaki Kawajiri during his adaption of Wicked City and the two have since collaborated on Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust and the OVA of Demon City Shinjuku.
Yoshitaka Amano is a comic book and manga creator, artist, and cover artist known for his work on Aliens, Sandman, and Speed Racer.
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TL;DR, this is a fun read but not a life-changing one. Try not to trip over clumsy sentences here and there.
Okay, so I watched the old anime classic in 2017 for the first time and immediately fell in love with it. I bought both manga and the book immediately because I fell in love with the world and the characters. I love weird worlds, and D's world is some of the best out there - medieval coupled with super advanced technology in the very very far future where vampires exist as a sort of predominant race.
I bought the book to learn more about the world and inner thoughts and motivations of the characters, because neither manga nor anime can't really show both of them completely. The book can achieve much much more in terms of descriptions, but unfortunately i wasn't prepared for such bad writing.
The book is terribly written. I don't know if its the fault of translation, but the ongoing descriptions of the beauty of characters, the statement of actions and constant addressing of the reader really grated on my nerves by the end. I still love the world and the characters and the story. The anime is one of my favorite things ever and I am happily reading the manga. But for my own sanity I will stay away from the books.
This is why I love this novel, despite (let's face it!) the fact it's terribly written. I'm putting that down largely to quirks in translation.
Firstly, the negatives:
> While dialogue is serviceable, it's by no means outstanding (though I should note it's WAY better than the anime of the 80's).
> You are constantly reminded of how gorgeous the characters are, and they are repeatedly described in detail (while characters who I guess are "ordinary" are described hardly at all).
> The word "countenance". Seriously, count how many times it was used.
> You are frequently given the result of an action, only to have the narrative backpedal to explain how such a result came about. I found this had a jarring effect on the flow of the story, until I started to get used to it by about half way through.
> The omniscient narrator often addresses the reader directly (a personal dislike).
> A bit of head-hopping, particularly in the beginning.
> For folk who haven't seen the anime, I imagine there's a bunch of things that won't make sense until late in the novel.
Now for the positives:
> Characters were likable- a huge plus with me.
> The enemies were so epically powerful that it was hard not to root for them, just to see them show off their stuff.
> The story is very action-driven. There are no boring bits. Even the (few) lulls are filled with tension.
> The story is set in a unique world in a distant post-apocalyptic future where there's a strong gothic/medieval influence (from the vampires and how they've shaped the world), but also very high-tech as far as cyborgs and weaponry goes. The creatures of myth and fairy tales are the result of vampiric influence and genetic modification.
> Things continue to get worse for the main characters, and the flow of events weren't terribly predictable.
> From someone who hasn't read (or enjoyed) very much vampire fiction, this was enjoyable and unique.
For me, the pros outweighed the cons. The story moves at a fast pace and therefore you don't pay as much attention to the truly awful writing. I'll definitely be reading volume two. If the writing improves, I'll be a happy girl.