Vampire Hunter D Vol. 1

by Hideyuki Kikuchi

Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing

Format: Softcover, black & white, $12.95

ISBN: 978-1-56970-827-9

Reviewed by: Library Journal

Japan's lone gunfighter comes to manga from a series of novels and anime popular since 1983. D wields a sword and psychic powers, not a gun, but the spirit of Shane shines through this renegade half-blood prince sired by the King of Fangs himself, Dracula. The ultra-mash-up plot combines trappings of the American Western with fantasy, horror, sf, and shojo. In a postnuclear Earth circa 12,000 C.E., civilization has crept back under the rule of a predatory vampire nobility. But a few select beings excel as vampire hunters, protecting and avenging humans. D's special powers as a "dhampir" stem from his vampire blood, and in Vol. 1 (based on the first novel) he is hired by gorgeous young rancher Doris to deal with a vampire count who wants her for his bride. The mayor's sleazy son and demon half-breed bandit Rei-Ginsei also have the hots for feisty Doris, so D has his hands full—including his sidekick, a sentient left hand who takes more of a shine to Doris than D does. The heavy, sensual Gothic art suggests a shojo Hellsing and does more than justice to the beautiful, mysterious D and the increasingly infatuated Doris. Nudity, but no actual sex. For ages 16+. – Martha Cornog