Plans for a new Vampire Hunter D animated TV series will be unveiled this Thursday at Anime Expo, according to an exclusive story at Anime News Network. Japanese animation studio Digital Frontier (behind the CG productions Resident Evil: Degeneration, Tekken: Blood Vengeance, and Mighty No.9) will handle animation in cooperation with California-based production studio Unified Pictures.
Unified Pictures producer Scott Mclean says the company is looking forward to the project. “I’ve been a fan of Vampire Hunter D since I was a teenager,” McLean said. “I’m overjoyed at being able to be a part of creating a new chapter for a story I greatly admire.”
In addition to Thursday’s panel, Unified Pictures will be holding a Q&A session at Anime Expo on Saturday. No official source has commented on the title yet, but unless our eyes deceive us, the series is being tentatively called Vampire Hunter D: Resurrection on Unified Pictures’ promotional posters.
Vampire Hunter D occupies a strange space in Japanese and American fandom where cult enthusiasm for each of its two distinctly-different, 15 year-separated animated films are sometimes at odds with each other. When you add to that enthusiasm solely based on the involvement of artist Yoshitaka Amano, which can come variously either from fans of the Japanese Final Fantasy videogame series or from the American Sandman graphic novels, it becomes even more difficult to predict just how things will go over with Vampire Hunter D fans.
The last Vampire Hunter D film, Bloodlust, was early in studio Madhouse’s series of ongoing international collaborations ranging from those as high profile as Disneys Stitch! and Marvel Anime to those as obscure as Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, and a TV special based on the French MMO game Wakfu. While opinions vary, these projects have generally been well-received, and it’s hard to complain when the likes of Ninja Scroll’s Yoshiaki Kawajiri are on-board.
However, Digital Frontier is not Madhouse, and thus far the nicest thing anyone seems to have said about their work is that “Although [Tekken: Blood Vengeance] is a slight improvement over the recent live-action and less recent anime adaptations, it’s still a long way off the excellence of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie“. Depending on who you ask about the latter film, it’s not the highest compliment. Digital Frontier’s Resident Evil: Damnation did not score high marks with Otaku USA‘s own Ian Martin either.
On the bright side, Unified Pictures’s live-action films seem to do well on the discerning indie/film festival circuit, so who’s to say they can’t steer this show in the right direction with key screenwriting and casting assignments? It’s too early to write this project off just yet!
Source: Anime News Network