"Vampire Hunter D" movie cover

The difference in power between a human being and vampire is a very clear distinction. However, in the Japanese animated movie “Vampire Hunter D” the differences between humans and vampires is greater than just the gap between their physical and psychic abilities. To the vampires and mutants present in the film, the status that those with powers have is far above normal humans and even among those with powers there is a ranking of nobility. This separation between upper and lower class presents a case of othering within the film where the vampires represent the cause of all problems within a society (Margaret L. Carter writes more on this in the specific relation to Japanese and Western culture in [ Speaking of Monsters]).

               Larmica’s beliefs are the clearest example of this division as she is very adamant about her father not associating with the humans. While addressing the vampires “illustrious ancestor” Dracula, Larmica proclaims that she, “[refuses] to allow [her father] to destroy the dignity of our family,” by marrying Doris (“Vampire Hunter D”). She plainly expresses her conviction that it is unnatural for humans and vampires to be together while also sending a broader message to the audience that transnational marriage and interracial marriage are to be avoided at all costs. This idea is further by the people’s reaction upon finding out that Doris has been targeted by Count Magnus Lee and their immediate response was to segregate her from everyone so that no one else could be contaminated (“Vampire Hunter D”). To the people of the village vampires are powerful and ghastly beings and so any affiliation with them makes you an automatic outsider which can be paralleled to a warning of the dangers of interacting with those that are not your fellow countrymen. Jeffery Cohen comments on how monsters, “are expedient representations of other cultures, generalized and demonized to enforce a strict notion of group sameness (Cohen 15).” (Read more on Cohen’s interpretations of the purpose behind the creation of monsters in [ Monster Culture: Seven These]).

               These ideas about segregation are held strong by the people of the village and Larmica throughout the entire film. However, Larmica is told by her father near the end of the movie that she is actually a dhampir, or a vampire and human hybrid which is a product of interspecies mixing (“Vampire Hunter D”). She suddenly becomes everything that she’s fought against and in her last effort to right the “wrongs” that her father committed she aids in the death of her father while also killing herself in the process (“Vampire Hunter D”). This act from Larmica serves as the final message to the audience that partaking in unnecessary contact with people outside of your country is worthy of punishment and that those who act while holding this belief are “heroic”, just like Larmica who acted as a martyr for her cause.

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