Trent B – Intro Arts Project

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Amano History: Vampire Hunter D

We’re going to go through Amano-san’s history in chronological order over the next couple weeks, as sort of a “Find the boundaries” sequence to researching the Japanese artist. While it would be sufficient to focus solely on his work with Square Enix’s Final Fantasy video game franchise, it is better to look at everything he has done, rather than just one main area. The first area is a set of visual novels that date back to the early 1980’s, called Vampire Hunter D.

Vampire Hunter D is a very important part of this history. Not only is it important to Amano, but visual novels in general. The first novel of Vampire Hunter D was released in Japan in 1983, which soon adopted an anime, and was exported to the United States soon after that. Now, you can look at the anime/visual novel culture easily now, because there are huge amounts of Manga and Visual novel franchises that are exported to the states, including the likes of Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Pokemon, and many more. In the mid-1980’s, however, this type of media was fairly new. The fact that Amano’s artwork was among the first of the genre that went to the West (North America) is important because early examples of a media are what makes people remember that media.

Vampire Hunter D, in Amano’s words, was inspired by Christopher Lee’s interpretation of Count Dracula. From this inspiration, the character “D” was supposed to have unearthly beauty, so as to land female fans for the franchise. Amano had drawn the illustration for D to be more based on beauty, than looking like a rough character. Amano didn’t have the privilege of designing D from square one, however. In an interview, Amano stated that he would read through a novel, and then do the illustration based on how D is portrayed in that particular novel.

Amano has stuck with Vampire Hunter D and has seen over 20 years of the franchise expanding through many different forms, including anime, video games, as well as anime movies. This has been the beginning of his legacy. From Visual Novels and onward!

I hope to update the blog soon with his next adventure into his artistic history.
L2K – Trent

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January 6, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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