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Ah yes, Vampire Hunter D's hand. The first and only time I saw this excellent anime was with my University's Anime Club (which should have been renamed the Anime-MSTing club). Besides comparing the main villain of this film to Regis Philbin, pointing out bizzare things (that girl's crucifix and shirt being torn off, then magically reappearing two seconds later. gratutious motion lines), the hand did infact prove to be the nail in the coffin for our ridiculing.

When D's hand began to reattach it's self, the room was silent. I uttered in a dopey monotone voice, "Hey look he's giving him self a hand!", the whole room (all nine or so of us) busted out laughing. The person sitting infront of me turned around and said jokingly "Of course you know that you will never be forgiven for that". A fine piece of 80's Anime totally desecrated by me, maybe some folks will never have any kind of respect for this film ever again.

I think most of the opinions that the hand ruins the movie, or at least detracts from it, comes from the fact that the hand is never explained, and thus seems like a cheesy and pointless addition to the movie. In the second movie, which is based on the third Vampire Hunter D novel (both movies are based off the VHD series of Japanese novels), they finally give the explanation for why the hand is there that they never had time for in the first movie: The hand is not a natural part of D, but instead a parasite that attached itself to D before either movie takes place. In order to keep its host alive (and thus itself) when D is in danger, as well as earn its keep so D won't finally decide to just cut his own hand off to get rid of it, the parasite uses its abilities to give D an occasional "helping hand".

I don't know about you, but personally, I think it seems a little less lame and cheesy when you find out that there's an actual reason and purpose behind it. That, and the fact that myself and everyone else who has seen the new Vampire Hunter D movie (called "Vampire Hunter D 2000" or "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust" depending on what country you see it in) agrees that the hand is the absolute best part of the already awesome movie. Its lines in that movie are absolutely hilarious.

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