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Dracula (1980)

Yami no teiô kyuketsuki dorakyura (original title)
In this animated adaptation of the Tomb of Dracula comic book series, Dracula assumes control of a satanic cult and fathers a child through one of his followers, but the forces of both good and evil align themselves against him.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Kenji Utsumi ...
Dracula (voice)
Hiroko Suzuki ...
Domini (voice)
Kazuyuki Sogabe ...
Janus (voice)
Yasuo Hisamatsu ...
Harker (voice)
Mami Koyama ...
Rachel (voice)
Kei'ichi Noda ...
Drake (voice)
Hidekatsu Shibata ...
Satan (voice)
Reiko Katsura ...
Lilith (voice)
Junpei Takiguchi ...
Lupeski (voice)
Ryo Ishihara ...
Narrator (voice)
Kôji Totani ...
Wheeler (voice)
Masaharu Satô ...
Boyfriend (voice)
Seiko Nakano ...
Mallisa (voice)
Satomi Majima ...
Girl (voice)
Yasurô Tanaka ...
Torgo (voice)
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Storyline

In this animated adaptation of the Tomb of Dracula comic book series, Dracula assumes control of a satanic cult and fathers a child through one of his followers, but the forces of both good and evil align themselves against him.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

19 August 1980 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Dracula: [sees the burn in his hand] The Sign of the Cross. I have been used as an Instrument of Heaven!
See more »

Connections

Version of Dracula (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Tomb of Dracula
5 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love Marvel Comics. I love all the shows (for the most part) and the movies (again, mostly). I find the characters incredibly interesting and love to know about it. I'm particularly interested in animation. I had read all about Marvel's modern animated movies, but learned that there were two relatively unknown movies: Dracula and The Monster of Frankenstein. Marvel and Toei Animation made a deal to make several of their properties, but those were the only two produced.

Dracula is inspired by The Tomb of Dracula. The comic features Dracula's grandson finding his body and encountering vampire hunters like Blade. I picked up a collected edition and it's quite...odd to say the least (it was the 70s). This film is loosely inspired by the comics and features a few of the characters, but greatly alters the story. Oddly enough, the comics weren't available in Japan at the time so it's an odd choice that this was made above Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, or Hulk.

The film follows both Dracula and his grandson Drake. Dracula meets a woman, falls in love, and has a child. Drake meets a team of vampire hunters and searches for his grandfather. Satan, angry at Dracula for stealing his bride, plans to destroy the vampire lord. The meeting of the three stories eventually leads to a big climatic showdown.

The tone is all over the place. There's a lot of late 70s and early 80s camp, silly hairstyles, plot devices that stretch believability, and other problems that were common in anime at the time. On the other hand, there's a lot of dark stuff. Early on, Dracula graphically kills two women on screen. There's a flashback to his days of Vlad the Impaler which is more historically accurate than most other screen versions (violence-wise). Some of the characters even take a side-trip to Hell. And one female character appears fully naked from the side. I wouldn't say it's scary, but there's a shot of birds picking at dead bodies on pikes (hence the real-life Vlad's nickname) that could be disturbing. I actually applaud the darker elements. That's something almost no one in animation deals with. The problem is, the campier elements make it too silly for adults but the sex and violence make it a bit much for children.

The voice acting is, again, standard for anime at the time. Unless it was Disney or Don Bluth, no one took animation seriously and certainly not anime (Akira being nearly a decade away). At the time, translations were done quickly and cheaply. It seemed that the same ten people did everything anime. The voices work for their purposes but not a one is anything more than adequate.

The animation is astounding. Anime has always featured terrific animation. Characters look realistic, not the oversized hands and eyes that American animation often has. There's a great richness to the images and backgrounds. Lots of interesting looking set pieces, even for tiny little scenes or just single shots. They do have the occasional problem, but it was typical to cheat every once in a while.

Dracula is an interesting tale. I would recommend it to anime and/or Marvel buffs looking for something different. There's actually a lot of interesting ideas. For example, Dracula resents his life as a vampire and his need to consume people, though Let the Right One In would do that idea better. If only this movie was simply a better movie. There's simply too many problems to take this seriously.


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