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Anime / Night Warriors: Darkstalker's Revenge

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Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge (known in Japan as Vampire Hunter: The Animated Series) is a four-part OVA adaptation of the first two Darkstalkers video games, produced in 1997 by Madhouse and DR Movie.

The plot to some extent follows that of its namesake video game: an alien demon known as Pyron invades Earth, while in the midst the vampire Demitri Maximoff and succubus Morrigan Aensland duke it out to see who's the strongest, Felicia attempts to showcase her live music performance, Hsien-Ko and her sister Mei-Ling search for a way to free their mother's soul, Donovan Baine walks the earth fighting the forces of the dark with Anita by his side, and the long dormant Huitzil robots awaken and set their sights on exterminating humans and Darkstalkers alike.

The OVA was initially released in America on VHS and DVD by Viz Video and Pioneer, with an English dub by The Ocean Group, before going out of print.

The series was eventually re-released on DVD by Discotek Media years later and on March 14, 2022, just coincidentally a few weeks after the announcement of the series' comeback in Capcom Fighting Collection, Discotek announced that they'll be re-releasing a Blu-Ray version, featuring restored video quality in both Japanese and English voice tracks, as well concept art galleries and original Japanese promotions as part of the extras.

This OVA contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: A couple effects stand out in the fourth episode, such as Donovan's Blizzard Sword.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Hsien-Ko is depicted as an irritable and openly rude Deadpan Snarker, as opposed to the more openly friendly but also clumsy girl she is in games.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While not at all shy about taking soul energy, Lord Raptor doesn't drain his victims dry when he plays his songs, probably because he'd know it'd attract too much attention. In addition, he goes out of his way to save Felicia from a group of violent men from the church, showing genuine anger at them attacking her.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The origin of Donovan's large prayer beads is revealed here: A Buddhist monk of the Tainted Valley gave his prayer beads to him as a way of encouragement to Donovan, so he could learn how to find inner peace and happiness within himself.
  • Animated Adaptation: The second one of Darkstalkers, after the So Bad, It's Good American cartoon by Graz Entertainment.
  • Behemoth Battle: The final battle with Pyron involves both a giant Huitzil robot and a Kaiju-sized Pyron.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Downplayed. Anita's stoicism makes her barely react to anything, but she doesn't like anyone messing with her doll, the only surviving memento she has of her decimated village. She shows off her Psychic Powers for the first time when a trio of church boys throw away her doll and try shooting at it with a Dark hunter's rifle. The angriest she gets is when she gives Donovan a Death Glare for beheading her doll and tries wielding his own sword, Dhylec, with her Psychic Powers in an attempt to kill him, although he easily evades her attacks.
  • BFS: Donovan's hooked sword, Dhylec. Its might is depicted in the OVA when Donovan summons Ifrit Sword for the first time and carves a massive wedge in the ground, scaring away the humans who had tried shooting him out of fear. Anita also tries using it to kill him after he beheads her doll by using Psychic Powers to carry Dhylec, though Donovan evades her attacks easily.
  • Big Bad: Pyron, as in the video games.
  • Blood Knight: Pyron has been visiting habituated planets for eons to satisfy his own lust for battle, and then destroys said planets when they fail to entertain him. He has set his sights on Earth where he starts off by killing many heroic Darkstalkers such as Victor, Rikuo, Anakaris, and Sasquatch.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to Anita a few times.
    • The men of the traveling troupe who picked her up mention that she's the Sole Survivor of a village that got utterly massacred by Darkstalkers. This traumatized Anita so much that she became an Emotionless Girl to protect herself from the pain of overwhelming loss.
    • The first time she actually cries is when Hsien-Ko and Mei-Ling go to fight Pyron, causing her to realize that they left knowing that they'll likely die in the process. Donovan understands that her actions were appropriate, and vows to help her remember what it's like to feel happiness.
    • She cries again in episode 4 when Pyron defeats and mortally wounds Donovan.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Many, over the course of the OVA.
    • In the first episode:
      • Two demon thugs working for Demitri on stealing the key to the Demon World encounter Morrigan in the sewers and try to fight her. Morrigan easily kills them both.
      • A horde of Huitzil robots emerge from the depths of the ocean to kill Demitri and Morrigan, having sensed powerful lifeforms. They don't stand a chance against the royal Darkstalkers' might, both combined and individually.
      • Lord Raptor easily dispatches a group of Dark hunters for trying to kill Felicia and harvests their souls for consumption. Not even their flamethrowers were very effective against him.
    • In the second episode:
      • Hsien-Ko and Mei Ling easily defeat a group of demonic spiders in a river cave when they combine mind and body to be like their video game self.
      • It happened off-screen, but Mei Ling discovers that the Darkstalkers she and Hsien-Ko were hired to fight were already obliterated by Donovan.
      • When a group of drunk men try accosting Mei Ling, she merges with Hsien-Ko and easily defeats them.
      • Bishamon slices through the mercenaries sent to obtain his armour like a hot knife through butter.
    • In the fourth episode:
      • The opening has Pyron easily defeat and kill Darkstalkers such as Rikuo, Anakaris, Sasquatch, and Victor. Of them all, Rikuo's death is the most graphic as he is shown bleeding.
      • Demitri doesn't stand a chance against Pyron and is easily sent crashing into his own castle, reducing it to rubble. He only survives when Morrigan arrives, giving him prime opportuinity to feed off of her.
      • Hsien-Ko and Mei Ling also don't stand a chance against Pyron, as he can absorb their attacks easily.
  • Death Seeker: Implied with Anita. Donovan states that Anita has closed off her own emotions because, as the Sole Survivor of a village decimated by Darkstalkers, she doesn't think she deserves to live. In order to prove to her that she does have the right to live, Donovan brings out rage in Anita by beheading her doll. This is what likely led to Anita's decision to travel with Donovan.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Given Morrigan and Felicia appear first, one would assume that one of them is meant to be the central character of the OVA, with the former fighting off Demitri's attempted assault and the latter wanting to just perform her show for humans. It's only in the second half of the first episode we're introduced to Donovan. He makes an appearance in every episode, has more noble intentions than Demitri and, given the name in Japanese is "Vampire Hunter" and he is a vampire hunter, it's clear he's meant to be the central character of the story. The fact that he's the last to face Pyron adds credence to this.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Anakaris, Rikuo, Sasquatch, and Victor are given their only canonical appearance in this series as cameos in the opening of the final episode, where they get annihilated by Pyron, Sasquatch has it the worst as he doesn't even appear in the previous openings like the other characters do.
    • While not reduced to simply cameos, Lord Raptor and Jon Talbain are rather inconsequential to the plot, only showing up as One Scene Wonders in the first and third episodes, respectively.
  • Due to the Dead: The village Donovan travels to is holding a mass funeral for those who have died fighting off a Darkstalker.
  • Emotionless Girl: Anita. Donovan implies that she closed off her own emotions so she could protect herself from the emotional fallout she would potentially suffer from both witnessing her entire village being butchered by Darkstalkers, and the suffering she would bring to others with her Psychic Powers. However, it's also deconstructed — Donovan also points out that in doing so, Anita has become selfish in believing that she herself has "no right of existence", and immediately tries proving her wrong by beheading her beloved doll, provoking the closest thing she has to rage. She also refuses to acknowledge Donovan as her "friend" when he is severely injured from saving some humans from Hannya, prompting Hsien-Ko to angrily yell at her. Mei Ling also speculates that stubbornness to remain closed off from her emotions is the only thing she has as protection from the world's horrors. That said, Anita gradually defrosts throughout the course of the OVA thanks to Donovan's kindness, even openly crying twice and eventually smiling in the end.
  • Enemy Mine: The House of Aensland propose a temporary alliance with the other noble houses of the Demon World in the wake of Pyron's easy defeat of most of the Darkstalkers. They refuse, asking Morrigan Aensland to defeat Pyron alone instead, while they prepare to attack House Aensland in the chaos.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Hannya throws a fit over Donovan's decision to save some humans from falling off a cliff instead of leaving them to die, because he cannot comprehend the idea that a Darkstalker - even someone who's half-Dark - would still save a weaker species, given their heritage. He is so enraged and confused that he actually deactivates. Afterwards, he rants about how Donovan's compassion "does not make sense" to him.
    • While "Evil" is a massive overstatement, Anita cannot fathom Donovan's stubborn quest to rid the world of the "dark" and believes humans in general are weak due to her closed-off emotions. She gradually gets better at the end.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: The ruler of a city places a bounty on Bishamon, and even enlists Donovan to fight him, but his true goal is to own the cursed armour Hannya. When he shows up to the aftermath of the duel, he dons the deactivated armour, but he only has a moment to revel in it before Hannya obliterates him.
  • Evil Smells Bad: Felicia can Detect Evil through smell. When she travels to the Human World to get her license to perform there, she is bowled over and left dizzy from an unknown stench, commenting that the town "smells so wrong". As it turns out, human hunters are out to pursue Darkstalkers such as Lord Raptor, who saves her from them during his concert.
  • Evil Sounds Deep:
    • Subverted with Lord Raptor; in the English Dub, Scott McNeil gives him the same deep, rumbling voice in his human guise that the cartoon version had, but in his true form as a zombie Darkstalker, his voice now takes on a rasping quality. While he's a villain in the game series, he's more of an Antihero here, as he saved Felicia from a group of Dark hunters.
    • Played straight with Pyron, the Big Bad of the OVA, who has a deep voice and seeks to obliterate Earth.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Lord Raptor takes umbrage with the church members attacking Felicia at his concert.
    Lord Raptor: No mercy for women or furry animals, is that it? For a bunch of monks, you sure got some nasty habits and dark hearts. I LIKE IT! When feasting, I always did prefer the dark meat! HERE I COME, BABY!
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans are shown to fear and despise the Darkstalkers. The same applies vice versa if Jon Talbain is any indication.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: At Lord Raptor's concert, instead of regular audience members, he finds church goers wielding flamethrowers (as well as garlic and silver bullets).
  • Garlic Is Abhorrent: One of the things the Dark hunters employ is cloves of garlic. It's subverted as Lord Raptor comments that as a powerful Darkstalker, they don't affect him.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Bishamon bisects two human mercenaries with a single blow, before scattering their remains with a couple more, all within two seconds.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Discussed. During a conversation with his butler, Demitri believes that eternal servitude to a vampire lord is the "greatest happiness" humanity can only achieve.
    Demitri Maximoff: Is not a lifetime of faithful servitude to me the greatest happiness their kind can attain?
  • Heel–Face Turn: Bishamon after his fight with Donovan, which is justified as the benevolent human spirit within the demonic armor, Hannya, was freed. However, after witnessing a greedy human be reduced to nothing but bones after donning Hannya for himself, Bishamon decides, to Anita's shock, to don Hannya as he believes that only a true warrior could truly fight the demonic armor and defeat it from the inside.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Demitri faces off against Morrigan on the top of his airship while it's flying back into the Demon World. However, when hordes of Huitzil robots come pursuing them, they end up fighting together.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Humans are arguably shown at both their worst and their best. Many times the Darkstalkers are discriminated against by humans, some of which act even worse than the Darkstalkers at times. There are some humans are willing to help, such as the doctor who helps Felicia after her encounter with the Huitzil. With that said, some Darkstalkers are truly evil dangerous monsters and humans have the rightful fear of them as they've been subjected to several atrocities by Darkstalkers (the biggest one being Demitri blocking the sun for over 100 years, preventing the needed photosynthesis for crops to grow and thus causing famine for the humans).
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Hsien-Ko acknowledges it and laughs it off:
    Thug: You monster!
    Hsien-Ko: Monster? I'm offended! I'm a kuang-shi! Wait a second. Oh, yeah, a Chinese vampire is a monster, isn't it?
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: A giant Huitzil robot emerges in the fourth episode to do battle with Pyron, who grows large in return.
  • It's All About Me: Pyron believes that all lifeforms exist to provide him entertainment and satisfy his bloodlust. This ends up getting him killed when Donovan, a Darkstalker-Human hybrid from Earth, manages to fatally defeat him in space.
  • Karma Houdini: Demitri. He blocks the sun that prevents properly nourished crops growing for nearly a century, and killed innocent people all the while acting arrogant. He not only survives at the end, but it's implied Morrigan will share the throne of Makai with him and he may become ruler of the Demon World as he such much wishes, along being in love with him.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Donovan is at war with himself for being half-Darkstalker and is jaded with the atrocities, racism towards Darkstalkers, and inner evil of humanity, but he still won't hesitate to save innocent lives and oppose evil Darkstalkers whenever he can. The fact that he saves a few humans from falling off a cliff despite being severely wounded sends Hannya into a Villainous Breakdown, as he cannot fathom the very idea of someone even with a hybrid lineage choosing to defend a weaker species instead of feeding on them like Darkstalkers generally do.
  • Lack of Empathy: Justified with Anita. While she does understand what emotions are, she has willingly closed them off to protect herself from the pain of losing her entire village to Darkstalkers and out of belief that she as the Sole Survivor doesn't deserve to live. It's deconstructed in that in protecting herself, she cast off what made her human and behaved selfishly, stubbornly believing that humans are "weak" and initially refusing to call Donovan a friend despite his kindness. She later averts it when she does finally gain enough emotion to cry and smile.
  • Make Some Noise: In the opening, Rikuo unleashes his Sonic Wave move on Hannya, bowling him over with a burst of sound. When that didn't work, he summons a tidal wave.
  • Making a Splash: Rikuo summons a tidal wave against Hannya in the opening.
  • Mercy Kill: A priest attempts to do this with Anita, since her powers result in other humans shunning her and he believes that death would be a better alternative than letting her live on in suffering. In the end, he can't go through with it, and Anita instead goes with Donovan.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Lord Raptor tours all over the Human World as a handsome rock star. When admiring himself in a mirror backstage, his reflection briefly shows his true form as a long-dead zombie.
  • Missing Mom: Justified with the mother of Hsien-Ko and Mei Ling. When they were younger, she cast a powerful spell that defeated the Darkstalkers attacking China, but condemned her own soul after death in the process. As in the games, Hsien-Ko and Mei Ling's goal is to save their mother's soul, not caring what happens to them in the process.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Demitri makes a rather unsettling grin full of sharp teeth as he unleashes his strengthened power on the human hunters occupying his castle.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Morrigan and Felicia, as usual. Morrigan even appears naked when swimming in a lake in Makai, where she shows her lovely body.
  • Never My Fault: The leader of the militia who besieged a town to combat the Darkstalkers has his soldiers fire on Felicia's train that's carrying innocent passengers, leading to many casualties and thousands more injured. He then pins the blame on Felicia for being a "spy" just for being a Darkstalker, even when Felicia makes it clear that he was responsible for all those deaths.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Demitri blanketed Earth in eternal night for his own comfort and power, leaving the native life to suffer the effects, such as shrivelled crops.
  • No-Sell: Lord Raptor gets literally roasted onstage by a bunch of Dark hunters wielding flamethrowers. But when they turn their flamethrowers on a vulnerable Felicia, Lord Raptor reveals that the flames didn't really affect him at all, and proceeds to open a can of whoopass on Felicia's attackers when they try to flee the premises.
  • Older Than They Look: Other than the more obvious characters (i.e., Demitri and Morrigan), Hsien-Ko and Mei-Ling specifically mention that they've been in their current bodies for the past 200 years.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: Being a Darkstalker, Bishamon can wield his gigantic katana with one hand (which would make it an uchigatana). Donovan easily wields Dhylec one-handed the few times he physically does so.
  • Oral Fixation: Lord Raptor in his human guise has a cigarette dangling from his mouth. It's shortly averted when he reveals his true form as a zombie Darkstalker onstage to combat Dark hunters.
  • Papa Wolf: In episode 3, Donovan protects Anita from being attacked by an angry mob of humans simply by planting his sword into the ground, as if to daring them to provoke his wrath. The humans immediately get the message and back off.
  • Readings Blew Up the Scale: Donovan's power as a half-Darkstalker is so great that an attempt to analyse it during his fight with the Huitzil robots blows out their scanning monitors.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The Dark hunters attacking Lord Raptor and Felicia get scared and try to flee when the former reveals that their flamethrowers didn't really affect him at all. Lord Raptor proceeds to attack in kind and harvest their souls for nearly killing Felicia.
  • Sole Survivor: The traveling troupe that took in Anita mentions that she's the only one of her village who wasn't "half-eaten" by Darkstalkers. This had a large part in shaping Anita's personality.
  • Staircase Tumble: Felicia meets Lord Raptor this way — severely disoriented by the smell of Darkstalkers, she ends up tumbling down the stairs backstage.
  • The Stoic:
  • Stripperific: Morrigan and Felicia again, with the former even sometimes wearing casual attire that fits this trope.
  • Sweeping Laser Explosion: The gigantic Huitzil sent to fight Pyron ends up causing one of these when Pyron flies out of the way of its forehead beam.
  • Tough Room: During his own concert, Lord Raptor enthusiastically shouts, "ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?!" expecting a cheering audience. He quickly learns that the chilly reception is because Dark hunters have attended his concert instead, armed with holy weapons designed to take out Darkstalkers. Lord Raptor lampshades it.
    Lord Raptor: Bloody hell, this crime's so dead it's starting to attract flies.
  • Tranquil Fury: Donovan never loses his cool even when angry, while Anita barely does.
  • Truer to the Text: To date, this OVA is the most faithful depiction of the Darkstalkers series than the Western animated series, manga, or Udon comics have been.
    • Morrigan does not undergo any form of Adaptational Villainy. While she's never seen interacting with humans, she's shown genuinely want to stop Pyron's attack on Earth and is depicted as being friendly despite avoiding her job as queen. In the end she even saves Demitri and express her faith on the humans stopping Pyron.
    • Pyron is shown to be a genuine threat over the more comical portrayal in the cartoon, in fact he has no comedy moments at all.
    • Demitri is also depicted as being a genuine threat and a cruel vampire. He wants to drink Morrigan's blood and take over the demon world by force. And unlike the Udon comics, he does not need any portal to go to the Demon World — he is capable of doing it on his own like in the games.
  • Worthy Opponent: Demitri and Morrigan regard each other as such for giving the other a good fight. Demitri even gives her a small token of thanks when she destroys a Huitzil robot that was about to attack him from behind.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The Dark hunters pursuing Lord Raptor wouldn't hesitate to train their flamethrowers on a weakened Felicia and burn her alive for being a Darkstalker, regardless if she actually did anything wrong against humanity. Lord Raptor takes offense to this and harvests the Dark hunters' souls for consumption to protect her. Demitri also has no problem attacking Morrigan, neither does the two vampire thieves Morrigan meets in the Demon World.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Hannya suffers this during the battle with Donovan, when the latter helps some humans who are about to fall off a cliff, as he cannot fathom why Donovan, who is half-Darkstalker, would bother helping humans at all.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Felicia's B plot of episodes 1 and 3 are about performing a show, and 3 ends with her and Jon destroying the Huitzils with the military train. We don't see her after that, making it unclear if the town regards her as a hero or if she's proven right that humans will come to accept Darkstalkers.
  • When She Smiles: Anita makes an adorable smile when Donovan defeats Pyron in episode 4.


Video Example(s):



Easily the most famous of all Chinese Vampires, twin girls from a Chinese village used a forbidden ritual to turn into undead to save their mother's soul.

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