Region: 1 - USA
Volume: 1 of 4
Length: 45 minutes
English 5.1 Surround
For over a century, the Hellsing Organization has been secretly protecting the British Empire from the undead "freaks." When Sir Integra Hellsing succeeded as the head of the organization, she also inherited the ultimate weapon against these undead enemies, a rogue vampire named Arucard. Armed with an enormous "anti-freak" gun and possessing mysterious and frightening powers, Arucard is forced to shoot Seras Victoria, a policewoman held hostage by a vampire. "Do you want to live?" he asks Seras, whose very answer changes the course of her existence. Now reborn as Arucardís servant, Seras is torn between her conflicting humanity and her vampire urges...
Hellsing has left its mark in the annals of manga fandom with its dark brooding plot lines, sardonic characters, and bloody violence. These aspects are what make Hellsing and have made it a hoot with readers. Especially with fans of vampire lore.
What makes this manga series really shine is the alpha vampire, Alucard with his pithy sayings, wicked guns, all tied together with a devilish smile and power to back up those fangs. The manga series has a way of taking its time with serial releases in the sense that after a serializations of many years the manga series has only reached about the ninth volume.
Due to the nature of manga, it was not long until it was adapted into an anime series. While keeping true to Alucard's nature of the manga, the anime seemed to take liberties with the original story in order to make a thirteen episode format. This was mainly down to the manga has not being completed yet. But fans complained about how much the series strayed off of its course and of how much of the original violence was take out.
Fortunately for many fans, Hellsing was remade into Hellsing Ultimate. This new series is a direct adaptation of the manga and takes each episode into a forty-five minute format. Being a fan of both the manga and the original series, I must say that all praise is deserved concerning Hellsing Ultimate.
The series follows the original plot format of the Hellsing Organization as they hunt down the undead using their pet vampire, Alucard to protect England and the crown.
What makes this series shine is how close it stays to its manga roots. The first anime series took liberties with the original plot line such as taking away characters, certain events and content. Hellsing Ultimate makes its mark by creating an exact moving replica of the original manga pleasing fans while at the same time being able to draw new fans in with a plot that get the blood pumping.
The characters are more three dimensional in their presentation in Hellsing Ultimate, while the original anime definitely kept true to the persona of Alucard, it seemed as if all of the other characters were put on the back burner in a sense because frankly they were rather boring when compared to Alucard. Hellsing Ultimate has more time to expound on not only the other characters themselves, but on their history and their motives as well making them more in depth and in a lot of instances insane, visceral, and violent. Seras Victoria was a prime example of this given more depth as a character as well as Hellsing Ultimate expounded on her inner struggle with being a child of the night and how she still clings to her already dead humanity.
This DVD is violent. Touching upon the original source material Hellsing Ultimate does not play around in the violence department. While the original series had its moments Hellsing Ultimate points a gun in your face making you realize that playing is for children. It does not shy away from splashing buckets of blood on the walls of the minds of the viewer and doing it all with a sense of brutal beauty, making any horror fan giggle with sadistic glee like a bloodstained schoolgirl.
The character design has also improved by making the lines sharper, the faces creased and gritty adding exaggerated facial expressions while at the same time not taking away the realism of it all.
With the intent of showing the dark nature of its source material, Hellsing Ultimate is brutal, brazen, and a lot of times, shocking in its presentation. As a fan of the Hellsing series, I loved every bloody moment.
To all of the sub fans out there, listen up, because Hellsing Ultimate is one of those rare anime gems in the department of dubs, going so far as to demand that it is to be watched in English. With its English, Irish, and German accents giving it the signified advantage of authenticity that the Japanese audio could never dream to accomplish, this is one of those rare cases where the English track trumps the Japanese one.
However, the series would veer off into trying to be a comedy by adding slapstick where it is not needed by adding (supposedly) funnily drawn versions of the characters for chuckles. This felt out of place.
The second problem with this DVD is that it only features the first episode which does run longer than usual, forty five minutes. Hardly filling an entire DVD, Hellsing Ultimate through an economic viewpoint, is not the best choice but is a must have for a true fan of Hellsing and even if you are not one, it is well worth a view.
Hellsing Ultimate is sure to please fans of the manga, vampire lovers, action fans, and even fans of slapstick comedy (if they are so inclined) in some parts. Hellsing Ultimate is a bloodbath that won't soon be forgotten.
Dallas is a US Reviewer.
Our UK contributors have yet to confirm the dubbing standards of the Hellsing Ultimate DVD to UK ears.