Hellsing Ultimate – Volumes I and II Review

Hellsing Ult 1 and 2

In a rare non-Anime UK News review series, I take a look at Hellsing Ultimate, now that the last two OVAs are now available in the UK thanks to Crunchyroll. This series is the definition of guilty pleasure for me, I’m not really into over the top gore and violence, but I don’t if it’s the character designs (LOVE Alucard’s design, always have) or what, but I do like the occasional journey into Hellsing madness. Now it’s finally time to run through the whole story, starting with: the start! Thanks to the first two OVAs being based on the same material as the first half of the original TV series, it always feels like I’ve seen this loads of times and I want to “get it out of the way” so I can get to the newer (to me) stuff, but let’s be fair and have a closer look at them!

Synopsis:

Ten years ago, young Integra Hellsing ascends to the head of the Hellsing Organization after the death of her father Arthur. Her jealous uncle Richard Hellsing attempts to kill her, but in doing so awakens a dormant Alucard…

In present day England, Alucard is called to duty to eradicate a vampire priest and his ghouls. However, a policewoman named Seras Victoria is gravely injured in the process, and upon giving her a choice to live or die, Alucard turns her into his vampire servant…

Note: Full Spoilers From Here On Out!

Cast of Characters:

Hellsing Ult 1 and 2 3

Love the fight between Alucard and Anderson, and it only gets crazier from here!

Alucard (Johji Nakata / Crispin Freeman) – The most powerful vampire alive and originally Vlad himself, Alucard has found himself in service of the Hellsing family, which from his perspective at least means he gets to kill things from time to time…

Seras Victoria (Fumiko Orikasa / K.T. Gray) – Starting as a regular police officer, albeit one with a troubled past, Seras soon finds herself living in the Hellsing base… with vampire powers. As unnerving as that was, she manages to adjust to the situation quite quickly!

Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing (Yoshiko Sakakibara / Victoria Harwood) – The leader of the Hellsing organisation and Alucard’s master, Integra is a hard nosed and straight talking leader, willing to do whatever it takes to protect Britain from supernatural forces…

Walter C. Dollneaz (Motomu Kiyokawa / Ralph Lister) – Interga’s butler and bodyguard, Walter has been fighting evil since World War II, and although he has “retired”, he is still a capable fighter…

Alexander Anderson (Norio Wakamoto / Steven Brand) – A member of the Catholic church’s Iscariot division who was genetically modified into being a “Regenerator”, a super-strong and fast-healing fighter created to combat the supernatural forces Iscariot fights… as well as the Protestant Hellsing organisation’s trump card: Alucard…

Luke and Jan Valentine (Takehito Koyasu / Patrick Seitz & Wataru Takagi / Josh Phillips) – The Valentine brothers are vampires hired by a mysterious organisation to take out Hellsing and generally gather data on militarised “Ghoul” soldiers…

Plus many more!

The Good:

Hellsing Ult 1 and 2 2

Seras has a hard time of it to start with, but it gets… well, sort of better…

While for the most part I won’t be able to talk about “wonderful character development”, I will say that Seras is a fun character to follow. Sure, she takes to her new role really quickly, something that was probably for the sake of getting to the new bits to adapt (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood did a similar job of cutting some already adapted material to reach the new bits) but he positive attitude being at odds with her surroundings is good viewing.

Obviously the character designs, animation and action scenes are what you’re here for, and there are some great ones. The battle between Alucard (yes ALucard, not ARucard) and Anderson is great fun, and the big battle at the end of Volume II is worth it for Alucard using a fraction more of his power alone, aside from seeing Seras and Walter in action.

Actually I’ll mention Alexander Anderson on his own, because Norio “Perfect Cell and a million other villains” Wakamoto is hilariously over-the-top, which really suits the over-the-top nature of the character. Hearing him quote a full bible verse in English will never not make me smile.

Integra Hellsing is also good as the hard-nosed boss type, you get the feeling that she could hold her own in a fight without help. I’ll also mention the great blend of humour in certain situations (mostly out of the fighting parts). It reminds me of both Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist in its use of weird cartoony heads or entire scenes to lighten the mood at various times.

The Bad:

Hellsing Ult 1 and 2 4

In case you’re wondering, it says “Boo Doo Peo Ple Mur Der Peo Ple” on their shields… No, I don’t get it either…

Apart from the use of “Arucard” in the subtitles rather than “Alucard” (Japanese r and l sounds aside, it’s clearly supposed to be Dracula backwards!) there isn’t much to hate here, because it is what it is. You could hate it for having no big character moments, no touching moments of drama, but if you did you’d miss the point entirely. This is the anime equivalent of a slasher film, you watch it with your brain off to have some fun, this isn’t for your deep plots or character arcs (which I obviously do prefer, but sometimes you don’t mind just having some fun…)

Overall Thoughts:

Hellsing Ult 1 and 2 1

Dracula ain’t got nothing on this!

Hellsing Ultimate gets off to a fun start. Seras is a good viewer’s eye style protagonist, although Alucard is clearly the focus, as he is for most, though not all, of the story. Great character designs, animation and fight scenes, it’s a fun way to spend an hour and a half (if you watch the two back-to-back…)

4 Star Watch

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