The release of the 10th and final episode of Hellsing Ultimate brings an end to what started on that fateful day of February 6th, 2006. An ending that was six years in the making.
[ Content Index ]
Click on any of the links below in order to jump directly to that particular section of the review. There is also a “Return to Content Index” link provided at the end of each particular section.
02. Story Synopsis.
04. The Verdict.
Being a fan of the original Hellsing anime by Gonzo, I was very excited to hear that an OVA (Original Video Animation) version was being produced by Geneon. I was especially anxious once I heard that it would do a better job of following the manga storyline than its counterpart, that simple fact in itself made me beyond hype for the series. Remember the differences between Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood? This very same principle applies here and is why it is easy to see why I was excited.
The original Hellsing anime is 13 episodes long and breaks away from the traditional manga in order to produce a story path and ending all its own after sometime. While badass, this is not canon to the manga and in no way tailors to the original manga readers. Hellsing Ultimate is 10 episodes long but range between 45 minutes to an hour apiece and follows very closely the manga adaption and used a different art direction. Diving into it, I was already completely enthralled by Hellsing Ultimate after episode 1, which blew same section of the original Hellsing anime out of the water. It was easy to see that this was going to be a terrific series.
|Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing.|
Running for her life, Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing makes her way towards the basement to what her father said would protect her should she find herself in danger and surrounded by enemies. Shot by her uncle, her blood splatters itself upon what appears to be a dead prisoner. Soon, a long tongue laps up the blood before the corpse erupts from his bindings and slaughters everyone in the room without mercy or fail…except for young Integra. Soon enough pledging his alliance to the new heir of the Hellsing Organization was the vampire, Alucard.
The Hellsing Organization (The Royal Order of Protestant Knights) are charged with the task of keeping in check the supernatural beings of the world and protecting the Queen and other assets of England. Hellsing is lead by Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, the rightful heir who know bears the responsibility passed down by her father. Integra operates from the Hellsing Manor with over 100 armed soldiers on the premises at all times; not to mention her faithful butler/ex Hellsing Operative, Walter C. Dornez and ultimate weapon of 100 years of Hellsing engineering, the vampire “Alucard”.
Upon receiving mysterious information regarding the creation of artificial vampires, Integra sends Alucard to investigate. What he comes across is a scene where he must stop a priest who has turned his congregation and various police forces sent to stop him into “Ghouls”, which are the mindless undead slaves (Think zombies) of a vampire who has sucked their blood. Alucard slays him and turns Seras Victoria into a Draculina (Because she was a virgin of the opposite sex when he sucked her blood, she became a vampire) in order to save her life since he had to shoot through her chest in order to kill the priest. Seras Victoria joins the ranks of Hellsing as an undead vampiric operative who works directly under Seras Victoria and was hand chosen by Alucard.
Later on they are in conflict with Vatican Section XIII, Iscariot, which is a special force of the Vatican used to also slay the “hethens” of the world, who are also enemies of Hellsing simply because their religion is Catholic and Hellsing is protestant. After a swap in information with the head of Iscariot, Enrico Maxwell, she finds out that the Millennium Organization is her true enemy and the creators of the artificial vampires that have been appearing recently and causing a ruckus for her and Hellsing.
Using everything at her disposal she must learn the true origins and desires of this “Millennium Organization”, discover the true interests of Enrico Maxwell and Iscariot, and learn just what it means to be tasked with the burden of leading the Royal Order of Protestant Knights, Hellsing.
As I said, I grew excited for this series simply because I really enjoyed the Hellsing anime and was curious to see what route they would choose to take in Hellsing Ultimate in comparison, to which I was very impressed when it was all said and done. The characters are engaging, the environments are perfect, and while the story lacks mainly because of the nature in which it was created, it is still worth noting that it is able to convey emotion throughout. Though, I would like to point out that the highlight of this entire series is actually the fighting and the characters alone; this is actually one anime where the story is not needed to take the forefront in order to be successful as long as you understand the bare minimum of what is going on. Being able to draw everyone in through the artistic quality, personality, and raw emotion crafted by these scenes of gore and character reflection are the main ingredient as to why Hellsing Ultimate succeeds.
First off let me address the amazing art qualtiy. The world of Ultimate is a lot more gritty and dark compared to the original anime, and that is mostly due to the artistic direction and high contrast of the coloring as the use of shadows were used to create a greater effect of dread. Like the picture I featured above of Seras Victoria or even the picture in the “Story Synopsis” area of Sir Integra, the shadows and contrast are used to give you a very dramatic feeling. This combination of dramatic feeling, excellent voice acting, and dark backdrops give you the feeling that a world of chaos is present, and at times, a sense that hell has been released on earth. Often times you can clearly forget about art if the story is well developed and good enough, or at times art can be so strong it overpowers the story, but the latter is a very rare thing in the world of anime as compared to manga. All I have to say is that it is quite beautiful and fits with the caliber of grim macabre you would expect from Hellsing Ultimate.
As far as characters go, they each have a wide arrange of emotion and seem passionate about the endeavor they are undergoing. Alucard is seemingly completely invincible and taunts those whom he knows are powerless to kill him because of who he is, however, you also feel a deep longing to be killed and the raw emotion of disgust, hatred, and disappointment when Anderson attempts to become something more in order to slay him. Speaking of Anderson, he speaks as if he is a fanatic about Jesus Christ and the Catholic way, often with the voice of a madman who is driven only by the thought that he is the Lord’s Divine Sword of Judgement. However, you can clearly tell once Enrico Maxwell is enveloped in greed and power that Anderson has a heart and prefers to do things the right way and has no problem at all calling out his superior on his power hungry state. Even Sir Integra who is apparently strong-willed with a cast iron resolve is shown to have more than one side, especially in regards to Walter and Alucard, or even when her men were slain by the Valentine brothers. The fact that everyone here displays multiple sides and seem to grow and change overtime presents and excellent sense of character depth and development that is so legitimate it is rarely seen.
Something that is most significant about this series is actually the humor that is involved. What do I mean? Despite that Hellsing Ultimate is a dark and serious story with a lot of depth, revenge, and blatant carnage aiming at the bounds of insurmountable insanity, it actually has a rich and humor-filled undertone. Many times I find myself wanting to actually laugh at what is going on, such as when Seras Victoria lead a group of site-seeing elderly people right between Alucard and Anderson before they fought over what Maxwell said to Sir Integra, or even thinking back to the very beginning to the scene after Seras was shot and was checking her breasts to see if the hole was still there or not. Because of the humor and showing it does not take itself too seriously, you do not ever get the feeling that the story itself is feeling itself too much or is entirely too dramatic. Even beyond that are a few of the cute moments, such as when Alucard patted Seras when she asked him about his mustache after he released Restriction to Level Zero.
The story is not the best, I will admit that. Two organizations fighting each other because of religious values and Hellsing having to defend England because of the plans of Millennium to eliminate Alucard seem amazingly over the top, so much that it can be hard to fully enjoy it if it was not for the excellent show of passion from the main antagonist. However, many impressive feats were accomplished during the story which brings about raw emotion; such as the betrayal of Walter, the badassery of Alucard’s Level Zero transformation, and even at the beginning when Seras believes that her master is dead once he was beheaded. While the story itself was not placed together in such a way that you can call it “EPIC!”, it does its job well enough to instill emotions and show the personalities and motives of all those involved. Brilliant.
Also, I can recommend this over the original Hellsing anime because it does the story elements of the original in a bigger and better fashion. What do I mean? The fight between Luke Valentine and Alucard is a lot better simply because of the art direction and fright that is displayed in Luke compared to the original; even when he first fought against the priest and transformed Seras Victoria (Who looks a ton better and is a lot sexier in this version) it was a lot cooler in my personal opinion. Also, certain things like the humor and cute moments are not displayed in the original nor does it have the Schrodinger ending which is canon in the original.
Return to Content Index.
[ The Verdict ]
|The vampire, Alucard.|
Honestly, this is one of the greatest if not the greatest anime series I have ever seen. Never so much has something resonated to me a vibe as badass as Hellsing Ultimate has managed to do. The only thing that really keeps it from getting a perfect score from me is the severe lack of a story as far as making complete rational sense (While the plot in itself appears a bit farfetched, it is understandable) and the fact we do not see a romantic relationship form between either Alucard and either Seras or Victoria.
This version made major improvements over the original anime series and did well to honor the manga. The animation was spot on, the artistic direction was dark and beautiful, and the fight scenes filled with gore and blood really brought about the type of atmosphere fitting of this series. In the end, Hellsing Ultimate has proven itself to be a classic if there ever was one, I highly recommend this to any person who loves anime.
Thank you for reading this review for Hellsing Ultimate. Arigatou & Sayonara!