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Anime Review: 'Hellsing' at its Ultimatest

Teggy
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Posted April 20, 2008 - By Courtney Kraft

There are two kinds of people in this world:

1) People who hate Hellsing.

2) People who are obsessed with Hellsing, own Hellsing merchandise, write Hellsing fanfic, display Hellsing action figures on their desk, and cosplay as Hellsing characters.

The answer to your question is: "The latter."

We could certainly ramble on for a good three pages about the different incarnations of Hellsing, but right now, let’s focus on Hellsing Ultimate the new OVAs that are coming out excruciatingly slowly. The manga has been in the making for nearly a decade, so we’re all used to it.

Very long story short: Hellsing is a British organization lead by Abraham Van Hellsing’s heir Integra that fights the forces of darkness utilizing a pair of vampires named Alucard and Seras among other riffraff. Depending on which version you’re looking at, there are also Nazis.

If you’re looking for deep characters and emotional development, just forget about it. Hellsing has always been about the story. However, the characters all manage to be compelling and unique despite their lack of multi-dimensionality.

There was a 13-episode anime in 2002 that we’ll discuss another time. Last year saw the beginning of a new animated remake consisting of 40-odd minute episodes that follow the manga very closely, but not 100%. No biggie. The animation is far more solid than the original series and truly captures the ultra-violence of Kouta Hirano’s work.

The vocal cast in this remake is nearly identical to the original anime and welcomes the legendary Maaya Sakamoto as Rip Van Winkle. The director and main actors from the English cast all returned which is a blessing seeing as how the original series has one of the best English dubs out there (save one particular cast member who shall remain nameless for the time being).

The only less-than-stellar quality to Hellsing Ultimate is the music. The original series has one of the most unique and interesting soundtracks out there. The new soundtrack is a bit expected, and sometimes falls into the Clockwork Orangesque-style of opera accompanying violence. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just...a little predictable.

Currently, there are four episodes out in Japan and three in the U.S. It will be a while before all 10 (we’re making an educated guess at 10) episodes will be out. There’s just one itsy (read: huge) problem. U.S. distributor Geneon is nearly kaput and there’s no official word on if another company will be picking up the series here in the states.

Help us Taliesin Jaffe! You’re our only hope!

People...this is how Hellsing was meant to be watched. It’s called “Ultimate” for a reason. We highly recommend that if you’re looking for some over-the-top pulp fun, pick up the first volume...or three.

-- Courtney Kraft

Tags: Comics
Anime Review: 'Hellsing' at its Ultimatest
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