Hellsing Ultimate Review — A-

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The Vatican and the Knights Templar vs. Nazi zombies in zeppelins vs. the Church of England and vampires. How could this possibly go wrong?

That’s right, it can’t. It is exactly as wonderful as it sounds.

Stylistically this is a very interesting series. It likes to make things very epic by having the characters take their time talking and shouting at their enemies. They’ll repeat the same phrase multiple times, building up intensity. “SEARCH AND DESTROY!” “AAAAMMMMENNN!” It sounds kind of corny when you describe it but somehow it works really well. There’s this epic buildup between two characters, which is then resolved in a series of rapid, well-animated violent exchanges, interspersed with more talking and buildup. It also intersperses this gory, epic storyline with random cutesy comedic scenes to help reduce the tension in between fights.

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Be warned that Hellsing is extremely violent and bloody. The gore is stretched to such ridiculous levels though that I didn’t find it all that disturbing.  (By the way, the scene in the screenshot above was my favorite in the show. Since episode nine every single fight had been this drawn out, dramatic affair. This guy blocks Integra’s entrance to the zeppelin and I’m prepared for another. But before he can even finish his introduction she blows his brains out. A great way to make use of broken user expectations, similar to the episodic rituals in Penguindrum and Utena.)

  • Storytelling – A - Great build up and execution of the fights.
  • Voice – A - Undead Nazis vs. the inquisition vs. vampires.
  • Characters – A - Gives everyone their chance in the sun. Even the pathetic, cowardly tiny guy with glasses becomes this enormous badass.
  • Attention Grab – A - Despite the repetitive nature of the dialogue and the fights, it always leaves me wanting more.
  • Production – A - Looks great. Excellent voice acting. Especially Anderson.
  • Overall – A-

Recommendations – Black Lagoon

9 thoughts on “Hellsing Ultimate Review — A-

  1. I don’t care what people say. The original Hellsing is faaaaarrr greater than Ultimate. Now if Ultimate had the original’s soundtrack, I might be kinder to it.

    1. I dug it’s style and music. But the plot to Hellsing was inexcusably bad. They also made Alucard into nothing more them a cackling DEM, the OVAs at least tried to characterise him differently. Anderson appeared in only two episodes as well! Lame.

      1. Yes the plot was shit and never went anywhere, but I didn’t care because it was so freaking cool.

        Also, I never read the manga and didn’t see Ultimate beforehand, so I didn’t know (or care) how they changed the characters. I actually like almost all the characters’ personalities better in the original now that I’ve seen Ultimate.

      1. The problem with the original Hellsing and the reason it’s so hated by many people is that:

        A) It differs a lot from the original manga because it only had two volumes or so out at the time. I tend to hate people who compare something to the manga as thier only excuse for why an anime is bad, so I dunno how you’ll feel about that.
        B) After the first half, the plot sort of drops off and ends up going nowhere. Also a lot of people hate the African vampire villain they constructed for the second half. I didn’t find it that bad. Yeah he was lame especially when compared to Anderson and those brothers, but the ending showdown was awesome. I didn’t think it was as bad as Trinity Blood (blegh!)
        C) It doesn’t have much of a budget. It gets by mostly on its style similar to Persona 4. There’s not much blood, especially compared to Ultimate, and it’s more of a noir anime than an all-out violent war one. You know Chiaki Konaka, the guy who wrote Ghost Hound, Serial Experiments Lain, and Rahxephon? Hellsing goes for a similar style.

        That said, the three things that I love about the original over Ultimate:

        1: The soundtrack is fucking awesome (except for the ED. It sucks). Especially the OP. It’s probably in my top three OPs of all time. Just watch it and try denying how cool it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9MjaOJSKk8
        2: I prefer the original’s sexy mysterious style to Ultimate’s “kill kill kill” style. That’s personal preference though.
        3: Not a fan of Ultimate’s humor. I like how the original puts all the humor in the next episode previews so I don’t have to actually see it disrupting a serious scene.

        I know Hellsing isn’t really a “good” show by plebian standards and all, but man do I love it.

        1. I won’t mind A or C, but B sounds kind of bad. I guess I’ll have to try it though. The way you describe the style sounds pretty good.

          I’m not a big fan of Hellsing’s humor either. It is pretty distracting.

  2. I refuse to finish this series until Funimation is finished dubbing it. I can’t watch this in japaneses, the seiyuu cast is superb, but I just can’t do it.

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