Japanese: Hellsing [ヘルシング]
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 11, 2001 to Jan 17, 2002
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 7.731 (scored by 104150 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsaction horror supernatural vampire vampires
Sep 9, 2009
So naturally, you'd think that the manga would make an awesome anime. Well, Chiaki J. Konaka and Umanosuke Iida thought so too and took it upon themselves to make an anime based off the popular series. In many ways, they succeeded. But they also failed...
The anime was released in 2001, long before the manga series would be complete. So they were forced to come up with their own story, completely unrelated to the manga (save for a few key plot points). This potentially is a pretty cool idea and allows room for originality, but the story in the anime is very hit and miss. There were times I was really enjoying the series and other times that I was flat out bored. I felt that the story just dragged and was often times pointless.
The story also lacks a key element that makes Hellsing so great, and that's the humor. This anime takes itself very seriously, but it loses heart doing so.
I've heard many times from fellow fans that the anime is just poor a fanfiction, and I can't say I disagree.
The animation is just plain ugly, even by TV anime standards. The characters are all poorly drawn, the colors are bland and ugly, and animation is smooth but suffers from choppiness. Visually, this is a lifeless anime. And that's all I can really say about it.
The soundtrack and voice acting is the anime's highlight. The soundtrack is nothing short of wonderful. The jazz tracks really set you in the mood for the series and I'd go as far as saying that the actual album is worth they buy. The voice acting was also very good. Crispin Freeman, K. T. Gray, Victoria Harwood, Steven Brand, Ralph Lister, and the rest of the cast did such an excellent job voicing their characters.
All the characters themselves were great, but the one character that truly stands out in the series is Seras. Her character is really fleshed out and you got to know her alot more then you did in the manga. Alucard was great, but he really becomes more of a prop in the background then anything else. The shows villain 'Incognito' was just... blah. He was kinda cool, but can't hold a candle to the manga's villain 'The Major'.
Overall, this is just simply an okay anime. Nothing rememberable or even exciting. It's not bad really, but it isn't great either. And to be perfectly blunt, this fails to live up to Kouta Hirano's vision. In recent years, they've rebooted the series with 'Hellsing Ultimate', an OVA series that is almost panel by panel like the manga's. I highly recommend you go see the OVA's, those did everything that the TV series couldn't.
If you consider yourself a Hellsing fan, then by all means go see this series. But if you're just entering the Hellsing universe, then I recommend you stay clear of this and go straight onto 'Hellsing Ultimate'. read more
Oct 21, 2008
If you are a "Hellsing fanboy", ignore this review as it will probably fill you with murderous rage. That being said... Hellsing is the kind of series not meant to be taken seriously, at all. If you like stories about vampires and find random violence cool and fun then this may be right up your alley. If you enjoy effortless entertainment with no real depth and no thought required, then stop here and just skip my review. However if you know what kind of anime you like, and are curious to see if Hellsing may or may not be for you, the following criticisms may help with your decision.
Let me make this clear, it's not like shows about mindless violence are beneath me (I loved DBZ). The first episode of Hellsing was very interesting and drew me in, but from there on things went downhill. For one, everything about it moved at such a quick pace nothing really develops. This is especially evident with the way characters handle events (see "Characters" below). And this frantic momentum just keeps on going. The cut scenes are sudden, making for rough transitions, and even the plot progresses sporadically. It's also morally all over the place, which could be a statement about the ambiguity of right and wrong, but most likely the creator just didn't care about that kind of stuff. If you like shows like Cowboy Bebop which are very episodic and have very thin/loose central plots, then you may still enjoy Hellsing.
The Anderson guy was kind of cool and the fights with him weren't bad. The whole vampires commanding ghoul armies thing was a nice touch; kind of different. Still, there was little plot, and much of it was ridiculous and/or didn't make sense. The way they acted, the things they fell for, etc. The dialogue to action ratio was like 3:1. That much dialogue and so much dubiousness made even less sense.
But anyway... I'd say this is probably not for young teens as there's plenty of blood and some sexual situations...
The characters weren't the most original, but I didn't mind. The problem was that they weren't fleshed out very well and they were considerably static. They had no range. They were always in the same "mode" all the time. Alucard was always smug and "bad ass". Seras was always weak and impish, etc. Some people may actually LIKE this kind of certainty, but I prefer dynamic, unpredictable characters. Their interactions were also so unusual that I spent more time scratching my head than clapping my hands. Examples...
Alucard - I like bad asses. I can forgive a lot, but I expect a certain consistency. A certain logic or order to a characters behavior. But so much of the show is just kind of up in the air and random. For instance, Alucard's encounter with Seras. There was no pressure and no time limit and despite his considerable powers he still takes the least practical action. He didn't even consider any other options. The whole event felt so forced and rushed. Speaking of which, one moment he'll be asking, "Hey, wanna be my servant?" the next, "Hey, wanna be on your own?" Bwa?? O_o
Additionally, Alucard suffers from "overpowered main character" syndrome, which (when combined with the above characteristics) make it hard to either care or be concerned about the character.
Seras Victoria - I actually liked the whole vampire in training bit with her, but (like everything else) they never really developed this much. Also, she was all too eager to accept some random monster as her new master. Maybe the British have weaker constitutions than I was aware of, but I have to wonder, who does this? I'm ok with a character being weak or hesitant or not super special awesome, but to be so inexplicably submissive just seems unbelievable. No resistance? No doubt? No concern? I just can't imagine anyone in such a situation being so nonchalant.
Ironically, despite her instant instinct for servitude, she still ends up being very reluctant to actually DO anything. Maybe if there were some backdrop or history to her character this might have made sense. It's areas like this where the lack of character development really hurt the show.
Strangely enough, her breasts seemed to fluctuate in size and her hair would alternate between yellow and orange.
"Sir" Integra Hellsing - Not much to say, just wanted to comment on how usually in anime you'll see guys who look very, very feminine. The whole "Sir" and "Miss" thing was a little confusing, but it also didn't help that she might be the first in a new line of girls who look/sound very masculine.
The art's good, though a little weird at times (especially when the characters end up being stylistically "elongated") but this may come across as cool. I did like the look of the DVD menus though. I give the previews credit for being... different, although I personally found them annoying.
The one thing I did like about Hellsing was the music. The selections were unusual but interesting and somehow went well with the show. I wished it was used more often, then I could've enjoyed it as some extravagant AMV. The dubbing for Hellsing is noteworthy if for nothing else than the fact that they got mostly European voice actors for the European setting. Though despite this novelty I still preferred the sub. Freeman was the only one who didn't come across as amateurish to me. read more
Feb 19, 2007
The characters look fantastic....some times. The animation ranges from flawless to sub-standard and is wildly incosistent, which is sad considering the character designs are amazing. The entire look of a character will change from frame to frame, which can be really jarring, but the big fight scenes all look great.
Music is always important to an anime (or at least it is in my eyes), and Hellsing is second only to Cowboy Bebop when it comes to the fantastic score, everything from 70s rock to dark piano instrumentals is present on the soundtrack and none of it ever feels out of place. The opening theme is an amazing song, not to mention very complimentary to the sequence's visuals.
The story is a breath of fresh air from the normal generic vampire story tripe that pollutes Hollywood and cheap horror novels, and the strong connections to religious symbolism and Bram Stoker's Dracula were a real treat for me. Sadly, the main plot sorta goes out the window after episode seven in favor of a quick explanation of Integra and Alucard's pasts and the origin of the synthetic vampires. Fortunately, the manga and currently running Ultimate OVAs tie up most loose ends.
Overall, the memorable cast, great music and cool story bit me (hahahaha, vampire humor) and left me with the serious desire for human blood (or a better ending, either or). If you're a fan of Dracula, you'll love the series. If you're a fan of stylish anime, you'll love the series. If you like action, but also like compelling characters, you''ll love the series. Flawed animation and story aside, it's defintely a must-see. read more
Jan 21, 2011
To start, this is quite an enjoyable anime, and while it has many down points, it is not something to pass up. It is directed by Iida Umanosuke and Ono Manabu, as It says in the information section, making this statement redundant.
The story is little more than, if you ask me, a reason for action. A mild conspiracy, and a hoard of vampires falls right into the hands of a vampire hunting organization, and they require to jump hoops to succeed. At times the story seems lacking. While at others, when it seems to have the capability to captivate the audience, I become quickly disconnected again. One of the larger failures of the story, is my state of being unfazed at the ends of various characters lives. On that aspect, this story has not succeeded. However the anime is able to hold true to the story they decided on throughout and there seems to be very little lacking in continuity. If the show had been paced out over more than thirteen episodes, it would make for a more captivating ride simply put. 6/10
The art style is a dark and gloomy one. Holding well to the atmosphere of the vampire films of old. The strong reds and blacks, an obvious allusion to the dark undertones of the story itself. However, the actual quality of the visuals was not something to be sacrificed, and the various shots sometimes feel too saturated by all the reds. I am often left unimpressed by the art style they had attempted, and think that if the anime was from the 80s rather than 2001 it would be acceptable. Despite this, the correct atmosphere is delivered from this, and so it deserves at the very least a 6/10.
The sound track is more than likely the high point for the anime itself. It seems to have a stark contrast to the feel the anime wants to create, only emphasizing it as a result, like when a black line is drawn across a white sheet of paper to outline other colours such as yellow or pink. While when watching a vampire related show, as a Westerner you seem to be expecting loud organs, and quiet string instruments as the sole backing for the show, the choice of pop music and jazz seem to feet all that much better. However, the music is not the only aspect of the sound. The voices of both the Japanese original and the English dub are both well decided, the tones and dialogue fitting both the setting and the characters also very well. This in anime, especially regarding dubs, is a rarity, and rather refreshing. 8/10
The characters on the hand, while both suiting the genre, and the story; seem flat and 2-dimensional. They tend to see very little beyond that which is in front of them, are incapable of planing something out properly, and tend only to desire one thing. For Alucard, the show's bad-ass protagonist vampire, it is to have an enjoyable fight. And while at first this makes the characters interesting, because there is little progression, and close to no change, beyond in that of Seras Victoria, you as a viewer are left disappointed at the end of the anime, feeling cheated of the basest part of a story, the development of the characters. 7/10
While mostly I have pointed out the flaws of this anime, this is still not something to be batted aside and ignored. It is regardless a fun ride, and a good way to pass the time. But don't walk in expecting a masterpiece; Hellsing is what it is, and expecting more from it can only spoil the trip that is its enjoyment.
Overall - 7/10 read more
Aug 24, 2008
Hellsing could have done so much more with the material it was working with. Not to say that the story was bad, far from it, but it failed to elaborate and strengthen its plotline enough to really be immersed into it. There was even a setup for a huge conflict between the vatican and the Hellsing corp., that was reduced to almost nothing. I suppose with only 13 episodes you can only expect so much. The story score for Hellsing is a 6.
Art - 8
The art in hellsing is just dark enough just red enough to give it a very vampiric feel. Considering this is an anime about vampires I'd say thats a good thing. The characters have been drawn well enough to match their personalitlies as well. You could tell that the character would act the way they do almost on appearance. While this might come across as being cookie cutter to some, I think it is an important aspect. The artwork for Hellsing is an 8
Sound - 6
I did not like either the opening nor the ending themes for Hellsing. While the opening might fit the mood of the anime for some, the ending totally fails. It doesn't fit the anime either in lyrics or sound at all. Rest of the soundtrack was nothing to get excited over.
Character - 7
There are a few very cool characters in this anime. Alucard is pretty much the trump of the anime being by far the most interesting character. More interesting in fact then the main character who is nothing but dull. Actually almost all the side characters are more interesting then her... Maybe im being a bit too harsh but she never once in the anime does anything that is deserving of the role of main character.
Enjoyment - 7
Short but interesting, I was able to make it through the whole anime even without an adequate plotline. It had enough action and blood to keep my eyes fixed and even a certain amount of mystery to toy with my brain a little, but still far from the best level.
Overall - 7
I tried not to give this rating based on length, but it is pretty hard not to. Hellsing left too much uncovered, no room for a decent plot, characters that hardly developed, and frankly satisfied only the need to see a little blood and action. There's no better anime out there for people who want to spend a mere 5 hours finishing an anime, and just want to get right to the blood and sweat. read more
Sep 23, 2009
London is burning. The metaphorical mouth of hell has yawned open letting Vampires run amok on the streets to desecrate the sanctity of humans. They pillage and plunder about in the wake of blood, bathing in the high it gives them. Sometimes all one can do is let the Vampire's dagger-like fangs penetrate his or her rosy flesh, letting their souls and bodies become twisted images of man, ghouls, the mindless servants of the children of the night.
London is burning... is there no one to protect us from the darkness? Hellsing follows the story of Nosferatu Alucard and Seras Victoria, his newly minted vampire slave and their servitude to the Hellsing Organization. The Organization has one purpose, to eliminate the freaks in the name of God and the Her Majesty, the Queen of England.
The story shows potential in the first few episodes but ultimately does actualize any much of it. The story becomes unfulfilling, leaving you dumbfounded in front of your television. As I looked into the black pit of my dimmed screen I imagined how much more could have been there.
None of the stories presented are completely explored. There is a whole conflict between the Hellsing Organization and the Vatican that is built up to a single underwhelming fight and completely forgotten for the rest of the shows run. It would have been nice to see more as the religious tension between Protestants and Roman Catholics was interesting, considering the actual history between the Church of England and Rome.
Hellsing painted shades of intrigue. At one point there seemed to be some political conflict dressed with conspiracy. There is tons of juicy stuff if explored, but the entire story is concluded in two screens of "Times New Roman".
The character's don't save the show either. Most of them seem to be cardboard. Alucard seems to be an attractive anti-hero at first, looking for a good fight. You never really get a glimpse past the violent visage, his overpowering ability consuming everything. Integral is portrayed as the stoic leader of Hellsing, her faith in god and country unshakable. The most well developed character is Seras Victoria. Her struggle to come to terms with the curse of her Vampirism is compelling. I would have appreciated both Alucard and Seras more if their whole slave-master relationship was examined. An opportunity unexploited.
Incognito was as cliched as antagonists come. He is power hungry, driven mad by blood lust and carried a huge gun. He has about 15 lines in the entire show, making his character tissue paper from a creative level. I would have liked to see more back story to him to give just a slice depth.
All these issues could have been solved if the series had some more breathing room. Thirteen episodes can't contain a series that is trying to do as much as Hellsing is trying to do. Stories could have been realized and the many actors could have more 'alone-time' with the audience to grow and develop. Possibly amazing actions scenes were shrunk into mere minutes, some conflicts resolved in seconds.
The art in Hellsing has it's moments. The art style is comic-like, models outlined in dark thick lines. It would have worked if the animation were not so uneven and the characters did not have such blocky body structures. Seras in particular was poorly drawn, having comparatively large head and breasts with square shoulders and rectangular legs.
The scenery is done well though. The mute palette fills the atmosphere perfectly. I love the wash of crimson that fills the landscape when Alucard enters the scene.
The sound is magnificent. The soundtrack is varied yet appropriate, scaling from upbeat to morose. The real star of the production is the voice work. Alucard's voice is deep, emanating from the depths of bosom and exuding power. Integral voice grows sharp with her dutiful conviction. The rest of the cast do an exceptional job. It sad that they didn't have a better script to work with.
Watchability and Enjoyment
Hellsing is definitely watchable, but for the wrong reasons. It's quite short, thirteen episodes, and nothing is quite revolting. I finished it about three sessions. Some of the action is merits watching and the music is worth listening to. My enjoyment was hindered by the fact the plot lines were largely incomplete. I felt unfulfilled, that there should have been seven or eight more episodes afterward.
Hellsing manages to deal with a few themes across the small series. Seras Victoria, upon being turned into a vampire, fights of the beast beating against her rib cage. Two halves of her battle one another, one side hanging onto her former humanity the other side embracing the monster that was borne in her. Integral has a similar struggle of identity that is hinted at. She lives to become a reflection of her father, whose portrait hangs in her room. She lives to fill his shadow, and die with an untarnished dignity and pride. Both of these ideas helped prevent Hellsing from being completely shallow.
Hellsing could have been excellent but was crippled by its own length. It's big ideas were shaved down to size and stuffed into thirteen episodes. Hellsing could have solved this easily, by being longer or by trying to do less. If your looking for an anime about vampire's with some substance, Hellsing should be a pass for you. read more
Jun 24, 2009
The folksy rock-metal music is unique, but I don’t care for how it’s used, or should I say, not used. Rather than support the action, the music always acts as an afterthought in Hellsing, playing far too quietly to be appreciated or punching up to blare and only achieving the effect of a drowning radio. It’s a great soundtrack that is poorly used.
The dub of Hellsing has an obligation to the English language that the Japanese does not: British accents, a double-edged sword with Integra and Walter on the sharp side, far too many awful extras on the dull side and K.T. Gray’s unstable Victoria licking the blade as she struggles to act a bland part in a voice that’s not her own and just pulls through. The Iscariot Organization offers a respite from all the limey lingo with Castilian Enrico Maxwell and the very best of all: paladin Alexander Anderson, a character who needed far more scenes if only so we could hear more of that great scottish brogue. For the most part it’s a very enjoyable listen with just a few forced cringes that come with a bunch of Americans trying to sound European. Then there’s Alucard. You can’t go wrong in either language because both Jouji Nakata and Crispin Freeman are wickedly fantastic. Anytime Alucard opens his mouth, you just have to shut up and LISTEN, it’s so spellbinding.
So, what do I really think of the wildly popular cult hit Hellsing? I could almost shout “what a waste!” and save myself some breath but seeing as this show is so well loved, I’ll have to explain my low opinion of this sleaze-fest in great detail. Very well. It’s one thing for a show to be episodic, to not have a plot. It’s quite another for a show to pretend it has a plot and string us along a lot of very confusing sideroads to end up admitting it has no idea where the hellsing it was ever going and doesn’t care to finish. Villains appear and disappear at random with little to no motivation or explanation of why they’re a threat and what they have to do with the “main plot” of who is creating the freak chip and why. Not that it matters. "Spoiler alert": They never find out who’s creating the freak chip, and even though we spend hours on it, the stupid things don’t ultimately mean anything. I rarely understood why any characters did anything, and I never cared.
The only reason I stuck with the show is because of the script. The dialogue in the show is wonderfully witty, and hearing all the brits banter scene by scene is incredibly rewarding until you realize every fun conversation has nothing to do with any overall direction.
But some shows get by on rich character development or unique concepts at the expense of a strong plot, the tried-and-true Bebop approach. This isn’t one of those, either. Victoria is one of the most boring and completely undeveloped protagonists in any anime. She follows her master’s orders and has long talks with people who could be interesting but often just get killed after they explain things. There’s no exploration of her struggle with her vampire nature or her apparent loneliness. She’s hopelessly boring, but hey, at least she’s hot, or so I’m told. Every other character is just as vapid, except a lot of them aren’t sexy or anything. The final boss is particularly bad, and has all the personality of a picket fence. The big exception to this is Integra herself, a complicated and valiantly strong woman, but she just isn’t enough by herself to give this show any substance.
So, maybe this show isn’t supposed to have a plot or develop characters, or you know, have any depth. Maybe it’s just a great horror title. No. Good horror frightens people, often relying on the audience’s imagination. Bad horror just grosses people out with too much information. Hellsing is gory, repulsive, sometimes twisted, but never frightening. Fullmetal Alchemist, a show accessible for young teens, has at least ten moments that are scarier than anything in Hellsing, many of them near-bloodless but may still keep you up for hours with the lights on. Hellsing is mature viewers only, gratuitous, and woefully unimaginative by comparison.
I’ve almost sucked this show’s juices dry, but it’s left with one appeal: the cool factor. Okay. It has that. It’s cool. It’s cool seeing a vampire in a longcoat pummel ghouls to ash and cackle about it. It’s cool seeing a bunch of catholics send a scripture-pitching Scotsman after him, too. But at the expense of all the garbage floating through this ailing anime’s system, simply being cool is no saving grace, in fact, it’s almost insulting. Hellsing is a pile of sensationalistic hyper-violence with excessive swearing and ridiculously ignorant sacrilege and the fact that people shout “It’s cool! Lighten up!” makes me balk at rewarding it for anything at all. Maybe the show is fun in a sick kind of way, but I see no merit in bad storytelling, bad technical execution, and yes, offensive content. Standards vary for every individual, but I’m the kind of person who will never watch Saw or Grindhouse and I am still sorry I bought into the hype to watch Hellsing, the cool kid at school who deserves no honest praise for being a real douche at heart.
All in all, Hellsing is a wild and wooly idea that sucks more than it bites. No amount of stylish costuming, good voice acting, and Scottish assassins can disguise an incomprehensible plotline, cardboard characters, and poor attempts at cheap thrills. Then, to make matters worse, you have painfully poor production values. It’s not a popular opinion, but I believe it has some credence. If you must indulge Hellsing, skip this and check out the OVA.
*THIS IS A PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF MY VIDEO REVIEW WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE:
Thanks for reading! read more
Nov 15, 2007
Story: What story? They establish the main plot I believe it's anywhere from episode 4-7, only hinting at it in the beginning. It doesn't start out too well, and the pacing is always terrible. Even though it's the main plot the anime never truly focuses on it, it's shown in 6-9 minute scenes in every episode. That and it's a weak plot that is terribly explained, even when it is explained.
Art: Beautiful, and yet terrible. There are some beautifully done scenes, they put alot of detail into certain parts. The guns and Alucard are done very well. But some of the animation scenes are quite sloppy, I found myself looking at some very poorly animated scenes at times. The art was rather ambiguous, sometimes there'd be a shot of the moon and the sky is blood-red (ep 1) and yet I couldn't really tell whether it was good or bad and it left me feeling quite stupid.
Sound: The music in this doesn't disappoint, the music perfectly suits the anime. If you close your eyes in the opening credits you'll think that you're watching Bebop...but you're not. The music is chosen nicely. I also loved most of the sound effects that they used. There were certain crunching sounds that I particularly loved.
Character: Ah Alucard. Never has there been an antihero so original...or has there? Everyone loves an antihero....one who doesn't really do anything until he's needed...and Alucard does a great job of this. Too bad Seras is so useless. She spends most of her time hesitating and wasting time, so shocked at everything she sees to actually be useful at all. I couldn't see any development at all with anything she did. Integra doesn't do a great job either. I was usually bewildered at her, spending alot of time wondering why everyone was addressing her as "sir." Walter is kind of cool, but again we're only hinted at what he is. I found most of the characters really stereotypical and really annoying.
Enjoyment: It's really mindless...it really, really is. I did enjoy it alot the first time I watched it, but when I watched it recently it just seemed, boring. There's so much potential with this anime and yet there's nothing that they did with it. There were a few scenes that I really enjoyed, and a lot more that I couldn't stand at all. Oh, and there's one scene that will make you think of Dragonball...but definitely not in a good way. read more
Nov 9, 2009
I'd like to address the music first. The opening theme suits the tone of the overall anime very well - it's certainly not your typical J-rock/pop opening. This definitely works in Hellsing's favour; after all, if you take away Hellsing's atmospheric, dark feel, then you're left with something that is simply bland and not very well made. The music throughout the anime works well with whatever's happening on screen at the time, but is entirely unmemorable afterwards (I'm normally pretty good at remembering and identifying music from a series years after I've seen it, but today, only a day after finishing Hellsing, I had to hunt down the anime to listen again to remind myself). This is not necessarily a bad thing; it's just not a good thing. Finally, the ending theme. It's a surprisingly happy, hopeful theme that's sung in English. It shouldn't work, to be honest, because it has little to do with the anime as a whole and doesn't contribute to the atmosphere. Despite this, something about it provides a nice counterpoint and I found myself enjoying the ending song quite a lot after every episode.
The characters of Hellsing are varied and each is interesting in their own way. The arguably 'main' character is Seras Victoria, a police officer who ended up biting off more than she could chew when her squadron went to investigate a homicidal priest who turned out to be a Vampire. Along comes Alucard, the other arguably 'main' character, who ends up shooting her through the (amusingly improbable) chest and then giving the dying Seras the dubious gift of immortality. Cue kind-hearted, moral Victoria's angst and growth as an Undead. Despite what you might think, Victoria actually manages to be angsty without being too woeful, and when she finally gives in to the call of her bloodlust it's suitably believable, if inevitable. She's a relatively well-rounded character, if not too special, and I can't think of any particular instance where I found her to be annoying (a rare thing for me regarding female leads). The best female character, however, is most certainly the head of the Hellsing Organisation; Integra Wingates Hellsing. She is calm, proud and dignified without falling into the common cliche of being unnecessarily standoffish, and I have to tip my hat to the creator for that. The backstory for her that was explored in the anime gave her an extra depth and made her seem somehow more relatable than Victoria, depite Integra having lived a much less relatable life. This is probably aided by the absence of ridiculous breastage, to be honest. When she's suffering, you can really feel her suffering, whether it's overt or subtle. Finally, Alucard - he's been talked about to death (no pun intended) by the rest of the internet, I'm sure, so I'll just say that he's one of the best examples out there that anti-heroes do work.
Plot-wise, I think I have to say that the whole thing could have taken half a leaf from popular shounen manga and made the Big Bad Bosses... well, Big and Bad. There was a lot of build-up to the last major enemy of the series in particular, but the fight itself was unsatisfyingly brief and easy when you consider that it essentially became a demon god in an already-superpowered Vampire's body. I think that this may have a lot to do with the fact that throughout the whole series, you're never given any proper indication of vulnerability from Alucard. He's all uber!bad-ass all the time, so when it comes to the point where you're obviously meant to think that he might have been defeated, it all feels a little stagnant. It's a shame, because Alucard could have been a lot cooler if they'd made him just a little less Cool.
Overall, the series has a great atmosphere but a frustrating lack of tension, the characters work well in and of themselves but are too separate to give any feeling of real character-interaction-interest (the only exception is the very last scene of the series between Integra and Alucard), and I quite enjoyed it while it lasted. I can't rate anything except the characters higher than a 7 and rewatch value is basically zero, but I'd honestly recommend the series to anyone who feels like Twilight is destroying everything that good old-fashioned evil Vampires stand for. read more
Feb 24, 2011
As anyone who's watched this will tell you, the star of the show is Alucard, who carries the show on his back and who pretty much represents what the show is all about. He's a deviation from the classic portrayal of the aristocrat vampire with traditional dress code and exquisite manners, nor is he like a modernised wussy vampire heart throb found in many recent TV series/books aimed at teenagers. No, Alucard is has his own unique style, with his extravagant red outfit and swagger that reeks of coolness and attitude. He has such a gigantic, overbearing presence that he seems to gravitate everything around him whenever he appears.
It's a pity then, that the main character is actually Seras Victoria, whose meekiness and blandness makes her one of the most forgettable characters in the show. This is especially disappointing considering the fantastic characters that are found in support. There's Integra Hellsing, who is one of the few cases of a good, strong female character; there's Alexander Anderson too, who is Hellsing's counterpart from the church faction. Armed with his own set of tools, ability and kick ass demeanor, Anderson is a worthy adversary to Alucard, and it's always fascinating to see the sparks fly whenever the two meet.
Like Alucard, the music in "Hellsing" is something that's too good for me not to mention. For one thing, "Hellsing" is pretty bold with its music selection. It doesn't go for the mediocre jpop/jrock found in many other anime, nor does it play it safe with generically pleasant sounding classical instrumental tracks. Instead it goes for a more unconventional, jazzy kind of sound, and pulls it off spectacularly with an OST that not only fits the cool swagger of the series extremely well, but is also strong enough in its funky melodies for me to listen to the tracks by themselves (which is more than what I can say for 90%+ of the tracks on the "Cowboy Bebop" OST).
Overall, "Hellsing" is a series that knows its own strengths and plays to them well. It's an over the top action series that likes to casually throw around an abundance of blood and gore, posturing, trash talking and profanity, and rarely does it deviate from this blueprint. It was one of the first anime I'd watched as I was trying to get into anime, so I might be viewing it through rose tinted glasses, but I honestly found the whole thing to be a very enjoyable ride. And did I mention Alucard is totally badass? read more
Feb 13, 2009
The first episode starts off pretty promising, but it pretty much goes downhill from there. There are some pretty cool fight scenes throughout, but sometimes they seem to get a bit repetitive. Other than that, I personally, found this series to be dry and boring for the most part. I could empathize with some of the characters to an extant, but I never felt any real connection, and never really got into the story.
I liked the overall concept, but I think a lot more could have been done with this series.
POSITIVES: This anime is very dark, revolves around vampires, zombies, and such. If you’re a fan of that sort of thing, you’ll probably enjoy this anime.
There are some good action scenes, especially at the end of the series.
Jan 30, 2007
From a character standpoint, Hellsing shines. It doesnt get much more awesome than Alucard and Anderson beating the crap out of each other on a subway train. I also loved the tension placed between the catholic church and the protestant church. If anyone watching the series knows anything about church history, they'd probably find most of the friction between the Iscariot Organization and the Hellsing Organization rather humorous. The playful banter also helped alleviate some of the foreboding melacholy that the shows scenery develops. Hellsing is a solid series. Lets just hope Hellsing Ultimate pulls a few more surprises. read more
Aug 16, 2011
I'll be honest, I have neither read the Hellsing manga, nor seen any of Ultimate yet. But even without having seen how poor the manga deterioration is (I'm told it's a completely different story but whatever). The story in Hellsing is lacking at best and practically non-existent at worst. The first half of the series pretty much consists of episodic vignettes about the Hellsing organization tackling a certain vampire disturbance, Seras getting a bit better at her job and Alucard kicking tail and taking names. Rinse and Repeat. But then we're brought into a story about chips that create artificial vampires and the second half of the series deals with them. The change is rather jarring and to be honest, it feels almost like a different series. It's not that this couldn't have worked, I mean Trigun pretty much did just what i said before, and Trigun was fucking awesome. But Trigun had two things going for it that helped make this transfer easier that Hellsing does not, and while this isn't a review of Trigun i will still use it as comparison.
1- Trigun was twice as long as Hellsing so it could use episodes in the middle to blend the episodic and plot elements together. Hellsing doesn't have that so the transition literally occurs in one episode, leaving the viewers confused and annoyed.
2- With Trigun, the vignettes developed the characters, helped create a world, the built a base for the narrative I guess, in Hellsing, the vignettes do nothing, they're just... There. If the vignettes in Ttrigun were not there, it would have detracted from the overall weight of the narrative, if the vignettes in Hellsing hadn't been made, the story woud have had more time to flesh itself out.
However, the biggest flaw that the story has is the amount of loose ends there are to it, including THE MYSTERY DRIVING THE SECOND HALF OF THE SERIES. We're given a final villain sure, but its established when we first meet him that he is being controlled by another, who is this person? WE DON'T BLOODY KNOW. Seriously, we're never told, its never even really hinted at. There are plenty of other things to have a go at, but honestly, you get the gist. So Let's leave the slightly burning wreck of the story and move into the completely totalled aeroplane with orphans inside that is the Art
Hellsing is... Vile, It is one of the ugliest anime i've ever seen. Hellsing was made in 2001 and honest to god, at times it looks like a 70s show. Outside of the main characters in this show, the characters are disgusting. All the designs are super basic, and the designs themselves are just... ugly. The color palette is also dull, lifeless and stale. I's also weirdly inconsistent Seras' shape and figure is always the same, but sometimes her skin is grey, sometimes its... skin coloured, sometimes she's a blond, sometimes she's a redhead. Hell sometimes she's a bloody albino. There's also a weird stylistic choice in which whenever Alucard shows up. the sky always turns red, just solid red, it looks really strange, and though i get what they're trying to do but... it just doesnt work. The show is just hard to look at.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best thing Hellsing has going for it, is the music, Yasushii Ishii is a painfully underused composer, all he's done besides Hellsing is the second season of Darker than Black (having the insane task of following on from Yoko Kanno) but Hellsing is by far his best work. The soundtrack is an interesting blend between folk and metal, with elements of jazz and classical in it as well. The soundtrack in itself is awesome. That said, i have major issues with how the soundtrack is used. During quieter moments of the show, the music matches the show wonderfully. However, when the action starts up, the music is usually wither too quiet or too loud and because the action here is pretty varied while they use the same few songs over and over for sad action, often the scenes are mismatched and don't gel well. The music is great however, and there are only a few hiccups in use, so all is well.
And then there's the dub. I'm not going to review the sub because I don't speak Japanese and cant really judge acting in it. But the dub in Hellsing is the most hit and miss dub I've ever seen. Seriously, I've heard a lot of people say that its pure gold, but they're probably not British, and probably haven't heard many people speak in British accents outside of archetypical posh or cockney or whatever. But I am and I have, and some of the British accents in here are terrible, Integra, Walter, Ferguson and Anderson are great, Integra sounds perfectly arrogant cold and snobby, while still being able to be human. Walter is warm and kind while also cold and professional. Ferguson sounds just like you'd expect from a gruff military officer and Anderson's Scottish accent is spot on and so much fun to listen to. Everyone else ranges from average (Seras Victoria) to completely unlistenable (damn near every extra and episodic character in the show, with special mention going to Lief and Jessica from episode 2, who can neither do a good accent nor make anything they say sound believable). Honestly though, the best dubbed parts in the show are the ones that don't need English dubs, with Jan Valentine spewing hilarious curses and one liners (I highly recommend pissing yorself, Followed by a course of praying to your impotent god!) And Enrico Maxwell's smooth Spanish tones making such an impact in only one episode.
And of course, Alucard. Alucard is played by Crispin Freeman, which probably means i need not say more, but hell I'm gonna. Alucard just sounds amazing, everything he says is so impacting, he can go from quietly amused to crazed and lusting for blood and battle in a heartbeat. Even in a few moments where he's supposed to sound kind, which honestly with his voice you really wouldn't expect, he pulls through brilliantly. Freeman is just spectacular.
There's only one reason why I didn't give this a one, and that's the character of Integra, I don't understand why Gonzo chose to only develop her but she is a complex character, with struggles over her loyalty to her organization and her people, her pride as a human an as the leader of Hellsing, and her relationship with Alucard. She's a complex character but unfortunately everyone else cannot lay the same claim. Seras is a hopelessly boring protagonist and though part of the point of the story is her coming to terms with her vampirism, she barely does that at all. She starts to drink medical blood, yes and she becomes more loyal to Hellsing, but other than that, she doesn't develop at all, she's unfortunately a failure of a character. Alucard, while cool is also kinda flat, I guess you could say he accepts Seras more as a person and less as just his protégée, but other than that, nothing. And every other character is like this. Flat as a board I'm afraid, with only Integra as a saving grace.
And this is where we come to that thing I mentioned earlier, I only noticed how lacking Hellsing was after I finished the entire series. Why? Because this show is fun to watch, plain and simple.The action scenes are cool and fun and the dialogue is great, watching all these characters send quips back and forth is almost as enjoyable as watching Alucard destroying his fellows incredibly stylishly. Honestly, the best thing going for Hellsing besides the audio, is the cool factor, but it doesn't save the series or add to the quality, it just distracts from it. I enjoyed Hellsing... Sometimes... Occasionally. But that doesn't change the fact that it was a bad series and I don't recommend it, especially seeing as Ultimate now exists and I have heard its much superior. You could enjoy Hellsing, but it's by no means quality work. read more
Aug 4, 2008
What makes Hellsing unique? Well, for starters, the characters. While Hellsing certainly contains the same symbolic features of a vampire story (drinking blood, contracting/sharing the curse, superhuman powers and strengths) Alucard (the main character) is truly a unique take on the common vampire. He's frightening yet fascinating, good yet evil- like a wild black stallion wearing a saddle, but your still not sure if you'd trust him enough to get on. There's something uneasy about his demeanor that makes you love him, and remain suspicious of him at the same time. Crispin Freeman's voice-overs are brilliant, and makes the vampire murder for hire, that much more alluring and alive.
The artwork is great. While at some points the drawing gets a bit shaky in between action scenes, I thought of them as just small reminders that this wonderful anime is in fact a moving piece of artwork. I almost enjoyed seeing the "rough around the edges" because the absence of these edges when an action scene approaches (which is where the artwork is most complicated in any anime) is what really shines, and makes this a truly beautiful horror anime.
The sound, which some people glaze over, is what is probably one of the most important things for me, in an anime. Hellsing's OP is still my all time favorite not just for the genre, but of all. Between the calm, cool demeanors of mostly all the main characters, the music is almost perfect to highlight that aura, throughout the whole anime. The music throughout the series is intense and strut-worthy, just as a top of the "food-chain-vampire" and a top secret paranormal and powerful organization deserves as it goes about it's business.
Overall I throughly enjoyed this anime. It's alluring, it's exciting and it's horror at it's coolest. If you love vampires, the undead, cool characters struting to cool music and intensely dark action- you'll surely love Hellsing. read more
Jan 2, 2008
Oct 19, 2007
I love just how deep a sense you get of who each of the characters are here. There really isn't a lot of character development, but you do get to see how some of them came to be who they are, even if it's a bit cryptic in places.
As for the sound, it's probably the only anime I'll ever say sounds truly BETTER in English. This has a lot to do with the authentically-localized voices they use (since it's in England, it really adds to the atmosphere). That, and the fact that the subtitles I've seen were particularly bad...very poor translation.
I do wish they'd tie up a few more loose ends...they leave things kind of open and, although I'm somewhat used to that in Japanese storytelling, it's still nice to have a true conclusion, even if the door is left open to future ventures. That's not to say it ends badly, just a bit more..."open" than I prefer. Call me a spoiled American...
I've seen the series twice now and will likely be watching it again. I would like to see the Hellsing Ultimate OAVs at some point, but they apparently do a lot less with Seras Victoria in it and that, to me, is a travesty! Oh well...it's still supposed to be very good.
Highly recommended for fans of vampires in general and for those looking for a good anime bloodbath. Not for the squeamish or easily disturbed! read more
Jul 1, 2009
There is no plot! Yes! That's right! There is no direction as to where the anime is going! Incredible, isn't it? There are characters, which I will talk about later, all of them have a background story which intertwines somehow eventually, there is unquestionably a past which is slowly unveiled (and poorly done, may I add) but the sequences of episodes are just random events that could be summed up by saying that a vampire goes raging.
This leads to the characters. Although there is an idea behind each character, most of them, apart from the main character, Alucard, are poorly executed. Most characters don't feel real. Alucard of course gets excused, would he not be the main vampire. However, many important questions remain unanswered throughout the whole anime! Who is the ultimate villain, Incognito? What does he want? Who is Alucard? Who was he before he was a vampire? Who is creating these fake vampires and with what purpose?
Unless you want to watch an anime about vampires just for the sheer fun of it, then I won't recommend you picking on this.
However, if you just want to consume anything that contains vampirism elements, regardless of the originality, then this might be the show for you.
In terms of animation and gore, Hellsing does rise well above the average specially in times where vampires are thought as sweet blood sucking creatures. It comes down to its core and explores the gore and blood of the world of vampires. The artwork is very good and the music though nothing special, does the job.
To sum up, Hellsing will entertain you if you like vampires but will add nothing new to your knowledge if your looking for something more. read more
Jan 11, 2009
First is Alucard. He is the role model badass, a loyal and powerful vampire who is in the service of the organization. He delights in slaughtering his enemies in more twisted and horrifying ways than even they can imagine. His only outward desire is to do battle with another vampire as strong as himself. When not fighting, his outlook is arrogant and irresponsible. No matter the intensity of any situation, he can only seem to find in everything some kind of dark amusement. As the series progresses, however, he is revealed not to be completely one-sided. Even Alucard has some human emotions remaining to be discovered.
Seras Victoria is also introduced at the start of the show. She is an unwitting police officer who is forced to contend with a supernatural threat from beyond her league. Lost in a town overrun by dark magic, she flees to a local chapel only to discover the source: a vampire posing as a priest. While facing her death, Alucard arrives to save the day (or night, rather). It becomes obvious that the situation will cost her life, but Alucard gives Seras the choice to come with him, to become a vampire. She agrees and joins the Hellsing Organization with newfound vampiric strength, but her life isn’t as frosty as perhaps she’d imagined. Her story deals with the struggle to prove her worth and earn trust within the organization, while at the same time wrestling with the ways of her new undead life. She is left alone to deal with the controversies of drinking blood to survive, or suppressing the newfound demonic urges she feels from within. She is offered little sympathy, because after all, the choice was always hers to begin with.
Integra Hellsing is the leader of this secret organization. She faces numerous administrative challenges as the Hellsing Organization is constantly attacked by enemies and criticized by allies. Rival organizations from other countries, such as the Vatican, repeatedly interfere with her business. Her decision to use the vampires Alucard and Seras to help hunt other vampires is extremely controversial, yet she pushes onward with a stoic and unbreakable sense of duty. Throughout the series a chain of events occurs that shakes the Hellsing Organization to its very core, and apathy from her strongest allies leaves her to cope with the most difficult problems alone.
All of the protagonists of this series are likable and deep. Each of the characters continually develops throughout the progression of the show, a characteristic that many series seem to lack. This isn’t to suggest the show is perfect, unfortunately. While entertaining and concise, the series really stagnates by the end. Many loose ends involving the story are left untied, and the last few episodes are filled with rather bizarre references that fail to have any explanation. For example, during one climactic moment, through some kind of prophetic vision, Alucard is pictured with a mustache. What the hell is that supposed to mean? There are also a few side characters that appear extremely unrealistic, but it is a small enough issue to be forgiven. In the end the dramatic situations involving the characters degrades to mere pandering that doesn’t advance their relationships or problems past a certain point. Meanwhile the art style is great, but the action sequences are just passable.
These issues don’t make the show bad, but they do bring it down from what could have been great to just being good. The series is still worth watching, however. It is thoroughly enjoyable, and it’s one of the few that could have been longer. Hellsing is an anime that succeeds in being a little deeper than the average action oriented one.
Dec 19, 2009
- Good action, and lot's o' blood!
- Good characters, like Integra, Alucard, or Walter.
- The major characters have good voice acting.
- This anime has the best soundtrack I've ever heard. Give it a listen.
- Some of the voice acting is noticably atrocious.
- Some of the story is similar to the manga, but they did change a LOT of things.
- The most annoying episode in my opinion is "Order 2: Club M", just because I hate those snot-nosed brats who sound like they have a cold. They're distgusting for lack of a better word. They're part was too big in comparison to the manga/ova.
- The art could've been better. I thought Integra was a man the first time I saw her.
- Incognito. Enough said.
- I won't tell you what the ending was, but it wasn't a very satisfying one.
- They NEVER mention Millenium. Ever. They more like dance around the topic.
There you have it. Reasons why you should watch it, and some reasons why you might not like it all too well. My idea: watch this series and get it under your belt for something even better, Hellsing Ultimate. You'll appreciate Ultimate so much better once you've seen the original tv series. The series is alright, and it is the reason why I started liking Hellsing, but I understand why it's not the best. However, you can find that our for yourselves. ;) read more
Jan 14, 2009