During the height of World War II, Nazi Germany seeks to strengthen their soldiers with technology crafted under the influence of vampiric biology. Out of fear of this technology turning the tide of war in the Axis's favor, Sir Arthur Hellsing enlists his butler and soldier Walter C. Dornez and vampire Alucard to put a stop to the German plot, sending the two men into a conflict that will scar them both forever.
If you're watching this expecting plenty of Alucard and young Walter slaughtering Nazis, be warned: there's not much of that here. I gave this a 7 because seeing Walter in action is truly a sight to behold - in fact, any scene with Walter in it is basically pure, unadulterated awesomeness.
Unfortunately, there's not enough of Walter, the rest having been replaced with seemingly pointless humor sequences and some exposition. There's also no resolution to the battle sequence, and Alucard is on screen for a disappointingly short time (in a very interesting form, however!)
Overall, it's fun to watch as a little bonus to the Hellsing OVAs,
but don't expect much in terms of ghoul-slaying and Alucard's screen time.
Well that was over quickly! The whole special is only 27 minutes and really doesn't give us all the extra Hellsing we wanted. Each episode of Hellsing Ultimate was 1 hour long, so with 3 episodes at 9 minutes each, Hellsing the Dawn is like a terrible lover that finishes in 30 seconds and rolls over to go to sleep. We Hellsing fans are the disappointed chick going WTF!!? What was THAT!!!? To make matters worse, half of Dawn episode 3 is a preview for another series, so Hellsing Dawn is in total about 24 god damn minutes!
We get to see Alucard as a
little girl (because why the fuck not I guess) fight Nazis along with young Walter. Little extra back story or insight into the characters is given. We get to witness a 5 second fight between Alucard the Cap, but they even cut out the scene in the manga where Cap kicks Alucard in half. Was there no budget for this project?! After Alucard rescues Walter we are given some exposition by Integra's douchbag uncle with Hellsing's vintage pointless omake jokes. Then the OVA ends. As mentioned previously the last few minutes are a preview for another series, which SHOULD NOT be part of Dawn, but instead be a separate trailer. We came here to watch Hellsing God damn it!
We do get to see more of Walter as a kid, so that was at least fun. We also get a bit more of what the daily friendship is like between The Major and Doc. The most wasted character in all of Hellsing is easily the Captain, but of course he gets no further development here. The captain was interesting not just because he's a fucking awesome werewolf with a cool character design. He is mysterious and has a presence that far surpasses his minimal screen time much like Boba Fett in the first 3 Star Wars films. Why doesn't he ever talk? Was he born a werewolf or did he get his powers at some point in the past? Is he even a German? Why would he carry a med kit around if he can regenerate in Ultimate. Why does he heal and save Hienkel Wolf when all the rest of the Millenium fighters are purely evil. If the Cap is different from the rest of Millenium and is a somewhat noble warrior that just wants a good death from a tough opponent, why doesn't he wipe out Millenium himself and go fight Alucard?! We will never know any of these things. Because Kouta Hirano would rather draw ero doujinshi than give his coolest characters a fucking back story!
More Karl Maria Von Webber! Can't really go wrong there.
The excellent art and animation from Ultimate are back here, but we don't really get to see much action unfortunately
I guess it was kind of fun while it lasted?
The tiny bit we saw was fun, but this felt like it was far more of a cocktease by Kouta Hirano than an extra gift for Hellsing fans. Still, the art was excellent and the animation was roughly on par with Ultimate. The soundtrack is great once again for fans of classical music, especially fans of Romantic Period German opera. I just wish that it was longer and actually provided us with more plot and character backstory. Will there ever be any more Hellsing? I have no idea, but I hope so.
I'm going to go against the grain here: in its current form, 'The Dawn' was unneeded and contributed too little to the main story to warrant existing. It's targeted towards those who've watched or are watching the Ultimate OVA, as this will make very little sense on its own, but even then it provides very little that we haven't seen in the parent story already.
There are 3 roughly 10 minute-long episodes to showcase a part of Walter and Alucard's past during WWII, when they fought side by side against vampires created by the Major and his cohort. Which I guess happens off-screen, since the only
battle that happens is like half a battle between Walter and the Captain, which is cut off right when it gets interesting. But, fortunately, we get scenes of the Major eating, some other minor characters whose names I can't remember arguing over getting drunk, and a third of the final episode dedicated to a trailer for another anime. Time and money well spent, indeed.
The art and sound are decent. Lots of panning shots, though most stills showing Walter in action, breaking through windows and using his wires, were appropriately cool. The sound is what you'd expect from the new Hellsing - orchestral and choral pieces - but nothing that stands out. The best was the song from the trailer for 'Drifters', but...should I even count that as part of 'The Dawn'? Probably not.
Characters? Don't learn anything new about them that we didn't know from the OVA already, except that Walter was a kid once. The Major is himself, Doc is himself, the Captain is silent and deadly as always (preferable to the Major's rambling, at least), Walter is entertaining but predictable, and the other two who were arguing...who even cares.
Overall, I wish I hadn't bothered with this and would like my ~30 minutes back, please.
When it comes to the Hellsing saga, noone can argue that Hellsing Ultimate is the best series. After it was finished, Hellsing:The Dawn was announced. I eagerly waited for it, but I can't say that it was as impressive as its predecessor.
Starting off, the story aims to show us events that are only mentioned in the anime and specifically the origins of the artificial nazi vampires. Set in 1944, we see Alucard as young as ever and Walter in his early years. It was obvious that the reason of Dawn's existence is to cover some holes in Hellsing's plot. Therefore, the story is really short
with few battles and somewhat rapid event rotation. However, it achieves its goal.
The visuals and battles are outstanding as ever, same style with Hellsing Ultimate. Excellent character models, dynamic shadows and realistic blood.
Same goes for the sound. The same cast of voice actors and themes.
What I didn't like that much is that Alucard lost a lot of screen time. With Walter as main character, it was logical Alucard would fall behind. However, Walter's screen time is not that good as well since there are many pointless and unnecessary comical sequences that can tire you and make you bored.
I definitely enjoyed it, but The Dawn is nothing compared to Ultimate. I understand it was created to fill gaps in the plot, but it gives a quickie work feeling. It was wonderful to watch young Walter slaughtering nazis in an elegant way, but I disliked the reduced screen time on Alucard and the strict plot. It could have been better.
Overall, The Dawn is a nice extra to the OVAs of Hellsing. But don't expect to see Alucard slaughtering helpless victims all the time. Watch it after Hellsing Ultimate.
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