There exist creatures of darkness and evil that plague the night, devouring any human unfortunate enough to be caught in their grasp. On the other side is Hellsing, an organization dedicated to destroying these supernatural forces that threaten the very existence of humanity. At its head is Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, who commands a powerful military and spends her life fighting the undead.
Integra's vast army, however, pales in comparison with her ultimate weapon: the vampire Alucard, who works against his own kind as an exterminator for Hellsing. With his new vampire servant, Seras Victoria, at his side, Alucard must battle not only monsters, but all those who stand to oppose Hellsing, be they in the guise of good or evil.
In a battle for mankind's survival, Hellsing Ultimate proves that appearances are not all they may seem, and sometimes the greatest weapon can come in the form of one's worst nightmare.
Hellsing Ultimate was initially licensed and distributed by Geneon Entertainment USA up until their closure in late 2007. FUNimation Entertainment later picked up the series and finished dubbing it in late 2014.
#1: "Gradus Vita" by Hayato Matsuo, performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (eps 1, 10) #2: "Merche Funebre" by Hayato Matsuo, performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (ep 2) #3: "Letze Bataillon" by Hayato Matsuo (ep 3) #4: "Das Engellandlied" by Hermann Lons. (ep 4) #5: "A Patriot with No Name" By Hayato Matsuo and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (ep 5) #6: "Magnolia" by Suilen (ep 6) #7: "Shintoushite" by Suilen (ep 7) #8: "P.S. Lord Amitabha Have Mercy on Me" & "When You Start the War, Fight With Arrows, Spears and Swords!" by Yasushi Ishii (ep 8) #9: "SCARS" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 9)
Fantastic vampire action and violence; but dull characters, erratic pacing with too much melodrama and an overpowered main character.
It has all the flash and gimmicks to trick you into thinking it’s good. It has vampires, action, blood, swearing, violence, gore, sexuality, darkness—everything that’s just “cooool” and “matuuure.”
Let’s not forget its “badass” hero Alucard—whose name is “Dracula” spelled backward, by the way. Goddamn that is so fucking cool I’m hurting. He’s so powerful no one can beat him. Except… that is the problem. Because none of his enemies can even touch him all his fights are boring filler. You’re actually left rooting for the villains.
characters are supposed to be the one putting up a struggle, not the other way around. The only time I was excited about a fight was when the villains felt like they could pose a challenge. But then Alucard whips out a power up, and I’m left saying “Oh.”
For a show with gorgeous animation and fantastic action it’s dull and forgettable. It’s like an attractive person without a personality. There are pacing issues where it slows down to be melodramatic and rambles about nonsense philosophy. I get that you need to let us know character motivations, but giving 10 minute speeches isn’t exactly keeping me awake. It also tries to be funny with some lighthearted, cutely animated moments, but it only ruins the mood.
I still actually recommend watching this but only if you’re slightly interested. It’s helpful to watch good and bad shows. It’ll give you an instinct on why something is good or bad. I enjoyed this my first time, but I certainly wouldn’t watch it again.
It has often been said that I like Hellsing Ultimate. My friends, I like Hellsing Ultimate…NO. Friends, I LOVE!! HELLSING ULTIMATE! I love the dark animation, I love the gore, I love the action, I love the charismatic characters, the accents, I love the bombastic plot and dialogue! I love any like-minded quality anime that can exist upon this Earth!
I love watching ghouls, vampires and mercenaries clashing in an all-out VAR within the Victorian hallways of the Hellsing estate. My heart leaps with joy whenever a soldier’s limps are blown off followed by screams of agonizing pain. And there is nothing like
a British vampire chick dual wielding artillery canons to rain hell upon the mightiest engines of war, UND the feeling that comes when a vampire runs away screaming from Alucard only to be slaughtered in the most gruesome way imaginable... is such... an exquisite feeling. Like when ranks of mercenaries sign up to hunt vampires and ghouls using silver bullets. It moves me deep within my heart to see an entire squadron of innocent SWAT forces butchered mercilessly by none other than the MC in their final moments of shock and despair. The sight of haters being made fun of on the forums for their ridicule subjective criticism is an irresistible pleasure. And there is nothing more arousing then the major’s awe-inspiring war-speech which is still resonating with grandeur in your heads at this very moment. When a band of pitiful resistance fighters make their final stand with nothing but small arms only to have their city destroyed and their guts disemboweled by a thousand paratrooper vampire Nazis, I’m in ecstasy. I love it when my favorite factions are ravaged by enemy Nazi bastards. It’s so sad to see characters I had held onto dearly meet their tragic fates, their friends and comrades ripped in half gasping for their last breaths. I love to be squashed under the heel of the Nazi and Vatican war dogs, the humiliation as my men crawl around like vermin, hiding and taking cheap shots from walled corners.
Gentlemen, all I ask for is more Hellsing Ultimate. An anime so grand as to make hell itself tremble. Gentlemen…I ask you as fellow brothers in arms what is it that you really want? Do you wish for further anime like this as I do? Do you wish for a merciless bloody anime? Anime whose fury is built with iron and lightning and fire? DO YOU ASK FOR ANIME TO SWEEP IN LIKE A TEMPEST, LEAVING NOT EVEN CRITICS TO SCAVENGE FROM THIS EARTH!!!
I'm just going to come out and say it! Hellsing Ultimate is awesome! Count Dracula teams up with the granddaughter of Van Helsing in order to defend London from an army of Nazi vampires. Sound silly? Of course it is, and that's part of its charm! Hellsing is balls to the wall action that never takes itself too seriously and is extremely enjoyable to watch.
To say the plot of Hellsing Ultimate is stupid, would be an understatement. This plot absolutely revels in its own absurdity. A fat, over the top Nazi known only as Zee Major builds an army of Nazi vampires in South
America and invades London with a group of giant Zeppelins. The only thing that can stop them...Count Dracula of course. You have to love Zee major though. He is such a silly, cartoonish caricature of Nazism, although he still falls short of AM radio shock jock Michael Savage, who would call Zee Major a liberal pansy. This is not an artsy, experimental anime like Mushishi or a thinking man's existentialist anime like Tatami Galaxy. With Hellsing, you have to just give your brain a rest and enjoy the EPIC battles and bizarre humor that permeates this series.
Hellsing has has awesome characters like the absolutely insane Catholic priest Father Anderson, who is like Eren Jaeger from Attack on Titan fused with the Boondock Saints. It has a Cockney vampire chick that talks with that adorably silly accent and fights with a massive anti-tank rifle. It has an SS werewolf who is literally a werewolf and must therefore tear off his shirt before every fight. Lastly we have Alucard, the badass sociopath himself voiced by the legendary Crispin Freeman in the English Dub. (God I love that man!) Don't expect characters to be deep or 3 dimensional, but instead enjoy the sheer madness, like most other aspects of this series.
It has an AMAZING soundtrack featuring Die Frieschutz by the early Romantic composer Karl Maria Von Weber. I am a huge classical music fan and hadn't even heard of Von Weber before Hellsing. Now I have most of his best known works on my itunes and listen to it all the time! The other parts of the soundtrack are rather nice as well, with good original tracks and cheesy remixes of old Nazi classics like Das England Lied.
The art isn't perfect, but is a massive improvement from the first Hellsing series. The character designs are well done and although the blood looks like ketchup and lacks any bone fragments, organs, or anything else you would expect from people literally exploding all the time, it is still massively satisfying to see.
Hellsing Ultimate is bloody fun from beginning to end. The first Hellsing series was ok, but at times took itself too seriously, which clashed with the carefree style of Kouta Hirano. Hirano is primarily a hentai artist and porn director who occasionally draws manga on the side, despite the fact that his art is actually pretty abysmal. He doesn't take himself seriously and clearly was laughing his ass off as he drew every panel. His humor and enjoyment is absolutely contagious, and he has utterly mastered the art of "so bad its good" storytelling.
Leave your brain at the door and get on the roller coaster of awesome silliness that is Hellsing Ultimate. This series may turn some people off with its incredible amount of gore and shockingly tasteless Nazi stupidity, but if you enjoyed Inglorius Basterds a lot, I highly recommend Hellsing Ultimate. Apparently a few German viewers on youtube found the portrayal of Germans offensive in this series, but honestly you are taking it WAY too seriously if you are offended by something as ridiculous as Hellsing Ultimate. I come from an ethnic German family myself and I found it fucking hilarious, so lighten up guys!
I get sick of shows that are supposedly brutal bloodbaths *very* easily. Why is that? Well I go into it thinking I'm gonna experience just that and instead all I get is a whole lot of bad pacing and tiny little splashes of blood that are heavily censored for no good reason whatsoever with a protagonist that can't shut the fuck up with his bitching. Of course, it's not surprising this is the case since I was spoiled ROTTEN by Hellsing Ultimate. Hellsing Ultimate is the epitome of senseless violence and sheer brutality. Fuck your Mirai Nikki, Deadman Wonderland, and Tokyo Ghoul! THIS is a
real bloodbath and Alucard is the (un)living definition of a true badass.
Hellsing Ultimate is a reboot of the Hellsing franchise. Previously, there was an adaptation of the Hellsing manga produced by Gonzo in 2001 but it forked off from the source material because there were very few chapters to adapt at the time. Obviously, Gonzo didn't do THAT good of a job with the adaptation so in 2006, Satelight got on-board to do another adaptation. How did Satelight decide to handle the new Hellsing adaptation? Simple: make it a direct-to-video release so that way, loathsome censorship wouldn't be an issue and Kouta Hirano would have all the time he needed to finish the manga. It took 6 years to adapt with Madhouse and another studio stepping in to do the other episodes and it took even longer to finish dubbing, but the wait was definitely worth it.
For those of you coming into Hellsing Ultimate expecting the likes of Paradise Lost in terms of story, I've got BAAAAAD news for you. At the risk of pissing off the fanboys, Hellsing never has and never will be about the story. In fact, the story gets progressively worse as time goes on. There's a distinct lack of world-building, where the focus is always on the here and now with events in the past being mentioned but never properly explained save for select bits here and there. If you want a bloodbath that actually has a good story behind it, watch Berserk instead. While its lacklustre narrative might seem like a hindrance, it's not because Hellsing Ultimate is all about the rule of cool.
I mean... it's a show that has an immortal blood knight vampire fighting the remnants of a Nazi battalion 50 years after World War II that's led by a demented Major who starts a war with Britain JUST for the sake of starting a war that will "sweep in like a tempest, LEAVING NOT EVEN RAVENS TO SCAVENGE FROM THIS EARTH!!!" with a secret division of the Vatican led by a bloodthirsty priest who can pull blessed swords out of nowhere, absurd weaponry, and a whole lot of maniacal grins thrown into the mix as well. If you can't suspend your disbelief in the slightest, you'll hate this show just as much if not even more than you'll probably hate Gurren Lagann.
Regardless, the actual narrative isn't all THAT bad. It's more like a foundation that never really gets built upon but at the same time, at least manages to tell us exactly what it is and what it wants to be. It never sets itself up to be something grander than it actually is, and that to me is Hellsing Ultimate's greatest strength. Hellsing Ultimate knows that it lacks a compelling narrative, so instead it opts to be as entertaining to watch as possible which is where it manages to receive high marks most of the time. Key word: MOST of the time. All good things have to come to an end eventually, you know.
You know how Gurren Lagann slowed down to a crawl as it tried to take itself seriously? Well toward the last 3 episodes (8-10), it becomes painfully obvious as to how weak the story actually is as it starts taking itself seriously throughout the entire run of each OVA. The problem is that Hellsing Ultimate up until that particular point was about having fun with mind-numbing amounts of profanity, blood, and gore to boot.
There were moments where it took itself seriously in the previous 7 OVAs, but that's all they were: moments, and it works beautifully well as brief instances where we could take a break from all that shit, catch our breath, and resume the bloodbath. The final 3 OVAs are still entertaining, don't get me wrong. It's just that in comparison to what we had prior, there is a MAJOR difference in how fun those episodes are to watch. But I digress, for it's now time to talk about the characters.
You'd think that the characters in Hellsing Ultimate would be just as lacklustre as the story, but actually... that's not the case whatsoever. In fact, they're fairly well-written... well, about as well-written as you can get for a show that has 90% of its cast wearing a maniacal grin half the time. The two best-written characters in Hellsing Ultimate are by far Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing (yes, you have to say it like that) and Seras Victoria while the two characters that excel most in terms of just how fun they are to watch are none other than Alucard and Alexander Anderson (aka Judas Priest) along with Montana Max aka The Major as runner-up (he's more fun to listen to than to watch).
I should tell you this right now: if you absolutely despise overpowered characters, you're going to HATE Alucard and Judas Priest. Anderson is the living definition of a badass while Alucard is the un-living definition of a badass. They're both absurdly powerful individuals who absolutely dominate everything else in combat and throughout the show's run, you keep banking on that final fight to show up between the two to settle once and for all who the true badass is. When that final fight DOES rear its head, you can't help but squeal like a pig throughout the entire run. It genuinely is THAT entertaining to watch... provided that you can handle how absurd Hellsing Ultimate gets at times.
If on the other hand, you desire some more "human" characters that are less likely to throw blessed bayonets and exploding silver bullets at your face, Integra and Seras are more than enough to fit the bill and then some. Integra is by far one of the best authority figures I've seen in anime and manga thus far. She just has this air of authority about her like Motoko Kusanagi and even when she's put into situations that might make her seem like a damsel-in-distress, that's never the case. She just scoffs at you while smoking a cigar and grinning like a maniac. Her only downfall would be the fact that as the show gets crazier and crazier, all she really seems to be able to do is just stand back and watch. Of course, that's what happens when you let a MASSIVE power creep into your show like that.
As far as Seras goes, she's... how do I put it? She's adorable, quirky, and is quite the action girl when the situation calls for it. At the same time, the writing doesn't really focus TOO much on her transition from human to vampire. That's not a totally bad thing, mind you and she does improve as a character as the show goes on. At the same time, I would've expected her to have more of a problem with being an undead creature of the night for the rest of her life. Well... then again, I DID say that Hellsing Ultimate is all about the rule of cool and questioning your own humanity ISN'T cool at all (in comparison to everything else that goes on). Regardless, she's a great character and by far the most human (in comparison to everything else she has to deal with).
While storytelling and characters aren't Hellsing Ultimate's strong suit, there is one area where Hellsing Ultimate succeeds constantly and that is with the production values. This show was just spoiled in ways that the original just couldn't be and that's no surprise given that this is a 10-episode OVA series that took six years to complete. I could spend hours gushing about the production values, but it wouldn't do me any favours now will it? All I can say is that EVERYTHING looks awesome: from the super-creepy horror imagery surrounding Alucard, the battles which are so deliciously overflowing with carnage, and all else that lies in-between. You think Tokyo Ghoul has good visuals? Psh, Hellsing Ultimate makes Tokyo Ghoul look like Naruto filler in terms of visuals.
OST-wise, Hellsing Ultimate delivers in full-force. There are plenty of bombastic orchestral tracks and such which further emphasize just how awesome this show actually is and there's no shortage of songs and character tracks that I've grown quite fond of. BUT... if there's one minor complaint I have, it's the fact that it lacks style in comparison to its predecessor. Now hear me out: the 2001 Hellsing show is flawed to high heaven but one thing that it has that Hellsing Ultimate lacks is music. The 2001 show had no shortage of jazz/blues tracks, guitar themes, and whatnot which gave the show its own sense of style. Hellsing Ultimate has quite a bit in the way of stylised visuals, but when it comes down to music... it could've been handled a little better.
Dub-wise... I have absolutely no complaints other than just how long it took to actually get the entire thing out. Well, then again I guess that's on Geneon for ceasing all operations outside of Japan before they finished dubbing Hellsing Ultimate (they only did the first four episodes). Due to licensing issues, the dub itself was delayed even more than the production of the OVAs. Thankfully, Funimation stepped up to the plate, re-hired all the voice actors that worked on the episodes that Geneon dubbed and I swear to GOD, Funimation just knocked the ball out of the park with this one (perhaps even more). Crispin Freeman does an amazing job as Alucard (then again, he's Crispin fucking Freeman, of course he did a damn great job) but that's actually NOT my favourite thing about this dub which is surprising since I'm a huge fan of Freeman's work.
One of Hellsing's calling cards is taking place in Great Britain, so obviously it would help if the voice actors had British accents, right? Well instead of doing Cockney accents like the Black Butler dub had, Funimation actually hired 2 BRITISH voice actors to do the roles of Anderson and Integra (Steven Brand and Victoria Harwood respectively) while the rest of the cast barring Alucard did some rather convincing accent work to set the mood. There's always going to be sub-supremacists touting how the English dub pales in comparison to the Japanese one but at least we've got Steven Brand's thick, Scottish accent while you sub-touters just have Norio Wakamoto's Engrish. If you want accents, go with dub. If you don't, stick with the sub.
So, final thoughts? Hellsing Ultimate is far from a masterpiece but as far as entertainment value goes, you'll be hard-pressed to find a show that can easily keep up. As far as bloodbaths go, there's only a handful of anime that can match Hellsing Ultimate's brutality (i.e. the Berserk movies, Gantz). This is popcorn material through and through and makes no attempt at hiding that fact. Considering the fact that all 10 episodes of Hellsing Ultimate are now available for legal streaming on Funimation's website AND have been released on DVD/Blu-ray, there's no reason why you SHOULDN'T give this show a chance.
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