Hellsing Ultimate ReviewMike Reisterer
Hellsing Ultimate is an OVA (Original Video Animation) based strongly off the manga and takes the story in the different direction than that of the original Helling anime. In fact, it has even been animated by different companies. Sagelight animated episodes I-IV. Madhouse animated V-VII and Graphinica has animated VII-X. While episodes I-VIII have been released in the US, the remaining two have only been released in Japan and have yet to be dubbed. Therefore this review shall only cover episodes I-VIII.
I would like to take note that I highly recommend watching the original Hellsing series first. This is because the original series goes more in depth into each of the main cast's emotions and backgrounds. While Hellsing Ultimate skims over that (Covering it in only the first 1-2 episodes) and jumps right into the main plot. I felt like Ultimate highly complemented the original Hellsing and I got a lot more out of watching them together than I would have apart.
The Cast, thankfully, is voiced by the same cast as previously. Which thrills me to death. The voice acting is marvelous, and the new characters are just as well voiced. And even better, there are more main characters. We have Alucard, An insanely powerful vampire with a blood lust like none other. He is borderline insane, loves to kill, and is only loyal to Sir Integra. Alucard is an incredibly unique character, with an interesting depth to him. While he loves to kill he wants nothing more than an opponent worthy of him. He hopes that if one day he is killed it would be by a human, not a monster like him. Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing is the leader of the Hellsing Organization. Proud, arrogant and powerful, Sir Integra is a force to be reckoned with. She commands must respect among her peers. Then there is Seras Integra, a police officer turned vampire by Alucard early on. She attempts to keep her humanity as much as she can by not drinking blood, but once she does she becomes a vampire as fierce as Alucard himself. She also provides much comic relief throughout the series.
The main antagonist is The Major. He is the one behind the computer chips which can turn humans into vampires (The main mystery of the original series which is never solved.) The Major is the remnant of the Third Reich, having turned what was left of the Nazi's into vampires overtime. His plan is simple, cause a total war that he can watch and enjoy. He loves nothing more than chaos, whether he wins or lose, so long as there is a war he is happy.
Characters from the Vatacan include: Paladin Alexander Anderson: In the previous series I did not bother with Alexander Anderson as a main character, he was so irrelevant to the plot it was laughable. But not here, and I actually find his role much more awesome in Ultimate. Anderson appears as Alucard's ultimate rival, but more than that, he allies himself temporarily with Sir Integra against The Major. You never know what exactly Anderson is going to do next, and he ends up playing a major role to the plot. Then there is Enrico Maxwell, a bishop who is in charge of The Vatican's Iscariot Organization (Of which Anderson is also a part). He has a few meetings with Sir Integra to deal with The Major, and ends up becoming a villain in his own right.
The plot to Hellsing Ultimate is spectacular. Beginning with a brief run over of events such as Seras' turning into a vampire, the Hellsing Organization studying the vampire making computer chip, and the Valentine brothers raid on the Hellsing manor (While this is about halfway through the original series, it is only 2 episodes into Ultimate). Once the series reaches this point however it branches in an entirely new direction. A Nazi vampire army, seeking nothing more than war. The Major also wants to put Alucard to his limits. This is because Alucard put The Major and his original vampire army out of business back in the 1940s. I won't spoil any more, but all I can say is that this is a wonderful story. While I would like to praise the anime for it, I cannot really do so due to the fact that the credit truly belongs to the manga. However I must say that it is scripted extremely well and animated equally so.
Speaking of animation, animation by all three companies is spectacular. Fair warning, I said the original Hellsing was graphic, Ultimate is three times that at least. Blood runs like water, eyes will be popped, guts spilled, and so on. If you have a weak stomach, I suggest you think about passing on Ultimate. However I enjoyed the graphic nature of this anime, it portrayed events well and made for a much more unique showing of ability.
Once again the sound and music quality was great. I don't know what it is about Hellsing's unique sound that captivates me but I love it. Each piece of music is in its perfect place, and believe me there is a variation. There is peaceful music, action music, classical music, and it is all composed well.
Ultimate has a little bit of everything. Romance, action, adventure, and even humor. In fact Ultimate seems to enjoy taking a few minutes of your time each episode with something completely off the wall that is bizarre yet funny. Such as Seras dreaming her weapon is talking to her. (Much of the comic relief involves Seras). But anyway I highly recommend watching this anime but I do wish to warn you once again that it is incomplete. While IX and X are more than likely out there in subbed format, they are not available in dub and probably will not be for months. I look forward to it though because Ultimate has proven to be one of the best animes created in recent years.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.