Writen by Tectonic
Posted on July 31, 2007 at 09:20:38 pm
still in love with Kouta Hirano’s Hellsing,
the Ultimate series has been proof that the show’s still alive … or at least
undead. Though being released at a
painfully slow pace, each 45 minute installment always seems worth the wait. And whether you’re an anime-nut who loves
flashy fight scenes, or a manga-purist who doesn’t want a single letter of
dialogue changed, Hellsing Ultimate tips its broad-brimmed hat to you.
This show might
be a good way to introduce yourself to one of the big names of otaku-dom if you
haven’t seen the manga or TV series. It
follows the exploits of an ancient and powerful vampire, Alucard, who under
mysterious circumstances hunts his own kind for the British/Protestant
anti-vampire effort known as the Hellsing Organization. Alucard’s immediate rival is a paladin known
as Father Anderson as well as the group he represents, the Vatican’s
Section XIII ‘Iscariot’. While they both
essentially have the same goal of slaying all vampires, they’d still love to
rip each other apart.
begins like its Men in Black meets Bram Stoker.
A vampire is masquerading as a priest and building a ghoul army. The police have no clue what they’re up
against or who this mysterious special organization that’s come in to handle
the situation. A policewoman is taken
hostage and Hellsing’s ‘ghoul specialist’, Alucard, offers her the life of a
vampire. She accepts, he shoots through
her and the enemy vampire, killing them both.
Then Alucard sucks the woman’s blood, and so becomes Seras the Vampire,
newest addition to the Hellsing Organizaiton.
joined just in time for Hellsing to find out somebody’s breeding super-powered
vampires for the sake of, I don’t know, taking over the world or some such
nonsense. What else can we expect from
Nazis (Oh, did I not tell you? I figured
it was assumed at this point…)
The biggest note to make about
this newest translation of the Hellsing manga is that it’s going by the book
far more than the original 2001 TV series did.
The characters, plot, and humor are all more similar to the manga in
this new OVA series. Another thing to
note is just that: this is an OVA which means less filler, less BSing, more
to-the-point writing. It comes at a
cost, though. The show has been very slow
to hit the market, likely due to the fact that throughout the show, there’s few
parts that don’t have some kind of heavy action. The only reason to stop is for suspense, but
even then the dialogue holds its own weight.
part of making an OAV is that there’s less content to make, but just as big a
budget. In this manner, we can have
ridiculously good artwork the entire way through, as opposed to shows like
Naruto that have to squirrel away budget funds for later episodes by having
show after show laden with filler or stale dialogue. While each installment of the Ultimate Series
is only 45 minutes long, it has beautiful animation from start to finish. The coloring techniques are very bright, and
they lay on real time lighting effects wherever applicable. Also, all the guns and gun paraphernalia are
done in 3D and before you start, I know what you’re thinking: 3D’s?! In my
animuus?! But they have the budget to
color everything really well, and that includes the 3D models, so the guns do stand
out, but more in a stylistic way than in a looks-like-crap way.
keeping to the original manga artwork, there’s tons of dramatic camera angles,
especially whenever Integra opens her mouth.
All the characters are lanky and skeleton-like. The eyes will creep you out. All the old goodies that make Hellsing
Hellsing are intact if not re-mastered, so you needn’t worry. Just wait until Alucard unleashes his full
vampiric powers and you’ll know what I mean.
original English and Japanese voice actors have returned to play their
characters, so fans of the Hellsing TV series will be happy. If you’ve missed those campy British accents,
rest assured they’re quite intact and, actually, will be exemplified this time
around as Ultimate features comedic banter that was originally taken out for
the TV series. Expect more back and
forth between Seras and Walter and sullen “My Mastuh”s.
characters like Luke and Jan are voiced quite well. Luke is stuck up and Jan has a mouth dirtier
than most rap stars, adding much needed contrasting personalities to the
show. Though more villains will be
brought out on stage soon enough, right now Luke and Jan are our first tastes –
and it tastes good. They make you hate
them, not enough to grimace every time they’re on screen, but in a way that
makes you unable to wait to see Alucard piledrive them (that would probably be
not to canon, but dood, Vampire wrestling?
You know that would be sweet).
show is a great success, it seems the marketing team thinks as long as they
plaster the letters “OAV” somewhere, we’ll pay twice as much for our show. Currently you can get Volume 1 and 2, a
collective hour and a half of video, for $34 on Amazon. Most fans are used to paying $20 for two
hours of show, and now we’re being asked to pay nearly double for less than
what we’ve come to expect. The flip-side
is that at no point in this show do they skimp out on animation; they pay a lot
for their show, they charge a lot for their show. So here’s what you do: rent the show off
Netflix, and wait for the series to finish so they can release a box set that’s
worth your money. Buy it, invite your
friends over, and watch it together. I’d
also suggest you drink some red wine while doing this to really set the
Oh but as
suggested by the Japanese government, only watch TV at a distance and in a well
light room. What a bunch of killjoys…