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Hellsing Ultimate
Writen by Tectonic
Posted on July 31, 2007 at 09:20:38 pm

INTRO

 


For those 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.

STORY

Our story 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.

And she’s 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.

     

ART

The best 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.

     

Also 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.

     

DUB

All the 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.

 

Also, side 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).

     

BOTTOM LINE

While the 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 vampiric mood.

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…

 






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