Hellsing Ultimate – Anime Review

Animes, owing to their capacity for illustration, can often be more visceral and dynamic compared to films. This, indeed, is one of the aspects that adds to the beauty of anime: the characters’ eagerness for battle and the blood they are willing to shed for it. Many anime series are built around a similar theme – combat, bloodshed, and a touch of eroticism. Among these, “Hellsing Ultimate” stands out as one of the most savage and blood-soaked, to the extent that it could even vie for the top spot. The content of this anime is laden with heavy profanity and brutality due to its storyline and characters, yet it is intriguing and undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable anime to watch.

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Initially, the anime was released simply as “Hellsing” with 13 episodes between 2001 and 2002, and it was also broadcast on MTV during its late-night programming. MTV and its late-night programming, I must admit, are things that only those of my generation may remember. After a single season consisting of 13 episodes, the anime returned in 2006, this time under the title “Hellsing Ultimate.” However, it took a full 8 years for the anime, which started in 2006 and consisted of 10 episodes, to reach its conclusion.

The initial version of the anime, adapted from Kohta Hirano’s manga, was directed by Umanosuke Iida and Yasunori Urata. Although the duo had the opportunity to produce many anime projects in their careers, “Hellsing” remains their highest-rated work. The 2006 version, on the other hand, was directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka, Tomokazu Tokoro, and Hideki Tonokatsu. The main difference between 2001 and 2006 lies in the fact that the anime released in 2006 is an OVA (Original Video Animation) version, and it reflects the manga more faithfully than the 2001 series. Similarly, the 2006 version is much darker than the 2001 one, which is why I prefer “Ultimate.”

In brief, concerning the plot… The world is teeming with dangerous creatures that emerge at night. There are those lurking under children’s beds, waiting to snatch the innocent and vampires ready to pounce on those who venture into the woods for a nighttime run. The Hellsing organization is tasked with hunting down these perilous creatures. However, Hellsing operates under a somewhat distinct system. As stated by its leader, Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing:

“We are a company that eradicates creatures with other creatures.”

“Hellsing” is in the business of obliterating paranormal entities with its own soldiers. When a situation arises that is too dangerous to be eradicated by conventional means, Alucard steps in. Alucard, Sir Integra’s faithful servant, Hellsing’s formidable weapon, and history’s most powerful vampire is called into action when a formidable adversary emerges. Watching Alucard in action is a treat, for he is a psychopath who relishes playing games with his prey.

This anime possesses specific distinctive attributes that set it apart from many others. First among them is the character design. The story’s characters are reason enough to watch the anime. The entire narrative primarily centers around four characters. There’s Sir Integra, a leader with a unique charisma who never compromises her authority. Then, Walter C. Dornez, also known as the Angel of Death, exudes charm. Alucard, the legendary vampire, is the cornerstone of the anime. Finally, there’s Seras Victoria, who joins the team later on and adds a unique flavor to the story. In fact, the story can be seen as revolving around her in a way.

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Seras Victoria starts out as a simple police officer. However, when a stroke of misfortune leads her to a crime scene where a tremendously powerful creature wreaks havoc, she is severely injured while attempting to perform her duty. The only way to survive is through Alucard. Pitying Seras, Alucard turns her into a vampire by biting her. Thus, Seras becomes somewhat of a servant to Alucard and gradually starts participating in Hellsing’s operations. Her transformation from an innocent girl into a fierce vampire becomes a central conflict explored throughout the anime.

While the story largely centers around Seras, the primary character, of course, is Alucard. Alucard, the ultimate weapon Hellsing designates him as, is the most powerful monster in the universe, an unstoppable madman. Hellsing calls upon Alucard when it faces insurmountable problems, and Alucard relishes these assignments because his life’s purpose is to encounter a worthy opponent who can truly challenge him, akin to Saitama’s deranged counterpart. However, he never quite finds that desired adversary.

Such a shame; I overestimated you. As a vampire, you were just a pathetic piece of shit. And now you’re nothing but dog shit!
– Alucard

Between 2001 and 2002, Alucard, though he did manage to engage in some battles with Incognito, generally falls short of finding what he truly seeks. His perpetual readiness for combat sets Alucard apart and adds to his enigmatic allure. In fact, Alucard never shies away from bullets or weapon strikes; envision him like Rocky, constantly taking a beating. He relishes pain and sees enduring his opponent’s gambit as a form of defense. The moment his adversaries start to believe they’ve won the fight, he unveils his own weapon of choice: the Hellsing ARMS .454 Casull Auto.

The Hellsing ARMS .454 Casull Auto is a formidable weapon, measuring 25 centimeters long and weighing approximately 6 kilograms. The 454 Casull cartridge is an 11.5-millimeter round, one of the largest and most lethal among handgun calibers. Unfortunately, Alucard’s ultra-cool firearm exists only within the confines of the Hellsing universe. From a logical perspective within this fictional world, the weapon possesses such immense power that it has the capacity to pierce through multiple bodies with a single shot. One of the delightful details that enhances the enjoyment of the anime is this heartwarming weapon of his. Drawing it from beneath his cloak is as satisfying and exhilarating as Beric Dondarrion setting his sword ablaze.

While the 2001 series predominantly advances through character development, the 2006 series takes on the form of an apocalyptic tale. What starts with attacks on the Hellsing organization evolves into a storyline involving Nazi Germany and an impending apocalypse as the season progresses. It’s a common theme in animated series or anime that the narrative is bound to turn into an apocalyptic scenario when Germans are involved. This complexity is what makes Hellsing Ultimate’s storyline intriguing. Alucard has more adversaries, action, and opportunities to engage in combat. Returning to the characters, the Ultimate series follows a kind of leveling system. With each episode, stronger characters are introduced, and in the 2006 version of the series, there are significantly more formidable adversaries to contend with.

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Another detail that makes the anime captivating is its creatively savage nature. With its combat styles, methods of killing, and diversity of deaths, “Hellsing Ultimate” is the kind of show that would satisfy someone like me who has witnessed the wild scenes of 80s horror. In anime, battles are always intense and seemingly endless. However, in “Hellsing Ultimate,” the fights have a twisted edge. Deaths are brutal, and as the episodes progress, Alucard provides his opponents with increasingly imaginative demises. To the extent that in later episodes of the Ultimate series, there are even scenes of torture and impalement. Of course, the reason behind this lies in Alucard’s identity: Vlad the Impaler.

The name Alucard is an anagram; when reversed, it becomes Dracula. First introduced in the 1943 Universal Horror film “Son of Dracula,” the name Alucard gradually found its way into many films. As history’s first alpha vampire, Alucard is excessively savage and ruthless, much like he is depicted in the books.

As the anime veers towards an apocalyptic narrative, the visuals transform into a grand massacre spectacle. Its creators, who set aside all human emotions, have extracted a pure monster story by normalizing savagery. The quality of its savage aspect is also hidden in the aesthetics of the anime’s artwork. The design is truly magnificent. Among the many anime I’ve seen, “Hellsing Ultimate” stands out as the most visually striking.

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In essence, “Hellsing Ultimate” is one of the most ferocious anime ever created, recounting the adventures of Alucard, who takes pleasure in killing troublesome creatures of the night. If you have no qualms about its brutality, “Hellsing” is one of the most enjoyable anime to watch. With its gripping storyline, meticulously designed charismatic characters, aesthetic combat sequences, and visual richness, it is a wild anime that horror enthusiasts should definitely not miss.

Cast & Crew

creator: Kohta Hirano

directors: Hiroyuki Tanaka, Tomokazu Tokoro, Hideki Tonokatsu

starring: Katie Gray, Crispin Freeman, Victoria Harwood, Ralph Lister (English Version) Jôji Nakata, Fumiko Orikasa, Yoshiko Sakakibara (Japanese Version)

JAPAN | 2006-2012 | 10 EPISODES |


Ukrainian Creative Director | Motion Picture Writer | Horror Freak

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