Anime Review: Hellsing Ultimate

Just a heads up before the review, if you haven’t checked out my reviews of either Hellsing (2007) or Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, I’d highly recommend them! Now then.

WARNING: INTENSE BLOOD AND GORE SURROUND THIS SERIES. ALSO SPOILERS.

Hellsing is named after and centered around the Royal Order of Protestant Knights originally led by Abraham Van Helsing. The mission of Hellsing is to search for and destroy the undead and other supernatural forces of evil that threaten the queen and the country. This organization is currently led by Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, who inherited the leadership of Hellsing as a child after the death of her father. She witnessed his death which turned her from a once innocent and shy little girl to a tough and deadly force. She is protected by the faithful Hellsing family butler Walter C. Dornez, a deadly foe in his own right, and Alucard, the original and most powerful vampire that swore loyalty to the Hellsing family after being defeated by Van Helsing one hundred years before the story takes place. These formidable guardians are joined early on in the storyline by former police officer Seras Victoria, whom Alucard turned into a vampire.

As the scale and frequency of incidents involving the undead escalate in England and all around the world, Sir Integra discovers that the remnants of a Nazi group called Millennium still exist and are intent on reviving the Nazi Germany by creating a battalion of vampires. Millennium, Hellsing, and the Vatican section XIII Iscariot clash in an apocalyptic three-sided war in London, and Millennium reveals its true objective: to destroy the vampire lord Alucard, ending a feud begun during World War II. – Wikipedia

As I mentioned in the original anime review, Hellsing Ultimate aimed to be more true to the manga, and took a new approach with their release scheduling. You see when they started producing Ultimate the manga was STILL in production. So the creators got wise and decided to release Ultimate with just a few episodes a year — switching animation studios several times between releases. This might explain why I especially love episodes 5-7 which were animated by one of my favorites Studio Madhouse.

But back to Ultimate. This show, or the manga I should say, took a pretty ballsy approach with their antagonists, A “new” Nazi organization known as The Millennium. Evidently its leader The Major started laying plans during WWII for a final confrontation with Alucard and the Hellsing Organization. With the addition of Alexander Anderson playing a major role in this version, the battle quickly becomes one of the most intense in anime history!

In fact, Alexander Anderson becoming a major side character in this version was one of the greatest choices the creators could’ve made. I’m no Catholic anymore, but if the Iscariot Organization truly existed I think I would’ve liked to join. And while this series does away with some of the other fun side characters from the 2001 version, they introduce several amazing new ones — as well as one I frankly couldn’t stand.

I’ma just leave this here

All “jokes” aside, the introduction of characters like Pip Bernadotte, Rip Van Wrinkle, and Zorin Blitz were all welcome additions who made the story much more interesting.

The art of Hellsing Ultimate also took a major leap forward and was fairly consistent across production studios. Everything was more crisp, clean, and… bloody. The gore factor of Ultimate was unreal. Unfortunately I feel like Seras’s character development took a bit of a backseat throughout most of the story. This does change dramatically towards the end however when she devours Pip’s corpse and becomes a full-fledged vampire. And a bad ass one at that.

The butler Walter on the other hand… *sigh*.

I know I didn’t mention this in the original version, but Walter was one of my favorite characters. Nicknamed, “The Angel of Death”, Walter is a pro vampire slayer using deadly wires to ensnare his victims before they even know it’s coming. He’s amazing and a joy to watch… That is until towards the end of Ultimate. Evidently our friend Walter has been in cahoots with the Nazis since WWII and was part of the plan to kill Alucard. Through some sci-fi Nazi science, his age was reversed causing both bodily harm and a chance to take Alucard on with the best of his abilities. All of this shortly after Alucard revealing his true identity — surprise surprise Dracula! — and draining him of most of his strength. Of course Walter ultimately fails and dies a traitor. And I was disappointed.

You may also notice Alucard is a little girl when he duels Walter. So yeah that happens.

So yeah Ultimate definitely takes a different direction than the 2007 version. And all things considered I’d say it’s my favorite version (not counting Abridged by Team Four Star). But it has its own bumps in the road and isn’t perfect either. Still,

I give Hellsing Ultimate a 4/5

One point docked for what they did to poor Walter and the cat Nazi Schrodinger… ugh

What did you all think of the Hellsing reviews? Now that they’re all out, did you notice anything I missed or could expand upon?

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