Alright, before someone yells at me, I have to say that at the time that I am doing this review, I have not seen Hellsing Ultimate. Well, I have seen only part of Hellsing Ultimate anyway. I have not finished that series off but in my belief up to now, I actually think this one is better in some ways then the little bit I have seen of the OVA. Put your pitchforks down please, let me at least have a chance to explain myself.
I believe that this one has a better story. Sure the other may follow the manga (of at this point I have only read one volume of it) and might have a lot of interesting info about the characters, but this one has a story that can hold its own. This one follows the character of Seras Victoria a bit more then any of the other characters and helps us learn about the world we have just been thrust into. When I first did my review on this show, I mistakenly called her just a basic person put in there for our sake but I have a little bit of a different opinion now. Her character is actually very well put together, showing the struggle between what she was and what she becomes. It is no secret that in the first episode, Seras becomes a vampire. She was just a young police girl who was sent in to take care of a vampire priest. She was given no info about the vampire and was even just a newbie in terms of being a police woman. Suddenly, she is kidnapped by a vampire, shot by another vampire, and then bitten and turned into a vampire herself with a blink of the eye. We see the struggle she faces with this fact, and the realization she has about her situation. She brings us into the story to learn of the Hellsing organization as well as the vampire rules in the world they live in. Without her, you would of just as easily thought that vampires would shimmer in the sun like Twilight maybe (Although there is one point where I wonder about the sun part).
There are two characters that you cannot talk about really without talking about them together. The interaction between Integra Hellsing and Alucard was one of my favorite parts about this show. There is not much info on both of their pasts, and yet we get more about Integra then Alucard. Integra had a hard time growing up which I think made her rather strong but also untrusting too many of those around her. I think there was only two that she seems to trust, and this doesn’t even include Alucard. I don’t think she trusts him at all to be exact, probably why she seems to tighten the leash with him so much. In return, I think Alucard has fun teasing her. He almost seems like he tries to tempt her with becoming a vampire herself. Weather it’s because of what her Grandfather did to lock him away, or because he actually has a thing for her, I don’t know. Watching a second time, you can sort of see a small bit of sadness in Alucard, but it is very light.
Although I try hard not to spoil ending and such, I do think I have to bring this up. I will try to stay away from spoiling it though. I do believe that the ending, while not like the books (From what I am told); it has a rather good ending. It wraps things up for the way the anime was going, while leaving enough mystery for you to want to know more. This sets up you reading the manga or watching the OVA which was a wise choice in my book.
The animation… well this is studio Gonzo so lets just say its half par. We can get some amazing still shots, very high detailed and beautiful but when it comes to the movement, it sometimes doesn’t pan out. The backgrounds become nothing more then speed lines and movement isn’t always as fluid as it should. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because Gonzo makes the still shots so amazing that they can’t draw line for line of the action. Most of Alucard’s outfit for example looks black because they hide it in shadows, only showing the highlighted portion as red. Much of this show is in shadows so they use a very large amount of black in every scene. I do believe they took the manga style and made it a moving work of animation amazingly well.
The English Dub is rather amazing. I know people get on my case for always reviewing the dub but this version of the voice acting is done really good. Crispin Freeman does a really amazing job in capturing Alucard’s rather cool and yet majestic voice. He has one of those voices that could make a girl swoon and just makes him that much more mysterious in a way. The other voices are alright, Integra’s voice has the overpowering strength that was really needed. She is played by Victoria Harwood who isn’t all that well known. Her voice acting resume has only a small handful of voices from what I saw on Wiki so she isn’t that well known but I really think she should be seen more as her voice was just perfect for this character. Some of the background characters do tend to have rather heavy handed accents that make it hard to listen to, but also some of the cussing was rather hard to understand as well. I can understand some of the characters they fight are punks, but does that mean they have to cus every other word? As for the music, the sweet jazz was just perfect to fit the mood, giving an interesting energy to the show. One of my favorite Opening songs is ‘Logos Naki World’ by Yosushi Ishii and one of my favorite Endings ‘Shine’ by Mr. Big are the opening and ending to this series.
This show was rather nice and for now, I do have to say that this is so far better then the OVA. If this feeling is the same after I finish Hellsing Ultimate, that will be then but the story here seems a bit fuller right now.