As the years pass I find myself continually amazed with every Gonzo production I stumble upon. Either they will pump out pseudo-quality series like Last Exile or downright trash like Vandread, but rarely do they get it at least somewhat right as with Hellsing. Right in this case, though, happens to have nothing to do with a substantive plot, great animation, a solid soundtrack, or good characters; no, it happens to be the fact that they created one hell of a vampire in Alucard. Though Hellsing managed to flawlessly steal 286 minutes of my life away, it somehow did not seem to be a total waste of time; oh, it was a waste of time, just not a total waste of time.
If one thing good came out of watching Hellsing, however, it's that I finally found the proper context in which to use the word discombobulated; I think I knew more about the story prior to watching. While there was a very vague inkling of a plot, it was by no means coherent, as I hadn't a clue as to most of what was going on. I guess since the series is set in England (I got that part, at least!) the writers decided to incorporate random historical references such as the Knights of the Round Table, and this made the story almost comical. Throw in an evil Vatican who is at war with England in secret, some random vampires, and a zombie infiltrated British army for good measure, and I think I make my point.
Of course, right off the bat, it becomes rather clear that none of this matters; everything that happens is little more than an excuse to show off how awesome a vampire Alucard is. Truth be told, as much as I loathed Hellsing in general, this ended up actually keeping my interest for all thirteen episodes. The series carries a very mindless, pointless feel that somehow incorporates Alucard's character quite well, and despite the fact that most of the action scenes border on boring, I found it slightly entertaining.
Gonzo's reputation for putting out high quality animation is certainly not to be doubted, as the animation qualifies as some of the best in the 2000 series bracket. Though there are a number of times the scenery gets hatchet jobbed, character detail remains consistent throughout, so I don't see a point in being too overly critical. Alucard looks his part, and being that he's the sole reason you'd watch crap like this, that's all that matters.
The dialogue in Hellsing far exceeds the norms for atrocious. Not only does the script utterly butcher English honorifics, but it uses them interchangeably with their Japanese counterparts, which makes the voice acting sound horrendously tacky. Music wise the series fared slightly better, but I noticed a number of times where the music seemed enormously out of place. While I fought the urge to turn off my sound, however, Alucard's seiyuu did a fantastic job with his character, and that proved redeeming enough to keep the volume up at slightly audible levels.
As a note, for once in a blue moon I decided to listen to the dubs for a short while - yuck; Alucard's character was not captured at all.
Alucard. Being one of the most badass vampires you will set your eyes upon, as I said before he's really the only reason you would have in watching Hellsing. Every other character served absolutely no intelligent purpose, save for Seras, who mildly captured my interest since she also showed signs of awesomeness when she got pissed. Alucard. That said, don't expect any sort of back story, progression, or development from anyone in the series, Alucard included; not that this matters, since he really has no need to change from episode one to episode thirteen. Alucard. All the characters are basically tools in a shallow action flick, so there's little more to be said. Oh, and did I mention Alucard? Alucard.
If you're tired of hearing the name Alucard by now, this review has served its purpose well. I didn't like Hellsing much at all, especially considering I had moderate expectations going in from the rather high praise given to it by a number of people. Still, if you want an incredibly bland action flick or have a desire to watch the best vampire in anime history kick some ass, I'd say it's worth a shot. Certainly not my cup of tea, but I'm sure others would enjoy it on some level.
First things first, you've come here for Alucard, haven't you? Yes, he is that awesome. No, this anime doesn't do him justice.
Story: So, the anime pretty much boils down to Alucard kicking massive amounts of ass while making some smart-alec remarks. Oh, and there's the side story of Seras adjusting to vampire-hood. Well, her story is actually the main one, but Alucard's level of badass absorbs the plot. Just to make things clear. While I'd love to praise the story for its ingenious portrayal of vampires, it plays off old legends and tropes more than anything else.
Animation: The animation is fitting for the anime. It's dark and gritty, and only gives detail to things when needed. Usually with a shine. They love the glare of glasses in this anime.
Sound: Not entirely sure if the score was jazz, alternative rock, or a bizarre mixture of both. Often, it was louder than the dialogue (which I watched dubbed, so that was pretty annoying).
Characters: Aside from the Hellsing organization and a couple of their adversaries, not many of the characters get so much as a proper introduction before dying. Alucard stole the show by simply existing. I think Integra may be gender-confused, but that may have just been the way she dresses and carries herself. Ceras, is the whiny female protagonist you want to slap every few minutes.
Overall: Despite my criticism, I liked this anime. It has a decent cast, and Alucard is hilarious.
This work is quite special in its own way. If you want something profound or prefer a well-thought-out plot, you should stay away from it. At Hellsing there is only violence and action, that's what this title stands for.
In this regard I recommend the Hellsing Ultimate Ova, this is far superior to this series in every possible aspect.
The anime series by Hellsing, it failed everywhere it could. There were blood and slaughter, all well and good. However, there wasn't the slightest trace of dynamism here. Like playing Doom 2016 with no Sound and no Glory kills.
Instead, the episodes had long, irrelevant conversations, scenes in which Alucard was killed for 3 minutes just to get up like a badass, and a thread of tension that was even deeper than Alucard's prison in the basement.
All of the abominations of the underworld front the final line of defense of humanity, to a fight that is to decide everything.
Animation / pictures
Solid in some areas and below par in some other scenes. In general, many of the episodes were felt with stretched scenes where the animations were simply reused over and over.
There was an enormous lack of dynamism.
Alucard is a defined badass and definitely one of my favorites in this area. In the anime series, however, he struggled to shine.
The rest of the characters have been mostly monotonous and irrelevant. I also liked Alexander Anderson, but here too he was only poorly implemented and depicted.
The intro had an interesting presentation and the musical support was promisingly stylish.
The Osts in the anime have been mostly average.
No lie, this adaptation of Hellsing is by far one of the weakest anime series you can find anywhere. This adaptation could not even feel the slightest conditions. Was about as dynamic as Animal Crossing Lets Play and I'm not kidding. There are few ways I could better put the quality of this series into words.
I recommend the Hellsing Ultimate Ova again, the difference between the two adaptations is far too great.
Hard agree with other reviews saying the OVA series is better - it is. I would just go ahead and skip this series, and watch the OVA series instead. Its a whole other interpretation of the manga, and in my opinion way better.
When I was a teen I was obsessed with this anime - but now I watch it and...yo its really bad. The one redeeming element is of course Alucard. His red outfit? Hilarious. Frilly sleeves on those broad shoulders? Guy is an absolute deviant. But - at least that's true to the manga, and I like the way the frills flutter about when he moves around, so there's that. Not to be that person but, compared to the manga (which I still enjoy) the characters are annoying and the art style is jankey. Someone tell me why they make Integra so cranky and foul? She's a badass, its such a shame. This anime is so full of cringy vamp stereotypes it hurts (did a vampire write this?).
Hey teenage self - this anime is not worth your adoration, do not pine for main, and pls do not go to that costume party dressed as Alucard but in purple (hey, it's all they had at the shop) - you will thank me later.
Best part of the anime is the opening song World Without Logos.
This anime is minimalistic horror, and I mean that as offensively as possible. I get the whole 'the idea is the worst part' and how a big part of this anime is the creeping eerie feeling, but you get used to that pretty quick and then it just feels slow. I spent the whole time wishing for more character development, just wishing for more in general to be honest. Don't get me wrong, I'm a pretty big fan of shows with pure entertainment value, and nothing really to say, but this isn't even all that entertaining.
Yes this anime can get pretty violent, but hey, at least something is happening. In my opinion this should have been a dedicated slasher anime. This series is the ultimate 'scrolling on my phone with anime in the background' type of thing. Missed some of the subtitles? Makes absolutely zero difference. Look up occasionally to see some bloodshed and boobs (10/10 aspect of this anime). Enjoy!
Overall, Hellsing is actually a pretty bad and horribly overrated series. But that's not to say it didn't have any redeeming factors whatsoever.
It started off pretty well, the storyline was somewhat intriguing for the first half. But after a while, as the series began coming to a close, I felt like shouting "What the hell is happening?!" And then there's the absolute WTF abrupt ending that sort of tries to answer some of the questions very briefly, and then just... stops. The series doesn't 'end', it simply 'stops'.
There are only two reasons I can think of to watch Hellsing: the awesome animation and Alucard (even if he did get on my nerves after a while with his constant cackling, but that might be because I watched it dubbed.) Oh, and the line "Makes me feel like a bite to drink." Classic.
The animation was incredible, overall. It was very detailed, sharp and imaginative. I especially loved the blood-red night sky, very effective. And Alucard is a perfect example of what a vampire should be like. *insert witty insult to Edward Cullen here*
Other than Alucard, though, the characters are pretty damn boring. About half through the series I realised I really didn't care at all what happened to them. None of them are all the memorable, seeing as we don't ever find anything out about them! The most annoying thing in terms of characters was what I assumed to be the main antagonist, Incognito. He just randomly appeared in the last few episodes with little explanation, did practically nothing and then got impaled by Alucard.
That's about all I can say about this series, it really gave little else to review on. Really not worth the time watching.
PS I haven't watched Hellsing Ultimate, or read the manga, which I've heard is a vast improvement, so I haven't become totally disinterested in the Hellsing franchise.