Genre: Dark (Horror) / Occult
Parental guidance recommended for violence, gore, and mature situations
2001 Kouta Hirano. SHONEN GAHOSHA Co., LTD / Hellsing K.G. Pioneer LDC. Gonzo
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Hellsing Books & Manga
A secret war is brewing in the night - a war in which humanity is only a pawn. The mysterious Hellsing Organization deploys within the shadows to protect ordinary mortals from the undead legions that would prey upon us.
Now, as the ghouls and vampires increase in number, they threaten the human police forces forcing the deployment of the Hellsing Organization's ultimate weapon - the rogue vampire, Alucard!
After saving Celas Victoria, a special police operative from death by transforming her into a vampire, Alucard must work with her to fight the undead army - as well as her own newfound hungers!
Powerful and gripping. >>> by thundersenshi (07.14.2002)
In Hellsing, we delve back to a macabre world of ghouls and vampires...and what a really gruesome place it is! This anime does not hold back on the blood and gore. At one point, I wanted to reach into the screen and pull out the knife lodged inside one character's throat, because it was just too weird with her still talking like it wasn't there.
As a fan of dark anime, I liked this film. It truly is a powerful and gripping watch. I was enthralled with how two vampires, in a knighthood academy sworn to kill demons and creatures of their own kind, eliminate the ghastly evil who are usually other vampires like themselves. I literally found myself at the edge of my seat in between battles and as conflicts within the academy unfold. The main characters almost always find themselves in the most interesting situations...which is just about as abundant as the ghoulish deaths that happen, too. Just a nitpick, though. Reflections of some characters' psyche were good, but there were several loose ends, too. In fact, the anime itself is open-ended. Ah well, to each her own, I guess. In a different sense, the elements I mentioned aren't so bad as mysterious charms.
All in all, excellently put. The music (this I liked especially...I'm on to finding out who the bands are) and somber coloring sets the mood. The artwork is exceptionally nice, but is not always consistent (I kept noticing Celas Victoria's fat legs and wild blonde hair in some episodes...).
Individual Rating: Art: 8, Story&Plot: 9, Characters: 7; Sounds: 9
Powerful and gripping. >>> by Nib (07.27.2002)
If all you're looking for at the moment is a quick fix of fast-paced action mixed with the trademark macabre violence of vampire-themed animes, then Hellsing's just what you need.
In fact that's probably the only thing that'll keep you interested in Hellsing.
There was so much more room for character development. At first I thought Integral (chief of the Hellsing Agency) would at least bring more substance and bearing to the whole series (much like how Gendo Ikari and Rei bring light to the more complex side of EVA), but as it turns out there was too much focus on her emotions that she gets to be irritating. Celes Victoria is just too green and uninteresting as a novice vampire, and Alucard (yeah I know his name rings a bell)...well aside from providing much of the impressive fighting scenes in the anime, there's really not much character in him anyways, save for a slightly amusing but weird sense of humor.
The sounds weren't bad at all...in fact they compliment Hellsing's scenes and themes quite well -- and they sound pretty original too -- well except the ending theme from Mr.Big.
All in all this is yet another title which was pretty promising at first considering its theme and basic premises. I used to think that vampire stories are certified hits; however, after seeing Hellsing I realized it's probably just the trademark gore that keeps fans faithful to the genre, and this is Hellsing's only appeal. Somehow the creators might've focused more on making it a visual treat rather than making an impressive and gripping storyline.
I just wonder if the manga's any different...
Individual Rating: Art: 8, Story&Plot: 6, Characters: 6; Sounds: 8
Dark, morbid, bloody, fun, and near perfectly executed. >>> by Kyubi Kitsune (02.27.2003)
Despite a couple shortcomings Hellsing is one of the most enjoyable action anime to come out since Cowboy Bebop through the use of creative animation, intense action scenes, slick gunplay, memorable characters, and an awesome soundtrack,
Hellsing is about a pair of vampires, the very powerful Alucard and newbie vampire Seras, who are employed by the Hellsing Organization, a Protestant paramilitary vampire hunting organization sanctioned by the British government. The recent times rash of incidents involving artificial vampires known as "freaks" has been keeping Hellsing busy. It is up to Alucard and Seras find and stop, in varying degrees, the entity causing the problem.
Hellsing has multiple ongoing storylines, and much to Gonzo's credit they are not as ill-executed as Real Bout High School's were, but the problem of resolution still exists. The shows central storyline is well executed up to the end, but one glaring problem exists, it does not get resolved and seemingly leaves room for a sequel that will probably not get made. A subplot involving a turf war with the Catholic run Iscariot Division 13 is unfortunately underutilized, but is enjoyable when it is used. The subplot that really succeeds is the character study of Seras dealing with her recent transformation into a vampire (like her dislike for drinking blood or the inner struggle between her human and vampire inclinations) as it takes a welcome divergence from the seemingly standard angst ridden whining about immortality found in such vampire anime as Nightwalker.
Another strong point about Hellsing is its creative use of vampire mythology to create a somewhat original and interesting interpretation of vampirism.
Characters are a strong force behind making Hellsing into an enjoyable show. Simply put most of its characters are badasses, and well written ones too. There is Alucard, a noble yet brutal vampire whose resiliency to bullets would put Daffy Duck to shame. He also has a habit of nonchalantly and mercilessly taunting his opponents, mostly due to him looking for a worthy rival, before dispatching them with either the two gigantic handguns he carries, or his almost omnipotent vampire abilities. His boss is Integra Hellsing, is a cool headed yet fiery tempered cigar smoking lady who's unafraid about confronting him or anyone else. Integra's butler is Walter, an old former operative who still wields monofilaments, which can cut through just about anything, with lethal precision. How many other butlers in anime can do that? There is also Alexander Anderson, the over the top Catholic priest and Iscariot agent fixated on killing Alucard. He just has to be seen to be appreciated.
Animation is mixed bag, but an interesting one at that. In general the animation is top notch for a television show, but inconsistencies are abound in it that range from stiff character movements to previously mentioned inconsistencies in character animation. However the animators are generally successful in utilizing animation shortcuts into a visually appealing animation style.
Music is well used in Hellsing. Ranging from Brit rock to Spanish guitar work, the music is well done and placed into the show capturing the ambience of the scenes. Unfortunately some songs get reused quite often.
Voice acting is well done on both sides, but in this case the dub eventually proves itself to be better. Generally the term "localization" makes most fans cringe as it most often implies bad jokes and dialogue inserted into a title to make it appeal to a mass audience. This is not the case in Hellsing. Since the show takes place in Britain most of the characters get rather well done English accents, not to mention Pioneer also hired some British actors to fill things in. Also the dialogue in the dub gets changed around a little to give things more of a British feel. The Irish/Scottish accent that Alexander Anderson gets in the dub is so perfect for his character, and as well, regardless of his past performances, Crispin Freeman by the midway point of the series is almost perfect as Alucard.
Dark, morbid, bloody, fun, and near perfectly executed, Hellsing, despite some shortcomings, is an excellent horror/action series well worth viewing.
Individual Rating: Art: 8, Story&Plot: 8: Characters: 9; Sounds: 10