Hellsing Ultimate, known simply as Hellsing in Japan, is an original video animation (OVA) series formerly animated by animation studio Satelight and later Madhouse, now being animated by Graphinica (as of OVA VIII) and produced by Geneon. The first … see full wiki
Sir Integra Wingates Hellsing inherited the Hellsing Organization after her father passed away. She's soon targeted for execution due to her uncle's disagreement with the decision. She retreats to the basement of the estate and releases the vampire Alucard, who immediately swears his allegiance to her. Now, Integra leads the organization, in the war protecting England against vampires and ghouls. They must also defend themselves against rival exorcist.
The Hellsing Organization has an idea on who they're up against, but there are still questions lingering. The Queen of England holds a round table conference, which features several figure heads representing their organizations. Most notably in attendance are Integra of Hellsing, along with her hated enemy the Iscariot commander. They eventually learn the full identity of the enemy.
Their enemy happens to be a man who calls himself the Major, and his plan is to wage a full scale war with Britain. His army is made up of 1000 vampires, and they are revealed to be the Nazi's Last Battalion. The Major's first declaration of war is to hijack a carrier out at sea. The commander of the operation is an individual who is capable of single handedly defending the ship against all attacks.-summary
Well this is an interesting turn. Hellsing: Ultimate volume four is almost a different animal when compared to its predecessors. This volume is more plot and character driven, which means the action is heavily toned down. This approach could prove disastrous for the action oriented viewer, who has grown accustomed to the over abundance of malicious violence. Now don't take this the wrong way. This volume is still brutal with some disturbing death scenes, but when compared to the earlier volumes, it's almost nothing when concerning quantity. This time around, some of the death scenes are more towards shock value. Not only in the very graphic detail of the deaths. Instead, by the unexpected way the sheer cruelty of it all is carried out.
Hellsing: Ultimate volume four gives you another character with an interesting ability. This individual who goes by the name of Rip Van Winkle, is one of the Major's lieutenants, and is capable of taking out scores of enemies with an interesting ability. The action scenes involving this character are very stylish with vivid animation. They consist of bullets moving at super sonic speed and leaving behind a blue tracer shadow. These scenes are incredibly stylish since the battles take place at night, and the skies are blanketed with beautiful blue streaks and bright explosions.
Alucard also displays more of his demonic abilities in battle. The animation and artwork(especially) only continues to impress due to the imagination. Alucard is truly the best reason to see this series all the way until the end. The soundtrack still continues to impress along with the stellar voice acting. The English voice crew has earned their pay, and should be commended for their work. The voice actors do a very good job using German, and English accents without sounding forced. There are several very good character interactions during this volume.
Alucard is a very cool character, and I never get tired of saying that but despite the coolness of the character. I believe the Major is the true show stealer of this volume. The Major is a true to the core war monger, and he's the character the series is using to work its nihilistic theme. His speech does indeed give a detailed view of the horrors of war and how ugly it can be. However, the idea that he revels in the chaos, such as glorifying the murder as well as rape of both women and children paints a very disturbing, and ugly picture of the world this man is trying to create.
Some fans look down on this volume only because it's lacking the over the top action, which is found in the earlier volumes. My reasons for not thinking too highly of it consist of that as well to a certain degree, but I have other gripes. I feel the formula taking place with the battles has grown too repetitive. We already know by now that Alucard may be indestructible. Do we really need to see him take over a thousand bullets before every battle? I admit that the scenes are very cool to watch. But the trend has grown a little tiring for me. In addition, I also have an issue with the final battle concerning Rip Van Winkle. When compared to the battles with major villains in the previous two volumes, this one just wasn't very engaging.
I have made it very clear in earlier reviews how I loathe the comedy in this series. Simply because the seriousness of the show loses its effectiveness. As if, the ridiculous comedic segments weren't enough. The writers felt the need to add a chibi male vampire. That is clearly of the same sketch as Seres Victoria. But this isn't the only shocker at all. This character also comes with the addition of CAT EARS. This show is not aimed for children. There is no place here for any type of Neko Mimi, especially on a guy. This character does not belong in any incarnation of Hellsingfor no damn reason. I can care less if he turns into a killing machine later on, that tears Alucards arms off and eats them. He belongs in a series like Moon Phase. Sometimes one can only sit back and wonder just what the hell are the creators drinking.
Despite my complaints of the series. Hellsing: Ultimate does deliver with very stylish action. Those who are heavily action oriented should definitely give it a try. Volume four is one episode with a 56 minute run time.
Now for the very disappointing closing. Unfortunately, up to this point, distrubution of the series was actually stopped. This was due to the company Geneon going belly up back in 2007. Currently, Funimation owns the rights and began re-releasing the series awhile back. However, they only released up to this volume, but they claim to have 5-7 in their possession, and the 8th volume was currently released in Japan, with a 2012 release date on the rest of the series. Honestly, I think there's still reason for concern due to Funimation's bag of tricks.
This is for those who do not own any portion of this series. I advise to wait it out, and see what Funimation is going to do in regards with the whole series. Don't buy any of the single volumes, unless you have total faith in Funimation. Awhile back they screwed the fans with the Dragonball Z: Vegeta Saga. At the last minute, Funimation decided to discontinue the single DVD's, almost until around the last volume of the arc. They later released the entire series in a box set. In the process, DBZ fans were stuck with the single releases, and were forced to buy the same volumes twice. Consider this before taking the dive. Personally, I don't trust them at all, and I'm not buying anything until I see the complete series released.
Pros: -A lot more plot development, still awesome visuals
Cons: -Action takes a backseat, comedy still out of place, losing some appeal
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