Taking place in England, an organization named Hellsing which is commanded by Sir Integra Wingates Hellsing, is responsible for protecting the country from supernatural creatures. These creatures happen to be vampires and ghouls. The Hellsing Organization's best weapon is a vampire named Alucard. He battles using supernatural abilities, high powered guns with blessed ammo, and he appears to be immortal. This vampire shows the undead absolutely no mercy. When dishing out justice for his master Integra.-summary
There have been numerous stories featuring vampires hunting vampires. I believe Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust told a very good and better story, but Hellsing is unique in its on way, and I don't think anything else does it quite like it. Hellsing completely abandons the traditional vampire of folklore. Alucard seems truly demonic, and at times, far beyond a vampire due to his amazing abilities. He's the main reason to see this series, because he's definitely among the most unusual of anti-heroes.
Although, not a great series in my view, it's very far from a bad one. The series is very stylish with a main character that defines cool. Despite what bit of flaws that are present in Hellsing, watching Alucard kill in battle kind of makes up for its shortcomings. That is considering if you're an action starved person only. Myself on the other hand, I'm more story and plot driven, so a majority of the time I demand a whole lot from whatever it is I'm watching.
I found the story a lot more interesting during the first few episodes. One of the main characters introduced, by the name of Seras Victoria is turned into a vampire by Alucard. She has a very hard time dealing with this drastic change in her life. She sometimes refuses to drink blood. When her cravings would appear, I found the segments to be very funny, at the same time sad. Her cravings actually reminds me of a person on a very strict diet; who happens to come across a bakery, and eventually falls victim to their desire, thus, beginning on a pastry rampage.
Unfortunately, the series began to fall storywise for me. The half naked plot only began to stroll along, and resorted to introducing one blood bath after the next. The action scenes are good, but they are not very brutal. You get a very good amount of body dismantlement and blood, but for a series about vampires and ghouls tearing people to shreds. I would've prefered seeing Ninja Scrollor Angel Cop type of graphic death.
One thing that did bother me about the fight scenes. At least one time I can recall, there was a lengthy battle which took place and simply ended. It didn't resolve anything or push the plot at all. For a 13 episode series that has a thin as needles plot. I found this to be somewhat aggravating.
Hellsingprepares a very big dinner, and leaves quite a bit of left overs. There are numerous things taking place only to be lazily covered. Characters come and go with very little to no background given about them. I don't need my info to be spoon fed. I just need an explanation for events taking place, or I'm going to slice it up as poor direction.
This is a subject I have to hit on, but it doesn't play into my rating at all. I notice several fans of the series claim horror fans will love Hellsing. Well not this horror fan. I don't find the series atmospheric from an actual horror point of view. It does have a dark setting, with characters that are equally dark. But, the soundtrack which is excellent by the way, would have sounded better for something other than this. If a horror feel is what this anime was aiming for, which I don't believe was the goal at all. Then jazz ruined the atmosphere completely. Some genres really should stay as far away from each other as possible, and these two genres grouped together with vampires is a good example.
When thinking of a horror atmosphere, for me, it must produce a sinister feel. It needs a setting that can stimulate fear. Characters that are equally dark, and a soundtrack to create a sense of terror. Not a single one of these elements are any less important. Anime series that do have a more competent horror like atmosphere, and fit that description are Requiem from the Darkness, Devil Lady, and Doomed Megalopolis. Hellsing should be looked at as an all out action series. From the way I look at horror. I just don't believe a horror fan should buy into that.
The animation is pretty good, and well detailed during the battles. There were actually very little reused cels, and I can't recall any during the battles. It also looks the best when Alucard uses his supernatural abilities to unlock his true potential. The character designs are pretty cool at times, with Alucard as well as his enemies Incognito, and Paladin looking the absolute best. I also liked the attention to detail. You can see the writing on Alucard's weapons and gloves. This is also another occasion I have to heavily lean in favor of the English voice actors. They do a great job, and I think everyones personality is better acted.
Hellsing is a very solid action series. I think it's best to approach this series with a turned off brain, and completely forget the plot. The characters are cool enough to hold ones attention. There is quite a bit of foul language, and a couple of sexual situations.
I also recommend seeing this version way before the remake Hellsing: Ultimate. The remake is far better visually, and far more action packed, with very, very detailed graphic violence. I recommend this one first, because I know too many people who saw the remake first, and ended up hating the original. Only because the action and visuals weren't of the same caliber, which I find to be unfair. Hellsing is 13 episodes with a 320 minute runtime.
Pros: -Lots of action, very charismatic anti-hero, good music
Cons: - Plot is on crutches, so many characters... so little background
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Inspired by Bram Stoker's Dracula, Hellsing finds Integra Hellsing, descendant of the famous vampire hunter, now running an entire agency based on the mission of her family line called Hellsing. Hellsing specifically protects Great Britain and the Anglican Church from vampires and other evil, undead problem causers. Working for the agency is Alucard, a renegade vampire who fights against his own kind. He is the most powerful warrior on Hellsing's side but is no noble hero, and fights for his own reasons. Hellsing has been praised for its soundtrack, which incorporates elements of punk and jazz. Much of the subtext in the series is devoted to whether or not Alucard is actually the ancient Count Dracula, and fans have spent much time debating over the validity of this theory and the hints dropped throughout the course of the series to support it. ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide