In England, a top-secret agency under the name of Hellsing defends its country and the queen against supernatural beings, notably vampires. Sir Integral Wingates Hellsing, who inherited control over this organization from her father, now faces a surprisingly large amount of vampires on killing sprees. Her secret weapon: Alucard, who, ironically enough, is a gun-wielding vampire of enormous power. Bringing him into play to eradicate the undead in God’s name may raise much controversy but certainly gets the job done.
summary by Kjeldoran
Highs: Perfect atmosphere; amazing music; skillfully designed characters; great action
Lows: Plot elements do not connect slickly enough; lack of information on most characters
Well, bite my neck and call me Alucard. Sure, the “vampire-killing vampire” premise has been done to death but never quite like this. This vampire not only seeks victory but also wants to have fun and look good in the process. Nakata Jouji, Vision of Escaflowne‘s Folken Lacour de Fanel, lends his obscure voice to the embodiment of aplomb in an adaptation of Hirano Kouta’s recent but popular manga.
Hellsing‘s tone, sufficiently gloomy as to send a few chills down your spine, isn’t exactly your typical, old-fashioned Dracula-esque ambiance. Clean visuals, stylish designs and a score that puts the “original” back in original soundtrack are to thank for that. With a cool, jazzy intro, an assortment of great background themes and a smooth ending song, this anime’s music is just one pleasant surprise after the next. Characters also grab attention because of their style and the obvious effort put into their conception. Too bad the same cannot be said about the plot.
It’s not that Hellsing‘s storyline isn’t complex enough; it takes us back and forth into conflicts of interest pertaining to religious beliefs and human behavior. The problem is how everything is put together. Most incidents conclude in dead-ends and succeed themselves without us knowing how they actually relate to each other. The same goes for the characters: the Vatican, Anderson, Incognito, Bubbancy, Harry, Helena, even Alucard, would have benefited greatly from additional information pertaining to their motivations or relation. Thirteen episodes should have been enough to bring answers to all these questions yet too much meandering around leaves us with a story full of untapped potential.
All this aside, if you are looking for great action, this series might be exactly what you had hoped for. A fighting and horror package adorned with traces of intricacy, some of the coolest characters around and one heck of a soundtrack to back them up; this is bliss in many people’s book. Amen.
Highs: Oozes with style; toe-tappin’ tunes
Lows: Fragmented story; slow moments
Anyone can make a story about vampires. Hell, so many people already have. Even the story of a vampire who hunts other vampires has been visited many a time. And yet, I still found much of Hellsing very original, making this anime a worthy addition to any vampire aficionado’s collection.
You like your vampire tales with plenty of goth style set to a fitting jazz and rock soundtrack? Look no further. Hellsing meshes together a dark color scheme and equally dark characters to as close to perfection as one can reasonably expect. The clothing, reminiscent of 19th century British attire, helps to set the location, not to mention looking tres chique. The action scenes, particularly in the last two episodes, are unique and highly stylized.
Aside from the atmosphere that the eye and ear candy help create, there are holes in the story large enough to drive a truck through. That’s because certain characters, organizations and places are referred to half-heartedly or introduced only briefly. And just when you think the story has slowed down in parts to allow explanations, details are still tiptoed around. Not a good utilization of screen time, I assure you.
Don’t misunderstand that statement; Hellsing is fairly easy to follow, mostly because the dialogue and events don’t tax the viewer’s brain that much. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective. For any other mediocre anime, I wouldn’t have cared much either way, but Hellsing is too cool to have not been deeper than it is.
Highs: Awesome music; cool character designs; stylish art; well-executed action scenes
Lows: Limited character development; plot holes; unanswered questions
With a plethora of vampire anime to choose from, Hellsing stands head and shoulders above the rest. It delivers slick action with unparalleled style. From the captivatingly jazzy opening song to its well dressed protagonists, this anime simply embodies coolness.
Hellsing perfectly blends morose humor with a wonderfully gloomy atmosphere and stylishly dark characters. In fact, stylishness seems to be the name of the game. The characters hunt vampires with panache, wearing snazzy suits and toting sleek-barreled guns and heavy artillery. Alucard, the main character, takes deliciously unconventional delight in hunting down and destroying vampires, and the mood is amplified by the fantastic soundtrack.
Focused mainly on getting from one well-choreographed action scene to the next, the plot barely holds together. Antagonists crop up and disappear with little or no background information, and even the main characters suffer from limited development. Though the story hints toward a larger conspiracy, Hellsing only scratches the surface and never offers any real answers to the questions it asks.
Though this anime smacks of unfulfilled potential, Hellsing is still a must-see for fans of action and dark comedy. With its highly memorable soundtrack and undeniably cool characters, this anime simply oozes swank originality.