Home > Ported Reviews > “Hellsing Ultimate Vol. 1” DVD Review

“Hellsing Ultimate Vol. 1” DVD Review

Hey, Frayed Wire readers! This is a review Josh made on his old site, but is now being moved here!

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Last year I became acquainted with the anime phenomenon known as Hellsing through borrowing the first 2 volumes of the manga from a friend of mine. I enjoyed its intense and fun action scenes but thought the story was a bit weak. It tells of Catholics killing Prodestants and vice versa. I think that these so-called “Christians” really need to read the Bible a bit more closely. God does not encourage killing! Even if you think it’s for the religion’s good! I mean, they’re still Christains, right? Why are you killing your fellow religious brothers?

Okay, that’s not what the story is all about. Hellsing Ultimate is based off of the manga, whereas the original Hellsing anime followed a story of its own. In the Ultimate version (although I’m sure this is in the other version), there is a group of monster-hunters called Hellsing. Their main fighter is a (good guy) vampire named Alucard (Dracula spelled backwards). On one ghoul-fighting mission, Alucard is forced to shoot through a police woman named Seras Victoria (although they call her “Police Girl”) to kill the evil vampire controlling the ghouls. As the Police Girl is dying, Alucard offers her a chance to live – but as a vampire herself.

Needless to say, she accepts, and joins Alucard and the other Hellsing members in their never-ending search for more ghouls/zombies/vampires/etc. to kill. The Catholics vs. Prodestants comes in when Hellsing breaches a treaty by stepping in the territory of another monster-hunting organization – Iscariot. Apparently both groups fight for different branches of the Christian church, but if you ask me, both groups are pretty godless. They seem to use religion as an excuse for their bloodthirsty obsession of killing. That’s the problem I had with Hellsing’s story – it doesn’t really fit together, and it really messes up the image of a Christian. Watching this as a true Christian, I shook my head in disgust a number of times at the awful portrayal of Christians this anime gives.

Story aside, the DVD itself is a bit odd, also. Most anime DVDs feature 3-5 episodes or so, but Hellsing Ultimate Vol.1 is one 50 minute long episode. There are no breaks at all. The DVD goes through the entire first volume of the manga in one sitting. I guess this isn’t too uncommon. Maybe I’m just not used to OVAs…

Do I like this approach? Well, it’s okay, but episodes would make it easier to refer to things when talking about the DVD. Also, if the DVD had episodes, I think the creators would have felt pressured into adding more content into the DVD, since having only 2 or 3 episodes (about how much this DVD would have) is kind of embarrassing. But with this one-episode style, every DVD in the series will feel like a short movie.

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The action consists mostly of shooting ghouls and zombies. Since Alucard and the Police Girl are vampires, they have impressive powers that are used to violently wipe out hordes of monsters. Some of these ways are particularly grotesque – stepping on a head and pushing it down until it explodes, shooting dozens of knives into one’s back, cutting heads off, etc. Now I enjoy action sequences, and I can handle violence, but the scenes in Hellsing Ultimate Vol.1 are really just about the violence. The action part isn’t quite there. The only exception to this is when Alucard fights Father Anderson, a very powerful member of Iscariot. That was probably my favorite part of the DVD, since it was one of the only true action scenes.

Now I know I said that I liked the Hellsing manga, and this anime stays very close to the manga (right down to the way the characters are drawn). So why did I like the manga more than the anime, when they’re practically the same? I don’t know… the manga maybe was better since every action scene felt more like a real action scene – not just a monster killing spree like they seem in the anime. The manga pictures showed other characters and things besides blood coming out the heads of ghouls/zombies.

And so for a weak story, somewhat shallow action scenes with an unnecessary amount of violence, as well as the shortness of it all, I give Hellsing Ultimate Vol. 1 a

Final Score: 5.5 out of 10

It has cool characters and manages to keep your attention, but the shortcomings I mentioned dragged the score down to what it is. Watch it only if you are a fan of the previous Hellsing anime and/or a fan of the manga.

By Josh60502

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  1. March 11, 2008 at 4:17 am

    Even though the story was weak….for some strange reason I enjoyed Hellsing!

    Great series in my opinion. But perhaps I am just interested in it a lot. 😛

    Great blog and thanks for the overview.

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  2. April 8, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Hellsing is the greatest anime ever I hope they keep on making the ova’s and maybe do a live action hellsing movie how cool would that be?

  3. Kit
    December 24, 2008 at 1:21 am

    Um, are you even aware of Christian history? The long and drawn out conflict between Catholics and Protestants isn’t some “un-Christian” story line made up for Hellsing, it’s real, both historically (look at the Reformation) and in modern times (Ireland?). Keep in mind that this is written by people from a non-Christian country who have made it very clear they have no interest in portraying things as anything but entertainment–if you’re looking for a “real” portrayal of Christianity, you aren’t going to find it in anything Japanese. And if you think that Christianity has meant, or will ever mean, what you appear to think it means, as a “true Christian” you should look into the history of your own religion and see what its leaders were really going after–power, land, and money, not whatever confused morals you find in the Bible.

  4. December 24, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I know Catholics and Protestants have not always gotten along, but I don’t think they were ever brutally massacring each other every chance they got, as they seem to do in this anime. And unfortunately, there are always corrupt leaders in every religion. But just because they were leaders does not make their actions the definition of “true Christianity”. “True Christianity” in terms of following every single rule in the Bible all the time is impossible to live unless you’re Jesus, but accepting Him as your Savior and living by the Bible’s standards the best you can is what’s important.

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