Hellsing is a Japanese manga series that was written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano and it premiered in 1997 and ended in September 2008 chronicling the efforts of the mysterious and also secret “Hellsing” Organization as it fights to protect the United Kingdom from supernatural threats like vampires, ghouls and other things that go bump in the night, it is also one manga that got an anime adaption which ran from October 10, 2001 to January 16, 2002.
Now there are two versions of Hellsing, the original 13 episode TV series and Hellsing Ultimate which is closer to the original manga and there are differences between the two so I am going to cover both of them here since it will save my time and more importantly yours so you can spend less time reading and more time watching.
The anime focuses on a anti-heroic and somewhat evil member of Hellsing named Alucard and his sidekick Seras, he is the organization’s best defense and offence against the undead because he is a vampire and well let’s just say if you know your vampires than you will know which vampire he is and no he does not sparkle.
Hellsing is great in many different areas with one my favorite being it’s set in the UK and not many anime shows do that so it was pretty cool to see a anime with my home country as the backdrop for all it’s vampire killing exploits and I really hope alot more shows do this.
Now character wise Alucard is the star of the show, he is quite interesting since he is essentially immortal and all the usual tricks for killing vampires like plunging a stake through their hearts, cutting off their heads and so on doesn’t even make him twitch so if you annoy this guy….it’s better to kill yourself before he does.
He is extremely egotistical sometimes, he loves to fight and he absolutely despises vampires that kill just for the sake of killing often stating that they are nothing more than trash and cockroaches that need to be stamped out of existence so I would describe Alucard as a bad guy, doing good while doing evil and believe me he can be REALLY evil when he wants to be and honestly he is the first anime protagonist I am actually scared of.
Stop Whining! All I did was cut off your stupid legs! Summon your demons! Transform yourself! Regenerate your legs! Stand up! Pick up your gun and attack me! Do something! The night is still so young, and the real fun is yet to start! Hurry, hurry, hurry, HURRY!!! – Alucard
His partner Seras on the other hand is also interesting since there is two versions of the show and the normal Hellsing Seras is surprisingly different from the Hellsing Ultimate Seras in quite a few ways which I will explain now so you won’t be confused if you decide to watch both versions of Hellsing.
The anime focuses on Seras’ point of view and her struggle to come to terms with her new life as a vampire and all that implies like the moral choice to feed and so on which is actually understandable if you were in her shoes as a creature of the night, her darker side however which is in the manga and the Ultimate series is not present in the anime series and believe me she is pretty scary in her own right.
The side characters are also great with my favorite being Integra Hellsing who is a descendant of Van Hellsing but I am not gonna spoil how cool she is for you so you can discover that for yourselves, most of the characters are cool villians included in that but I don’t really know what to say about them because they don’t even last long enough in a fight against Alucard for me to even care about except for Rip Van Wrinkle who is a character in Ultimate.
Another thing that is a highlight of both series is how violent, bloody and gruesome they both are, loads of blood, people being eaten, this is one show that does vampires the right way and to be honest alot of anime shows have better vampires than western stuff but moving on I think it’s time to talk about voice acting, overall quality and the changes I mentioned earlier.
Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate are very good in terms of quality and voice acting with both versions being subbed and dubbed, the show is amazing regardless of you watch it subbed or dubbed, the dubbing in English is done well especially for Alucard and the only thing that mildly irritates me about it is Sera’s voice because she sounds like what foreign people assume all British people sound like but it’s not too bad.
The art and animation quality is also really good and there isn’t really much I can say about it because there are not many significant changes art wise to the characters apart from Seras’ uniform which is blue in Hellsing but yellow in Hellsing Ultimate.
I should probably mention the huge glaring difference between Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate, due to the normal version being in production before the manga was completed the writers had to stray from the manga’s plot so I would suggest watching Hellsing Ultimate first so you are not confused and if you are not sold then let me explain it in two words……vampire Nazis.
Yes you heard right, Alucard has to fight Nazis and before I forget there is a three part miniseries called The Dawn which is set during WW2 so I would suggest watching this also while you are watching Ultimate because events that take place in The Dawn are brought up in Ultimate and for a prequel story it is surprisingly good so it’s worth watching.
As for complaints about Hellsing, I simply don’t have any major complaints besides Seras’ voice in the English dub and that’s it really because it is just a great anime all round, it’s dark, has interesting leads and premise it has a tonne of viewing hours considering Hellsing has 13 episodes at 23 minutes each and Hellsing Ultimate has 30 to 50 minute long episodes so that’s alot of Seras Victoria for the low low price of free.
Long story short this is one anime that you should check out if you are a fan of shows with alot of action, blood, epic gun fights, horror and vampires because you can easily binge watch all 13 Hellsing episodes during one weekend and still have Hellsing Ultimate and the Dawn to quench your thirst for more Alucard and vampire action so with that ends my review, if you liked my review then please like this post, share it around and also comment in the comments section.