Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review: Hellsing (2001-2002, 2006)

Hellsing (2001-2002, 2006) is a dark supernatural vampire thriller Japanese anime that was made into a TV series (13 episodes total, different screenplay) and OAV (which closely follows the original manga storyline).

The storyline is graphic and takes place after the end of the second World War. The anti-heroic vampire king, Alucard, and his former police officer-turned-vampire apprentice, Saras Victoria, both serve a secret and mysterious British vampire-extermination group, the Hellsing Organization. In essence, Alucard and Saras Victoria are vampire hunters who combat ghouls, vampires, and other supernatural creatures that threaten England.

The Hellsing Organization was founded by Abraham van Hellsing. Its mission is to protect the Queen of England and her citizens from the undead and other evil supernatural forces. Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing inherited the leadership role after witnessing the death of her father at a very young age. Her bodyguard is the faithful and formidable Hellsing butler, Walter C. Dornez, and Alucard, an ancient and powerful vampire who was captured and imprisoned by the Hellsing family hundreds of years ago.

When a new breed of vampires terrorizes the streets of England, Alucard must step in to stop this madness before another World War erupts in Europe.

I really enjoyed watching both versions of Hellsing, which have high-quality animation and excellent vocal cast (in English and Japanese). The OAV is much shorter than the TV series but each screenplay has its own twists and humor. Alucard is a funny and scary vampire, and knows how to terrorize his enemies. He finally meets a foe almost equal to him and the battle rages on. There is some Christian element in this series because the Hellsings are Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church sends Iscariot Organization, Section XIII, a gigantic and muscular priest-soldier, to destroy Alucard. Iscariot is more scary and crazy when you think about it. Alucard's voice is also deep, sinister, and sexy. The actor did a tremendous job.

If you like dark, mature vampire series such as Blade and Vampire Hunter D, you will enjoy Hellsing. I highly recommend this vampire series. In fact, it has raised the bar to what a cool, powerful vampire hunter should be.

Warning: This is not a show for kids under 13 years of age. Blood, nudity, and graphic violence are common images. Please watch the trailer below.



Trivia: If you didn't notice, Alucard's name is the backwards spelling of "Dracula."

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