Monday, September 2, 2013

Hellsing Ultimate Review

Hellsing Ultimate Review

Does a mixture of vampires, Nazis and Englishmen make a good anime?

Ever since I got into anime, I’ve occasionally been advised to watch Hellsing Ultimate, but for whatever reason I never really got around to it. I don’t know what, but something about it never really appealed to me, and I didn’t quite know what to think of it. And after actually watching it, I actually don’t know whether or not I enjoyed it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that Hellsing Ultimate is awful, but for some reason I was just unable to become emotionally invested in it. I don’t know what the reason was, but I never found myself eager to continue watching it. In truth, were it not for the fact that I was asked to review this anime, I would probably have stopped watching it for the simple reason that I just couldn’t get into it.

"Excuse me, sir. Do you have a moment to talk about Jesus Christ?"

On the other hand, Hellsing Ultimate does have a number of good things going for it. The plot isn’t overly complex or filled with twists, but it is enjoyable, and the story moves along at a decent pace. Basically, the Hellsing organisation exists to combat supernatural threats, and its main soldier is the vampire Alucard. It soon becomes apparent that a group of surviving Nazis are gaining power, and they declare war on England and on Hellsing. Oh, and there’s blood. Lots of blood.

Deidara's cousin decided to put eyes on her hands instead of mouths.

The characters are done well too, for the most part. Whilst their backstories aren’t particularly deep and they don’t get much development, they usually have enough awesome moments so that these flaws can be overlooked. Probably the two best characters are Alucard and Pip Bernadotte, as they’re so calm and collected that they steal every scene they’re in. Sadly, Pip tends to get pushed to the side, but the episodes in which he takes centre stage are probably the most enjoyable.

Eyes do not belong there!

Conversely, there are a few characters that I flat-out disliked. Seras Victoria, Alucard’s sidekick (fo want of a better word) started off as being annoying and whiny, and it was only after her character development halfway through the series that I began to warm up to her. However, there was no character as unlikable as the Major. Most villains tend to fall into two camps; those who have a decent motivation, and those who don’t. The Major does not have a good motivation at all. He doesn’t even have any charisma or humour to balance out these flaws. He’s a terrible villain in design and execution, regardless of how many long speeches he makes.

Yet another anime character with symbols on his gloves.

Speaking of speeches, let me take this opportunity to talk about the sound in Hellsing Ultimate. The background music is good and catchy, and it sets the mood well. The voice acting, on the other hand, is a completely different story. There are only two characters who are voiced well, and that’s Alucard and Pip. Everyone else has either a bad voice, or a bad accent. For example, I cannot tell if Alexander Anderson is meant to be Scottish or Irish. I live in Scotland, and I can’t tell what Anderson’s accent is meant to be; it’s that bad.

Schrödinger's cat does not work this way in real life.

Another problem is that every so often the tone changes from being dark and serious to quirky and humourous, and this is accompanied by a change in the animation. Whilst I don’t usually have a problem when this happens in other shows (like Fullmetal Alchemist, for example), in this case the change is so jarring and nonsensical that it’s impossible to enjoy  it.

Overall, I don’t know what to think of Hellsing Ultimate. It seemed that for every good thing, there was a bad thing to cancel it out. As well as that, I don’t know how much of this review was influenced by my inability to become emotionally invested in the show. As a result, the score should probably be taken with a pinch of salt.

Good Things:          Mostly awesome characters.

                                Decent plot.

Bad Things:    Awful voice acting.

                                Some characters are hugely dislikeable.

                                Random tone changes.

The Verdict:

But still a better vampire story than Twilight.

Got any ideas for an anime I should review? Post your suggestion in the comments below!
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at The alternative is his Skype account at kyleroulston1993. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. He is eagerly awaiting the return of Bleach.

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