If you liked the original anime adaptation of Hellsing, then you’ll probably like its successor, an OVA series called Hellsing Ultimate. It more closely follows the storyline found in the original manga series, as the Hellsing Organization goes to war against Millennium and its plot to wipe out London with its own breed of vampire soldiers.
The Story: Second Verse, Same As The First (Only Bloodier)
The plot begins in the same place as the first anime, with Alucard rescuing Seras Victoria, turning her into a vampire, and leading her on her first assignments against rogue vampires. However, the plot diverges from the original by focusing on a new enemy, the Millennium Organization. Originally a Nazi project founded in World War Two, Millennium survived in hiding in Brazil for decades, creating a thousand vampire soldiers called the Letze Battalion. Their resurgence brings a new war to London, sparking a three-way war between Hellsing, Millennium, and the Iscariots.
The Cast: Much More Detail, Much More Turns And Twists
Every major character from the original series is about the same in the OVA, only given a little more backstory and depth. Seras struggles with becoming a true vampire over the course of the series, especially when the powers she would gain by that transformation would help her defeat the enemy. Sir Integra Hellsing is no less indomitable than before–and now she smiles, which is just terrifying. Alucard and Alexander Anderson are about the same as ever, still bloodthirsty monsters beneath a semi-respectable veneer.
Of all the new characters, the ones who stand out to me are Pip Bernadette and the Major. Pip is in charge of a mercenary group called the Wild Geese, who are hired to help bolster the Hellsing Organization’s ranks just in time for their fight with Millennium. Pip is a hilarious but no less badass Frenchman who proves to have a thing for Seras, much to her embarrassment. And then there’s the Major, the sadistic, psychotic, and grandiose head of Millennium.
I think this monologue describes him better than any of my words ever could:
The Style: Now 20% More Explosions, Shiny Glasses, And Scary Shadows
The animation in this series is just superior, plain and simple. Every bit of spilled blood and gore, every anguished expression, every explosion and gunshot is given the utmost detail and treatment… except for those occasional detours when we need a break from all the tension and suddenly we’re watching Seras and Pip interact in chibi form. But beyond that (and Intregra’s smile that still creeps me the hell out), I love the new look.
Final Verdict: Ich Liebe Dich, Hellsing Äußerste!
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, only eight out of the planned ten OVA episodes have been produced and released, and not all of them are available with English dubbing. That said, Hellsing Ultimate is still a fantastic series and a great renovation of what was achieved and promised in the original anime. Its new villains more than make up for my issue with the original villain in the first anime and Alucard’s transformations and presence get stronger and better with each instance of screen time he gets.
Mark my words: when watching this series, you will remember why both Nazis and vampires were once so highly dreaded throughout Europe.
And because I’m in the US, I’m wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Have a nice turkey leg and some stuffing for me!
Bibliography: Hellsing Ultimate (anime). Satelight, Geneon Entertainment. Funimation Entertainment. February 10, 2006 – present.