Friday, 9 August 2013

HELLSING THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL SERIES

  
Hellsing - The Complete Original Series
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 18
Running Time: 80 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 5.1
Release Date: 12/8/2013
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

Cheddar Village has a new saviour. After a former priest got turned into a ravening vampire, sightings of the bloodthirsty undead have been on the rise, and it is up to the Hellsing Organization to send their best men, yet Sir Integra Hellsing only needs one, Alucard. Alucard meets Seras Victoria, a police officer assigned to cope with the vampire invasion, and who gets cornered by her own men when they turn in front of her eyes. 

Thanks to Alucard coming to the rescue, she becomes part of the Hellsing Organization, but as she has been killed by an enemy, then bitten by Alucard, she tries to hang onto her human side, not wanting to become the very monster she hates. Vampires aren't all Integra and Alucard have to put up with. The Vatican keep interfering with their methods as do the Iscariot Organization.

Based on the comic by Kouta Hirano in Monthly Young King Ours (Shonen Ganosha Co., Ltd) Ceras has to come to terms with being made a vampire by Alucard, even thoygh he had no other choice if she wanted to live. As Sir Integra thought he had made her his plaything, he insists that she wanted to be a part of the Hellsing Organization and a free agent. In the second episode she has to adjust to live as a vampire as for her this means no sleeping at night, no touching silver objects and no drinking members of the organization when there's frozen blood bags around. With the crime spree of two young vampires causing more trouble than the organization want, Seras is on hand to use her expertise with rifles to put an end to their crimes - or is she?

Though Hellsing is a violent anime, it's also tongue in cheek and full of fun scenes. When you get to the main menu screen, Alucard's face looms at you, and what sounds like the theme music from The Omen, then when you play the first episode, a punchy tune called, "Cool The World Without Logos," performed by Yasashi Uhii, while the ending theme "Shine," performed by Mr. Big and written by Richie Kotzen/Richie Zeto could very well remind us of Bon Jovi. The music is an indication of the versatility of the story's look and animation. The intro intrigues as well as shocks when it shows a man's head being mashed into the floor, and a six eyed dog wandering the streets armed with a crucifix in its mouth. Each episode (there's three episodes per disc) is labelled as an order to destroy something evil in a particular area, and as the episodes progress you get introduced to several characters who keep cropping up later to cause trouble; Alexander Anderson and Enrico Maxwell from the Iscariot organisation. These, other than the vampires are the main antagonists of the series who annoy Integra and Alucard as they seek to expose what they are trying to hide from the public. Whether it's done on purpose or not, there are several references to other long-toothed vamp sries Trinity Blood for example, and as it is rated as a fifteen, Hellsing is that much darker and has the opportunity to be rebellious.

 What is more surprising is that Kouta has created a series where Alucard (Dracula spelt backwards) is the protagonist instead who helps Integra with her work in destroying vampires. he still has the usual vampiric abilities; he can make others vampires, reanimate and appears as dust, animal etc, and he does have moral standards even if he doesn't feel as though he belongs around humans. Viewers will find the animation is dark and doomy, but great to watch, and though there are only three episodes per disc, the quality is maintained, and there are lots of extras to sink your teeth into.

Bonus Material: Creditless Opening, Music Video Trailer, Concept Gallery, Madman Propaganda, Staff Interview, Credit less Ending (ver 1), Concept Gallery, Madman Propaganda, Japanese Cover Art, Credit less ending (ver 2), Concept Gallery, Madman Propaganda, Magazine Advert, Art, Credit less Ending (ver 3), Concept Gallery, Madman Propaganda and Weapons of Hellsing.

Verdict: One of the best anime series to be released other than Shiki - get ready for Alucard - he's a one man killing machine!