Hellsing is a name well known to fans of the subgenre of SF/Fantasy that deals with vampires. Loosely called cybergoth the collection of modern vampire stories is varied and frequently entertaining. Hellsing Ultimate Vol. 1 is the first disk in a Japanese anime series about the Hellsing Foundation and their efforts to rid England of vampires.
The twist comes in the tool of choice that the Hellsing Foundation applies to the task at hand, not only their own extremely well trained soldiers, but also the vampire Arucard. Arucard is a polite, educated and absolutely vicious in his pursuit of vampires. As the main cleaner for the Hellsing Foundation lead by the effete Sir Integra Hellsing. There is much ado about the gore and blood in this story but that must be coming from the faint of heart and the decidedly uninitiated in the world of vampire story telling. In terms of gore there is absolutely nothing here that is over the top or out of line with other contemporary vampire stories such as Blade, Underworld or Vampire Hunter D.
Hellsing is heavy on the action and light on the character development in this inaugural DVD. There is more time and certainly more room to develop characters and plot lines in a graphic novel than there is with a DVD. The seeming desire to get in, establish in broad strokes the motivations and character relationships, then get out plays large in this first installment of Hellsing. While fans of more nuanced aspects of the story such as the police girl turned vampire Seres Victoria may find the story line lacking the fast pace and non stop action more than makes up for cutting the edges a little on character development. With luck the subsequent installments will bring forth the more interesting fine points of the characters.
The not to be missed high point of Hellsing Ultimate Vol. 1 is easily the conflict between the Vatican’s bioengineered priest Father Alexander Anderson a regenerator vampire hunter who is the lead “cleaner” for Iscariot and Arucard. The battle is well scored, well choreographed and has some very nice surprises. Hellsing has been added to the must keep DVD wall and it is a must see.
Related products from Amazon.com - the Hellsing Graphic Novel Series. Click picture to see the Amazon listing.