ANIME & MANGA - Review
23:00 - 18th May 2009, by Matt Kamen

Hellsing Ultimate Vol. 1

Following volume two�s devastating bloodbath at the hands of the Valentine Brothers, the Hellsing organisation is severely under-equipped to handle the supernatural threats that plague our sceptred isle. Integra�s attempts at recruiting stand-in mercenaries are stalled when the Vatican calls a rare meeting, the events of which lead to Alucard and neophyte vamp Seras being sent to South America in an attempt to destroy the Millennium organisation once and for all.
That previous paragraph with the plot synopsis? That�s pretty much it. With that covered, the attention-deficient crowd can now skip halfway through and enjoy a �LIKE, TOTALLY AWESOME! ZOMG!� fight scene that lasts for the rest of this volume.
Otherwise, Hellsing Ultimate continues to skew much closer to Kouta Hirano�s manga than the 2001 TV series did. Unfortunately the glacial release schedule, due to the episodes being released as Satelight and Geneon complete each OVA, murders any attempt at pacing or momentum in the over-arching story. When we�re only administered a 45 minute dose every few months, it�s hard to retain focus or interest. This is definitely a series that will need to be watched in a marathon, whenever it finally finishes.
It�s worth commenting on how much more graphic the violence is in Ultimate compared to Hellsing TV. Director Tomokazu Tokoro is clearly revelling in the greater freedom afforded him by not having to meet Japanese TV content standards, most evident in his predilection for decapitation shots. The phrase �heads will roll� doesn�t even begin to cover it; heads are separated from torsos casually and brutally, and so frequently that we�re now cautious of ever leaving the house for fear of a random ghoul playing basketball with our crania.The biggest problem with this volume is that it doesn�t really do anything to engage new viewers, and given the length between releases, there should be a plot hook in each episode to make you want to come back for more. Instead, what little plot this episode provides rewards the faithful, but is bordering on the nonsensical for newcomers.
There�s a bloodbag full of extras here, including audio commentary with producer Taliesin Jaffe, and voice actors Victoria Harwood and JB Blanc, an interview with Jaffe, footage from the Anime Expo 2007 Cast Panel, and promotional Hellsing Mansion, the third clean opening, and an art and production gallery.

Hellsing faithful rejoice � there�s more bloody mayhem here for you. Newcomers may not be so impressed
SCORE: 3/5
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Hellsing Ultimate Vol. 1 Info
  • Type: Anime
  • Price: £14.99
  • Cert: 15
  • Distributor: Manga
  • Director:
  • Extras:

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