The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Hellsing
Genre: Action
Company: Gonzo/Pioneer LDC
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 11 Oct 2001 – 17 Jan 2002

Synopsis: In England there is a top-secret agency dedicated to defending its country and queen from the supernatural being known as the vampire. This organization is known as the Hellsing organization and is led by Sir Integral Wingates Hellsing. Lately, she has been faced with a surprisingly large amount of vampire attacks. But with the aid of her servant Alucard, a gun toting vampire of very powerful proportions, she sure as hell won’t go down without a fight.

The Highlights
Animation: Slick visuals.
Music: Toe tapping jazz.
Story: Pacing issues and plot holes.
Originality: Lacking.

The vampire genre has been done to death… no pun intended. Maybe even more so would be the vampire-hunting-vampires subgenre. Hellsing isn’t the most unique show out there, but all in all, it’s quite the enjoyable series.

Hellsing just oozes with a certain style that is just perfect for its atmosphere. The bold animation style and overall feel of the show will catch its victims at first sight. Overpowered with gloomy undertones, Hellsing’s unsettling atmosphere will almost certainly send a chill down your spine. But, the music is really what pulls things all together. With a toe-tapping, jazz themed intro, this is one soundtrack that won’t disappoint. Everything about the music just adds to the overall atmosphere of the show and has a uniqueness that screams “Hellsing”. The most impressive component of Hellsing, though, are the amazingly well choreographed action scenes, which are likely to leave a lasting impact on audience members.

Hellsing’s biggest flaw is its lack of universal appeal. If you’re looking for more than just one awesome action scene after the other you might want to look elsewhere. Besides the enthralling action sequences there just isn’t much more to this series. The plot has so many holes it looks like Swiss cheese. It almost seems as if they were simply trying to cram as many action scenes into the series as possible. Antagonists come and go, throughout the show with little to no development or background whatsoever. For a thirteen episode series, the number of throwaways antagonists was quite unusual and it would have been far more beneficial had they just focused on one. However, focus isn’t one of Hellsing’s strong points.

Of course, neither is pacing… as was seen when it dragged its feet for over half of the show. In fact it wasn’t until about episode eight that I actually started to get interested. The action jumps out and grabs you in the very beginning, but the lack of plot becomes mundane after about five episodes. It struggled to keep my interest until about midway through, when the plot starts coming together quite nicely. And it comes just in time for an amazing edge-of-your-seat finale. However, despite the fact that the ending left me with a good taste in my mouth, it also left me with more questions than answers. It kind of just ends, but in a very cool matter that is very befitting to Hellsing.

All in all Hellsing is what it is: a very cool anime. Of course, there’s not too much more to it than that. However, even in spite of a disappointing second half, Hellsing is an enjoyable outing – one that is worth recommending to both action fans and enthusiasts of vampire lore.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: DarkKanti

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