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HELLSING ULTIMATE #1 - - Special Review

Drove a stake into my heart, let me tell you...

Had to invoke Wolpaw’s Law on this one - - not too long after the first commercial break.

As you might’ve noticed, I’ve got this ongoing thesis about how a show can get away with basically any exploitative ingredient as long as it isn’t the only thing on its spice rack. In less poetic terms - - there’s a noticeable difference between crews who use sex ‘n violence because they’re smart about what they can do with it and crews who use sex ‘n violence because that’s all they’ve got to use. That’s how I can enjoy something garishly over-the-top without having any hang-ups about being “beneath me.”

Along these lines, I really have an impatience for most vampire stories. (Why, I even put my thoughts into a feature for Screened, once). The vampire works for me, again, when the crew have an understanding of what they’re using and employ the vampire as a metaphor for something pertinent; be it forbidden sexuality, class warfare, death or even parasitic film directors. It doesn’t work for me when the crew’s just going with vampires because they’re kewl and there’s no sense on screen that they have any understanding of the creature beyond, say, what they’ve picked up from CASTLEVANIA. At the point, it’s honestly more interesting if you just make up some new creature to suit your needs like CLAYMORE did.

Maybe the original HELLSING’s better than this follow-up series or whatever it is. All I know is that I really struggled through the familiar scene of the invincible good guy coming to rescue an innocent from attempted murder/rape/whatever by the bloodthirsty bad guy. Yes, that’s a reliable set-up to push some buttons. And again, the difference here is that other series (CLAYMORE) knew what to do with it, and what else they can do beyond it, while this seems like the only thing the crew could go for.

So, I don’t know, animation’s kind of cool and polished, but that’s not enough to make lame material interesting. So I clicked out early... and here we are.

Watch this episode, "Hellsing 1” here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Lurkeroon Sept. 26, 2012 at 2:03 p.m.

Hellsing has a lot of cool aspects to its presentation, but I quickly grew bored of Alucard's invincibility. He basically gets beat up for an entire fight and then does some cool maneuver after unlocking his power. It's really uninspiring overall.

YotaruVegetaon Sept. 26, 2012 at 2:37 p.m.

No, the Damsel in distress is not saved. She is basically killed her and asked her in her dying breaths if she wants to either die or become a vampire . I feel there is a difference.

What about the rest of the episode? It's like an hour long!

This first episode (and I think the next 1 or 2) is basically the entire series of the original anime. There's not much difference, save for the teasing of future villains. From everything I've heard, this is a better series than Hellsing.

rubberluffyon Sept. 26, 2012 at 2:53 p.m.

Hellsing Ultimate is like FMA:B in that it's a remade anime following the manga after the previous anime didn't. Hellsing Ultimate is also pretty great past the first episode which is probably the worst one.

sotyfan16on Sept. 26, 2012 at 4:27 p.m.

The original anime is fun but Ultimate is much better. In the original, it was all serious and then the final arc strayed away from the manga. With Ultimate, Hirano's odd sense of comedy is retained (which I knew from his current manga series, Drifters, before looking into this OVA series) and the story has more depth.

Tom, it seems you haven't liked 75% of what I occasionally suggest you check out (and I make my suggestions to you based on the "better" anime). I don't know what you were expecting as this series has a different take on what a vampire is. But you haven't even gotten to the bulk of the story; which involves The Vatican and warmongering Nazis. This is still just an introduction.

(It seems to me) You're writing off an entertaining series without knowing anything about what you're watching. Don't be afraid to look up information. Also, there is no "crew" in the creative process. There is Kouta Hirano and that's it. The production team does just that.

jj_jacksonon Sept. 26, 2012 at 4:32 p.m.

Yea you should hold your opinion on it until you get a little further. i would say its a bit like FMA B too once you get past the stuff you already know its a bit spicier than the original..what am i saying its way spicier i honestly prefer this version since its true to the manga and a way better story. JUST STAY TUNEEDDD

jj_jacksonon Sept. 26, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.

oh and one more thing. they explain his invicisibilty pretty well later on soooo...without givin too much away ITS ONE OF THE MAIN POINTS OF THIS STORY.

YotaruVegetaon Sept. 26, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.

@jj_jackson: His name's Alucard. Let's leave Tom to figure it out.

No_name_here staff on Sept. 26, 2012 at 6:50 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta said:

@jj_jackson: His name's Alucard. Let's leave Tom to figure it out.

There was a forgotten superheroes in the 50's/60's named Dracula. A super-spy with the real name Al U. Card

NickTapalansky staff on Sept. 27, 2012 at 8 a.m.

I'm pretty sure that @jj_jackson is right, as far as the FMA: B comparison goes; this is meant to be one of those shows that ramps up a bit. Haven't watched it myself, but that was my understanding.

Also, I THINK it was designed to follow the manga a bit better, wasn't it? That ties in to next week's OTAKU COMING HOME article, the second in a series of articles about anime remakes.

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 27, 2012 at 11:05 p.m.

Original series i liked.Good hooks an twists right off the bat.Stylish but good enuff story.This Ultmate series i have tried twice to get into an just didn't .This is why comics is failing now .Retelling stories with similar characters is not new or inventive or even threw the looking glass cool.On average remakes suck .. the run right out of the film.Same for anime remakes to.

I will try one more time .But 3 strikes an it does not hook me ill just find the original series an get that on dvd.

sotyfan16on Sept. 28, 2012 at 4:13 a.m.

@Marshal Victory said:

Original series i liked.Good hooks an twists right off the bat.Stylish but good enuff story.This Ultmate series i have tried twice to get into an just didn't .This is why comics is failing now .Retelling stories with similar characters is not new or inventive or even threw the looking glass cool.On average remakes suck .. the run right out of the film.Same for anime remakes to.

I will try one more time .But 3 strikes an it does not hook me ill just find the original series an get that on dvd.

This makes no sense to me. Ultimate is much better. How can you find something that sticks to the source material worse? The remakes done recently have been better than the originals. Just look at the Evangelion movies and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Just my opinion but the popularity and sales don't lie.

jj_jacksonon Sept. 28, 2012 at 5:08 a.m.

@Marshal Victory: See thats what i mean idk how far you got in ultimate but they have a whole different cast of people a couple episodes in. i mean except the main characters of course alucard,integra,father anderson,police girl,maxwell,and walter. i actually havent seen the ending of ultimate yet because i like to be suprised so i dont read the last manga and wait for the ova but im pretty sure it does a good job at rapping things up.

NickTapalansky staff on Sept. 28, 2012 at 6:43 a.m.

@jj_jackson: @sotyfan16: @Marshal Victory:

Funny, said what I was going to about remakes... Sort of. I can see where shows that hew to the manga/source can fail too, but in general I've been pretty pleased with anime remakes, especially lately, hence the latest OTAKU COMING HOME features.

The REBUILD OF EVANGELION series doesn't actually stick closer to any source material because the original TV series was the source, and REBUILD deviates wildly from it (that's its mission statement though, so it's very intentional and used deliberately to enhance the story for fans while offering something new to any viewer, with or without EVA experience). I also wouldn't rate it higher than the TV series personally - I love both, but REBUILD is unfinished and can't be judged yet. Even with an open mind, I think it's going to be a close race.

But REBUILD is pretty great and is definitely the epitome of the REIMAGINED REMAKE in anime.

I have precisely zero experience with HELLSING or HELLSING ULTIMATE (or the manga, for that matter) so I don't have a yardstick to judge by, but I'm actually writing next week's article right this moment (well, once I'm done here) and it focuses on MANGA REMAKES in anime: shows that existed once in an independent form (like the original FMA) and then are remade a second time to closely follow the source material, for good or for ill (and sometimes it isn't such a great thing). I'm sure we'll all be continuing this conversation when the article goes live on Monday/Tuesday...

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 30, 2012 at 7:47 p.m.

@sotyfan16 said:

@Marshal Victory said:

Original series i liked.Good hooks an twists right off the bat.Stylish but good enuff story.This Ultmate series i have tried twice to get into an just didn't .This is why comics is failing now .Retelling stories with similar characters is not new or inventive or even threw the looking glass cool.On average remakes suck .. the run right out of the film.Same for anime remakes to.

I will try one more time .But 3 strikes an it does not hook me ill just find the original series an get that on dvd.

This makes no sense to me. Ultimate is much better. How can you find something that sticks to the source material worse? The remakes done recently have been better than the originals. Just look at the Evangelion movies and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Just my opinion but the popularity and sales don't lie.

I can answer this easy enuff. Im going in blind to Hellsing as a whole. Not read the manga so i can not compare it to the 1st anime.Just judging the anime as a stand alone.Anime has a a good habit of taking a series an when the remake didn't do well they then go back an draw heavy from the source .. which should have been done in the first place.

But with any remake of a remake of a original, your opinion of something is already colored by if one liked what preceded .Ultamate like you say is more based on the manga which i have not read.But lets take lupin the 3rd stuff. i own the 1st manga book great stuff.i own the 1971 tv series great to good stuff.Not the same but i like them both.

What i did like of the 1st Hellsing anime series was Mad House use of style.The animation tho dated is good.What i have seen in Ultimate seems more like a fun house mirror of that style.Like i said ill try again to watch it see if it hooks me this go.It not that i hated Ultimate it just did not keep me watching.Im all for anime , comic book movies,an movies based of novels to be more based off of their source .But their is always a chance some one will like the remake over the source.90% time i like the source better.Also popularity of sales does not mean quality ever.

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 30, 2012 at 7:58 p.m.

@NickTapalansky said:

@jj_jackson: @sotyfan16: @Marshal Victory:

Funny, said what I was going to about remakes... Sort of. I can see where shows that hew to the manga/source can fail too, but in general I've been pretty pleased with anime remakes, especially lately, hence the latest OTAKU COMING HOME features.

The REBUILD OF EVANGELION series doesn't actually stick closer to any source material because the original TV series was the source, and REBUILD deviates wildly from it (that's its mission statement though, so it's very intentional and used deliberately to enhance the story for fans while offering something new to any viewer, with or without EVA experience). I also wouldn't rate it higher than the TV series personally - I love both, but REBUILD is unfinished and can't be judged yet. Even with an open mind, I think it's going to be a close race.

But REBUILD is pretty great and is definitely the epitome of the REIMAGINED REMAKE in anime.

I have precisely zero experience with HELLSING or HELLSING ULTIMATE (or the manga, for that matter) so I don't have a yardstick to judge by, but I'm actually writing next week's article right this moment (well, once I'm done here) and it focuses on MANGA REMAKES in anime: shows that existed once in an independent form (like the original FMA) and then are remade a second time to closely follow the source material, for good or for ill (and sometimes it isn't such a great thing). I'm sure we'll all be continuing this conversation when the article goes live on Monday/Tuesday...

I agree with this .But one thing.. you do always have a yard stick to measure by.Its your own personal taste .A film or anime based close from source does not always work best.But that bad taste can be laid upon the cooks of the production more so than the source by far.Movies an anime fail not because of the source material. But more often than not the wrong people for the job, doing a disservice to the source material.

NickTapalansky staff on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:20 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

Oh, for sure. I just meant that I had no yardstick to partake in this particular discussion specifically since I've neither seen nor read any HELLSING series. If I had, I'd certainly have an opinion and be able to lay down some praise or finger-wags accordingly.

I do, however, have general experience with remakes, and I agree that the execution is what should be judged, not the source material. That source material needs to be handled appropriately for the new medium, be it film or television, animation or live-action; sometimes that means sticking close to the source, other times it's in the best interest of the material to interpret it more loosely.

It can be a matter of individual taste (for instance, you prefer the original HELLSING anime while seems to prefer HELLSING ULTIMATE) or somewhat universal acknowledgements of quality (I've heard nobody speak up against FMA: BROTHERHOOD, even if they enjoyed the original TV series). But the concept still remains that there are different ways to successfully bring a story, world, and/or characters from one medium (in this case, manga) into another (anime).

I don't think there's any "right" or "wrong" way to adapt something - if it's done well, if a viewer is absorbed by the adaptation as something unique from the source, despite its closeness or removal from the original, than it gets a thumbs up from me.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 1, 2012 at 11:57 p.m.

@NickTapalansky: Yeah any thing that relates or can be considered art can simply be considered opinion as well.That said i did watch the 1st episode again...

First episode was what i would call bellow average.my reasons.

1st pacing was off way off. i like the odd anime story telling as the next guy but this was just poor pacing.Like they tried to fit 5 episodes of the 1st series into 30 minutes so they could have a longer fight.

2nd computer animation stood out as such . It did not fit the art style nor did it do the show any justice by cutting from a computer 3d model helicopter to a still drawing shaking for far to long on screen.I can only describe the art style as some back up image artist trying to ape http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Liefeld .That said why did every one have a joker grin ? Far to many close up of red eyes for way to long to.More red eyes than a visine commercial !

3rd Their is alot i want to like the main character ,vampire an guns ,the back ground of Hellsing group.But the way the 1st episode played out i only knew what was going on because of the 1st series.If i was say 13 years old again an watching this id love it ( not meant as a insult) i seriously would.Some shows are like that for me Bleech gives me same vibe but i like it as a adult.This 1st episode not so much.Animation quality was so poor at times i have seen better in motion comics.

It's not the worst anime i have ever seen ( no really ) nor is it drop dead stinky crap.But it is below what i would call average.That's just my opinion.The second episode was much better.But then again every thing that was in it felt like i had seen before .It did bring new art styles to the same fight scenes i saw in the 1st series.But this was released in 2006 it still not where it should be with other shows quality wise.At times it felt like a parody of a b movie anime .

i don't like it so far cause it was a remake.Sure its got blood an they use naughty words but they couldn't even spell Alucard name right in the 1st two Ultimate episodes subtitles?I don't like it so far because of the reason i stated.Remake does not mean quality ,Being based on source material does not mean quality.I like to shift the mind to neutral an enjoy mindless violence as much as the next .Poor quality can be a plus if it fits the subject matter.This tho can be picked apart before you get to the characters i like.

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