Hellsing by Djudge

Genre: Action
Format: 13 Episodes
Allegiance: Pioneer/GONZO
Director: Iida Umanosuke, Urata Yasunori
Vintage: 2001-2002
Intelligence Agency Report by: Munky
Based in London, England, the Hellsing Organization protects the country from the undead. Sir Integral Wingates Hellsing took over the Hellsing Organization after her father died, and she also became the master of the undefeatable vampire, Alucard. He’s one crazy vampire, and he won’t hesitate to blow you to dust with his awesome gun, the Jackal.

Field Agent Report by: Djudge
Overall 8.25
(not an average)
Hellsing was one of those titles that managed to drip with gothic charm from beginning to end. The series’ production values were kept very high over the course of the series and Gonzo managed to capitalize on that fact by delivering very sleek animation (a hallmark of the up and coming studio) and a catchy soundtrack to boot. Yet despite the fact that Hellsing is definitely one of anime’s most stylish entries, a certain lack of substance manages to rise up to the surface and deface what otherwise could have been a better piece than what was finally put out.First off, I really can not give enough applause for Gonzo with the visual work that they pulled off for this title. The character designs, while not exactly gritty, certainly have a special quality. Be it the vampiric anti-hero Alucard or any of his supernatural adversaries, each personality benefited from great conceptual art and became a separate, identifiable entity. Animation during Hellsing’s thirteen episode run, be it in some obscure corner of the Hellsing mansion or in a gunfight at the London tower, never let up and remained strong. To complement the high visual standards a number of incredibly catchy songs were implemented to serve in the various backdrops of the dark locales of this action title. In fact, the OST for this title almost stands strong enough to become recommended separate from the anime itself (although you would be missing out on some impressive scenes if you do so). It is rare for a soundtrack to match up so impeccably with its visual counterpart and Hellsing is a perfect case in point of such an occurrence.

Yet even the admirable technical achievements of Hellsing are marred by a couple of under-the-surface flaws that irk plot-wary viewers. For starters, many of the main cast members are thrown into the series and suffer from a mixture of underdevelopment and a lack of a back story. While the absence of such features does not seriously harm the plot presented in the title, many viewers are left wondering just where each of the characters came from and how exactly they arrived at the moment of their respective on-screen debuts. One other related, and more serious, set of flaws in Hellsing is the considerable plot holes left at the less-than-desirable ending of this title. As soon as the closing credits begin scrolling after the finale episode so many questions could potentially be swimming in the viewer’s head. Leaving a viewer in such a state of bewilderment and anxiety is probably one of the worst ways to end a title. Had this error been corrected, in one way or another, this series would have been that much easier to recommend to other viewers.

Be Hellsing’s vices as they may, the overall quality of the show remains high enough to at least warrant a recommendation for fans of other vampire/action anime such as the entries into the Vampire Hunter D franchise. Hellsing, although not exactly Gonzo’s best work to date, stands a good anime in its own right. With a supernatural ability to absorb viewers with its swank look and hip feel, Hellsing just may be the ticket to those sleepless nights that fans of dark action are looking for.