We’re all about comics here at Panels On Pages, but a geek cannot live on comics alone.Outside the Longbox is our chance to spotlight something outside our typical 4-color realm, be it movies, music, TV or whatever
I’m no expert on anime, manga, or any of the like. To that end, I couldn’t have told you what an OVA was prior to watching this. Hell, I still can’t really tell you what an OVA is, but I’ll try in an upcoming “It’s All Geek to Me.” Suffice to say, it stands for Original Video Animation and in this case more or less means “better.” You see, there was already a Hellsing anime that was produced, using the characters and key concepts of the original manga, but buggering up the plot completely – or so I’m told. Hence, the OVA and its suffixed adjective ”Ultimate.”
Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s actually talk about this series. What makes it stand out, such that I have anything but shit to say about it? Sure, it has your standard exaggerated animation and hyper-violence that you can expect from almost any Japanese animation. But what it also has is one of the most grounded and engaging storylines I’ve ever seen. Now, I’ll be honest… there are seven of these OVA’s (or maybe eight now) that have been released in Japan, and of them, only four have made it to the states, of which I’ve only seen two. So maybe things get really crazy later on. But after watching the first two of these, it’s prettystraightforward, particularly by anime standards.
The name Hellsing is derived from the Hellsing Organization, founded by the legendary Abraham Van Hellsing. Its current head is Sir Integra Hellsing. Don’t let the name fool you. She’s a chick. I think. At her disposal is a small army, a butler, and Alucard – a vampire of such power that Edward would shit himself at the mere mention of his name, and rightfully so. The Hellsing Organization is tasked with defending humanity. They are the monsters who kill the monsters who terrorize the Earth.
In the other corner there’s… well, the Vatican, for one. Yup, the Pope’s getting medieval on some monster asses via Section 13 – The Iscariot. Mind you, when the Pope is sending genetically engineered monster killing priests out to do his dirty work, you’ve really gotta question the guy’s piety.
Both groups are working against a third, known as Millenium. As of the end of the second episode, I know precious little about them, other than the fact they’re Nazis.
Killer priests, Nazis, and a vampire whose powers are off the charts. What more could you ask for? How about Seras Victoria – or, Police Girl, if you prefer – a newly turned vampire who serves as the viewers’ tether to the world of the occult? The kid’s got spirit. And a big honkin’ gun or two.
Mix it all together, and I don’t care who you are, this is some entertaining shit right here. Each OVA runs approximately 50 minutes and feels like its own mini-movie, so the four episodes in total should provide a sufficiently engaging cinematic experience.
Hellsing Ultimate bites, stabs, and shoots its way to a flawless 5 out of 5 rounds tipped with silver from the melted down cross of the Manchester cathedral.