Hellsing is something of a classic anime series and it definitely has some really killer elements… but as a whole it doesn’t quite live up to its reputation for me.
That’s not to say that I didn’t really enjoy some episodes or that I think it’s bad series, but the show strays between genuinely atmospheric, creepy and exciting all the way down to trashy and even a little shaky re: its animation.
And yeah, ‘trashy’ isn’t always bad.
And I know the production team were soon working ahead of the manga on a smaller budget (and that naturally amounts to at least some risk) but I think I agree with the general consensus out there, which suggests that the anime didn’t live up to the source material and later, suffered in some ways compared to the remake in Hellsing Ultimate.
But back to the 2001 series – it’s got blood, guns and tension, some interesting music too, great voice acting and at times distinctive direction (especially in the opening episode) along with a memorable cast of characters in its favour.
The gothic elements were really welcome in my opinion and I liked Seras’s storyline – her struggles definitely deserved a little more screen time. Alucard himself is of course a great menace and fits the ‘monster hunting other monsters’ role perfectly, but the pacing of the series felt a bit off to me and I grew weary of the recapping.
(And a small thing that also bugged me – the endless repetition of ‘amen’ quickly became odd rather than something more fitting for the characters).
Still, what this series definitely did was make me curious about a more complete adaptation of the source material, and so in that sense it works wonderfully.
And that first episode is pretty stunning, really – it’s just a shame that the quality (for me) fell away not too long after.
Images sourced via google & tumblr.