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DVD Review

DVD cover

Hellsing: Ultimate
Volume 3


Starring (voice): Fumiko Orikasa, Jouji Nakata and Yoshiko Sakakibara
RRP: £14.99
Certificate: 18
Available 26 January 2009

For generations the Hellsing Organisation has held back the tide of vampires, which threaten to overwhelm the British Empire. The current head of the organisation, Integra Hellsing, inherited the post from her father in tragic circumstances when her Uncle Richard tried to assassinate her in a power struggle for control. Her father's dying breath led Integra to the basement of their house where she accidentally awoke Alucard, a powerful vampire who used to work for the organisation but had been deemed too dangerous during the closing years of World War Two and put on ice. Ten years later and Integra is secure in her position, while Alucard has once more become an active operative of Hellsing...

The actual story in volume three of Hellsing: Ultimate is a little thin. Basically, following their losses in Ireland and the attack on the Hellsing headquarters, help comes from an unexpected quarter when the Vatican sends an envoy to disclose the power behind their assailants. Blow me down it’s the Nazis, the same ones Hellsing thought they had dealt with during the war. Seems like the Vatican was playing both sides. Hellsing sends Alucard  off to South America, but before he can do anything he is branded a terrorist and attacked.

The inclusion of comedy in this episode for once actually detracts from the story, whereas in the previous volume much of the comedy came from character interactions there is a lot more zany cartoon segments. It’s a personal choice, but I would have preferred they stuck to the drama, especially given the amount of violence, gore and swearing means that the DVD is not really meant for children. Although the story is thin the choreography of the fights, and the stylistic violence, means that your never get bored with what is happening on the screen.

The disc is presented with audio options for English and Japanese 5.1 with optional subtitles, no DTS track this time, still the 5.1 tracks do an excellent job of creating a pulse pounding soundscape to accompany all the carnage. There is a feature commentary by Taliesin Jaffe (the English voice director), Victoria Harwood (Integra) and JB Blanc (Maxwell), which repeats some of the information from the documentary, but its still worth a listen.

There's a cast interview (24 min, 16 sec) about the show, which gives the impression that these guys had a ball re-voicing the show, like kids in a sandbox. The interview is well worth watching as is both amusing and informative.

There's also an interview (29 min, 55 sec) with with Taliesin Jaffe, Victoria Harwood and JB Blanc, which is the usual combination of good humour and hard facts as they discuss their take on the characters they play. Next up is footage from the Anime Expo 2007 cast panel (42 min, 02 sec) which had good natured banter between over excited fans and half a dozen of the cast and crew. The last big extra is some amateur footage from the same expo (1 min, 59 sec) featuring the booth and the Hellsing Mansion, with people signing stuff for those previously mentioned over excited fans. To round off the disc is the third non credit opening and a production gallery. Most of the stuff is of the 'watch once' variety but welcome non the less.

Quality for both animation and production remains high in this third OVA, with a nice, crisp transfer, special mention should go to the music track whose operatic pretensions perfectly match the show's visual style.


Charles Packer

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