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DVD Review

DVD cover

Hellsing: Ultimate
Volume 2


Starring (voice): Fumiko Orikasa, Jouji Nakata and Yoshiko Sakakibara
RRP: £14.99
Certificate: 18
Available 29 December 2008

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 and Alucard has once more become an active operative of Hellsing...

Hellsing: Ultimate: Volume 2 (Herushingu, 2001, 45 min, 39 sec) is a repackaging of a particularly violent and bloody gothic horror thirteen-episode anime show from the Gonzo director Umanosuke Iida. With the release of volume two, the action has taken on operatic proportions with its gory and stylised violence, which is easily matched by the increase in profanities. Indeed, a good chunk of the dialogue could not be reproduced here without us getting in trouble for printing obscenities.

Following on from the strong opener, Seras, a former policewoman, is still coming to terms with being undead. Most of her moral objections to her new state are sidelined in the second volume as Hellsing goes for wall to wall violence, when the organisation is attacked, whilst Sir Integra is in session with the Round Table, by the Valentine Brothers and their army of ghouls. Like a car crash there’s not a lot of plot but a great deal of violence. What saves the show is the mix of comedy and violence wrapped up with sharp, witty dialogue, especially from Jan Valentine, who positively revels in the violence he creates.  

Of course the Valentine Brothers are defeated, leaving in their wake a slew of dead bodies, all killed in very inventive ways. Whoever thought up the deaths has some real anger issues. As previously reported this is not a kid’s show and has been given a deserving 18 certificate.

The disc is presented with audio options for English and Japanese (with subtitles) 5.1 or English DTS. With a lot of action going on both tracks do a good job, with the DTS track being just that little bit better.  There is a commentary by Taliesin Jaff, the English voice director, Patrick Seitz and Josh Phillips (who provide the voices for Luke and Jan Valentine). The same cast also appear in an 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 and is both amusing and informative. 

There are two promotional videos of various lengths, The Japanese EP II Trailer (1 min, 15 sec) and the US Viral Trailer (1 min).  Rounding off the extras is the inevitable Non Credit Opening II (2 min, 49 sec), and another Production Art Gallery (1 min 46 sec) with thirty-two pieces of art on a slideshow. Rounding off the extras are two Japanese Commercials (32 sec) for the OVA Volume Two.

Both animation and production values remain high in this second OVA, with a nice, crisp transfer, special mention should go to the music track whose operatic pretensions perfectly match the shows visual style.

So if gothic gore is your bag then you’d do well to check out Hellsing, but start on Volume One otherwise Volume Two will make little sense to you.


Charles Packer

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