Continuing on with a look at Hellsing Ultimate, the next two volumes begin adapting where the original anime series stopped and we get the full push towards the frankly bizarre Nazi revenge plot that takes up the rest of the series. That’s right, in the end Hellsing comes down to Protestants vs. Catholics vs. Nazis, all three using supernatural beings like vampires and zombies to do their battling with. Like I said last time, it’s good shut your brain off entertainment, not Shakespeare! Let’s take a look at Parts III and IV, shall we?
In a bid to increase manpower following the devastating attack on Hellsing headquarters, Walter recruits the mercenary group known as Wild Geese and integrates them into Hellsing’s security forces. Integra receives information from Enrico Maxwell, the fanatical leader of Iscariot, that confirms her suspicions of Millennium’s origins. She soon deploys Alucard, Seras and Pip Bernadotte, leader of the Wild Geese, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to find the whereabouts of Millennium.
Note: Full Spoilers From Here On Out!
Cast of Characters:
Alucard’s casual attire! Classy.
Alucard (Johji Nakata / Crispin Freeman) – Extremely powerful vampire who is loyal to Integra and the Hellsing organisation. The idea of a rematch with the Nazis, who had he fought in World War II, excites him greatly…
Seras Victoria (Fumiko Orikasa / K.T. Gray) – Recently became a vampire thanks to her master Alucard, but has yet to drink blood and gain proper power… she may not be able to resist for long, mind you…
Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing (Yoshiko Sakakibara / Victoria Harwood) – Integra is still recovering from the loss of her men in the previous attack and will stop at nothing to get revenge on those responsible…
Walter C. Dollneaz (Motomu Kiyokawa / Ralph Lister) – The butler of Integra as well as a retired agent of great skill, Walter was also present during WWII and worked with Alucard to take down the Nazis last time. A rematch does not hold as much excitement to him, however…
Alexander Anderson (Norio Wakamoto / Steven Brand) – Alexander and the Iscariot organisation is looking forward to picking the scraps from the war between Hellsing and the Nazis, though the revelation that the Catholics helped the Nazis escape to South America way back when has left them with an invested interest in clearing up their old mess…
The Major (Nobuo Tobita / Gildart Jackson) – The crazy head of the new Nazi party known as Millennium, The Major wants nothing more than endless war, because… he loves war. All of it, even the parts where he loses.
Pip Bernadotte (Hiroaki Hirata / Yuri Lowenthal) – The leader of the Wild Geese mercenary force that has become Hellsing’s new foot soldiers. Pip has possibly signed his and his men’s lives away, but hey-ho… it’s a job!
Plus many more!
Love the whole “shadow covers the face but the eyes and grin remain” effect used throughout the series, including here for Miss Van Winkle.
There are two big showdowns between Alucard and members of Millennium that end each volume, and both are really entertaining in different ways. Alucard vs. card throwing Tubalcain Alhambra at the end of Episode III is a good super powered showdown, and Alucard vs. the magic bullet firing Rip Van Winkle was a one sided affair, but got over both Alucard and The Major’s respective bloodlust and how despite being on opposite sides, they’re more alike than you’d think.
Once again Seras forms the actual heart and conflict of the series. Her reluctance to drink human blood is making her weak, but it’s an understandable thing, obviously! Her role as comic relief is good as well, her not having the power to be out in daylight meaning she was put in a coffin for the plane ride was funny, as was her breaking up a near-rematch between Alucard and Alexander Anderson in a museum by tour guiding a bunch of visitors in between them (in comic art style) was also good fun.
Although he didn’t get to show much, Pip and his Wild Geese are a good addition to the recurring cast. Pip is your classic suave mercenary type, and it’s immediately amusing to see him taken down a peg or two by Seras finger-flicking him until he was bloody to prove she’s a vampire.
Given Millennium are straight up over-exaggerated evil Nazis, it is funny to see humour injected into the organisation by the characters of the mysterious Schrödinger, who has cat-like ears and can seemingly teleport around the place, and Rip Van Winkle, the aforementioned woman with a magic bullet firing rifle who spends her opening scene signing an old German war song while people are being butchered around her.
The Major isn’t a nice man, for the record.
I have to admit that the scene in Volume III where Alucard absolutely butchers a whole squad of Brazilian soldiers who were sent in after him gets slightly uncomfortable. The fact these people aren’t on the bad guys side as such, and how Alucard letting some escape would have had no negative effect, makes it all the more unsettling. I imagine that is the idea, the fact that Hellsing has, for all intensive purposes, a villain on their side is an interesting one, but maybe this scene could have been cut down a tad.
Speaking of things that could have been cut down a tad, The Major’s speech about how much he loves war goes on for minutes and minutes, which starts to get funny when he lists the horrible things he enjoys in an over-the-top “in case you can’t guess, he’s evil” way, but as it goes on and on you start to think “okay! I get it!”
It’s like if Gambit from the X-Men fused with Alucard!
While not as strong as the first two episodes, III and IV serve a purpose of bridging the gap between the opening stories that introduce the characters, and the big conflict that takes up the rest of the series. That being said, there are some scenes here that take up a bit too much time, and in general these two parts are a bit slower. Again, not a bad thing, in fact this is one of the reasons I don’t really like grading bits of an overall story separately, but there you go. The little image I made said “don’t know if I’d watch it again”, but if I was re-watching the whole Hellsing Ultimate again, I obviously would…