Hellsing Ultimate III

This is the third in a series of anime OVA adaptations of the Hellsing manga by Kouta Hirano, intended to be extremely faithful to the manga. There was a thirteen episode TV series in 2001; it diverged from the manga halfway through. I’ve heard both the unfinished state of the manga and reluctance on the part of the producers to tell a story about Nazis as reasons for the divergence.

The point where the manga and the TV series diverged was reached in this episode; it covers the hiring of the mercenaries, the temporary alliance between the Hellsing organization and the Vatican (though the Vatican is tempted to sit back and hope that Hellsing and the Nazis destroy each other), the discovery of Millennium and its link to the Nazis, and the trip to South America (Millennium fled there after WWII). In the hotel, Alucard and Seras wake up to discover that they are accused of being terrorists and murderers and are attacked by SWAT teams. Half of this episode is the slaughter of the SWAT teams and other police (complete with impaled corpses outside the hotel) and Alucard’s fight with Tubalcain Alhambra (the leader of the South American section?) and discovery of the Major’s involvement. Alucard was involved with WWII and had some contact with the Major (a Nazi) then.

I ended up watching the dub; the main cast was the same as in the TV series (also true for the Japanese). Several characters had some sort of accent; they were mostly slight accents (noticeable but not overwhelming). This is extremely violent and gory; it was way past my threshold for violence. Such things were easier to ignore in black and white on a manga page than animated in color on screen; I knew this beforehand, and watched it anyway. The quality of the animation is excellent; the music isn’t very interesting, though. I liked the music from the TV series better and wish they had hired him for this or used some of that music; occasionally there were bits that were reminiscent of it.

Hopefully Geneon will have resolved their issues one way or another by the time the fourth OVA is released (no release date in Japan yet; the official site says 2007.XX.XX, and amazon.jp doesn’t have it listed at all). Volume 9 of the manga is apparently being released in Japan next week; hopefully we’ll see it here sometime soon, though I still haven’t read v8.

update: v9 of the manga was indeed released in Japan on 2007.11.09; Hellsing IV now has a release date of 2008.02.22 (two versions, ¥7,875 or ¥5,985).


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