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Hellsing Ultimate: Volumes 5-8 Collection (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 27, 2012 by  



More chaotic and bloody vampire action in “Hellsing Ultimate: Volumes 5-8 Collection”! For those looking for a a mature, action-packed and violent anime series in HD, “Hellsing Ultimate” is the anime OVA series that you are looking for!

Images courtesy of © 2012 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Hellsing Ultimate: Volumes 5-8 Collection

DURATION:  Episodes 5-8 (180 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen), Japanese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English

RATED: TV M

COMPANY: FUNimation

RELEASE DATE: October 30, 2012

Directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka, Tomokazu Tokoro, Yasuhiro Matsumura

Originally Created by Kouta Hirano

Series Composition by Yosuke Kuroda

Script by Hideyuki Kurata, Yousuke Kuroda

Music by Hayato Matsuo

Manga by Kouta Hirano

Character Design by Ryoji Nakamori, Shinsuke Terasawa

Art Director: Manabu Otsuzki, Yoji Yoshikawa

Mechanical Design by Hidetaka Tenjin, Noriyuki Jinguji

Anime Production by Satelight, Madhouse Studios, Graphinica, Kelmadick

Featuring the voices of:

Fumiko Orikasa/K.T. Gray as Seras Victoria

Jouji Nakata/Crispin Freeman as Alucard

Nobuo Tobita/Gildart Jackson as Major/SS-Sturmbannführer

Norio Wakamoto/Steven Brand as Alexander Anderson

Romi Park/Ralph Lister as Walter C. Dollneaz (young)

Yoshiko Sakakibara/Victoria Harwood as Sir Integral Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing

Chikao Ohtsuka/John E. Breen as Sir Arthur Hellsing

Daisuke Namikawa/Ralph Lister as Walter C. Dornez (Young adult)

Hiroaki Hirata/Yuri Lowenthal as Pip Bernadotte

Hiroshi Naka/Marcelo Tubert as Doc

Houchu Ohtsuka/Steve Wilcox as Tubalcain Alhambra

Katsunosuke Hori/Doug Stone as Sir Hugh Islands

Maaya Sakamoto/Kari Wahlgren as Rip van Winkle

Masashi Hirose/Stuart MacLean as Sir Shelby M. Penwood

Mitsuki Saiga as Heinkel Wolfe

Motomu Kiyokawa/Ralph C. Lister as Walter C. Dornez

Ryoko Shiraishi/Laura Bailey as Schrödinger

Sho Hayami/J.B. Blanc as Enrico Maxwell

Takehito Koyasu/Patrick Seitz as Luke Valentine

Wataru Takagi/Josh Phillips as Jan Valentine

Yoko Soumi /Rachel Robinson as Zorin Blitz

Yuko Kaida as Yumie Takagi

The rogue vampire Alucard is the Hellsing Organization’s deadliest instrument in its mission to protect the British Empire from satanic ghouls and Nazi freaks. He is not alone in his assault on the occult; the master has a servant. Policewoman Seras Victoria accepted Alucard’s gift of dark salvation after falling in the line of duty, and now the remnants of her human soul struggle against her growing vampire urges. Together, they haunt the shadows as a sinister force of good – and tonight the foggy streets of England shall flow with the blood of their evil prey.

Back in 1997, manga writer and illustrator Kouta Hirano created the series “Hellsing”.

From 1997 through 2008, the series would be published in “Young King Ours” and ten manga tankobon releases by Shonen Gahosha would be completed for release in Japan by 2009.

Back in 2002, an anime TV series adaptation produced by Gonzo and directed by Umanosuke Iida was created. But because the manga was nowhere complete, screenwriter Chiaki Konaka would make an anime adaptation that was different from the manga series, despite using similar characters and design.

As anime series such as “Fullmetal Alchemist” have received new anime adaptations that are more closer to the original manga series, Geneon would do the same for “Hellsing” by releasing a new OVA series titled “Hellsing Ultimate” and in 2006, the first episode was released and by 2010, a total of four episodes was released.

Because the release of “Hellsing Ultimate” was released during a duration of seven years, there were a few staff changes throughout the creation of the ten OVA episodes (Note: OVA episode 10 is expected to be released in Dec. 2012).

Anime production was done by Satelight (for episodes 1-4), Madhouse Studios (episodes 5-7) and Graphinica and Kelmadick (for episodes 8-10).

Vol. 1-4 was directed by Tomokazu Tokoro (“Arjuna”, “Niea 7”, “Devil Lady”), episode 5-8 was directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka (“Gokusen”, “Montana Jones”, “Chobits”), episode 8 featuring direction by Yasuhiro Matsumura (“Magical Kanan”, “Z-Mind”, “Cosmopolitan Prayers”). Series composition is by Yousuke Kuroda (“Mobile Suit Gundam 00”, “Madlax”, “Honey and Clover”), music is by Hayato Matsuo (World God Only Knows”, “Saint Tail”, “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure”, “Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor”), character design by Ryoji Nakamoro (“Tantei Gakuen”, “Earthian”) and art direction by Manabu Otsuzuki (“Claymore”, “Blue Exorcist”, “Steins;Gate”) and Yoji Yoshikawa (“Black Blood Brothers”, “Aria”, “Air Gear”).

But with Geneon USA shutting down, FUnimation negotiated with Geneon US for the license to release the series in the U.S. and in October & November 2012, “Hellsing Ultimate” will be released in two parts on Blu-ray and DVD. Each part containing four episodes of the series.

For the first four OVA episodes, “Hellsing Ultimate” begins with a young girl named Integra Hellsing who was chosen to become the head of the Hellsing Organization after her father had died. Unfortunately, her uncle is quite jealous that Integra was chosen to be the successor and not him, so now Richard Hellsing plans to kill her.

While trying to run and escape from Richard and his men, she remembers being told to run to a certain area of her home. But when Richard catches up to her and is about to shoot her a close range, Alucard the vampire who has been dormant for so long has awaken. He immediately kills all of Richard’s men and Integra shoots and kills Richard.

From that moment of time, Alucard gives his allegiance towards Integra and becomes her servant.

Fastforward to present-day England and we watch as Alucard is sent on a duty to destroy a vampire priest and his ghouls. At the same location is Seras Victoria, a police officer who is hurt baldy and when Alucard finds her, he gives her a chance to live or die. She chooses to live and he bites her, in order to save her and thus, transforming Seras to his vampire servant. We are introduced to Father Alexander Anderson who is bent on destroying the vampires.

As for Integra, Sir Integra meets with the politicians to discuss the recent vampire attacks on humans. But who is responsible for these attacks? And what will happen when vampires and ghouls launch an attack on Sir Integra and the people at the conference?

And who is this new threat known as “Millennium”?

With “Hellsing Ultimate: Volume 5-8 Collection”, the story begins to ramp up with plenty of action!

In OAV 5, Alucard is trapped on the Eagle and the Millennium vampires begins its attack on London.  As many humans are being killed and the vampires are trying to capture Integra, she surprisingly is helped by another group.

In OAV 6, as the chaos continues in London, the Hellsing mansion is under siege by Zorin Blitz and her forces.  The only people in the mansion that can provide defense are Captain Bernadotte, the Wild Geese and Seras.  Who will survive and who will die?

In OAV 7, Seras, Bernadotte and the members of Wild Geese are trying to survive the onslaught from Zorin’s forces.    But will they be strong enough to fight against Zorin Blitz?

And in OAV 8, Enrico Maxwell sends the Vatican forces to take on the Millennium’s vampires to protect the survivors in London.  Alucard has now arrived in London to bring his own force to fight Millennium.  And a fight breaks out between Major. Alexander Anderson using Helena’s Nail to transform into a monster takes on Alucard.

VIDEO:

“Hellsing Ultimate: Volumes 5-8 Collection” is presented in 1080p High Definition. It’s also important to remember that episode 5-7 were created back in 2008-2009 and episodes 8 was created in 2011.   With that being said, there are slight differences in quality with these later episodes now looking much more better in HD with more detail, more use of CG and just looks better overall.

With that being said, this is an OVA and not a TV series. So, OVA’s tend to have a better budget and doesn’t have the usual softness that a TV series may have. Also, more time is put in OVA’s in trying to generate special effects especially with a series this violent and chaotic. The art backgrounds are well-detailed, animation is dark as expected and while the series has been released on DVD before, being on Blu-ray, this series looks much better than its DVD counterpart.

AUDIO:

“Hellsing Ultimate: Volumes 5-8 Collection” is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. First, the Japanese voice acting for this animated OVA series is fantastic. The emotional scenes are well-acted and there is a good use of the surround channels and also the use of LFE. With that being said, as for the English dub, it’s great to have a cast who actually do have accents and sounds don’t sound forced or faked.  But with more action featured in these episodes, both soundtracks sound much better this time aroud.  Dialogue is crystal clear and better dynamic range with these episodes.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Hellsing Ultimate: Volumes 5-8 Collection” comes with the following special features:

  • Episode 5 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by voice actor Taliesin Jaffe (Voice Director/Script Adaptor) and voice actor Gildart Jackson (Max).
  • Episode 6 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Taliesin Jaffe (Voice Director/Script Adaptor) and voice actor Yuri Lowenthal (Pip).
  • Episode 7 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Taliesin Jaffe (Voice Director/Script Adaptor) and voice actress Rachel Robinson (Zorin)
  • Episode 8 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Taliesin Jaffe (Voice Director/Script Adaptor) and voice actor Crispin Freeman (Alucard)
  • Participating in a Legend: Dubbing Hellsing – The 10th Year Anniversary Interviews – (44:59) Cast and crew talk about the popularity of “Hellsing”
  • Hellsing Cast Roundtable Discussion – (43:55) Featuring a roundtable discussion with Katie Gray, Crispin Freeman, Taliesin Jaffe, Victoria Harwood, Ralph Lister and Patrick Seitz.
  • Anime Vegas 2010 Hellsing Panel – (1:10:00)  Featuring an anime con panel with voice talent Jonathan Klein, Charlene Ingram, Taliesin Jaffe, Victoria Harwood, Katie Gray, Crispin Freeman, Ralph Lister and Patrick Seitz.
  • Fans Questions Answered – (22:43) Featuring the cast answering questions from fans.
  • The Dawn: A Supplementary of Hellsing – (9:09) A special which takes place in World War II and focuses on a young Walter who must eliminate a threat from the Nazis.
  • Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • U.S. Trailer – (:58)

EXTRAS:

“Hellsing Ultimate: Volumes 5-8 Collection” comes with the entire series on both Blu-ray and DVD.

The long wait is over! “Hellsing Ultimate” episodes 1-8  have been released as a two part Blu-ray and DVD release.  The series has generated a lot of excitement when news came out that an OVA series of “Hellsing” will be released, but this time, a story that would be much more faithful to the original manga series.

With Geneon USA releasing the first three volumes of the OVA series, followed by FUNimation’s release of the fourth episode back in 2008, suffice to say, people have been waiting for episodes 5-8 to be released. And now, episodes 1-8 have been released in America featuring the original voice talent of the original series.  While OVA 9 has been released only in Japan and a 10th OVA is set for release in December 2012 in Japan, with hope that FUNimation will release these two in the U.S. in 2013.

And with “Hellsing Ultimate”, one can expect the bloody violence that they are used to from the original TV series but in a much more grander scale via 45-minute OVA episodes!

While the first four OVA episodes were character building episodes. The second volume is literally an all out war as the Millenium Vampires have now attacked London and will do whatever they can to capture Integra.  But surprisingly, another group comes to her aid.   Meanwhile, these episodes also feature Seras, Captain Bernadotte and the Wild Geese in a battle for their lives against Zorin Blitz.  While we see the return of Alucard and a fight between he and Major Anderson.

Suffice to say, these four episodes are full of action and bloody violence that the OVA series has been known for.

While the Blu-ray/DVD volume contains only four episodes of “Hellsing Ultimate” (which lasts a little over 45 minutes long), there are a lot of special features included.  With this second volume of “Hellsing”, there are a lot of newer special features which include interviews with the English dub cast 10-years-later, plus including a roundtable interview, Anime Vegas  Q&A panel and of course, audio commentary for OVA episodes 5-8.

As for the picture quality, the OVA’s look much better than its DVD counterpart with improved picture quality as the episodes become more recent.  As mentioned 5-7 were created back in 2008-2009, while OVA episode 8 was created in 2011.  So, there are slight differences when it comes to detail and animation.  “Hellsing Ultimate” still looks great on Blu-ray  and as for audio quality, audio was crisp and clear and both English and Japanese voice acting were well-done!

And last, it’s important to remind people that this is a very violent and bloody anime series. It’s full of action but it’s definitely not an animated series to watch with the children around.

“Hellsing Ultimate” is a blessing for “Hellsing” fans who have wanted to see watch this series because it is much more closer to its manga counterpart. And with “Hellsing Ultimate”, fans have been waiting for quite awhile in hopes that the series would be released completely in the U.S. So, after being patient for several years, it’s great to see this OVA series finally being released in America. And for those used to the original voice actors from the TV series, fortunately they are utilized again for the OVA’s.

And as for HD fans, fans who have desired for more mature, action-based series on Blu-ray, that’s what you get with a series like “Hellsing Ultimate”. It’s bloody and a lot of people (as well as ghouls and vampires) getting sliced up! So, if you are not into violent anime series or series with a lot of blood, “Hellsing Ultimate”is not for you!

With an impressive second volume, featuring violent chaos in London, the attempt by Millennium in trying to capture Integra, attacks against Seras and friends, especially an awesome battle between Alucard vs. Major Alexander Anderson, it will be interesting to see how things go for OVA episode 9 and seeing how the series will end in OVA 10.

Overall, If you are looking for a mature, action-packed and violent anime series on Blu-ray, “Hellsing Ultimate: Volumes 5-8 Collection” is recommended!






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