It has been over 13 years since the end of one of the best horror vampire mangas. Kouta Hirano’s Hellsing has built quite a reputation for itself over the years since the serialization of the manga from 1997 to 2008 done by Young King OURs.
The manga was originally adapted into a 13 episode anime series titled ‘Hellsing’ in 2001. The series was produced by Gonzo, directed by Umanosuke Ilda and Yasunori Urata while the screenwriting was done by Chiaki J. Konaka. It aired from October 2001 to January 2002 and was broadcasted on Fuji Television.
However, in 2006, Production house Geneon Entertainment decided to release an original video animation (OVA) anime series titled Hellsing Ultimate. The animation for the series was done by studio Satelight for the first 4 episodes, Madhouse Studios did episodes 5-7 while Studio Graphinica took care of the animation from episodes 8 to 10.
Even though it has been more than a decade since the end of the original manga, Hellsing still attracts an audience for itself. Newer fans often tend to compare the original Hellsing series to the OVA anime series.
In this article, we’ll dig into details and discuss Hellsing vs Hellsing Ultimate.
The anime circulates the Royal Order of Protestant Knights, an aristocratic house in London. The order was originally operating under the command of Abraham Van Helsing whose main goal was to fight and defeat supernatural beings or monsters such as vampires, ghouls that endangered England or the Queen.
The organization is currently being led by Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, the direct descendant of the first Lord Helsing. She unwillingly becomes the leader of the order after her father, Arthur Hellsing passed away. On his deathbed, Integra was told by her father that should she ever feel threatened, she should go down to the basement.
In the basement, she finds Alucard, a powerful vampire under the service of the Hellsing family, and becomes her master.
Thus Integra sets out to fulfill the duties of her family with Alucard, Walter C. Dornez, the faithful family butler, and former police officer Seras Victoria. However, as they get further and further involved with the extermination of the undead, the organization finds out about the existence of another secret order of the Vatican and the remnants of a Nazi group.
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Main Difference: Hellsing vs Hellsing Ultimate
The original anime series, Hellsing, was released on October 11, 2001. At the time, the manga was still very far from completion. Even though the series used the same setting and characters from the manga, since there wasn’t enough material at that time, the producers had to improvise and write an original script. Thus, the plot is very different from the source manga.
On the other hand, Hellsing Ultimate was released as an Original video animated (OVA) anime series. The first episode was aired on 10th February 2006. This meant that the manga was close to completion so the series stuck to the original plot of the manga.
Thus, the OVA series stayed faithful to the manga while the anime series was not. However, both Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate followed the same plotline.
Another major difference was in the art style. Hellsing was broadcasted way before Hellsing Ultimate, the 2001 animation dulls in comparison to the newer show which got better with each episode.
Moreover, Hellsing Ultimate was animated by three different animation studios, Satelight (1-4), Mad House (5-7), and Graphinica (8-10). Compared to that, Hellsing was just animated by Gonzo studios, a relatively new studio at the time.
Hellsing Ultimate offers the viewers a more refined-looking animation that included a lot more gore scenes making it more suitable for the horror genre. It also had a much bigger budget as compared to the original anime series.
Alucard is the main protagonist and is the most powerful member of the Hellsing Organisation. Before the start of the series, Alucard was defeated by Abraham Van Helsing after which he decided to serve him.
Alucard is often considered to be the strongest vampire alive and in the series. He is said to be only rivaled by The Captain and Alexander Anderson. He also has two signature weapons: a pair of high-powered semi-automatic handguns named the .454 Casull and the Jackal.
Seras was a former policewoman before she got turned into a vampire by Alucard at the beginning of the series. She is portrayed to be strong-willed and brave and often aggressive towards Alucard due to his preference for bloodshed.
However, she is considered to be trustworthy and follows the orders of her master if they have proven their worth to her.
Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing is the current leader of the Royal Order of Protestant Knights. After her father passes away, Integra is left in charge of the order which makes her uncle, Richard Hellsing rage and he decides to kill her.
Upon her father’s advice, she hides in the mansion’s basement and finds a dried-up corpse. The corpse turns out to be Alucard who then rescues her by killing Richard.
Integra is shown to be calm and collected throughout the show. She is also very patriotic and loyal to the country and considers her duty to protect the United Kingdom and the Anglican Church above everything else.
Walter C. Dornez
Walter is a member of the Hellsing Organization and the Hellsing family’s retainer. Though his role is to primarily serve as Integra’s butler and making special weapons for Alucard and Seras.
Despite being quite old, he can still fight and engage in battles and provides aid to Integra. He is mostly polite, diligent, and intelligent and effortlessly performs his duties as the head butler of the house.
Additionally, he is shown to take pride in being a human being but it is later revealed to be a facade as he secretly is disgusted by them.
Hellsing vs Hellsing Ultimate: Which is Better and Why?
If you’ve read the article so far, it is obvious that Hellsing Ultimate is miles better compared to Hellsing.
The original anime series’ biggest downfall is the fact that it is not loyal to the source material. Moreover, a huge chunk of the series was completely unrelated to the plot and was filled with filler episodes to make up for the lack of source material. However, this is only because the manga was not even close to completion at the time.
In comparison, Hellsing Ultimate was much closer to the manga. The animation and the art style were more sophisticated than the 2001 art style, the OVA series also had a much bigger budget.
The only area where I would say that Hellsing is better than Hellsing Ultimate is the soundtrack. It was mainly composed by Yasushi Ishii and Hayato Mastsuo. The series showcased some of the most memorable soundtracks in anime which remains unmatched.
In conclusion, Hellsing Ultimate is just better in every aspect except the soundtrack.
Where to Watch Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate?