The last batch of episodes were this show’s peak: the closest it was to being fun. Granted, it never actually was fun, but it made it close. Well, that’s all behind us now. We are fully in Chiaki J Konoka’s story and it is a shoddy one.
Hellsing is being rebuilt after the Valentine Brothers’ attack and Seras and Sir Integra are still investigating the freak chip that is turning people into artificial vampires. Alucard is now bloodthirsty because he realizes that the center of this plot has a vampire close in power to him. And Seras sees people die and shouts their name.
Where before, Chiaki was attempting to add pathos and “depth” to the first 12 chapters of the manga, he now has entered all of his worst traits. His writing style is very heavy on “woe is me” and “we must understand” and very much like a Matrix sequel. In some cases, this style works (Serial Experiments Lain), other times he can scale it back to be manageable by most viewers (Digimon Tamers, Princess Tutu), and other times he causes the story to completely fall apart under its own weight (Armitage III). Hellsing is firmly in the third category.
It’s worse when you consider that this adaptation is Seras’ story. She is a completely passive protagonist, not doing anything and just reacting. She’s very much like Shinji (although NOWHERE near as whiny or angsty or anti-social) in that regard, yet it shows that she is still as weak a character as when she started. But if Seras get no development, then it’s equally as bad for Sir Integra and Alucard. Alucard is pretty much just a monster who wants to fight and Sir Integra, while keeping her backstory, is made into a dumb and gullible figure. At the end of the day, it is a wonder that the Hellsing organization lasted as long as it did.
That’s ignoring that there is STILL no animation budget for this (in unrelated news, the Gonzo project done at the same time as this, Last Exile, is still one of the better looking anime series of it’s day). The animation shortcuts are even more egregious here than before, with the moments of still frames invoking a “DO SOMETHING!!” response more than before. Action is almost nonexistent in this block, meaning that we just have to see conversations, misleading pathos, and constant buildup.
This series is really disappointing. It never finds its stride and wallows in mediocrity as a result. Hopefully, the ending will give some sense of closure to this series, but I now just wish that this will end and that more people will watch Hellsing Ultimate rather than this.