HELLSING ULTIMATE VOLUMES IX AND X

Posted On June - 14 - 2015

HELLSING ULTIMATE VOL 9 AND 10SYNOPSIS:

London is in flames. At Integra’s command Alucard’s full power was unleashed, annihilating the Last Battalion and the Vatican’s Ninth Crusade. Seras, now a full-fledged vampire, was the only one to walk away from the brutal assault on the Hellsing mansion. Father Anderson’s sacrifice in the hope of defeating Alucard proves to be in vain. Walter has shown his true colors and is finally ready to accomplish what he set out to do half-a-century ago. Has Alucard finally met his match? And the Major? He’s just laughing. It’s all going according to plan…

 

REVIEW:

The endgame is drawing near, and what more is there to say? It’s still Hellsing – it’s dark, violent, and bloody, and if none of that appeals to you then you’re as likely to still be watching at this point as those who made it to ‘Nazi vampires’ and thought that was the most ridiculous thing ever, and not in a good way.

 

Surprisingly, or perhaps not given how few people/vampires/undead/etc., etc. are left standing, things are actually a good deal less bloody in these last two episodes. While the series was never exactly shy about bloodshed, the invasion of London turned things up to eleven in a way that would give Berserk a run for its money, but now that the story is winding down everything’s a bit more low-key where fights are concerned. Alucard prepares to face the now-vampiric Walter while Integra and Seras head into the Major’s downed zeppelin to confront him. Inside, the perpetually enigmatic Captain helpfully points Integra towards the command room while Seras stays behind to fight him. Given how he’s been on the periphery for so long, it’s nice to see him finally get some spotlight time, and for Seras to get a true one-on-one fight where her new abilities can shine. On the other hand, the Captain’s character development is very minimal, although that still puts him head and shoulders over most of Millenium’s agents, and some may find how the things we learn about him to be a touch cliché. Integra, meanwhile, gets to listen to the Major continue his perpetual philosophizing about war – and that screen of reinforced glass between himself and Integra is making shutting him up in the speediest way available quite inconvenient. That is, until Seras arrives and demonstrates why you should never send a handgun to do a cannon’s job. Then we find out the truth about the Major, and unlike with Alucard it isn’t something everyone who’s so much as heard of this series already figured out.

 

Meanwhile, things may not be quite as bloody anymore in terms of the actual carnage happening onscreen, but there are still an awful lot of dead people lying around, and even vampire SS soldiers still have blood in them. And Alucard is drawing it all forth so he can do what vampires

 

are wont to do with blood. There’s just one problem: unbeknownst to him this is exactly what the Major wants – everything, including his much expounded-on desire for another war, has been done in the name of something deeper and much more personal, and Alucard is at the center of it all. And if you aren’t overly familiar with the original Schrödinger’s Cat, prior to watching these episodes would be a good time to look it up since the Major’s master plan relies heavily on both the original thought experiment and his pet catboy.

 

What the last two episodes do have a lot of, however, is talking and exposition. The Major continuing to wax philosophical about war and, now, what makes one human right up to his dying breath. Integra pointing out why he’s wrong about basically everything. Alucard explaining to Walter why he’s not as great as he thinks he is. The final fate of the Doctor, which includes Walter revealing further backstory behind the creation of the vampires of Millennium – new information to the viewer but still a tad ‘as you know, Bob’ since the only other person there is the Doctor who, you know, already knows all of this. The timeskip conclusion that shows the legacy of the events of the series and the current state of Hellsing. These are the episodes where the dust finally settles and the survivors try to parse out the meaning behind it all. Not exactly the stuff of a blow-you-away finale, but it does exactly what it needs to and wraps up the story satisfactorily.

 

There’s basically nothing new to say about the visuals. Everything’s still high-quality with a subdued color palette that fits the series well, with some more super-deformed brightly-colored bits thrown in for some comedy that are still either a welcome breather or a bit jarring depending on where you stand.

 

EXTRAS:

Episode commentaries; U.S. trailer; trailers for other Funimation releases; R.I.P., In Memoriam – a video tribute to every named character who’s died over the course of the series (uses the English dub, in case that’s not your thing); special ‘interview’ commentaries for each episode wherein Jonathan Klein (English-language Producer), Taliesin Jaffe (ADR Director, Script Writer, and Editor), and Crispin Freeman (English-language voice actor for Alucard) discuss their experiences working on the Hellsing franchise for over a decade and how it feels to finally wrap things up.

 

IN SUMMARY:

Less action, more talking. The finale won’t knock your socks off, but if you’ve enjoyed the series up to now there’s no reason not to stick around for the ending.

 

  • Released By: Funimation Entertainment
  • Available on BLU-RAY + DVD Combo Pack
  • Running Time: 112 minutes
  • Rating: TV – MA
  • Release Date: 10/28/2014
  • Reviewed By: Adam Craig

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