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Author Topic: What's the appeal of Hellsing?  (Read 375 times)

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Offline BeorningTopic starter

What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« on: August 02, 2014, 03:50:44 PM »
So... lately, I catched a few episodes of Hellsing (the newer series). After watching them, I have to ask: why is this manga / series so popular?

I mean... the central character, Alucard, is a basically unkillable. Whatever the bad guys throw at him each episode, he is able to come back from it and defeated them (brutally). He's near-godlike, he transforms into some sort of Lovecraftian abomination... so each story is, overall, about him going somewhere and murdering a lot of people while laughing like a maniac. There are no real challenges for him... Boring! And personality-wise, he's a total monster. He shoots people, he rips peole apart, he impales them... even innocent people. I'm supposed to be enamoured with him?

The other main character: Integra. She's a jerk, too - she just either walks around, looking smug and smoking cigars, or shouting about killing everyone. Huh? Not really likeable... And the third character, Seras? For a change, she's a total ditz. Why does every Japanese comic book have to have a ditzy woman? Ugh.

(and why is Integra called "Sir"? and what kind of name is "Seras Victoria"?)

Aside from the characters, the story isn't very interesting: each episode is about some vampire appearing, demonstrating some cinematic martial arts or gun-fu - and, eventually, being killed off by Alucard. Oh, and there's this subplot about Vatican's vampire hunters, which... borders on offensive, really. The Vatican's chief enforcer is some maniac with swords and healing factor, who shouts "AMEN!!!!" quite a lot... oh, and apparently, the Catholics still believe in killing "heretics" and "heathens". Riiight.

I'm also tempted to ask why so many people in this series wear long, snazzy coats, gloves and glasses. And ties. Even women wear ties in Hellsing...

Overall, why is this whole thing so popular? Judging by what I've seen around Internet, it *is* popular. But is it really that good? I really wonder what's going on here...

Offline Mikem

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Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2014, 12:23:43 AM »
I have absolutely no idea what Hellsing is.

Guess that's an answer.  :P

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 12:32:42 AM »
Japanese honorifics have no masculine or feminine denominations until you get to royalty, so "Sir" Integra is the same as "Dame" Integra; she is a knight, and the title is appropriate, but the Japanese have no comparative term.  They have odd views of European titles and status anyways.

As for Alucard, he's not actually a character.  He's more like an active plot device.  As for why it's popular....it's simply over the top madness and violence, with a heavy supernatural element.  It's meant to entertain, just as Turro Toppen Gurren Laggen or Kill La Kill.  The reasoning is far less important than the experience of the situations.

It's like the Rocky Horror Picture Show...you don't watch it for the plot, really.

Offline Blythe

Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2014, 01:09:02 AM »
Seriously. Spoiler alert for later episodes.
What appeals to me is that, once you shove all the big violent theatrics out of the way, there is a showdown between Father Anderson and Alucard, once Alucard's true form is revealed. Alucard, once you get down to it, seems to be seeking a worthy foe to destroy him in some manner. He initially appears to admire Anderson as a worthy opponent, and often cites that only a man can kill him, not a monster. When Anderson impales his own heart on the Nail in order to take advantage of the relic's power to destroy Alucard, he gave up his humanity to do it. He lost himself, his identity, all the things that make him him. Alucard seems to be genuinely upset about this, both saddened and angry. It was, for me, a moment of genuine tragedy. Anderson sacrificed his very self for something, and it's easy to tell that the sacrifice was not worth it. At the same time, Anderson is obviously desperate and thinks this is the only way to stop Alucard. He's pushed into a corner.

In a lot of ways, the series is just a "do the ends justify the means" exploration. There is a lot revolving around the horror people are willing to unleash to accomplish what they believe is right (another good example is Enrico Maxwell in later episodes)...and you have the Major, who literally doesn't care about the end. Just the means, so long as it's war, as he's a complete madman.


Anyways, non-spoiler reasons why I personally like it. I do like gory horror, and Hellsing fits the bill. Alucard is....not so much a character as he is a foil to just about everyone else rather than an individual character most of the time. The art is a pleasure to view, and a lot of my enjoyment comes from it's use of over-the-top combat tropes (yes, I know. Not a great reason for liking something, but it's a reason. ^^ ). Lastly, I like that, if you look at the more personal character interactions, often a short amount of dialogue goes a long way in Hellsing.

Can understand if you don't like it, though. Hellsing isn't for everyone, and there are better anime out there. *nodnod*

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2014, 05:10:13 PM »
Hm. I'll be watching, then...

I admit that I can get watching something for violence... Kill Bill is built on it, after all, and I liked it. Still, Hellsing is so violent that it's just not fun anymore. I mean, the scene when Alucard kills Rip van Winkle... it was simply disgusting...

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 12:43:57 PM »
I haven't actually seen a single episode, or read as much as one caption - But I saw a voice-over parody, and just from the style of animation used and it's graphical nature I'm in love with it! It's one of the first anime's I've come across that doesn't pander to any crowd, but stays completely true to it's source material from all I can see. No blatant, bouncy fan service, and no censorship on the violence to make it worthwhile for 4Kids to dub it.

But sadly I haven't found any place where I can actually watch it in Japanese.

Offline Changingsaint

Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2014, 06:03:34 PM »
It doesn't hurt that the story is more about Integra and Seras than Alucard. Alucard is more just a force of nature in that he's less a character and more a weapon of mass destruction as a vampire. There is something amusing about having a vampire crash land a fighter jet onto a navy warship and seeing nazi vampires go into hysterics by how terrified they are about it.

I didn't really love Hellsing as an anime, or at least the OVA. It was entertaining though.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 06:16:59 PM »
Actually, as someone who hates vampires and vampire media in general Hellsing is on the exceptions list. Alucard is Dracula (real clever there that one is). It's really one of those animes you watch for the fights. The plot isn't basic, but it doesn't demand too much of your mental faculties. I actually enjoy the English dub too. The VO actors are really good.



Offline Drake Valentine

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Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2014, 02:20:53 AM »
Hellsing? That anime is over a decade old. At its time it was one of the few good animes airing. Of course it is easy to be skeptical with all the other variations of anime that has been released before and after and besides the manga was much better.

Offline Changingsaint

Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 03:34:34 AM »
There is Hellsing Ultimate which is worth looking into, and is only about 2-3 years old.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2014, 05:08:55 AM »
Hellsing Ultimate is what I happened to watch...

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Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2014, 07:58:13 AM »
Oh, well can't relate there. I only watched the older Hellsing anime and it was good at its time. Probably still one of the better vampire animes in my opinion.

Offline ShadowSlider

Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2014, 08:08:23 PM »
Hellsing Ultimate is funny to me, because the actual anime is just a little too much for me. I think that's mostly because of the length. An hour for each episode makes it feel over-long to me. IMO, at that length you're getting into feature film territory and I'm sorry, but there's just too little that actually happens in each episode to justify that length.

On the flipside, I adore the YouTube parody, Hellsing Abridged! From what I've seen of the anime, it follows the same story, but just presents it in a totally different way. Alucard is still a vicious monster, but the whole thing is just so irreverent that in a way, it actually makes him legitimately likeable.

Of course, that could just be because I'm a little twisted myself, but that is neither here nor there. :P

Also, the fact that the episodes are MUCH shorter and better paced, and that Abridged is action/comedy instead of action/horror, helps the enjoyment factor tremendously.

Offline Killer Robot

Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2014, 12:53:27 AM »
Absolutely.  Team Four Star takes Alucard's blatant BS Mary Suesm and fricking runs with it.    Best thing to ever happen to the series really: impossible to take seriously, rolls around in what a ridiculous blood bath the series is, and the scenes between Alucard and that hunter/killer priest couldn't be written any better.   I love it, I wish they'd stop focusing so much on DBZ and pump out more of that.

Offline Wajin

Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2014, 03:34:15 AM »
Absolutely.  Team Four Star takes Alucard's blatant BS Mary Suesm and fricking runs with it.    Best thing to ever happen to the series really: impossible to take seriously, rolls around in what a ridiculous blood bath the series is, and the scenes between Alucard and that hunter/killer priest couldn't be written any better.   I love it, I wish they'd stop focusing so much on DBZ and pump out more of that.

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Offline ShadowSlider

Re: What's the appeal of Hellsing?
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2014, 03:46:22 AM »
"There's no one alive who could comprehend my sexual preferences"

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