Hellsing looks interesting

Mark talks about Hellsing and manages to pique my interest – not necessarily because of the blood and gore, but because of the description of Alucard:

One of the big problems with the series for me is actually that Alucard is way too powerful. There are several villains who crop up in the series, but most don’t even come close to Alucard’s power, and even the one climatic battle in the series is kinda lacking in suspense because even when it seems like Alucard has been defeated, he always manages to come back somehow.

For some reason, I am reminded of Aang in Avatar here. In his Avatar state, Aang is essentially invincible, but those scenes are incredibly exciting instead of dull – especially the final episode, where Aang fights the ultimate villain of the series, and (not to spoil it too obviously) wins, big time. Another example of this is the Terminator (original movie), where Arnold is literally unstoppable and his eventual demise is almost purely providential rather than because of any strategizing by the overmatched human protagonists.

Regardless of whether its a hero, villain, or something in between – there’s something very satisfying about a character who wields sheer power. Handled deftly, it can be a fresh change from the usual “hero tested beyond his limits and then succeeds against all odds” formula.

In fact the ultimate example of this is probably the character of Superman – in my opinion the best stories are those where he has to use his powers, not the ones where he loses them, faces a more powerful being, finds himself weakened by Kryptonite, etc etc. Superman being, well, super is what makes Superman fun.

3 thoughts on “Hellsing looks interesting”

  1. I recommend you watch the hellsing ultimate OVAs, they are a thousand times better than the TV series and the story is closer to the original manga. they just came out with the 5th OVA.

  2. Can you elucidate on why you find them better? I am a bit leery of OVAs after my experience with Escaflowne.

  3. Not sure if you’ll notice this sneaky little comment I put here, hehe.

    The Hellsing TV series started airing when the manga was still halfway through its progress. The OVAs though, follows the manga closely. So far there are 9 of them, each covering a volume of the manga with the last one, number 10 pending to be released.

    The original TV series had subpar action sequences and it was fairly obvious that the story just drops off during the latter half.

    Now for my own biased views… Despite all the shortcomings, I love the old TV series regardless because it has a devilish style like no other. This sort of dangerous suave charm, complete with some brilliantly strange relationships between the characters. From respected fear to controlled awe, between Alucard and Integra and Victoria, there was so much unsaid yet left implied that made it work.

    The OVAs replaced all that with sadism and overkill. Not to spoil too much, you have a crazed warmonger serving as the primary antagonist going on about how he loves war… describing in excruciating detail on how he loves it when bullets pierce into men’s skulls and tanks shells blowing away men’s limbs… for about 5 minutes He never got the chance to appear in the TV series by the way. The 9-episode OVA is basically a splatterfest of blood and gore.

    I’m actually glad the TV series started airing while the manga was still running. Lord knows I’ll never get to experience what I did if the studio responsible decided to stick close to the manga.

    P.S. I stole quite a few words from the recommendation because I got into writer’s block when typing this comment.

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