There are many anime series that deserve to be in the conversation regarding the greatest television series ever made, with some still airing new episodes to this day. One series, however, first aired back in 2001 and featured some of the greatest gothic storytelling of the 21st century, as well as some of the finest action set-pieces ever committed to film. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of catching the short-lived mini-series, Hellsing is currently available to stream via Crunchyroll.
Hellsing was adapted from a popular manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano, which first appeared in the magazine publication Young King OURs in 1997. The manga has subsequently been republished in English for English-speaking readers and distributed throughout North America by Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse is best known for their work on series’ such as Hellboy, as well as a number of official collaborations with the Star Wars intellectual property.
Hellsing, and its later adaptation, Hellsing: Ultimate, are both available to stream on Hulu.
The anime adaptation of Hellsing was written by Chiaki J. Konaka and directed by Umanosuke Iida and Yasunori Urata. The series was originally broadcast on Fuji TV and ran a brief but memorable thirteen episodes before being rebooted in Hellsing: Ultimate.
Though the OVA Hellsing: Ultimate followed the events of the long-running manga more faithfully than the series, the series has been hailed as one of the greatest anime of all time for its ability to truncate the storyline into a succinct but satisfying narrative.
The Hellsing series has also received a number of one-off stories set within the original Hellsing universe, including Hellsing: The Legends of Vampire Hunter, Crossfire, and Hellsing: The Dawn. Each new addition to the franchise was met with wide acclaim from critics and fans of the series alike, with manga author Kouta Hirano receiving near-universal praise for his excellent work.
Unfortunately, the most recent spinoff, Hellsing: The Dawn, remains unfinished, running only six chapters between 2002 and 2006, leaving many fans to wonder if a proper conclusion to the franchise will ever see the light of day.
Hellsing revolves around the Royal Order of Protestant Knights, led by a monster hunter named Abraham Van Helsing. The team’s ultimate goal lies in stopping the forces of supernatural evil from spreading their power and influence over the land of the living, with Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingate’s Hellsing inheriting the leadership role from her father in her youth.
Having been robbed of her innocence after witnessing her father’s gruesome death at the hands of a supernatural being, Hellsing resolves to lead her team with the deadly force of her ancestors, with the family butler Walter C. Dornez by her side as her watcher and protector.
Alucard has become something of a mascot for the series, as his trademark sunglasses and leather jacket-clad look have cemented the iconic visual language of the show and the manga alike.
Additionally present in Hellsing’s rag-tag team of misfit monster-hunters is Alucard, an incredibly powerful vampire who has been alive for centuries, swearing perpetual fealty to the Hellsing family after being defeated and nearly slain by them hundreds of years prior to the Hellsing storyline taking place.
Subsequent one-offs and spinoff issues would often focus on Alucard navigating other time periods throughout history as an immortal being, including adventures in Nazi-occupied Europe in the mid-twentieth century.
Alucard has become something of a mascot for the series, as his trademark sunglasses and leather jacket-clad look have cemented the iconic visual language of the show and the manga alike. Former police officer Seras Victoria joins Hellsing and her team after Alucard turns her into a vampire, enlisting her in the cause.
Most of the series takes place in London, as Hellsing and her team clash with a pair of ideologically opposed political fronts, including remnants of a Nazi group called Millennium, who wish to bring the evils of the regime back into power.
In March of 2021, it was announced that Amazon Studios had plans to create a live-action adaptation of Hellsing for the big screen. Though live-action adaptations of popular anime series are often doomed to failure, many fans have found their trust in the production reinvigorated by the recent success of Netflix’s live-action One Piece adaptation, which some say has shattered the curse.
In March of 2021, it was announced that Amazon Studios had plans to create a live-action adaptation of Hellsing for the big screen.
Though very little has been said about the live-action film in recent months, fans are still holding out hope that the project will be completed and delivered soon.
Regardless, the news that more Hellsing content may be on the way has sparked a great deal of fanfare for the original series, leaving many fans to rewatch the thirteen-episode run for a brief refresher. If you haven’t yet had the chance, be sure to stream Hellsing on Crunchyroll today.