Hellsing Ultimate: Volume 5-8 Blu-ray review

Vampire anime Hellsing Ultimate: Volume 5-8 is out on DVDa nd Blu-ray from 20 May 2013

Hellsing (ヘルシング Herushingu) suffers from pretty much everything all anime suffers from.

These flaws are namely awful writing, cringey comedy bits and long, drawn-out fight sequences that go on endlessly, as each combatant pulls out another ace to try and trump the other guy. Moreso than others, it gets away with things because it’s so gloriously unapologetic with all its blood-and-thunder bombast.

It’s hard not to grin inanely at the sight of vampire antihero protagonist Alucard (psssst, read it backwards) absolutely laying waste to all who oppose him with the maniacal overdrawn grin he’s afforded.

The sight of a fleet of dirigibles full of Nazi vampires descending like a carnivorous swarm upon a burning London is pretty impressive too, and sets the tone for the shameless insanity within.

After all the build-up in previous instalments of the Hellsing Ultimate series (pardon the expression), shit’s just got real.

The Nazi vampire Millenium organisation, led by the despotic Major, along with his cronies – one who has cat ears – have finally made good on their threats and are attacking London en masse, and only the Hellsing Organisation has the wherewithal to counteract, and they’re wildly overwhelmed.

Not only that, but the Catholic Iscariot organisation – who hates protestants as much as vampires – is invading too, killing absolutely everything in its path, including poor Londoners that probably just got off the tube.

It all ends up in a confrontation between Alucard and Gerard Butler soundalike Cardinal Anderson, who’s imbued with superhuman powers. Just because. It’s never explained how he’s so powerful, and you’re kind of just expected to go along for the ride.

Just from reading all that you can obviously tell it’s a load of piffle, but damn it, it’s incredibly entertaining piffle that ticks all the right adolescent boxes, namely buckets of blood, violence, vampires and explosions.

There’s something likeable about Hellsing. It knows it’s daft, and revels in it.

How else do you explain a part where Alucard has a conversation with a cartoon Bruce Willis that makes no sense whatsoever?