Format: DVDAnimated, Box set, Color, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
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The vampire-turned-hunter saga Hellsing owes a lot to both the original and remake of Vampire Hunter D. In Britain, vampires that were artificially created by implanting chips in their necks are attacking people. Dispatching them is the job of the Royal Order of Religious Knights, headed by the icy (and apparently female) Sir Integra Hellsinger. Her chief agent, the red-clad Arucard, destroys one vampire, then turns police woman Victoria into a servant-vampire, bound to him. The outré story violates the rules of the traditional legends: vampires wear crosses, enter churches, and pose as priests; Hellsinger's mortal enemy is the Vatican's Iscariot Organization. The animation is very static, and the design style changes from character to character. Despite grotesque imagery borrowed from Night of the Living Dead, the result is more silly than scary, and the series suffers from underdeveloped characters, a plot that is sketchy at best, a surfeit of pointless violence, and inadvertently hilarious dialogue. In subsequent episodes, Luke and Jan, the Valentine Brothers, lay siege to the headquarters of the Hellsing organization, the Royal Order of Religious Knights. After numerous humans have been killed and eaten by an army of ghouls, Sir Integra Hellsinger, Arucard, and Seras must hunt down the perpetrators. Not surprisingly, the finale is elaborate, violent, and inconclusive. The closing titles announce that the search for the creators of the artificial vampires continues, so a sequel may be in the works. (Rated 16 and older, but unsuitable for viewers younger than 18: graphic violence, profanity, gore, violence against women) --Charles Solomon