Hellsing Ultimate-Volume 2 (2006)
Audio Commentary-Taliesin Jaffe, Patrick Sietz and Josh Phillips
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Taliesin Jaffe, Patrick Sietz and Josh Phillips
Featurette-Clean Closing Credits
|Year Of Production||2006|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Tomokazu Tokoro|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 EX (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Hellsing Ultimate is an OVA redo of the original, and still quite recent, Hellsing anime series (Volume 1 of which is reviewed here). The aim of the redo, besides milking anime fans for more cash, is to present a series that is closer to the original Manga (which is somewhat easier in the OVA format thanks to the lack of strict running times).
This series has been produced by a different production company to the previous series and consequently there is no duplication of footage with the original series (although many scenes look quite similar to the previous series). Whilst all the animation is new and quite different in style, the characters retain the same general look as the original series. Despite being produced by a completely different production company, the English dub features the same voice actors as the original Hellsing series.
The overarching story is pretty straight forward, Hellsing is a secret British organisation operated by Abraham Van Hellsing's descendants. Their purpose is to save Britain from supernatural evil (kind of like an anime Torchwood). Their main muscle is a mysterious and very powerful vampire named Alucard and a young police girl he has turned into a vampire.
This particular episode, which covers the second volume of the Manga, picks up as the Hellsing organisation are conducting a post-incident review of the events that occurred during the previous OVA episode. Just as the board of directors are being told of a mysterious computer chip that gave the ghouls in the previous story unusual resilience, a fresh pack of heavily armoured ghouls attack the Hellsing Institute directly. The ghouls are led by two mismatched vampires, the Valentine Brothers, one an American low-life yob and the other a snooty prig. Their goal is to eliminate the organisation, particularly their main vampire hunter Alucard and leader Sir Integra Wingates Hellsing.
This volume is pure action. Little time is dedicated to the plot as buckets of blood is splashed about between action poses. This episode veers off into a stunning psychedelic direction as the vampire hunter Alucard shows off his vampiric powers. Though perhaps not as strong as the first instalment, this episode is guaranteed to have bloodthirsty anime fans hungry for more.
The film is presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.
The video looks very good, although the animation itself occasionally looks a little crude (although this is sometimes a deliberate effect to evoke the look of the Manga). The video is quite sharp. There is no noticeable grain or low level noise.
The show uses colour very distinctly. There are lots of dark, shadowy colours and deep reds in the palette and they look great. The rendering of the colours is consistently rich throughout the film.
There are no noticeable MPEG compression artefacts in the transfer and no visible film artefacts.
The subtitles are a nice bold yellow and translate the original Japanese dialogue (which is a tad wordier than the comparatively crude English dub).
The film features English and Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) audio tracks and an English DTS (768 Kbps) audio track.
The dialogue is clearly audible on all three tracks. The dialogue does not lip sync terribly well for the English audio tracks, although the dubbed voices to fit the general visual tone of the lip motion.
The music is fairly sparse and generally a quite forgettable affair.
The show makes good use of the surrounds and subwoofer, particularly during the numerous action sequences.
|Surround Channel Use|
The English script adapter/dub director Taliesin Jaffe and two voice actors provide a rather chatty, though unnecessary, commentary. The trio are fairly jovial, but really don't shed any light on the production. It is actually a little hard to hear this commentary on occasion as the commentators voices are fairly soft and get drowned out by the audio from the show itself.
An unbearably long interview with English dub director Taliesin Jaffe and the two voice actors that do the baddies in the episode. The three really don't have anything of any substance to say, mainly talking about how they psyched themselves into the characters and how cool the show is, and take a long time to do so. Pure filler.
What sounds like Ian McKellan mumbles some gothic mumbo jumbo to completely unrelated footage before a couple of brief snippets of the animation play. A different marketing angle for this kind of thing.
Two Japanese TV commercials for the series that run 16 seconds apiece. There isn't really anything here that isn't in the promo videos. A Japanese trailer, with subtitles, that features a lot of the cooler animation from the show. Though marked as the opening credits, this is in fact the closing animation without credits. The animation provides a brief taste of things to come in volume 3 - Nazis! Production art sketches of characters, props and backgrounds. Hate the shiny foil cover and ratings logo? An alternate cover is printed on the other side of the slick.
The Region 4 edition contains exactly the same disc content as the Region 1 two disc limited edition, albeit on one disc (on which it all fits comfortably). The Region 1 limited edition pack includes a 200 page book of production art. A bare bones standard edition is also available in Region 1.
A bloodthirsty action-fest that occasionally veers towards the psychedelic. This volume will appease most fans of the genre, but anyone with a sensitive stomach best beware! Extras are substantial in number, but not quality. The audio and video are both excellent.
Japanese trailer (1:15)
Credit-free Opening Animation (2:46)
Production art gallery (0:46)
R4 vs R1
Ratings (out of 5)
Video Audio Extras Plot Overall
© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Review Equipment DVD Sony Playstation 3, using HDMI output Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD.
Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio Decoder Pioneer VSX2016AVS.
Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
Amplification Pioneer VSX2016AVS Speakers 150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
A Japanese trailer, with subtitles, that features a lot of the cooler animation from the show.
Though marked as the opening credits, this is in fact the closing animation without credits. The animation provides a brief taste of things to come in volume 3 - Nazis!
Production art sketches of characters, props and backgrounds.
Hate the shiny foil cover and ratings logo? An alternate cover is printed on the other side of the slick.
The Region 4 edition contains exactly the same disc content as the Region 1 two disc limited edition, albeit on one disc (on which it all fits comfortably). The Region 1 limited edition pack includes a 200 page book of production art.
A bare bones standard edition is also available in Region 1.
A bloodthirsty action-fest that occasionally veers towards the psychedelic. This volume will appease most fans of the genre, but anyone with a sensitive stomach best beware!
Extras are substantial in number, but not quality.
The audio and video are both excellent.