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Kōta Hirano is a Japanese mangaka, best known as the creator of the manga HELLSING. The manga was serialized by Young King OURs from 1997 to 2008, and was collected in a total of 10 volumes. HELLSING is today considered to be one of the best and most popular horror manga series ever. The story focuses on the Hellsing family, whose primary goal is to battle and eradicate the undead and other supernatural forces that threaten the Queen and Country. HELLSING is a globally popular series that has been adapted into two anime series – Hellsing, which is a more liberal take on the original manga, and Hellsing Ultimate, which fully follows Hirano’s manga – and a three-episode special.
Today’s article is going to be about these anime series, as we are going to give you the complete watching guide to the whole Hellsing series, which includes two series and one three-episode special. You’re also going to find out about the synopsis of the series so enjoy, and prepare yourselves for watching!
What is Hellsing about?
The Royal Knights of Protestant Order are a noble house of London led by Abraham Van Helsing. For generations, he has been fighting against creatures that most ordinary people are unaware of like vampires, ghouls and any non-human entity that is generally referred to as a “monster”. The Order operates in great secrecy and has long been a paramilitary organization in the service of her Majesty.
Leading the organization is Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, a direct descendant of the first Lord Hellsing. Still a teenager, she is forced to take control of the Order. Her father Arthur, sick and close to his death, orders his daughter, should she feel threatened, to go down to the basement of the mansion, where there is something able to protect her.
Upon the death of her father, Integra’s uncle tries to kill his niece, infuriated that Arthur had chosen her as the new leader of the family. Integra, as suggested by her father, hides in the dungeons of the mansion, where she finds a corpse. Her uncle still manages to find her and doesn’t hesitate to shoot her. The first blow only touches her, but the bloodshed is enough to awaken the corpse that instantly kills his uncle and his minions.
Integra thus comes face to face with Alucard, a vampire in the service of the Hellsing family for more than a century, as well as an ace in the hole of the organization which, by the will of Arthur, had been locked up in the dungeons many years earlier. The girl, although still very young, thus becomes Alucard’s Master (The Master).
Ten years have passed since that incident and Integra has now become a young woman. When the number of vampires in London begins to grow exponentially, the Vatican also begins to move. The exorcist priest Alexander Anderson, the best agent of the Iscariota (a thirteenth secret division of the Catholic Church), is sent to Badrick, a border area between the Catholic and Protestant territories.
However, monster appearances do not seem to follow any logic; it is as if the rules for creating the undead have been changed, suggesting that the whole thing was orchestrated by someone.
This is how the ghosts of 50 years earlier, the Nazis of the Millennium, make their appearance; all this time they have been acting in the shadows, trying to fulfil the shattered dream: the landing in England, the destruction of London and the annihilation of Alucard and the Hellsing family. A full-blown war, from which no one can escape.
Hellsing – the anime series
As we’ve said, the series consists of two anime series and a three-episode special. The article is going to continue with an overview of the series and all the episodes. Here is an overview of the whole series:
|Title||Type||Episodes||Start Date||End Date|
|Hellsing||anime series||13||October 10, 2001||January 16, 2002|
|Hellsing Ultimate||OVA series||10||February 10, 2006||December 26, 2012|
|Hellsing: The Dawn||special||3||July 27, 2011||December 26, 2012|
What follows is a comprehensive guide to all three installments of the franchise, with the exact episode count. The filler episodes in Hellsing are marked with a different color compared to the others; all Hellsing Ultimate episodes are canon. Enjoy!
The anime broadcast in Japan took place from October 10, 2001 to January 16, 2002 on Fuji Television at midnight. Shortly before the premiere, a limited edition of DVDs with the series itself and promotional materials went on sale.
Due to significant plot differences from the original manga, the series has received mixed reactions from both Hirano and fans. The anime has been licensed in North America by Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment. Geneon released its first edition of the series on July 23, 2002 in two versions: a regular edition and a box set. It later opened the anime’s official website.
In 2012, Funimation released a compilation called Hellsing the Complete Series, which included all 13 anime episodes and additional content. In the UK, the rights to anime were acquired by ADV Films, in Southeast Asia by Odex Private Limited and Dynamic Asia Multimedia, and in Australia by Madman Entertainment.
|#||Episode Title||Air Date|
|1||“The Undead”||October 10, 2001|
|2||“Club M”||October 17, 2001|
|3||“Sword Dancer”||October 24, 2001|
|4||“Innocent as a Human”||October 31, 2001|
|5||“Brotherhood”||November 7, 2001|
|6||“Dead Zone”||November 14, 2001|
|7||“Duel”||November 21, 2001|
|8||“Kill House”||November 28, 2001|
|9||“Red Rose Vertigo”||December 5, 2001|
|10||“Master of Monster”||December 12, 2001|
|11||“Transcend Force”||December 19, 2001|
|12||“Total Destruction”||January 9, 2002|
|13||“Hellfire”||January 16, 2002|
As you can see, there is a total of 6 filler episodes in the original, 13-episode anime series. This includes the whole series’ ending. The main reason for this is the fact that the manga was not even close to completion at the time, so the producers had to come up with their own stories. The Hellsing anime has a filler ratio of 46%, which is very high, as almost half the show was filler content that is usually not considered to be canon. This is also why most fans advise skipping the original anime series, as you’ll see below.
Hellsing Ultimate, known simply as Hellsing in Japan, is an original video animation (OVA) originally animated by Satelight, later Madhouse (episodes 5-7) and Graphinica (8-10). In Japan and North America, the OVA series was released in DVD format by Geneon.
The American division of Geneon originally planned to release 2 episodes on one DVD disc, but the released discs contained one episode each. In addition to the limited edition series, there was audio commentary from the cast dubbing the anime into English. In the United States, Funimation Entertainment was also involved in the production, marketing, sales, and distribution of OVA. In the UK, the OVA series was produced by the UK subsidiary of Manga Entertainment.
The OVA series is closer to the storyline of the original manga than the anime series, although the manga itself was not yet completed at that time. In particular, the OVA series depicts the hunt for artificial vampires and the struggle of “Hellsing” with the Nazi group “Millennium” invading England.
|#||Episode Title||Runtime||Air Date|
|1||“Hellsing I”||51 minutes||February 10, 2006|
|2||“Hellsing II”||43 minutes||August 25, 2006|
|3||“Hellsing III”||47 minutes||April 4, 2007|
|4||“Hellsing IV”||56 minutes||February 22, 2008|
|5||“Hellsing V”||44 minutes||November 21, 2008|
|6||“Hellsing VI”||42 minutes||July 24, 2009|
|7||“Hellsing VII”||45 minutes||December 23, 2009|
|8||“Hellsing VIII”||49 minutes||July 27, 2011|
|9||“Hellsing IX”||48 minutes||February 15, 2012|
|10||“Hellsing X”||68 minutes||December 26, 2012|
Hellsing: The Dawn
In 2001, Hirano began publishing chapters of a prequel series, Hellsing: The Dawn, in special editions of Young King OURs, of which six chapters have been released as of May 2009. The Dawn features a fourteen-year-old Walter C. Dornez and Alucard, in the form of a young girl, attacking Millennium’s base of operations in Nazi-controlled Poland in September 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising.
Publication was scheduled to resume after the conclusion of the main Hellsing series, but there have been no new chapters since the manga’s conclusion. Chapters of The Dawn were animated as part of the Hellsing Ultimate OVA series. The three animated entries to The Dawn were released in conjunction with the 8th, 9th, and 10th OVAs.
|#||Episode Title||Air Date|
|1||“Hellsing: The Dawn Special 1”||July 27, 2011|
|2||“Hellsing: The Dawn Special 2”||February 15, 2012|
|3||“Hellsing: The Dawn Special 3”||December 26, 2012|
How to watch Hellsing?
Now that you know the structure of the whole series, we can tell you how you should and could watch it. As for Dawn, you can watch it anytime, although we advise you watch it after either of the two main series. As far as Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate are concerned, we know that the latter is not a sequel, but rather a reboot of the original anime. Hellsing adapted the manga, but it had several filler episodes, while Ultimate was completely faithful to the original manga.
In that aspect, you need not watch Hellsing to understand Hellsing Ultimare or vice versa, in which case we suggest watching Ultimate first, as it is completely true to the original plot. Hellsing Ultimate is also better in terms of animation and character development, with the only thing better in Hellsing being the anime’s soundtrack. Ultimate had good music as well, but it wasn’t even close to the original soundtrack. And with this, we conclude our guide on the Hellsing franchise.
Where to watch Hellsing?
As of March 2021, both Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate are available to stream on Hulu and Funimation for American fans. Other streaming services don’t have the show on their platforms (anymore). As for The Dawn, we haven’t been able to find out where exactly you can stream it, but is available on the home media releases of Hellsing Ultimate. You can also check our guide on where to watch Hellsing for more information.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!