Hellsing & Hellsing Ultimate Respect/Comparison – Vol.2

Hello again and welcome back to the second installment of my Hellsing & Hellsing Ultimate comparison blogs! It’s almost time for Halloween (this post was written in October), and while I regret not having the time or the ability to cover all ten volumes for by now to mark the occasion (such is the curse of mortality), I figured it’s just as well that we use this special time in October to discuss one of my favorite volumes of the series. Namely, the Valentine Invasion arc.

VS.

Jumping right into the action, the differences between the manga and the OVA are already apparent, as we start the episode off with a little chit-chat between Alucard and Professor Abraham van Hellsing.

Good talk.

Good talk.

Alucard wakes up in a massive empty room (presumably his throne room), and finds himself mysteriously bleeding from his left eye. With uncharacteristic discomfort (for this is an OVA-only scene), he assures himself it was just a dream. A glass of wine on the table next to him spills over, and we get our title card.

Setting things back on track with the manga, we open on the Round Table conference, a meeting of a group of twelve highly influential individuals in politics and government known simply as “the Twelve” who run Britain behind the scenes. We arrive just as Integra begins explaining what they’ve learned about the recent vampire outbreak, namely that someone’s been implanting microchips inside the vampires to monitor their movements and activities.

Nuh-uh. Aw hell naw. Ain’t nobody lojacking my vampire.

She goes on to explain that not only is someone creating and controlling these vampires, but that they’re different compared to normal nosferatu. Namely, the ghouls they create are not limited to only non-virgins like traditional vampires, but anyone whose blood they drain, and the ghouls themselves are capable of surviving the destruction of their vampiric masters.

With this shocking revelation established, we cut to the basement, where Walter is explaining to Seras how she must sleep in a coffin containing soil from her birthplace (or her powers will weaken without drinking blood), as well as showing off their new gear to Seras and Alucard. Ladies and gents, behold the Jackal:

Walter: The 13mm anti-freak combat pistol Jackal. 39cm long, 16kg, six round magazine. This isn’t something a human could handle. Unlike the .454 Casull you’ve been using, it uses a new type of custom ammunition. Customized 13mm armor-piercing explosive rounds.

Alucard: The casings?

Walter: Made from pure Macedonian silver.

Alucard: Gunpowder?

Walter: Marvells Chemicals cartridge N.N.A.9.

Alucard: And the tips? Explosive? Mercury?

Walter: Mercury tips, blessed in advance.

I’d be whistling at it too.

Wait…

Walter: 39cm long, 16kg, six round magazine.

>six round magazine

>six round magazine

>six round

*coughBULLSHITcough*

We also learn from Walter that Seras’ equally iconic 30mm Harkonnen cannon fires two types of ammo, depleted uranium shells and armor-piercing incendiary rounds. Nasty stuff, designed to penetrate heavy tank armor and kill everyone inside, and they use it on flesh and blood targets. Man, Hellsing doesn’t fuck around. In fact I’m pretty sure it’s even on their business card.

One last interesting thing to note about this scene is that it chooses to omit a comment from Alucard showing a bit more leniency towards Seras’ discomfort towards drinking blood.

Alucard: But maybe this too could work. There may be a place for a timid “Evening Walker” like you.

And now we get to meet the lovely Jan Valentine (and some other twat no one cares about). I’ll be honest, Jan has to be one of my favorite villains in the franchise, and that’s a hard sell in a series like Hellsing where almost all the villains eat bullets and shit cans of nightmare fuel and asswhoopin’. He treads this really fine line between being hilariously over the top and actually scary, which makes him fun to watch while also being a legitimately threatening villain (more than his fop disappointment of a brother anyway, who is pretty much only good for his arrogance and nothing else). That and I love his disgusting potty mouth. It’s like watching a psychotic six year old with the vocabulary of a professional drunk go on a caffeine-induced rampage in rural England.

Jean brandishing his signature custom P90s

Interestingly, the OVAs decide to give him a much darker skin-tone than the manga, setting him at odds with his pasty shitstain brother Luke. Stylistically speaking I like this. It sets him apart visually from Luke in an immediately noticeable way, although one has to wonder if the character getting a race lift from white to black instead of the other way around for once being a psychotic mass murdering vampire carries any unfortunate implications.

… Racism?

Another bonus. Aside from adding (not removing) a reference to the Konami code which expands on the manga’s throwaway line “We get a godmode cheat and you don’t” (for the record I much prefer “Bringing the motherfucking death by Konami”), the OVAs change almost nothing about Jean’s lines, some of which are hilarious, some of which are disturbing, and some of which are hilariously disturbing.  


Ewwwww.

After breaking into the Hellsing estate with an army of trained, disciplined, and well-equipped ghouls, Jan and Luke go about dismantling the place, killing all the guards and attempting to storm the Round Table conference. They haven’t forgotten their manners though. Even though they let themselves in, they at least call ahead to let everyone know they’re coming.

Dub: Hello? Is this thing on? Cool. This message is going out to the Round Table Conference, and a very personal and heartfelt shout-out to the queen bitch herself Ms. Hellsing! Alright! Your ass is currently being kicked by the Valentine brothers! My name is Jan Valentine and I can’t wait to meet each and every one of you. We’ll be getting intimate as soon as me and the boys finish lunch. Let me be the first to thank you for providing us with all these tasty snacks! And by tomorrow Hellsing will be nothing more than a pile of shit!

We also get a lovely extended cut of what the initial invasion looks like, with hordes of ghouls marching in single file up the stairs, guards being mowed down in droves, and even a ghoul continuing to fight with its head shot off (immortality type 7), something that is both equally creepy and hilarious.

Note the purple eyes instead of red.

But all is not lost for Hellsing! With the help of Walter the group organizes a two-pronged attack and defense, with Walter and Seras maneuvering through the ventilation to intercept Jan and the ghouls before they reach the Round Table while Alucard goes on the offensive.

We cut to the inferior sibling strolling down the hall towards Alucard, and we partake in what I have to admit is a pretty cool scene, one which the snazzy music really sells.

Okay, point goes to you demigod, that was actually pretty cool, even if it wasn’t in the manga. Might make up for how you die like a total bitch later (but then again that was probably the intention :maybe)

Another instance of curious fanservice in these OVAs though comes to us from Seras (who else), who in the original manga accidentally dropped a ceiling grate on Sir Penwood’s head when she and Walter climbed into the conference room from the vents. Here, she just sort of… lands ass-first on his face.

No, I don’t have a picture of that. Instead, have an unusually eloquent Jan:

Fuck, these are some fine cigars! Like, all bourgeois and shit.

Meanwhile, Luke Valentine finally encounters the great Alucard, and Jan delivers to us this little gem:

Little Hellsing chicky, I’m coming to find you. Come out and play, little Hellsing; it’s going to be a lot of fun. We just want to torture you, kill you, maybe skullfuck your corpse a couple of times, burn your house to the ground, go home, and masturbate, okay?

Truly classy. But just as things seem like they’re coming along just fine for ol’ Janny boy, Walter pimps in and gives him a taste of his own medicine.

And also cannons.

What can we say, bitches love ’em.

This is our first time being introduced to how Walter C. Dornez, the Angel of Death, fights. And it is awesome.

You’ll immediately notice that, despite not being a vampire or any kind of enhanced or supernatural human, Walter can still bullet-time with the best of them. How can he do this when he’s 60-70 years old? Never explained. He’s just Walter C. fucking Dornez, deal with it.

Next we move on to Walter’s weapon of choice, razor wire gloves for that extra sprinkling of class on this murder sandwich. With them, Walter can cut apart entire crowds of ghouls as well as deflect bullets. He even has precise enough control over them to rip out Jan’s lip ring and form them into shapes like grids and nooses.

For that extra added “fuck you”

We also get to see what Seras is capable of when she mows through rows of heavily-armored ghouls with the Harkonnen and even subdues Jan with a skillfully executed armbar, showing off her police training. Unfortunately, just as soon as it looks like he’s defeated, Jan has to ruin the party once again by bringing in the freshly ghoulified Hellsing staff as backup, and dropping a little hint that Alucard is being paid a visit by the older member of the Valentine brothers.

Meanwhile the showdown between Alucard and our little wannabe demigod bitch begins, and you can notice a few interesting differences if you pay close attention. Firstly, the room Alucard’s waiting in is portrayed as being far more massive than in the manga, where it was a relatively humble basement. Here it’s this gigantic empty medieval oubliette, lacking any and all furnishings besides Alucard’s chair and end-table and appearing very… what’s the word… dank?

No, not that kind of dank.

And perhaps this is just a translation convention or some sort of error, but in the Dark Horse publication, Luke mentions being able to sense Alucard’s “chi”, something which is never mentioned anywhere else in the manga or OVAs. Stupid translation error or perhaps a hint that vampires in the Hellsing universe may share some similarities to the infamous “hopping vampires” of China, the jiangshi?

Anyway after a bit of rather dry philosophy on the nature and value of immortality as well as Alucard’s infamous reputation, the fight between Alucard and Luke Valentine begins in earnest. Both the OVAs and the manga have some pretty good speed feats for Luke in the opening move. In the manga he dashes down an entire hallway as nothing but a blur, and in the OVAs he and Alucard both draw their guns in the time it takes a glass of wine to hit the ground (this is in addition to the usual ridiculous displays of bullet-timing of course).

Anyway, the first of many shots are fired, from a sawed-off M1 Garand by Luke and the .454 Casull by Alucard. Both shots hit home in the head and the heart respectively (although in the OVAs they’re both headshots), showcasing more good feats of low-mid regen as the two literally laugh it off. Luke also dodges point-blank shots from Alucard’s gun (aimed at the neck in the manga and the heart in the OVAs), and Alucard praises him for his reflexive ability. Alucard on the other hand continues to give not a single earthly fuck and dodges none of Luke’s bullets, taking the damage like a champ. Luke claims he has the sum total of Alucard’s vampiric abilities (although we quickly learn this is a big fat lie born from ignorance), and in the OVAs we also get a good luck at what kind of damage the Jackal can cause when a single shot carves up a stone staircase.

Meanwhile, back upstairs, the welcoming party starts to get a little rapey with Seras while Jan makes a break for the conference room, only to be met by… this:

Oh fuck me.

The “fight” between Luke and Alucard continues, and a heavily bloodied Alucard remarks that he hasn’t had a fight like this in ages, and that Luke’s power surpasses even the highest category of naturally occurring vampire (remember Alucard has also been heavily modified from the “basic template” by years of experimentation by the Hellsing family). He then proceeds to show off what is perhaps his most important and well-known power, the ability to turn into a Lovecraftian nightmare made of blood, eyeballs and screaming:

This. This is what nightmares are made of.

This is referred to as “Release Restraint: Level One” (out of a total of four levels, three to zero), and it makes up the majority of Alucard’s combat effectiveness once guns no longer suffice. In this form Alucard is basically an amalgamation of all his familiars as well as every drop of blood he’s ever drank, granting him logia intangibility (in addition to the intangibility he normally has) and low-high regen as well as the ability to summon familiars and freely manipulate shadows and his own semi-liquid body, making random body parts like arms and mouths appear anywhere out of his amorphous mass. As a bonus, in the OVA merely activating this mode mindfucks Luke with illusions of Alucard’s many gleaming eyes.

Luke tries to run away but Alucard blows both of his legs off at the knee with the Jackal, leaving him crippled at the bottom of a ridiculously long staircase with safety just out of arm’s reach. Luke makes a mistake by calling Alucard a freak, causing Alucard’s opinion of him to drop in a rather dangerous way, and Alucard kills him with the Hound of Baskervilles, one of his most notable familiars.

As a vampire you were a piece of shit. Now you’re nothing but dogshit.

Back upstairs, Seras decides she’s had just about enough of being bad-touched and flips out again like she did in volume 1, entering what the fandom has collectively decided to call a “blood rage” and killing all the undead Hellsing soldiers in a rampage. Integra calms her down in a rather emotional scene for her and with that taken care of, they move on to interrogating Jan.

It doesn’t go well.

As the chip inside him self-destructs and he burns to death, Jan gives them what is perhaps the best dying line of all fucking time:

Jan (OVA): See?! I so fucking told ya! Hahaha! Well, since I’m fucked, how about I piss a little wisdom on you dipshits? You can take this clue and shove it up your ass, bitch! Beware… the… Millennium!

Finally dying, he flips them the bird as his body incinerates, putting an end to one of the best villains in all of Hellsing canon. Godspeed, you magnificent bastard. We salute you, Jan Valentine, with the biggest middle fingers we have to raise.

Later, at the mass funeral, we learn that out of 96 Hellsing members, only ten survived the massacre. Eight survived because they stayed at home that day, and the other two were Walter and Integra (discounting Seras and Alucard since they are technically already dead). Walter presents to her the information they dug up at Sir Iron’s request about Millennium, revealing they really have nothing to go on except a number of small insignificant occult groups throughout America, Japan and France, including one Star Wars related club in Los Angeles.

The real thousand-year empire.

Out of a spur of inspiration brought on by Walter mentioning the definition of “millennium” (one thousand years), Integra makes the (correct) correlation to Nazi Germany and Hitler’s Third Reich.

We close out the episode with a bunch of murmuring troops falling into line, as the silhouette of the Major calls them to attention, and to resume the research.

And that’s it for the second OVA! Compared to volume two of the manga it is a mostly faithful adaptation with some minor cosmetic differences and some scenes rearranged in a slightly different order, which is what I like in an adaptation. Trim the fat, change only what needs to be changed and keep the basic structure the same.

With that said, due to time constraints or whatever, nearly two chapters of content were left out of this episode and pushed off until the third OVA. The meeting between Iscariot and Hellsing, and the introduction of the Wild Geese, both of which we’ll be covering next time! Thank you very much for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little compare and contrast, and I hope to see you again next time!