Hellsing Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 80
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Hellsing

Hellsing Vol. #2

By Paul Jacques     September 03, 2003
Release Date: September 22, 2003


Hellsing Vol. #2
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
Arucard and the Hellsing Organization face a twofold challenge! A traitor within begins leaking classified information about the Organization - and a TV journalist is out to expose Hellsing's secret mission! Then, the ruthless Valentine Brothers lead their undead army on a deadly raid against the Hellsing headquarters, interrupting the secret Round Table meeting!


The Review!
The battle is taken from the streets and into the Hellsing HQ as we see what happens when a Category A vampires takes on Arucard.

Audio:
I listened in both English and Japanese, and both are excellent (224Kbps). Plus no Dick Van Dyke accents to cringe over this time. Although I can still hear the odd drop out in the opening theme, but it is very minor irritation.


Video:
The very modern video presentation is still clean and pleasing to the eye, with no visual problems detected.


Packaging:
The front box cover has the Valentine brothers and Arucard. On the rear of the box we see stills from the episodes contain within. The two page insert opens out into a great drawing of Arucard and Seras. On it’s inside we see some more stills and the chapter listings. The DVD itself is printed with a shot of Arucard.


Menu:
Following on from disk no.1 format we have (Seras) bullets for option hotspots, whilst accompanied by the same spooky incidental music along the lines of "Ave Satani” (the chant music from Omen). Although this time I noticed some slight distortion in the incidental music (right channel), but you’re hardly going to be hanging around the menu long enough to notice. That notwithstanding, the links all worked without issue.


Extras:
In the Extras we have the “Staff Interviews” which is very good, “Concept Art Gallery” which is very extensive and a Creditless ending.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
At the end of the first volume we were unsure if Seras would continue to fight he unnatural vampire urges, and try to remain human- now we find out.

The episode (no.4) starts with Hellsing tracking down snuff movies that show “the undead”. Someone comments that it’s all just supply and demand voyeurism, but is it? Later, more film comes to light that attempts to out the Hellsing organization- Integra is not a happy bunny at this point. Seras, using her police officer intuition, discovers who is behind the films and makes the arrest. Only during the arrest Integra gives Arucard permission to “feed” on one of the instigators, whilst she looks on, impassive at the spectacle Arucard puts on. As the person is executed by Arucard, and the episode draws to a close, we are left with questions- Is Integra a voyeur or just plain vindictive for watching Arucard kill the captive human? Does Seras bite her own hand in horror or fascination at the spectacle of a human being drained of blood? If nothing else, at the end of this episode we are left in little doubt that Seras is indeed a vampire.

The next two episodes are part of the same story. The start is humorous, with Arucard and Seras being given some even bigger guns to use by Walter (he also has a few tricks of his own up his sleeve). Then the plot quickly settles down to a story about the Valentine bothers (artificial vampires) attacking the Hellsing HQ in revenge for an MI5 attempt to infiltrate their organisation. It’s also obvious that someone has spilled the beans and given the Valentine brothers a lot of inside information which gives them a serious advantage. During the ensuing battle we get to see a little more of Integra’s personality, and to be honest it’s not pretty! In the end the Valentines are dispatched, but we are left none the wiser as to who is really behind the artificial vampires or the attempt to destroy the Hellsing Organization.

In this volume we learn a few new things, such as what additional powers Arucard possesses, how Seras can be human one minute and an animal the next, how Integra appears to be one tough SOB, and what Walter can do in in a crisis. This is good, as we need to see some character development to keep our interest.

In summary- Now the plotline is cranking up, I think we can safely say it’s going to be an excellent series!

Features
Japanese Language,English Language ,English Subtitles ,Staff interview,Clean ending,Concept art collection


Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 21” Sony Trinitron monitor, ATI 9700pro & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones.


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