The second Christmas item to join my blog is a recent rescue from Manga Entertainment thanks to Funimation’s involvement.
Hellsing Ultimate is a 2006 original video anime based on the manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. The anime was adapted by studios Madhouse, Satelight, and Graphinica, and published by NBC Universal Entertainment Japan. The anime series ran between 2006 to 2012 across 10 installments.
Hellsing Ultimate is the second anime adaptation of the source material. The first anime was adapted by studio GONZO back in 2001 and ran into the issue of running out of material to cover so it resulted in an anime original filler direction. Hellsing Ultimate is designed to properly adapt the source material, much like what Fullmetal Alchemist did with the Brotherhood series. As the series was released in a long length there were three animation studios tackling the production. Studio Satelight worked on OVA episodes I-IV with director Tomokazu Tokoro, studio Madhouse worked on OVA episodes V-VII with director Hiroyuki Tanaka, and studio Graphinica worked on OVA episodes VIII-X with returning director Hiroyuki Tanaka with Yasuhiro Matsumura directing the episode VIII.
Licensing is also a weird one. In the United States & Canada, Geneon Entertainment released OVA episodes I-IV across four DVD volumes in 2006 & 2007 before the company discontinued. Funimation took over with episodes V-VII followed by acquiring I-IV and VIII, which were eventually released across two Blu-ray & DVD combo pack collection sets in 2012. OVA episodes IV-X wasn’t acquired until years later in 2014.
In the UK, Manga Entertainment acquired OVA episodes I-IV as individual DVD volumes in 2008 & 2009, before eventually acquiring episodes V-VIII for Blu-ray & DVD release in 2013 alongside a collection release of I-IV. The license for IX-X was acquired but due to Funimation shifting towards distribution with Anime Limited, the remaining episodes were sent into limbo followed by the rest of the series going out of print. In May 2019, Funimation acquired Manga Entertainment and brought back Hellsing Ultimate as a complete collection set for July 2019. Those who have yet to get IX-X will be able to acquire them in January 2020.
Released in July 2019, Hellsing Ultimate’s complete collection release from Manga Entertainment contains the entire series (10 episodes total) across five Blu-ray discs (but two of them are focused solely on on-disc extra features). While Manga is known for re-using the same discs for recent sets, the complete collection 2019 set uses the same discs as the Funimation complete collection 2019 release (which were also five discs in the US release). The audio options available include the Funimation/Geneon English dub and the original Japanese audio with English subtitles. The white subtitles are unlockable during playback for Episodes I-VIII only, and the discs are locked to Region B Blu-ray players.
Hellsing Ultimate is available to order on Amazon UK.
Languages: English, Japanese
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Video: 1080p High Definition Native format with 16:9 ratio
Locked Subtitles: No (Episodes IX-X are locked)
Plot Synopsis (via Manga Entertainment):
“The rogue vampire Alucard is the Hellsing Organization’s deadliest instrument in its mission to protect the British Empire from satanic ghouls and Nazi freaks. He is not alone in his assault on the occult; the master has a servant. Policewoman Seras Victoria accepted Alucard’s gift of dark salvation after falling in the line of duty, and now the remnants of her human soul struggle against her growing vampire urges. Together, they haunt the shadows as a sinister force of good – and tonight the foggy streets of England shall flow with the blood of their evil prey.“
Blu-ray On-Disc Extra Features:
English Dub Commentaries for Episodes I-IV
Interviews with Taliesin Jaffe & Crispin Freeman
Interviews with Taliesin Jaffe, Patrick Seitz & Josh Phillips
Interviews with Taliesin Jaffe, Victoria Hardwood & JB Blanc
Interviews with Taliesin Jaffe & Ralph Lister
Interviews with Taliesin Jaffe & Karl Wahlgren
Anime Expo 2007
Textless Songs for Episodes I-IV
Japanese TV Commercials
Japanese Ending IV
Karaoke of Major’s Speech
English Dub Commentaries for Episodes V-VIII
Participating in a Legend
Anime Vegas 2010 Hellsing Panel
The Dawn: A Supplementary of Hellsing
Textless Songs for Episodes V-VIII
Hellsing Cast Round Table Discussion
Fans Questions – Answered
U.S. Trailer for Episodes V-VIII
English Dub Commentaries for Episodes IX-X
R.I.P. In Memoriam
English Dub Interview Session IX: Episode IX Video Commentary
English Dub Interview Session X: Farewell to an Epic
U.S. Trailer for Episodes IX-X
Hellsing Ultimate is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Manga Entertainment.