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  • Hellsing Ultimate (Anime) Review

    Hellsing Ultimate Anime Review

    Hellsing Ultimate

    The Bird of Hermes
    Is My Name
    Eating My Wings
    To Make Me Tame

    Do you know the tale of the no life king? A ruler living in the darkest part of Europe during the middle ages? He was a man that killed over 10,000 of his citizens and impaled them at the border of his own kingdom to scare off the far stronger invader… Yes he was both genius and bloody. He was the impaler, Dracul. He entered the legend as the Lord of Vampires, the most legendary of his kind. According to the tale, he was killed by a vampire hunter. I’ll tell you what really happened, indeed, the no life king was tamed. He was made a weapon at the disposal of mankind. Humans are weak, they perish quickly and both their soul and body are fragile. Quite inefficient as hunters of those godforsaken creatures. Centuries after the defeat of Dracula, Hellsing organization releases its greatest warrior, Alucard, to fight vampires throughout the British nation. A domesticated vampire of the first class…

    What follows is my unholy review of Hellsing Ultimate an ova series of 10 movies that was released in the span of almost a decade. It’s the complete adaptation of the horror manga by Kota Hirano with the same name. This review will also compare this to the original TV series from time to time in order to clear any doubts. It’s also important to tell people that a mini prequel series called Hellsing the Dawn also exists but it will not be taken into account for this review. The review will analyze the series according to graphic, characters, sound, story and personal enjoyment

     

    Art and Animation of Hellsing Ultimate

    Score 9/10

    Hellsing Ultimate

    The project was born as the ultimate adaptation of Hellsing after the end of its glorious run in 2008. As an ova series (and by Madhouse one of the best studios out there) the show boasts a near flawless animation that it’s been out of the league of many anime since the first movie came out. The art is dirty and messy, a perfect stylistic choice to better portray the general vibe of madness this series has. Indeed we’re talking about one of the most graphically violent and gory shows of the new millennium (no pun intended). This series overall packs an amazing comport of visual awesomeness and it’s one of the most ambitious works in this industry.

     

    Characters of Hellsing Ultimate

    Score 9/10

    Hellsing Ultimate

    I wonder what a series would be without a loveable cast of flavorful characters? Yes Hellsing ultimately (again no pun intended) does not fail to deliver one of the most interesting set of characters in anime history. Even though we cannot talk of absolute originality or insane psychological profiles (for example Alucard is based on Vincent Valentine from FFVII) we can’t deny how Kouta Hirano created a charismatic protagonist that is everything but the emblem of the hero. He is neither good nor bad, he just does whatever he wants and he is always the best at what he does (maybe even too faultless).

    Character design is not too impressive with the exception of the awesome Alucard, the titular protagonist, but everything works perfectly in the context of the series. The secondary characters are well managed like Seras (who was more like the protagonist in the original Hellsing anime), Rip, Walter, Integra and my favorites Pip and the Major.

     

    Soundtrack and Acting of Hellsing Ultimate

    Score 8/10

    Hellsing Ultimate

    We’re not talking about a series that aims at using its musical score as a major (ok I’ll stop it with the puns) point of interest that’s for sure. You want awesomeness but this does not mean that Hellsing fails at the sound aspect quite the opposite lately. The original soundtrack works well as a background music and there are a few selected iconic tracks (like Gradius Vita) that make scenes overflowing with epicness and tension. Many genres from pop to solemn choral music are used. One thing that the original anime did well was the ost and its opening is one of the most iconic ones out there. Unfortunately for Hellsing Ultimate no tv series means no opening, but I advise you to watch all endings cause they are neat amvs of the back stories of many characters in the series. The voice acting earns this most of its score, many know how I am no fan of the dubbing but this time I can’t say anything. Alucard is a magnificent Crispin Freeman. Nonetheless the original Japanese subtitle is still superior because of Freeman’s Japanese equivalent Jouji Nakata.

     

    Story and Pacing of Hellsing Ultimate

    Score 8/10

    Hellsing Ultimate

    I cannot say this is a story driven series because it lets the characters, the setting and the events speak for themselves in a formula that never fails to disappoint. I do not mean that it has no story. It may be simple but surprisingly effective and thematic. In a hollywood fashion we see a mix of all that stuff, from movies or dark fantasy from nazi vampires to warewolves and the modern context, only makes it even more enjoyable and unique. The progression is linear and the storyline is enriched by the addition of every new character, each of them serves an important purpose in the greater scheme of the events.

    The pacing is excellent, maybe even too fast due to the fact it’s adapting a not so short manga in less than one hour ovas. The action is focused on giving the viewer a mix between excitement and disgust as it should be. It massively improves what made the original series miserably fail, a complete and logical storyline that has no filler and far better coherent characters and situations. Even though I liked the occasional humour, it is sometimes inopportune and anti climatic.

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Hellsing Ultimate

    Score 9/10

    Hellsing Ultimate

    Who can’t deny this was one hell(sing) of a ride? oh I forgot to stop the puns… Jokes aside, we are talking about a very valid product and one of the most important horror seinen you can find. There are clear inspirations to works of the past, especially with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures the legendary series whose certain elements resemble closely some of the plot points of Hellsing Ultimate. Even though the two have a similar black humour style, Hellsing is surely one step beyond in terms of controversial and morally questionable content so I warned you, it may offend your sensibility.

    It’s nothing to be worried about, merely a tribute to an older series with similar genre. Take your time into analyzing the various themes in the series, the meaning of human, monster, religion, pride and soul. There is also a certain remarkable complexity regarding the ethics and worth of being what you are, even in your weakness and faults. Stay what you are or you might lose yourself in the process of changing, good and evil are not absolute.

    Final Score 8.5/10

    – Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)


  • Sengoku Basara (Anime) Review

    Sengoku Basara Anime Review
    Sengoku Basara

    Dei now and repent forever. There are none before me, there shall be none after me. I come to spread the seed of discord, I am the devil king of the sixth heaven. Oda Nobunga! Come with me, it is time for a journey back to the past of a country you may know. Feudal Japan, XVI Century, the country is caught in the middle of the greatest war the land of the Rising Sun has ever sen. It,s an era of the warring states, dividing the country into numerous fractions. Samurai lords trying to contend the place as the undisputed ruler. We will follow Date Masamune, the reckless and young leader of the Oshu, waging war against his neighbors. Soon Date and the other lords will have to put aside their hostilities and face the infamous Oda Nounaga. He is a merciless general who razes everything to the grounds and rumored to come from the deepest pits of hell. Are you ready guys? Get your guns and let’s get this review started!

    What follows is the awesome review of Sengoku Basara, an anime from 2010. It is split into two seasons of twelve episodes (plus one ova for each season) and the movie The Last Party. It is based on the crazy series of video games with the same name by Capcom. I remind you that this review will not include the new season that recently aired in Japan. We’re analyzing Animation, Characters, Sound, Story and Personal Enjoyment.

    Art and Animation of Sengoku Basara

    Score 9/10
    Sengoku Basara

    The visual aspect of Sengoku Basara is astonishing to say the least. Considering the chaotic and epic nature of the series, we have slick fast paced movements and stylish effects that “tear off” the colors from the scene to convey the feelings of epicness. The show throws away realism for dragon ball like action that aims at creating the most impressive visual impact you can think of. As the feudal lords trade blows and their raging spirits clash, the air is twisted and countless soldiers are swept away like fragile leafs, explosions changing the landscape. The art is simply beautiful and is surprisingly realistic and detailed in the face designs, you can see they are clearly Japanese especially by the eyes.

    Characters of Sengoku Basara

    Score 8/10
    Sengoku Basara

    Sengoku Basara does not need to prove anything so the characters are not here to provide the show with a complex psychological layer. They meet common stereotypes and archetypes. Then why like the characters of Sengoku Basara? You simply love them that’s it. They blend perfectly together in the crazy contexts of the series, the cast is colorful and with stunning character design you won’t confuse anyone. You will start picking favorites right away. The characters are all likeable and entertaining, and so are their interactions,. Despite they possess bare minimum character development they simply don’t need it, they are well characterized as they are.

    Soundtrack and Acting of Sengoku Basara

    Score 10/10
    Sengoku Basara

    I feel obligated to say Sengoku Basara’s sound┬á is near flawless, having a memorable and wickedly fitting ost with a legendary voice cast and acting (Japanese of course unless you dislike having the best). The sound effects during battles are well done, due to the high amount of action this is to be expected. The Soundtrack is composed by the master Hiroyuki Sawano being one of the best scores he ever made. The Japanese traditional tunes are mixed with rock, metal, pop style music and epic choruses. Overall everything suits the anachronistic feel of the series. A special mention for the two themes of the villains of both the first and second season, the epicness that enters your ears will pump you up like nothing before.

    Story and Pacing of Sengoku Basara

    Score 8/10
    Sengoku Basara

    This show is about the Sengoku Jidai, a period of the Japanese history where violence and poverty hit a land plagued by war. This is a seinen and we have a remarkable amount of violence and questionable content, but the series never takes itself too seriously. If you find logic in something, you will realize that it’s actually intelligently stimulating. If you can’t find the logic or explanation in something, then let it go cause it’s all intentional. This is surely a series where the laws of reason and logic don’t really matter, but you are too busy enjoying the awesomeness of the series for it to be a problem. As for pacing, it’s pretty good throughout the run even though it suffers from occasional drops. The storyline follows more or less the actual historical events. Yes all characters in this show did truly exist.

    Personal Enjoyment of Sengoku Basara

    Score 9/10
    Sengoku Basara

    I thoroughly enjoyed Sengoku Basara’s two seasons and movies. The Last Party, the “End of Sengoku Basara”, is simply one of the most epic movies I’ve seen. You will spend hours laughing and cheering on for your heroes. Even the most despicable ones (that in my case are my favorite characters) will not fail to be of your liking. An acting that reaches legendary status with Norio Wakamoto as the big bad Oda Nobunaga, the very fearsomeness of the voice is menacingly delicious. It’s also a chance for you to learn Japanese history. How can one not love the characters and their quirks like Date Masamune speaking English and a black hole standing over Oda Nobunaga whenever he appears

    My Final Score 8.6/10

    – Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)


  • Blood Reign: Curse of the Yoma (Anime) Review

    Blood Reign: Curse of the Yoma Anime Review

    Blood Reign
    I love 80s anime so I try to watch the ones I come across. I had heard of Blood Reign before, but had never got around to watch it until recently. I must say that at first it was a little crude with the music and art, but at the same time it came out in 1989 so what should I expect. While reviewing this OVA, I will try to remember it is older.

    The Plot of Blood Reign

    Blood Reign
    Blood Reign Curse of the Yoma is about a war being waged between ninja clans. I love ninja/samurai anime’s. The story follows a ninja named Hikage that is given the task to kill his friend Marou for certain reasons. Along his path he must defeat the Yoma of the Earth which is basically the evil spirits that reign over certain areas. He must also fight off neighboring enemies he runs into. When he finally reaches Marou he learns a terrible secret. A girl named Aya begins following him after he saves her. She is also a ninja, so she helps out more than he thinks. The two learn to love each other and get on with their life in the end.
    The plot seems a little rushed, but it is not like they give a lot of run time when it comes to OVA’s. It skips around a lot especially after the first part. Since it is cut into two separate episodes, the first part follows Hikage and stays relatively close to the when Marou runs away. When you get to the second part, two years have passed and Hikage has still not found anything. Then it suddenly jumps around a lot explaining what is happening between the clans and the war. I understand the time skip, but it is annoying. Other than that, the plot is great if you like ninja movies.

    The Characters of Blood Reign

    Blood Reign
    Hikage

    Blood Reign Curse of the Yoma basically has three characters it focuses on. While there are other characters in the OVA, Hikage, Marou, and Aya are the three main characters. Hikage is a ninja that goes against the rules. His character is your everyday rogue anime ninja, but it works for the time it was created. He is very strong, but is obviously human. Aya (the second one) is more of an outgoing type of person. She quickly falls in love with Hikage and tries her best to keep up with him. Marou has a secret that not even he knew about. In the beginning he is very quiet and distant. Towards the end, he wants destruction.
    The characters are actually really well in this anime. Each one develops over the time periods pretty thoroughly. The other side characters are strong enough to make an impression on you.

    The only mistake I made with this anime was watching it in English. Blood Reign Curse of the Yoma was meant to be watched in Japanese. Thankfully I had the subtitles for the Japanese version and had a better understanding of the anime. I recommend anyone this anime if you liked Fist of the North Star or Ninja Scroll. Remember it is an older anime, so the soundtrack is a bit laughable at times. If I were reviewing this anime back in 1989 I would give it a 9/10, but since things have changed and I watched it in English I have to give it a little less.

    Overall Grade 7/10


  • Pokemon The Origins (Anime) Review

    Pokemon the Origins Anime Review

     

    Pokemon the Origin
    Red and Green

     

    I new it was an origin story but I just thought that Pokemon the Origins was a more detailed account of Ash’s beginnings. It is a basic retelling of the Pokemon Red game though. It was verbatim actually. I am glad it skipped over certain ares though due to lack of interest in them. I really enjoyed the story though. I had played the Red version several times so I knew the story by heart. It was nice to see it in anime format though spanning three episodes long.

     

    Pokemon the Origin Plot

     

    Pokemon the Origin
    Index Completion

     

    Like I said, the main plot line of Pokemon the Origin follows the Pokemon Red Version game. Red is the main character of the story. Since he is named red, it just so happens he gets Charmander as his Pokemon. He and Charmander go through out the world chasing down Pokemon and indexing them into the ultimate Pokemon index. He does how ever have a rival, Green (Blue). He ends up choosing Squirtle like in the game. The two constantly meet up and fight one another. Soon Red goes to the Elite Four to defeat them. At the end he must defeat the final Pokemon master, Green. After Red wins he goes back with his completed index only to find out another one exists. He goes to fight the newly found one, MewTwo to add him to his collection. He now has a Charizard that will under go the Mega Evolution to defeat the final Pokemon.

     

    Characters of Pokemon the Origin

     

    Pokemon the Origin
    Red and Green

     

    The main character of Pokemon the Origin is Red. He is a happy go lucky person that will obtain every Pokemon. He has a great relationship with his Pokemon Charmander making them an unstoppable team. His rival Green is somewhat sleezy and only wants to defeat Red for pure victory. He does not care about obtaining the Pokemon rather than defeating them and capturing them. Red is a bit more in tune with the Pokemon and understands they have feelings as well. This gives him great advantages especially in the MewTwo fight.

     

    The Red Origin

     

    Pokemon the Origin
    Brock

     

    Like I said it is the exact same as the Pokemon Red game. They do however skip over parts and only highlight areas of interest. Brock is the first main fight of the series, which Red takes down pretty well. Then it skips over to Lavender Town where Red must defeat the ghosts of Pokemon Tower and help out Cubone. After this point Charmander has evolved to Charizard and Red and Green are trying to help out the Sylph Company that Team Rocket took over. Red then obtains the final GymBadge and heads over to the Elite Four. Here he fights them, but the fights are not shown. The final fight is saved for Green who Red must now defeat to get the title of Pokemon master. The fight is over quick and Red heads out to find Mew Two.

     

    I loved Pokemon the Origin obviously. I played the game enough so it is one of my favorites. The summation of the story into an anime plot was amazing. I really hope they do it for the rest of the games as well. I loved how they highlighted stuff and did not go into to detail, especially since almost any Pokemon fan has played the Red version. The idea to turn it into an anime was great and I hope they continue it at least into the Mew arc. They did hint towards that so hopefully.

     

    Support Pokemon the Origin.

    Overall Grade: 9/10