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Pioneer Entertainment presents
Hellsing #2: Blood Brothers (2001)

"The existence of our Royal Order of Religious Knights can never be revealed to the ignorant masses."
- Sir Integra Wingates Hellsing (Yoshiko Sakibara)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: March 06, 2003

Stars: George Nakata, Yoshiko Sakibara, Fumiko Orikasa, Crispin Freeman, Victoria Harwood, K.T. Gray
Other Stars: Jin Horikawa, Unsho Ishizuka, Nachi Nozawa, Kazuhito Nakata, Tomoyuki Shimura, Ralph Lister, Steven Brand, Peter Gail, John E. Breen
Director: Yasunori Urata

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (16+ for violence, mature content, language)
Run Time: 01h:08m:50s
Release Date: September 10, 2002
UPC: 013023181496
Genre: anime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- B+A-A- C+

DVD Review

Disc two of Gonzo's Hellsing features another three episodes of this dark, action-packed vampire story, and brings us over halfway into the thirteen-part series. The intrigue and political jockying introduced in the first disc begin to play here, as the Hellsing organization finds itself under fire from all sides.

The recently initiated Seras is dealing with her new life as a vampire, and hasn't quite settled into the concept of what now constitutes dinner. Trouble is brewing when one of the new strain of vampires releases a snuff videotape of himself on the internet, One of the news agencies decides to broadcast the story, but instead catches the Hellsing organization in the act of cleanup, making their formerly secret presence known.

Walter has some new toys for his crew, as Alucard picks up his new hand cannon, and Seras gets herself a huge rocket launcher. Meanwhile, a new threat appears in the form of the Valentine brothers, who decide to take the fight to Hellsing headquarters after an MI-5 agent tries to infiltrate their gang. While the Knights of the Round Table are in session discussing the recent problems they've encountered, the Valentines storm the building with a legion of zombies, making new converts of the Hellsing police force in the process. While the foul-mouthed younger brother (emphasized in the dub) plays with Walter and Seras, the more serious brother gets a taste of what kind of power a real vampire can wield as he confronts Alucard.

This series really gets into full swing here, with plenty of violence going on throughout. The true nature of the organization and Alucard's race is brought out, as the would-be vampire upstarts take a pounding from the authentic ones. Action is intense, but so is the level of conniving going on behind the scenes. It all makes for a highly entertaining watch, and the stylish production adds a lot to the storytelling. If you enjoyed the opening volume, the second installment does not disappoint.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Image quality is excellent overall. Colors are solid with an intentionally undersaturated look, and blacks are strong. There is only minor amounts of shimmer or interlacing, and a few places where some light banding were present.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Both Japanese and English stereo audio tracks are included, and both sound good. Directionality is appropriate, dialogue is clear, and the score mixes in well, adding to the atmosphere. No technical deficiences were noted.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Creditless opening
  2. Staff interview
  3. Concept art gallery
  4. Action figure info
Extras Review: Nightjar's menus are again a treat, fitting the feel of the show perfectly.

An assortment of extras includes a 17m:06 staff interview with supervising director Umanosuke Iida, manga author/artist Kouta Hirano, Gonzo CEO Showji Murahama, character designer Toshiharu Murata, director Yasunori Urata, director of photography Atsushi Takeyama, and composer Yasushi Ishii. Each answers a couple of questions about their part in the production with both studio set and footage from the Hellsing press event that preceded production.

A 35-image concept art gallery covers a number of color images of the support characters and many line art renderings of various settings.

A preview of the Seras action figure that is available with disc four of the series is featured, along with the noncredit ending, and Pioneer's trailer reel for Armitage: Dual Matrix, Vandread, Gate Keepers, The SoulTaker, X, Fushigi Yugi Eikoden, Vandread: Second Stage and I My Me Strawberry Eggs.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Hellsing continues to entertain with its dark, violent and stylish story. Action is abundant, as is the intrigue and subterfuge. The plot moves forward nicely as the well-established characters take on new rivals. There is plenty of exciting entertainment packed into these three episodes. Recommended.

It should be noted that this second disc is the only one of the series that is not available in multiple configurations.

 


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