Striking The Right Note: Hellsing

No, we are not debating which is the better anime between Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate. Let’s not even get into that right now. That is a giant hornets nest as far as I’m concerned.

Okay, look, Hellsing was my introduction to the world of Alucard, and as such, I’ve got a big soft spot for it. I haven’t had a chance to read the source material, but I do know it didn’t follow it very closely. Hellsing Ultimate, I’m told, did a better job of that, and I admit, is one badass motherfucking anime series.

Which is superior? I’m not gonna say, at least, not here. I may dive into that maelstrom in another post somewhere in the future, but for now, let’s focus on what I think we can all agree was the original series biggest strength. That utterly awesome opening credit sequence.

If you have no idea what Hellsing is, I’ll give you a quick run down. The Royal Order of Protestant Knights is secret organization that serves to protect England and the Queen from all manner of supernatural threats, such as vampires, zombies and the rise of a new vampire powered Third Reich. One of their most powerful weapons in this war is the vampire Alucard, who swore his service to the organization when Abraham Hellsing defeated him over a hundred years ago. This is significant, because Alucard is basically the first vampire, and is terrifyingly powerful, when he isn’t being just plain terrifying.

There have been two Hellsing series, Hellsing (2001) and Hellsing Ultimate (2006), which differ significantly from one another. Today, I’m talking about the 2001 version, and the utterly epic opening credit sequence it had.

Mixing some stylish horror imagery with a blusey, jazzy opening song “Logos Naki World (A world without logos)” by Yasushi Ishii into a truly memorable experience that really stays with you. Plus, the lyrics to the song fit the damn series a little too perfectly, giving it a bit more omph.

Beyond that, though, is how well they set up the themes and moods of Hellsing with this opening, both in terms of what the music says with the lyrics and melody, and what the imagery says about what you are going to see, and what you should be braced for. Basically, there are no heroes here. Just terrible people doing terrible things, sometimes for good reasons.

If anything can sum up Hellsing, that’s pretty much it, and this opening credit sequence says it all with such style, it’s an instant classic.

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