[Dark Fantasy Fall 2016] Like Hellsing Ultimate? Watch This!

This article is for all the action buffs and lovers of dark fantasy. Hellsing Ultimate is a show of violence and darkness unlike any other. Thus, we’re giving shows that best represent the chaos of war as well as depict themes that will keep your mind wondering about the state of humanity. We’re talking about shows that blur the lines between right and wrong and do so almost cheerfully as blood spurts from bodies. Thus, let’s get into the reasons why you should watch Drifters and Soul Buster, if you like Hellsing Ultimate.

About Hellsing Ultimate

  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Oct. 2006 – Dec. 2012

Hellsing Ultimate is the show for those who want to dance on the dark side. It is a show of violence, obscene amounts of blood, and villains. In fact, its heroes walk an extremely thin line between righteousness and utter chaos. The difference between them and the antagonists is sometimes so threadbare that you might not know who to be cheering for. This is what happens though when an organization created to protect its homeland has employed a monster from the depths of hell. With Alucard, the original vampire, acting as England’s guard dog against the horrors of the night, the Hellsing Organization finds itself embroiled in a war where all bets are off. Admittedly, all bets were off the moment Nazi vampires were conceived.

Liked Hellsing Ultimate? Watch Drifters!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Oct. 2016 – Dec. 2016
  • Read More

Drifters is one of the hottest shows this fall season and a lot of that is because of its unapologetic approach to war. Following historical figures of great renown, like Toyohisa, Oda Nobunaga, and Billy the Kid, Drifters provides a cast that is not only accustom to war, but particularly distinct with their views on life. Even though Oda Nobunaga and Toyohisa are merely a single generation apart, they have separate perspectives that not only create partial internal conflict, but allow for a deeper attachment to each of the characters. With such characters at its core, Drifters then puts us into a world where there beliefs and practices can be put to the utmost use and cause a complete upheaval.

3 Major similarities Between Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters

Reason 1: Animation

One can tell that Drifters and Hellsing Ultimate are cut from the same cloth from the very beginning. The animation, the artwork, shading, thickness of lines, and so many other aspects are practically copies of Hellsing Ultimate. Each character pops from the setting with bold colors and a certain brightness that contrast against the consistently bleak environments. However, there were two small details that really brings these shows together. The first goes to the drawing of the eyes, which swirl in such a way that the first impression is one of cold calculation and death. It’s akin to the creepiness of a doll’s eye. The second is the way that each show delights in the spreading grin of its characters as adversaries are spotted and subsequently taken down. Though each character has shown off their ability to smile devilishly, one must pay close attention to the similarities between Oda Nobunaga and Alucard. They both let darkness cover their faces as their pearly whites shine with malicious intent.

However, these similarities should not come as a surprise as Kouta Hirano is the creator of both series. Even their comedic light moments, with characters appearing dumbfounded or frustrated share similar production qualities, as the quality goes out to present a simpler, more humorous style.

Reason 2: No Shining Knights

Both of these shows take pride in giving us heroes who seem to have more in common with their enemies than they do with heroes from other shows. In Hellsing Ultimate, Alucard admits on a fairly consistent basis that he is nothing but a monster and that one should not be surprised when his actions go beyond the norm. His desire for chaos and destruction is also compared heavily to that of the main villain to the point that the show suggests that they are practically of the same mindset. In Drifters, each of the characters have a certain level of bloodlust and desire for victory that sets up many common points between our heroes, the Drifters, and the villains, the Ends. Toyohisa seems to only be happy when on the battlefield and taking someone’s head. Leave your head with me is apparently his catchphrase. Then there’s Oda Nobunaga who is already making plans to rule over the world he is currently liberating. His actions are even receiving careful watch from other Drifters who worry that his desires might cause simply more chaos for the world they’re in.

Overall, the creators make a point to show viewers that in war there is no such thing as good or evil. There is simply the victor and it’s the victor who decides at that point what is just and what is written down in history. It’s a dark perspective of the world where might is right, but it’s one that is honest in portraying what all-out war entails.

Reason 3: The Gore

It’s one thing to have action in anime. In fact it’s a pretty common aspect in most anime. It’s a step up to portray blood, as many shows are content with simply showing a few cuts, but nothing too painful. Then there’s the shows that take a perverse delight in putting a Tarantino-esque spin on violence. These anime have blood spilling from characters as limbs are chopped off and bodies torn to pieces. Whether it’s Alucard biting into a person’s neck or Toyohisa bashing an enemy’s face in with the hilt of his sword, both Drifters and Hellsing dive right into the application of extreme violence.

In both these shows, it creates a certain grittiness as well honesty to the characters. As stated above, the difference between our heroes and villains is pretty threadbare and the amount of blood that is spilled helps emphasize this point.

The single disappointment for Drifters’s brand of gore was its avoidance of blood when Gilles de Rais was literally ripped apart by a gatling gun. Instead of watching his body tear and burst, the creators opted for a shadowed look as his body turned to swiss cheese.


Liked Hellsing Ultimate? Watch Soul Buster

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Oct. 2016 – Dec. 2016
  • Read More

Soul Buster throws us right into a world of magic and spirits and violence. We are introduced to Sonish, a rather, frustrating and lazy protagonist, who proclaims that history is useless. It’s one thing for a person to find history boring, but to outright say it’s useless goes into a new brand of stupidity that is, thankfully, not fully explored as the plot moves quickly along. Well, with the introduction of Son Shin we immediately find him obtaining the ability to summon the spirit of the general Shuu Yu through a card. He isn’t the only to have received such a card though, and it becomes clear quickly that this card is in many ways an initiation into a spiritual war that he is not ready for.

3 Major Similarities Between Hellsing Ultimate and Soul Buster

Reason 1: Pacing

Soul Buster and Hellsing Ultimate have an impressive pacing that set each apart from most other anime. Barely anytime is wasted on exposition and there aren’t any massive information dumps. Both show starts relatively quickly with action. In Hellsing Ultimate, we see Sera Victoria’s team get decimated and then Alucard decimate the ghouls and the vampire controlling them. Soul Buster’s first episode starts off in a threatening environment with a vampiric looking man and ends off with the beginning of a battle between two great generals. The creators understood that action and an endless supply of it was the way to go.

However, there is one noticeable difference in pacing. On an episodic basis, Hellsing Ultimate takes up an hour long and honestly was created over the duration of a 6-year span. Soul Buster has a 13-minute duration per episode and will most likely complete its story within the year. If you waited for the entirety of Hellsing Ultimate to be and binged it then there are scene length similarities, but these would be difficult to pick up otherwise.

Reason 2: Historical

Though Soul Buster and Drifters might have a stronger similarity in this area, as they both take characters from ancient war periods in Japan, Soul Buster and Hellsing Ultimate both rely on attachments to a past world to progress the story. In each anime, elements of a world, or people from the past, rise up and act as catalysts for conflict. In fact, it is the combination of such characters and sentiments that drive a lot of the story. Soul Buster relies heavily on the generals like Shuu Yu and Gien from the Three Kingdoms War, while Hellsing Ultimate relies heavily on the revitalization of a Nazi sect from World War II.

Admittedly, Soul Buster takes people from much longer ago in a way that is not only similar to Drifters, but also the Fate stay series. Hellsing Ultimate relies on the vitality of vampires and a much more recent war period.

Reason 3: The Fights

So all three of these shows actually have strong similarities when it comes to fights. However, let’s focus on the common points between Soul Buster and Hellsing Ultimate. First off, the soul of these shows rely on the anticipation and strength of the one-on-one battles between the top dogs. Such battles are characterized by a constant blaze of attacks that both dazzle and entrance us. In many ways, it’s a battle of one upping the opponent on a consistent basis. Heavy importance is also spread evenly through all the characters too.

Admittedly, Alucard and the pair of Son Shin and Shuu Yu definitely get the most airtime. However, that doesn’t stop the show from giving ample scenes to Ryou Un (Soul Buster) and Seras (Hellsing Ultimate). In fact, these battles in many ways are more intense as the safety of the characters involved is not guaranteed.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an action-packed, dark fantasy anime to watch, then you can’t go wrong with either Drifters or Soul Buster. These are the type of shows that build a world that is completely gray and where practically anything can happen. The characters have a different mindset than most people as they are people of war and every decision is one of life or death. With that said, are there any recent shows that you feel hold a closer resemblance to Hellsing Ultimate? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Yoko Dev

Writer

Author: Yoko Dev

Hello, my anime peers. I’m from the states, but have taken an indefinite leave to travel while freelancing. Outside of a deep admiration for anime that started long ago, I love to read, write, and play video games. The main issue of traveling so far has been not having a console.

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