HELLSING OVA I - HD REMAKE
The very first episode! Hellsing OVA I kicks of the 2nd anime adaptation of the Hellsing manga, this time striving to surpass the previous series in it's faithfulness to the source Manga!
In 2009, the Hellsing series had its very first Blu-ray release ever with OVA VI. Shortly after, it was announced that OVAs I-V would be getting a re-release on the same HD format, and beyond the announcement, not much else was said for a long while.
Fast forward to 2010, and details suddenly began to surface, including an incredible shock. The episodes on the boxed set would be recut and reworked to stylistically resemble the later episodes that were animated by a completely different animation studio.
This section will cover the HD Remake by MADHouse. For the original DVD version by Studio SateLight, Click Here.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE RELEASE
Rerelease of the first four episodes by FUNimation. Video uses the redone HD masters. Unlike the Japanese set, this release doesn't include OVA V.
On June 28th, the Official Japanese Hellsing site was updated featuring a trailer for the Blu-ray re-release of OVAs I-V.
The trailer featured mostly images from OVA V, however it included a few select shots from OVA I, the very first episode produced by the original animation studio, SateLight. Surprisingly, the animation appears to have been completely retouched. the color palette has been darkened and softened to resemble the later MADhouse produced episodes, the lighting effects have been completely redone, and even some of the art appears to have been completely redrawn!
Below is a collection of screenshots from every single OVA I shot in the trailer as it originally appeared in the SateLight DVD version of the episode. Hovering over the image will show the new, redone version from the trailer, and clicking on each image will bring up a full-sized comparison image between the original 480p DVD version and the 720p shots from the trailer as posted online by the Wild Geese. Below each image are links to the full-sized, lossless PNG screens from the DVD and Trailer on their own.
It should also be noted that all Trailer screenshots come from the trailer as presented on Youtube. Due to this, each image is scaled down from 1080p to 720p and the overall quality and pixelation have taken somewhat of a hit due to the upload to Youtube. The actual 1080p Blu-ray will undoubtedly be of higher quality.
The most obvious difference is the darker tone and the new depiction of the gore. The blood and ghouls have been entirely redone to look much more realistic and menacing. In addition to being more realistically rendered, blood has also been added by the bucketload to them, both on their clothes and in the wounds and sores on their bodies. A new standardized glow effect has also been added to their eyes that wasn't constant originally. All of this adds to a much Much better and spookier appearence for both the blood and the Ghouls that just looks nothing short of amazing.
Next, onto the main characters, all 3 shots of Alucard have seemlingly been redrawn to some extent. His mouth and eye in the first shot of him aiming the gun at the Cheddar Priest now both look much less exadgerated and more in-line with his overall character model. In fact, overall his face now seems to be on-model in each shot wheras they had some oddities to them before. The third image includes what appears to be a complete change in what Alucard was doing during that scene. Originally he seemed somewhat worried and was frowning at Anderson's reveal, now he has on his trademark grin, meaning he is apparently now happy at having the challenge, which is much more like the Alucard we all know and love.
His Gun is Seamlessly Integrated.
The level of detail has incresed exponentially as well. This is especially noticable in Alucard's clothes in every shot as well as Alucard's hand in the shot of him shooting the Ghoul in badrick. Originally, the hand was just an outline of a hand that was mostly shaded uniformly with some added white to the top. In the new version of the shot, several detail lines were added and the shading was completely redone to be less like a uniform blob and to contour to the lines of his hand more. It's truly stunning work. Another noticable difference is the lighting, and camera work, which has been completely redone to add a more "soft" feel to the overal scenes, just like the new episodes. This makes the lighting overall moodier and much better fitting to Hellsing. It also has the added effect of blurring some things slightly, including the detail on the gun. one might think normally that this is a bad thing, however in the case of the gun it actually lends itself better to the overall situation by making the gun, which is CG animated, blend in much more seamlessly with the traditional 2D animated characters. It really does look quite nice.
The shots of Anderson, Seras, Huger and Integra are perfect examples of a simple stylistic change. Unlike Alucard and the Ghouls, none of the actual lineart in any of them are different than they were before, they've been entirely left alone in that area. The major differences come in the darkened color palette and a complete reworking of the lighting. Despite this, there is a noticably major difference between the two of them. It's amazing what such simple modifications to the scene can do to the feel. The only one that has any major changes to it is the image of Huger firing on Alucard. The shot has had the effects of the gunfire redone entirely, it no longer blends into the tone of his skin and was extended out to effect the background some as well. It's really extremely interesting and if these shots are any indication, this HD remaster is going to be almost a completely different viewing experience.
The trailer has shown plenty of redone shots, however there is still a few major question left to be answered. Will anything be done that affects the story? To be more specific, will any scenes be added? Will any lines be added or altered? Will the order of any events be shifted around? Such as moving the "Master of Monster" portion to where it originally was in the manga. These questions will no doubt be answered soon, at the very least when the set is release.
We at Call to Arms will continue to cover this set up to and after the actual release, including a full review of each redone episode.
Please check back often!