At a roundtable conference with the Queen to discuss strategies to deal with the resurgence of the Millennium Organization (an arrogant Nazi battalion of undead), an emissary from the very enemy being plotted against drops in for a surprise announcement. It seems “the Major” had decided, after all this time, to declare war against the Hellsing Organization and all of Britain.
Quite possibly my favorite installment of the series, this fourth incursion drops you right into the thick of battle and leaves the catch-up to the brief cutscenes. At the roundtable discussion, there is also considerable tension between Alucard and the Queen herself, which I found quite interesting. In short, Alucard catches us up on the existence of a Nazi major, who commanded a battalion of vampiric soldiers. The very same Major has sent an emissary of his own to this discussion (dressed in Hitler youth attire. Well, if the Hitler youth uniform included cat ears…) in order to declare his joy at returning to war, and specifically his absolute lack of purpose in declaring war. It seems that the Major feels his actual enemy is Alucard, who is only too happy to oblige. Also, please remember that the phrase “Shoot the messenger” is well-known for a reason.
After receiving their orders from the Queen, the “war” finally goes underway, and the Millennium Organization makes their plans to invade, and our team meets a new vampiric operative with an unhealthy attachment to her rifle. I must say, one has to admire the pure, unadulterated glee the members of Millennium exhibit when they even consider the coming battles. In particular, Rip Van Winkle (“the huntress”) is the character most likely to be momentarily portrayed in “cartoon” form, but she’s quite deadly otherwise. Long before Hellsing has even had a change to determine a drop method for their own operatives, she’s overtaken the ship Adler, painted a huge swastika on the deck with blood, and obliterated the original crew.
We also get some more insight into Alucard, and his reasons for ‘turning’ Seras Victoria, who still struggles against her thirst for human blood. There is also trouble brewing in Iscariot, who plans to sweep in from the side while Millennium and Hellsing battle each other, and let God sort out the corpses that result.
As always, the unique art style of this series very closely mirrors that of the original manga artwork, even when faced with scenes of utter destruction and gore. The music is wonderfully understated, and the voice acting is spectacular (if somewhat more…colorful in the original Japanese, or so the subtitles would suggest). Definitely my favorite of the series, if only for the almost cute cheer displayed by Van Winkle, at least before she actually has to engage anyone from Hellsing. (She seems to really enjoy singing while “working”.) But then, anyone is more cheerful before they encounter a Hellsing operative.
Oh! And this edition not only comes with a jam-packed two-disc set in a collectible tin box, complete with fold out poster of the cover art, but also an exclusive art book featuring production art from volumes III and IV of this series, available nowhere else.