Studio: GONZO (Full Metal Panic!, Strike Witches)
Manga author: Kouta Hirano
Genre: Action, Supernatural
First complete run: 2001-2002
Regular episodes: 13
It is tough to find fault with Hellsing. Set in 20th century England, this show focuses on the Hellsing organization and their efforts to defend Queen and Country from the forces of evil. In a world threatened by vampires and heavily inspired by Dracula, Hellsing exists to fight off the vampires, ghouls, and other supernatural creatures. The anime splits its attention between the subtle conspiracies facing the Hellsing organization, as well as the imminent threats. In the process, this short 13-episode show follows Hellsing's higher-ups as they go about resisting the forces of evil. Hellsing's muscle, especially the vampire Alucard, employ a variety of holy weapons in order to gun down the opposition.
More important than Hellsing's charming if clichéd lore is the anime's incorrigible sense of style. There is nothing exceptionally unique about this 13-episode run-and-gun, but it really sells itself as a cool show. The animation is smooth and colorful, but without any of the melodramatic, distracting moments you might experience in other anime; Hellsing is just a generally smooth, pleasant visual experience. Like the animation, the score, primarily of the rock and metal genres, imposes an air of "cool" without obstructing the developments of the show itself. The show's short length excuses its serious lack of character depth, while its plot takes advantage of the short length to develop in lightning fast increments. As such, this really action-packed show really crams in the action, plot, and mystery; the result is a fast-paced, pleasant but shallow viewing experience.
P.S. To its credit, the show is far too short to satiate its viewers; for those wanting more, I have been told to try the 10-episode spinoff Hellsing Ultimate.