A few months ago, we reported that Hellsing Ultimate would run in its entirety on Adult Swim’s Toonami block. Cheers were had, hype was made, and all seemed to be so right with the world at that point.
Things have suddenly become different, two months out.
Toonami, via their Tumblr, announced that the badass vampire series wouldn’t be finishing its run on the block as planned. Their official statement is as follows:
So… when we started out we were told we were getting all 10 Hellsing Ultimates. And it turns out we aren’t. Sorry. We encourage you to finish the story where you can find it. We will always try to do our best, but sometimes that isn’t good enough. Enjoy it while it’s on.
For fans watching Hellsing Ultimate on Toonami, this definitely sucks. The series, which is often cited as an essential among anime fans, has never had a complete run in North America. To be able to finally see the title’s amazing conclusion, especially two years after the final episode shipped in Japan would have been amazing.
For Toonami proper, this is certainly a setback at best, and a disaster at worst. To release this so late in the game, with over half the series shown, indicates that this was certainly not intended to happen. And, for it to happen to a series that reaches over 750,000 viewers when it airs. While the company has a buffer in InuYasha: Final Act, it will be interesting to see how this affects Adult Swim’s decisions in the future.
At this point, though, it’s clear that this is one of those cases where there are no winners. FUNimation loses out on the broadcast of the series, Adult Swim loses out on the potential viewership that the title will bring in, doubly so when one factors in that it’s a highly anticipated finale that would undoubtedly see a spike in people tuning in.
The fans, at the same time, lose out since the series doesn’t get to finish on Toonami. Instead, they’ll undoubtedly be ushered to purchase the Blu-Ray sets, or to FUNimation.com where they can stream the final episodes. And, while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s certainly an inconvenience on their part, and far from the ideal situation.
At this point, all we can do is watch and wait, to see how Toonami shifts its strategy in reaction to the change. With two weeks to fill, one can only hope that the block is able to turn this gigantic negative into a positive.