Creator: Kohta Hirano
Publisher: Dark Horse
First Released: December 2003
Number of Volumes: 3 at the moment (June 2004)
Genre: Horror, Action/Adventure
Hellsing took a lot of flack from people accusing it of unravelling by the time that the final anime episode rolled around. As some of you may know, the TV show was produced before the manga was completed, so eventually things began to move out of alignment from each other between the two. I personally enjoyed the show.
But I like the book better already.
The Hellsing organization is a family-led group that protects the crown of England against supernatural threats. Led by the stalwart Sir Integral Hellsing, the group’s greatest weapon against the children of the night is Alucard, a vampire of tremendous power. While the explanation of why he works for Hellsing has yet to be revealed, his dedication is undoubtable.
The book follows the pace of the anime pretty closely, though the order of some revelations differs between the two.
Unlike the clean, digital look of the anime, the book is sketchier, grittier, and darker. Characters have a little bit of insanity in their eyes, a sparkle that makes you wonder which side is really the good guys and which is the bad.
In the end, you’ll realize that good or bad, Alucard’s too cool not to like.
The book reads from right to left and keeps the original sound effects. There’s an extra short story in the back showing a piece Hirano wrote and drew prior to Hellsing that was most likely the springboard for the vampire series. Altogether, this is a nice release, though I personally found the Irish accent of one of the characters (Alexander, the Paladin) to be quite hard to read. Sometimes, I don’t like reading dialects. This was one of them.
Overall, however, this book has everything an action fan needs. Humour, impressive battles, and a good underlying sense of intrigue – it’s all here. Unlike the anime series, you won’t have to worry about it ending at an awkward moment. Grab this book while you can – it sells fast.
A powerful vampire, who for reasons unknown at this point has chosen to work with the Hellsing Organisation in their struggle to rid the world of vampires and other ghouls. His relationship with Sir Integra is double-edged – at times he seems condescending to her, at other times he respects her. Able to regenerate from nearly any wound, save those caused by silver or holy artefacts, Alucard can also teleport and open up a portal to the netherworld. He may have other powers yet to be demonstrated.
Known as “Kitten” during her time with the Special Forces D11 group, this young agent has shown remarkable strength. She allows Alucard to kill and resurrect her in order to eliminate the Vampire Priest.
Despite her newfound hunger for blood, she continues to resist, despite Alucard’s insistence that she must have it. While Peter trains her for her new mission as an agent of Hellsing, she is reluctant to kill and she wonders if she will become as much a monster as the things she is forced to hunt.
Sir Integra Wingates Hellsing is the leader of the Hellsing Organization. Cool, beautiful, and quick to anger, she demands respect and complete obedience in the service of the Hellsing mission. Feared and awed by those around her, she is not hesitant about doling out reprimands – even to Alucard.
Retainer to the Hellsing family, he is utterly devoted to Integra. He shows Seras around and tries to instruct her on things she now needs to beware of, such as sunlight and silver. A kind man, he also is a confidante of Integra, as she freely vents about confidential matters in his presence. In the past he was known as ‘The Angel of Death’.