Hellsing Vol. 1

I first came across Hellsing at a game convention displayed next to uncountable other mangas outside the game room. I knew what type of stuff I liked – Crying Freeman, Sanctuary, Blade of the Immortal – and I wanted a new series to sink my teeth into (heh). This is what was handed to me.

The story revolves around the shadowy organization known as Hellsing. Their primary mission is to protect the Protestants of the United Kingdom from the armies of the underworld. Their primary weapon is an ancient and powerful vampire named Alucard who now fights for the Anglican Church.

Yeah, so it sounds kind of cheesy, and it can be tongue in cheek at times, but there will be times when your eyes want to pop out of your head.

I don’t want that last statement to demean the quality of first volume. Hirano weaves the present and hints of the past along with strong character development to quickly hook you into the series and the people he’s populated it with. These characters have history with one another and he makes you want to know more about it.

Kohta Hirano’s art is typical of most manga, you know: exaggerated facial expressions, big eyes on all the women, that sort of thing. Aside from these essentially dramatic devices, his characters have a detail about them that lends this vampire story a healthy dose of reality.

There’s a lot of action in just the first volume and Hirano handles it well. Where as you can often get confused with what’s going on in a fast action sequence in many comics, the action in Hellsing always stays clear while still retaining a sense of mass and lightning speed.

I wouldn’t say that this is a deep read or anything, but if you are one of those people whose only association with anime has been Ninja Scroll and you liked it, this is definitely a series you want to pick up.