Hellsing (ヘルシング Herushingu?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. It first premiered in Young King Ours in 1997 and ended in September 2008. The individual chapters are collected and published in tankōbon volumes by Shōnen Gahosha. As of March 2009 all chapters have been released in 10 volumes in Japan. Hellsing chronicles the efforts of the mysterious and secret Hellsing Organization, as it combats vampires, ghouls, and other supernatural foes who threaten England.
The manga series is licensed for English language release in North America by Dark Horse Comics, in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment, and in Singapore by Chuang Yi. In 2001, Hirano began publishing chapters of a prequel series, Hellsing: The Dawn, in special editions of Young King OURs, with six chapters released as of September 2008.
An anime series of the same name was produced by Gonzo. Directed by Umanosuke Iida, the series was based on the manga, but used a screenplay by Chiaki Konaka and is significantly different from the manga in terms of plot, though it uses some of the same characters and similar character designs. Spanning 13 episodes, it was broadcast on Japan's Fuji Television from October 10, 2001 to January 16, 2002.
An original video animation (OVA) entitled Hellsing Ultimate is being produced by Satelight and Geneon. It follows the manga storyline more closely than the anime series. The first episode was released in Japan on February 10, 2006, and as of December 2009, seven episodes have been released. The sixth OVA in the series will be available on both DVD and Blu-Ray, with Blu-Ray editions of episodes one through five were out on October 22, 2010 in Japan. The first episode was released in North America on December 5, 2006. As of August 2010, four episodes of the OVA have been released in North America. At Anime Expo 2010 Funimation Entertainment announced that they have licensed three of the new OVA episodes 5-7 and the original TV series and these will be released in the USA in 2011.
Hellsing is named after and centered around the Holy Order of Protestant Knights, originally led by Abraham Van Helsing. The mission of Hellsing is to protect Queen and Country from the undead and other supernatural forces of evil. This organization is currently led by Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, who inherited the leadership of Hellsing as a child after the death of her father. She is protected by the faithful Hellsing family butler and former Hellsing "trashman," Walter C. Dornez, and Alucard, the original and most powerful vampire that swore loyalty to the Hellsing family after being defeated by Van Helsing one hundred years before the story takes place. These formidable guardians are joined early on in the storyline by former police officer Seras Victoria, whom Alucard turned into a vampire.
As the scale and frequency of incidents involving the undead escalate in England and all around the world, Sir Integra discovers that the remnants of a Nazi group called Millennium still exist and are intent on reviving the Third Reich by creating a battalion of vampires. Millennium, Hellsing, and the Vatican section XIII Iscariot clash in an apocalyptic three-sided war in London, and Millennium reveals its true objective: to destroy the vampire Alucard, ending a feud begun during World War II.
More formally known as the Royal Order of Protestant Knights, the Hellsing Organization was founded by Abraham Van Helsing shortly after the events of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula as a response to the threat posed by vampires. The Hellsing Organization is traditionally headed by Abraham's descendants, who control Alucard, the ultimate vampire created by the organization for use in their continuing struggle against supernatural threats. After World War II, it was decided that Alucard was too powerful or potentially too dangerous to continue to be used as a weapon, and was locked away in the dungeon of the Hellsing mansion. Upon Arthur's death, his daughter, Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, became the director of the organization. Integra's uncle, Richard Hellsing, attempted to assassinate her and take control of the organization, but was defeated by Alucard, whom Integra accidentally released.
In the Hellsing universe, the organization is an integral part of the true power-structure of Great Britain, which is, according to the story, still ruled by a hidden aristocracy and the monarchy. The organization is tasked with defending the country's shores from any and all supernatural threats and often faces controversy over the highly unconventional methods Hellsing chooses to do this, such as the use of "anti-Christian" powers and creatures. In the TV series, Hellsing is portrayed much more like a paramilitary or counter-terrorist organization armed with Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns and GKN Saxon or VAB APCs used to transport Hellsing soldiers to areas where there are reports of supernatural outbreaks in Britain. The paramilitary aspects are rarely mentioned in the OVA or the manga.
- The series' protagonist. A very ancient and powerful vampire, he serves as the Hellsing Organization's most powerful operative and vampire expert and its "trump card". In the manga, it is revealed that Alucard is Dracula himself.
- Integra Hellsing
- A descendant of Abraham Van Helsing and the Bureau Director of the Hellsing Organization. She inherited her position as the head of the Hellsing family at the age of 12 (13 in the Gonzo series), upon her father's death. Integra is also Alucard's current master. She is intelligent and strong, almost always featured smoking cigars. Although often seeming strict and domineering, she is much respected and admired, even among her enemies. Following in the path of her family's tradition, she is reputed to be a worthy vampire huntress herself, as noted by her enemies and exhibited by her capabilities during the latter chaotic events of the series.
- Seras Victoria
- An orphan, Seras was formerly a member of the police force but, after being mortally wounded on a mission involving Alucard, chose to join him in the ranks of the undead rather than die. As Alucard's fledgling vampire, she serves the Hellsing Organization.
- Walter C. Dornez
- Walter is a 69-year-old retired member of the Hellsing Organization who serves as Integra's butler, only revealing his true capabilities as the 'Angel of Death' and ex-Hellsing 'trashman' in times of need. He was handpicked to be a Hellsing operative and butler by Integra's father and, along with Alucard, participated in the destruction of Millennium in World War II, over fifty years ago.
Iscariot (Vatican Section XIII)
The Iscariot Organization, named after Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, is a top-secret wing of the Vatican charged with the active pursuit and extermination of demons (such as vampires) and heretics. Given that the Hellsing Organization not only employs vampires but is run on the principles of staunch Protestantism, Iscariot is their natural rival, despite their similar aims.
- Alexander Anderson
- A warrior priest or paladin who works for the Vatican Section XIII, Iscariot. Anderson is Iscariot's ultimate weapon in the fight against the undead. With regenerative capabilities, and a variety of holy weapons (including his signature blessed bayonets, of which he has many) his mission is nothing less than the complete destruction of all the undead in the world. As this includes many of Hellsing's subordinates, Anderson is one of Alucard's greatest foes, as well as his primary rival.
- Enrico Maxwell
- Enrico Maxwell is the ambitious, ruthless leader of the Iscariot Organization (Vatican Section XIII). He is also depicted as Alexander Anderson's retainer, analogous to Integra and Alucard's relationship.
- Heinkel Wolfe and Yumie Takagi
- Heinkel Wolfe is a pistol wielding assassin belonging to the Iscariot Organization. Yumie, a Japanese nun with a split personality is her partner. They appear first as Maxwell's bodyguards and again in the brigade of Iscariot operatives sent to the besieged London to apprehend Integra Hellsing. These two also appear in the first, second, and third installment of the manga as a short chapter in the back, as it seems more to give a slight background on the two rather anything else.
A mysterious group of Nazis that was hiding in Brazil since the end of World War II, they serve as the main antagonists for the remainder of the series. Research headed by the Doctor developed a method of creating artificial vampires, which are then sent out to wreak havoc with chips implanted in them to monitor their status, behavior, intent, and aggression. Somewhat similar to kamikaze units, they are remotely ignited and destroyed once defeated.
- The Major
- A sociopathic former SS officer, he was in charge of Nazi experimentation with artificial vampirism until Alucard and Walter destroyed the laboratory in 1944. Obsessed with battle, he seeks to create an endless war.
- The Major's silent, stoic adjutant and bodyguard.
- Rip van Winkle: The Huntress
- Rip van Winkle is the "Huntress" of the Millennium Organization. Her weapon of choice is a long-barreled flintlock musket. The gun itself fires magic bullets, to which she claims "punish all without distinction." She appears in both Hellsing (manga) and Hellsing: the dawn (manga) as well as in the 4th OVA. Her connection to Alucard extends back to WWII.
- The Doctor
- He is Millenium's top scientist of physiology and technology, the genius behind many of their projects. Perhaps unstable, certainly eccentric, but undeniably brilliant. Doc usually appears dressed in a perpetually bloodstained white lab coat, an unusual shirt which reveals his lower torso, and glasses with an assortment of adjustable, multilensed spectacles. Also he is relentlessly loyal to the Major and the cause of undead research.
- Schrödinger is a catboy created by Doc to serve Millennium. Usually found sitting underneath the Major's throne like a pet, he also acts as an envoy for Millennium. He has the ability to be "everywhere and nowhere" at the same, His powers also include apparent regeneration/immortality, If he believes that he is unscathed, then he is. (These abilities, his name, and his being feline are obviously a reference to the famous "Schrödinger's cat" scenario in quantum physics.) Apparently he has a slight attraction towards Seras, at least hinting it when he first sees her.
- Zorin Blitz
- Zorin is a tall, masculine female character covered with tattoos one one side of her body and face. She is often seen smoking, and her weapon of choice is a scythe. Using her tattoos, Zorin can create very realistic illusions using the memories of her target, and then takes advantage of her enemy's weakness. She leads a devastating attack upon Hellsing Manor during manga/OVA 6 and 7. The imagery associated with Zorin is amongst the most obligatorily occult, apart from Alucard's.
The Wild Geese
The Wild Geese, a group of mercenaries, were hired as soldiers after a Millennium attack on the Hellsing headquarters left the organization severely short-handed. The leader of the Wild Geese is Captain Pip Bernadotte, a womanizing Frenchman who loves to tease Seras Victoria. Its members are remarkably mixed in ethnicity, age, and background. Though highly skilled, they are no match in a close fight against vampires and rely on measures like remote-detonated mines to combat the Millennium forces. Only seven of them survived the battle, with only two without serious injuries.
- Captain Pip Bernadotte
- Captain Pip Bernadotte is the leader of the Wild Geese, a group of mercenaries hired by Hellsing. He dies trying to save Seras in her battle with Zorin Blitz. Seras drinks his blood to become a full-fledged vampire, absorbing Pip's life, soul and memories into herself.
The Convention of Twelve
The Convention of Twelve or the Twelve Conventions is the name of a secret society that runs England from the shadows. Their members include nobles, prominent politicians, and military leaders. They hold meetings around a long, rectangular table, with Sir Integra Hellsing at the head and Sir Hugh Islands at the foot. They have also been known as The Roundtable, in reference to the Round Table of Arthurian legend.
The Legends of Vampire Hunter is an one-shot hentai manga created by Kouta Hirano. The story takes place in what appears to be a warzone, where the Hellsing Organization's troops have been defeated by vampires. Hellsing's master vampire, Alucard, arrives, searching for survivors, and presumes that Yuri Kate (a female soldier who had enlisted with Hellsing recently) had been captured alive, since she is not among the corpses. Meanwhile, Yuri is being raped by a vampire named Hellman, while his brother looks on. Alucard enters the room and berates the vampires for their conduct, calls them thugs, and kills them. Since Yuri's blood has been sucked, she cannot be human again, but must continue to serve the Hellsing agency as a vampire. (In this version of Hellsing victims do not need to be virgins to become vampires; the factor is instead the amount of blood that was drunk).
The series premiered in Young King Ours in 1997 and ran for eleven years until the final chapter was released in the November 2008 issue. The individual chapters are collected and published in tankōbon volumes by Shōnen Gahosha, with 10 volumes having been released. The series is licensed for an English language release in North America by Dark Horse Comics. The first volume was released on December 1, 2003 and as of May 19, 2010, the company has published ten translated volumes. Chuang Yi is releasing the series in English in Singapore, with six volumes released as of October 2008, and through an agreement with the company, Madman Entertainment is re-releasing those volumes in Australia and New Zealand. Hellsing is also licensed for regional language releases in France by Editions Tonkam, in Italy by Dynit, in Hungary by Mangafan, in Germany by Planet Manga, in Poland by Japonica Polonica Fantastica and in Denmark and Sweden by Mangismo.
Hellsing: The Dawn
In 2001, Hirano began publishing chapters of a prequel series, Hellsing: The Dawn, in special editions of Young King OURs, of which six chapters have been released as of May 2009. The Dawn features a fourteen year-old Walter C. Dornez and Alucard, in the form of a 14 year old girl, attacking Millennium's base of operations in Nazi-controlled Poland in September 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising. Publication is scheduled to resume after the conclusion of the main Hellsing series. According to Taliesin Jaffe, the chapters of The Dawn will be animated as part of the Hellsing Ultimate OVA series.[verification needed]
Following the release of the manga, Gonzo produced a thirteen episode anime series that uses the same characters and settings, but a different story from its source manga. Written by Chiaki J. Konaka and directed by Umanosuke Iida, the series premiered on Fuji Television on December 27, 2003 and ran until its conclusion on February 16, 2004. The series is licensed for English language release in North America by Geneon Entertainment, in the United Kingdom by ADV Films and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. Geneon's English dub of the series aired in the United States on Starz!'s Encore Action channel from December 21, 2003 to March 15, 2004.
The series uses two pieces of theme music. "Logos Naki World" (A World Without Logic) by Yasushi Ishii is used as the opening theme for all thirteen episodes. Mr. Big performs the song "Shine" for the series ending theme.
Hellsing Ultimate is an original video animation (OVA) series formerly animated by animation studio Satelight, now being animated by Madhouse (as of OVA V) and produced by Geneon. The first fifty minute episode was released to Region 2 DVD in Japan on February 10, 2006. The seventh episode was released in Japan on December 23, 2009. The seventh episode DVD included a teaser trailer announcing the eighth episode with a tentative release date of "sometime 2010."  The ending of each episode uses various pieces of instrumental music composed by Hayato Matsuo and performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra up to OVA V. OVAs VI and VII feature vocal closing themes by Japanese rock group Suilen. Titled "Magnolia" and "Shinto-Shite" respectively. The OVA series is licensed for release in the United States by Geneon USA. In producing the English dub of the series, Geneon used much of the original cast from the dub of the anime series, which the company had also licensed. The first episode was released to Region 1 DVD on December 5, 2006, after premiering the episode at the 2006 Anime Expo convention. Though Geneon USA stopped self-distribution of its titles in 2007, it remains the licensor of the series and in 2008 the North American distribution was assumed by Funimation Entertainment. Funimation released the fourth episode on September 23, 2008. Simultaneously, the company re-released the first three episodes. At Anime Expo 2010, Funimation Entertainment announced that they do have all three of the new OVA episodes 5-7 and the original TV series and will be released in 2011.
Two CD soundtracks composed by Yasushi Ishii have been released by Geneon for the Hellsing anime series. Hellsing Original Soundtrack: Raid was released on July 1, 2003 and contained 19 tracks. The second soundtrack, Hellsing Original Soundtrack: Ruins, containing an additional 22 tracks followed on September 2, 2003.
Also, three soundtracks composed by Hayato Matsuo have been released for the Hellsing OVA series (Hellsing Ultimate). Hellsing OVA Original Soundtrack - BLACK DOG Released on March 21, 2008. As well as a DVD-Audio mini-soundtrack released as an extra with Hellsing OVA IV in Japan, titled Premium Disk - Warsaw Recording Selection featuring 9 tracks. The newest one is also an extra with Hellsing I-V Blu-ray BOX, titled Nazi CD featuring 13 tracks and 1 secret track. The vocal tracks by Suilen were released by the band on their recent mini-album THE DAWN.
In 2005, the six and seventh volumes of the Hellsing manga series ranked among Diamond Comics Distributors's list of the top 48 manga volumes sold in the United States for the year. In November 2007, the ninth volume was among the top 10 volumes sold according to Japan's monthly sales rankings.
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