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Pip Bernadotte (ピップ・ベルナドット Pippu Berunadotto?) is a fictional mercenary captain and the leader of the Wild Geese in the manga series Hellsing. His Japanese voice actor is Hiroaki Hirata. His English voice actor is Yuri Lowenthal. Like many of Kouta Hirano's characters, Pip was recycled from one of Hirano's old hentai works called Coyote.
He is best noted for his eye-patch (between his first appearance and the expedition to Brazil, Pip did not have an eyepatch, but instead had his left eye bandaged, though this is not reflected in the OVA), his braid and a cowboy-hat with the left side flap folded up (possibly an Australian bush hat) with what appears to be an emblem of a Griffin on it. He is hired by Walter at the end of Volume 2 to replace all the soldiers killed by the Valentine Brothers. On his first debriefing, he openly insults and antagonises Seras Victoria over the absurdity of vampires but is quickly put in his place by Seras' 'aggressive reasoning', involving nearly breaking his skull by flicking him with her fore-finger. Pip is also a compulsive smoker, and is shown with a cigarette in his mouth more often than not.
The name of his group (The Wild Geese) is believed to be derived from a movie during the seventies that shared the name and was about a group of mercenaries in Africa. This is incorrect, and is a reference instead to The Wild Geese, the Irish who left Ireland following the Treaty of Limerick. Pip being French (or possibly Belgian, as he wears the Belgian flag on his coat), it's possibly an homage, since it was the Wild Geese serving France who finally broke the back of the British army at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745, (according to some accounts taking the colors of Britain's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards). His family has also served in the wild geese for 6 generations and it's unknown what was their rank in the group before they died or retired. (Which would place their entry after the dissolution of the 'official' French Irish units. However, many organizations of predominately Irish mercenaries are known to refer to themselves as the 'Wild Geese', particularly those dating back to the 18th and 19th century.)
There used to be some debate over his name and ethnicity. The Dark Horse version states that his name is Bernadette when he was introduced in volume 2 but Vernedead in volumes 6 and 7. This was an intentional corruption of Bernadotte by Hirano (VerneDEAD). He also rants and curses in various different languages and uses different accents. It was initially thought that he was either of a British, French, Australian or American background. However, Hirano confirms him to be French in the back of volume 6's tankoubon, where it is stated that he is "French and loves boobs". Hirano also mentioned in a recent filler-chapter that he was of Swedish ancestry. The English dub of the OVA pronounces it as Bernadette but lists it as Bernadotte.
The Royal House of Bernadotte is the current royal house of Swedish, founded by one of Napoleon's marshals: Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. One can assume that Pip was a Frenchman with Swedish connections, or vice-versa. An interesting fact is that the current Crown Princess of Sweden is named Victoria of Bernadotte.
His first name, "Pip" is never actually used in any of the dialog in either the Manga or the OVA series, and he is always referred to as either "Bernadotte" or "Captain Bernadotte". "Pip" initially came from his prototype character from Coyote, and only appeared in Hellsing scrawled in English next to occasional pictures of Pip. The name wasn't declared official canon to Hellsing until the Japanese OVA III DVD was released. The Limited Edition version of that volume included a character profile for Pip that lists his name in Japanese and English as "Pip Bernadotte"
Initially portrayed as an experienced mercenary but a narrow-minded, shallow, perverted man whose sole pursuit was that of gaining money, he later reveals a soft side, morals, some romance, disinterested bravery and subsequently starts developing feelings of love towards Seras Victoria. After an attack on the mansion, Pip and his men are losing the fight. Seras tries to save them, but gets herself in mortal danger and ends up blinded and crippled by Millennium Lieutenant Zorin Blitz. Pip, already severely injured, tries to rescue her but is killed when Zorin impales him. Before his death he kisses her for the first time, after she had rejected him several times earlier, and tells her to drink his blood and become stronger. Seras sucks his blood after he dies, and gains everything he is: his soul, body, memories and experiences in order to fight their enemies "together" from now on. Seras also becomes a true vampire at this point, (since she had previously refused to drink blood), and begins for the first time to show abilities similar to Alucard's.
Pip now lives on through her. He makes his first reappearance in chapter 85 - Warcraft (3), giving Seras tactical advice. In chapter 86, Pip explains to Seras about the origin of the spoils of war present in the room before guiding her to fight the Captain. At the very end of the chapter, he manifests out her body and stabs the werewolf's chest with a tooth that has a silver filing, killing Captain for messing around "another man's woman." Finally, in Romancia, the epilogue, he manifests as talking shadows that "wrap around the entire headquarters" that the Iscariot members take notice of.
Hirano mentioned in volume 7 rant that he was lucky to have been kept alive so long and that he got a kiss and now was dead. Although having no supernatural powers when he was alive, he did have experience from warfare and skills with firearms and military tactics. After being absorbed by Seras, Pip is able to shapeshift his body from solid shadows into his normal body and manifest at choice outside or within the Draculina. He seems to possess a superhuman strength for being able to punch through the chest of powerful werewolf who was able to withstand Walter's wires, besides this as the epilogue suggest he's able to cover an unknown amount of space by himself when hidden in shadows.