Hellsing vol. #1

Book Info.
Release Date: December 1, 2003
No. of Pages: 208
Format: Black and White
Rating: 14+
Language: English
Author: Kohta Hirano
SRP: $13.95 U.S.
Quick Links
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Contributed by: A-run Chey


The Hellsing TV series that Gonzo produced in 2001 was one of the first shows that I ever watched when I started to become an avid anime DVD collector. With the new Hellsing Ultimate OVA produced by Satelight Studios coming out in December I felt even more compelled to finally read the original manga publication. Itís also ironic that Hellsing happens to be one of the first manga's I have ever read; Iím new to this folks so be patient with meÖ..lol!


It seems that lately the nation of England has been having some issues with vampires. And the British donít call the Ghostbusters when they're having these kinds of problems.

The Hellsing organization has been around for generations and are experts in dealing with vampires. They are a group that is loyal to the Protestant church and they remain in the shadows for the most part. They are usually called upon in situations that involve dealing with the undead, particularly vampires. Their leader is the distinguished Integra Hellsing who inherited the position when her late father passed away. This is not your run of the mill organization though. Hellsing has been protecting England and the Protestant church from vampires since the medieval times. There is an interesting twist to this equation though. See the thing is that, the Hellsing organization has the ultimate secret weapon in their arsenal. Enter the great Alucard, Hellsingís ace card; a genetically enhanced super vampire that seems almost invincible. Alucard serves Integra and Hellsing mercilessly. A vampire that serves humans and kills his own kind; it must suck to be an undead!

The story kicks off in the small town of Cheddar where a Priest turned vampire is wreaking havoc on the townspeople. Itís in this scenario that Alucard encounters Seras Victoria, another one of the main characters. Seras is a police officer who is stationed in Cheddar and ends up going head to head with the blood sucking priest. Alucard shows up and attempts to rescue Sears, but unfortunately she ends up being taken hostage by the priest. In a strange twist of events Alucard rescues Seras, but fatally wounds her in the process. But instead of letting her die Alucard transforms her into a vampire. Now this is where the real fun begins!

The religious themes and references are very apparent in the manga, with terms like Protestant, Judas and Pagans used freely by the author to convey the storyís overall theme. The author also alludes to the ongoing rivalry between the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churchís in Europe. Itís no coincidence that the Hellsing organization acts under jurisdiction of the Protestant church.

In the manga the Roman Catholic Church also has its own secret agency that deals with vampires. Representing the Vatican and acting under Section XII, the Iscariot organization has been protecting the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church from vampires for hundreds of years. Things get ugly when Iscariot sends Father Alexander Anderson to England to deal with the Hellsing organization. But Anderson is not your ordinary priest; he is a genetically enhanced super human with the ability to regenerate his body. He is so notorious that they call him The Paladin. And he is hell bent on killing anyone who dares to oppose the Roman Catholic Church. The duel between Alucard and Anderson is without a doubt the highlight of the entire manga.

The action scenes are portrayed graphically through the art, with pages littered with severed limbs and splattered with blood. It would be a stretch to say that the artwork is realistic, but this is a work of fiction and Hiranoís exaggerated illustrations are just pure eye candy.

Digital Manga Publishing continues to release some of the best quality manga in North America. Keeping their mature rated manga like Hellsing shrink wrapped is good assurance that they stayed true to the original Japanese publication; right down to a faithful translation. Included in the manga is an anecdotal commentary by the author discussing his background and some tidbits about the mangaís publication. DMP also decided to include in volume one, a side story that Hirano-san wrote separate from the main Hellsing story arc.

Parting Words:

If you enjoy manga with a strong and complex story that has some stellar action thrown into the mix, then I recommend you pick up Hellsing volume #1. The actions scenes are drawn in such great detail that as your reading itís like your looking at vivid images ready to just pop right out of the page. Great artwork and a good story are what every manga should have. And Hellsing has all that and more. I give kudos to Digital Manga Publishing for another quality release.

Hellsing Manga available at:

- October 6, 2006

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