“In the name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into eternal damnation. Amen.” – Hellsing Organization
Such is the doctrine of the Hellsing Organization. A covert, paramilitary operation seeking to destroy vampires for over a hundred years. Run by Sir Integra Hellsing, a hard-nosed, ruthless leader, bound by her obligation to Queen and country. She is the last in a long line of Hellsing’s who’ve fought to protect humans from vampires. Aided by her assistant, Walter, she is a formidable opponent. Walter, it should be noted, is quite formidable himself. A former Nazi spy known as the Angel of Death for his skilled use of a wire garrote. Integra also has under her control an ancient vampire, Alucard. Alucard is a dangerous creature. A true vampire. Far beyond the usual abilities attributed to vampires, he’s able to shape shift into any form. He’s virtually indestructible. He is the secret weapon of the Hellsing Organization.
A new breed of vampires has emerged. Vampires created by a computer chip (called the Freak Chip). It gives them all the power, the thirst of the vampires but no control. They become psychotic and very dangerous. Alucard is not like these vampires. He’s a true vampire, apparently one of the first. He holds these “fakes” in contempt. And eagerly destroys them for his master, Sir Integra. Humans bitten by the vampires, if not properly destroyed (a bullet through the head generally), will rise up and become zombie-like, cannibalistic ghouls.
The story really begins when an innocent young woman, Seras Victoria, is literally in the wrong place at the wrong time. Seras is a newbie police woman with an elite, swat-like unit sent into a tiny village besieged by a vampire. She’s the sole survivor. That is where she first meets Alucard, also sent in to kill the vampire. The vampire, posing as a priest, uses her as a human shield, believing Alucard would not kill a human. He was wrong. Alucard gives her the choice of joining him or dying. She chooses to become like him. After that, she becomes a part of the paramilitary branch of the Hellsing Organization, led by Commander Peter Fargason. An older man, very loyal to Integra and the Hellsing Organization. He guides Seras into becoming a strong and capable solider.
That’s essentially the back story for the anime and manga Hellsing. There are some story line differences between the two so I’ll be focusing on the anime. I really like this anime. I’m a sucker (no pun intended!) for a vampire story. And Hellsing has it all! An enigmatic, dangerous vampire anti-hero, an innocent female drawn into the battle through situations beyond her control, bad guys that are truly evil, good guys that will fight the good fight to the death if necessary and lots of blood and gore thrown in for good measure! How can you beat that? In addition to all this, Hellsing is beautifully rendered. It’s well written with lots of wonderful, albeit terrifying characters. It’s also very violent and bloody. It’s definitely not for the weak of heart or stomach. But if the violence doesn’t bother you, it’s well worth a look. It’s truly a classic!
“Now I’ll show you how real vampires do battle!” –Alucard