Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: Dark Horse Manga/Digital Manga Publishing
Author: Kohta Hirano
Genre: Graphic Novel
MSRP: $13.99 US
Release Date: Available Now
This is an ultra cool ending for an ultra cool manga series.
I should have listened to a friend who said that Hellsing was, bar none, one of the most unusual but straight-up cool manga series out there and, having had a month-long crash course reading session of just about every volume of this series, I could safely say that he was right. I’m just sorry we haven’t covered the series for Animanga Nation but at least I get to review Volume 10 of Hellsing as the series comes to a close. Believe me, Hellsing fans will not be disappointed.
In this alternate take on history, the world of the supernatural collided with our world during World War II as a secret faction of the Catholic church and an order that was started by none other than Dracula’s nemesis, Abraham Van Hellsing, is battling Nazis, werewolves and other supernatural forces. Oh but years later the forces of evil and the remnants of the Nazis as well as the evil that the legendary Alucard (Dracula spelled backwards) have left London, England a horrific sight to behold.
Thankfully, Integra Hellsing, joined by the sexy vampire Seras Victoria and now very youthful Walter Dornez have put up a brave battle to put an end to the Millennium group who was the brainchild of a remaining Nazi Major who has been working towards creating an army of vampire Nazi soldiers to ensure the restoration of the Third Reich. In the final volume, Sir Integra and Seras make it aboard the zeppelin to face off against the Major only to be separated. While Integra reaches the Major’s control room, Seras goes up against the werewolf Captain.
Guided by the voice of the man who loved her, Captain Pip Vernedead, Seras fight with the Captain is brutal and nothing short of spectacular as they trade blow by bloody blow. Of course, werewolves do have the ability to regenerate but Seras is not slouch when it comes to fighting and – in the end – the shadow of a familiar character joins her in giving the Captain the real blow. Yeah, let’s see the Twilight series top a werewolf-vampire battle like that. On a side note, Seras has always been a considered a fan service-y character but every team needs a powerhouse character and Seras fills that role nicely.
Meanwhile, Sir Integra finally comes face-to-face with the Major who is watching another interesting confrontation from the comfort of the control room of the zeppelin. He is monitoring Alucard’s every movement as the cat-eared Schrodinger does the unspeakable. The young Nazi’s actions causes a chain reaction of events in order to destroy Alucard who is in female form. I will be doing Hellsing fans a great disservice by revealing how this encounter goes but you can be sure that it will not fail to impress.
On the other side of the battlefield is the evil Doctor who locks horns with Walter C. Dornez who sees no way out of this battle. While the fight is a great one, the best part of this moment is the secrets revealed by the good Doctor including the identity of She or at least the identity of her remains that all seems to be connected to the Dracula mythos. Once again, the finale of this encounter is one you should really see for yourself.
There’s another surprise as well when Seras joins Sir Integra to put an end to the Major’s life and it’s a surprise I didn’t see coming as the zeppelin begins to do a great imitation of the Hindenburg as it comes down in fiery descent. In a series where even key characters can die, the finale does not disappoint the surprise department as Millennium comes to a bloody end that is true to the series. It’s also good that there are lighter moments in this volume so it’s not all missing limbs and bloody battles and that’s a great thing, indeed.
Kohta Hirano has told an epic masterpiece of the ultra cool kind and Hellsing’s ten volumes is proof of that. Volume 10 isn’t a flimsy ending that ties up loose ends but it’s actually a deeply involving end that is exciting enough to deserve a respectful cheer from Hellsing fans everywhere. Sure, I would have loved to have seen this series continue but it comes to a good end that is fitting for a series that is really one-of-a-kind.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
In the final showdown, the fate of Alucard and the monstrous Major are finally revealed. With Seras going up against the wolfman and Walter putting up a fight against the sinister Doctor, it’s anyone’s game. Meanwhile, Sir Integra drops in on the Major for a confrontation that really has to be seen to believe.
Hirano-sensei’s art has always been wonderfully unique and beautiful in its own way that stands out nicely from other manga series out there. My only gripe has been that the action sequences can sometimes be a bit jarring and hard to follow at times but – I gladly note here – damn if it doesn’t look good.
Volume 10 of Hellsing closes the final chapter in this rollercoaster of manga series that kept fans deeply engrossed. As the final battle is waged, the spectacular finale is everything you can ask for in a closing volume of a series that was just too ultra cool. Our biggest regret is that we didn’t jump on this one when it first came out.
Review copy provided by Dark Horse Manga/Digital Manga Publishing