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Manga Review: "Hellsing," Vol. 5

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

The "Hellsing" manga, Volume 5 cover.

The "Hellsing" manga, Volume 5 cover.

Quick Info

  • Author: Kohta Hirano
  • Publisher: Darkhorse Manga
  • Published: December 8, 2004
  • Page Count: 208 pages
  • Availability: In print, buy the deluxe omnibus edition on eBay, RightStufAnime, Amazon, or at your local bookstore

Story Summary

The Hellsing Organization is under attack by Millennium’s Nazi vampire army. Zorin Blitz flies her airship towards the Hellsing manor while Seras Victory tries to shoot them down. Will the Hellsing Organization win or lose this battle?

The Story Is Over-the-Top and Exciting

Hellsing is an over-the-top manga that relies on Rule of Cool and being as bombastic as possible for this type of storytelling. It’s not too serious when it comes to the storytelling, but it prides itself on it’s intense, action-oriented fights to keep the reader interested in the story.

This manga is very well written. It’s dark, exciting and fascinating. It’s definitely a must-read for vampire fans or manga fans in general. The story just keeps upping the ante with every volume.

Upping the ante of enemies and higher stakes are what makes Hellsing stand out as a manga. The story continues to improve the writing, the action, and the artwork.

Seras and Walter.

Seras and Walter.

The Art Is Intense and Very Stylized

Kohta Hirano’s art is very good. It looks different and has its own style, but he makes it work and that’s why it’s interesting to look at. It is very bloody, violent and graphic, but it’s very detailed. The fight scenes themselves are crazy.

The fights in this manga are intense and over-the-top. The battles are detailed and clever because of Seras Victoria and Zorin being vampires. There is also the Iscariot Organization and Alexander Anderson’s crazy antics. They also add an interesting aspect to their fighting styles.

The art style is very detailed and has a style that is unique to Kohta Hirano. He tends to make detailed facial expressions and makes their eyes stand out more than many other manga artists.

The Manga Isn’t Deep

Hellsing lacks real depth as a story, while the writing is very well done and it is very quotable, it tries to sound deep, but the characters themselves mainly have surface traits and tropes.

A lot of readers will try to over-analyze the manga and try to make it deeper than it actually is. It’s just an action schlock that’s entertaining to read.

The manga is one of those stories that focus on action and horror more than character development, and while characters will develop over the course of the manga, it isn’t very deep development.

This Manga Is Offensive to Religious Readers

If you’re a Catholic or Protestant Christian it’s very likely that you will be offended due to the bad portrayal of Christianity because both sides are not particularly portrayed in s positive light. Both sides are portrayed as being crazy, but Catholics are portrayed as being overzealous when it comes to dealing with heretics and heathens.

Both sides are being portrayed as crazy, but the Hellsing Organization is the designated protagonists and we’re meant to cheer for them.

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If you’re Catholic you probably aren’t super impressed with the portrayal of Catholics as overzealous priests that just want to slaughter heathens.

The Protestants aren’t portrayed as positive either as Integra Hellsing lets Alucard kill innocent people.

While these portrayals aren’t accurate to Christianity and its denominations at all, it won’t bother irreligious or Atheists at all. Christians will probably be offended by this manga but you don’t have to read it if you feel you’ll be offended by the manga’s content.

Seras Victoria defending Hellsing manor.

Seras Victoria defending Hellsing manor.

Parental Rating

This manga is recommended for ages 17 and up because of strong language, including the F-bomb, graphic violence, blood, gore, and blasphemous content. It is not a manga meant for children or young teens; this is meant for an adult audience.

Reader Poll

"Hellsing" Is Entertaining, but It’s Not for Everyone

The Hellsing manga is an adult action manga that is the ultimate power fantasy for the male audience. It’s dumb fun and lacks depth, but if you’re looking for a vampire story that’s not romantic and feels more like the scary vampire stories that actually focus on the horror aspect of vampires, you’ll like this manga.

The manga is an enjoyable read, provided you aren’t easily offended. This manga is expensive now but if your library has it you should give it a read.

Quick Summary

What WorksWhat Doesn't Work

Good story, characters and world-building

Lacks character depth

Nice artwork

Exciting to read

My Grade: A-

Hellsing by Kohta Hirano is an exciting, action-oriented manga that is also a horror manga due to its creepy imagery and disturbing violence and gore.

It can be offensive to religious people, but if you’re not religious you won’t really care about how Christianity is portrayed.

The writing and characters are what keep you coming back, but it lacks the depth that gives it more than surface meaning.

The artwork is nice to look at. The action scenes are intense and exciting which keep you reading to see what will happen next.

The story is well written, but it lacks depth due to limited character development. The writing is very quotable and memorable, but it’s not as deep as people think it is.

If you’re thinking about buying Hellsing you should keep in mind that since the manga is out of print it will be more expensive to buy for your own collection because the manga is not available in print.

If you like dark vampire horror stories, definitely give Hellsing a shot, it’s not for everyone because it does have offensive content, but it’s a very well-written and illustrated story that you’ll want to keep reading once you finish a volume. It is out of print and not available from Dark Horse, hopefully, they’ll put it back in print.

I get my copies from the library so I don’t have to buy them. It’s well worth checking out, but you’ll have to decide if you want to spend money on it for your manga collection. The manga is available in a deluxe omnibus edition from Darkhorse manga.

My Rating

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