Manga Review: Hellsing Volume 4 by Kohta Hirano
Author: Kohta Hirano
Publisher: Darkhorse Manga
Published: October 5, 2004
Page Count: 192 pages
Availability: Out of Print, buy on Amazon or eBay
The Major finally reveals himself to Hellsing and Iscariot organizations. Hellsing learns more about the vampire Nazis as the Major reveals himself and declares war on them. Alucard facing off with Millennium’s Lutenent, Rip Van Winkle. Will he survive?
This Story Is Ridiculous
This manga is very well written and the plot is very well done. It’s setting up an excellent conflict and keeps getting darker and darker as the series goes on.
Hellsing is a very over-the-top and ridiculous manga. It does everything in excess. The story is ridiculous, the profanity is excessive and the violence is so over-the-top it’s unrealistic.
But that’s what makes Hellsing stupid adult fun that keeps the adults reading. Sure, it’s mindless action and it’s not deep at all when it comes to the characters, but we’re not here for character depth, we’re here to watch a vampire slaughter poor policemen who got way in over their heads because they were tricked by vampire Nazis into attacking them.
The writing is very good, considering the type of story this is, it’s not deep or anything, but it is very quotable. It has fun characters and while they lack depth, we just want to see them fight, and in that front, the manga delivers.
The Art Is Very Nice
For what this manga is, the art is very well done. I like the character designs and the action is very intense. The violence is ridiculously exaggerated and it is graphic so there is disturbing imagery in this manga.
It still has a unique art style that makes it stand out among manga for older audiences and once you’ve read this story, you’ll remember it and not just for how ridiculous the story is, you’ll remember it for its unique character designs.
Kohta Hirano’s art is very good; it always gets better and more disturbing as the series goes on. The fight scenes are very intense and have graphic detail in the artwork.
This Manga Is Offensive to Religious People
Hellsing is offensive to religious people, specifically Christians of the denominations Catholic or Protestant, mainly because both sides are portrayed as their own brand of crazy, that isn’t very flattering if you practice Christianity yourself as I do.
I am not offended by this manga, but most Christians will be unless you are not easily offended by bad portrayals of your faith. Just because I’m not offended by this doesn’t mean you won’t be. As a Christian, I won’t recommend this to other Christians because if you are offended by it, it’s not like I didn’t warn you. Secular people won’t care as they just want to see a cool story and don’t care how Christianity is portrayed at all.
This manga is recommended for ages 17 and up because of strong language, blood, gore and graphic violence. This isn’t for younger teens and kids so keep that in mind when purchasing.
Will you read the manga Hellsing Volume 4?
The Manga Tries to Be Very Deep
The manga tries very hard to be deep, with Rip Van Winkle and her Opera symbolism, but it's only trying to make her conflict with Alucard appear deeper than it is since the fight itself ends up being completely one-sided.
One of the fantastic aspects of the writing that does make it appear "deep" is the Major's terrifying "I love war" speech that is the highlight of this volume.
While the manga has many memorable quotes, there is a lack of depth that should not be over-analyzed, it’s not a deep story at all, it’s just a vampire killing Nazis.
Don’t try to make this story into something more than the schlocky, violent story that it is. It’s not deep, but it was never trying to be. It’s just Kohta Hirano making a story about a cool vampire.
It’s Not a Story for All Audiences, and That’s Not Just Because of the Age Recommendation
Hellsing is not for everyone, and that’s not just because of the adult content, not everyone wants to read a dark and disturbing vampire manga. It lacks real story depth and runs on Rule of Cool a lot.
While it’s mindless adult fun with an offensive addition that is simply there because the author probably just decided to use an extreme take on Christianity, because he thought having an overzealous Catholic character would make his manga cool.
I know that the lack of depth will disappoint some readers, because I know that some manga fans want to justify reading manga by saying that some stories have “depth” and “make you think about the characters and story”. Hellsing isn’t one of them, and you shouldn’t pretend that it is.
It’s mainly fun for the adults but I know that younger audiences will want to read it so they can feel more “mature” and “adult”, but don’t think you’ll be “mature” for reading this manga; it’s not a mature story at all despite containing mature content.
What Doesn't Work:
Interesting story and characters
Everything is ridiculous
Nice art work
It can be offensive to religious people
It's an entertaining story if you want a different vampire story
My Rating: A-
Hellsing is definitely an adult manga. The story is worth reading, unless you’re easily offended as either a Protestant or Catholic Christian. If you’re easily offended, stay away from this one. I haven’t bought it because I can get the entire series for free from my local library and it is out of print physically so some of the volumes can get expensive if you buy them online.
The story is worth buying, but the problem is that Dark Horse Comics has let them go out of print and has not reprinted them so buying them used will be expensive unless they are put back into circulation. It’s not worth the money right now unless you feel that you have to have this series in your physical collection.
I do enjoy the series but I don’t feel I have to have it in my manga collection, but I do enjoy reading it when I borrow it from my local library. Check it out if you’re interested but this is not for the easily offended.
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