Alucard (Hellsing)

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Alucard
Hellsing character
Hellsing manga.jpg
First appearance Hellsing Volume 1
Created by Kouta Hirano
Voiced by Jōji Nakata (Japanese)
Crispin Freeman (English)
Profile
Aliases Prince of Wallchia, Vlad Țepeș III (real name), Count Dracula
Species Vampire
Gender Male
Born November or December 1431

Alucard (アーカード Ākādo?, alt. "Arucard") is a fictional character and the protagonist and antihero of the Hellsing manga and anime series created by Kouta Hirano. He is a vampire and is devoted entirely to the current head of the Hellsing family (Integra Hellsing during the timeline of the story) and good friends with Walter. He is also affectionate towards his fledgling Seras Victoria. Alucard works with the Hellsing Organization against other vampires and evil forces. He fights with ferocity and often extreme cruelty, rarely killing until his target has been disabled and humiliated, while frequently allowing enemies more than one chance to kill him (though he seeks only to be killed by a human, having grown bored of immortality and life).

As revealed in volume 8 of the manga, he is Count Dracula ("Alucard" is "Dracula" spelled backwards). Soon after the events presented in Bram Stoker's original novel, Dracula was defeated by Abraham Van Helsing and became the family's loyal servant. Decades later, Abraham's descendant Arthur Hellsing gives the Count his current name: "Alucard". The manga is set over a hundred years later, where the Hellsing Organization is forced to fight the remnants of a Nazi battalion.

He typically dresses in a distinctive Victorian and western fashion, with a charcoal suit, leather riding boots, a red cravat, and a long red duster (resembling Van Helsing's duster). He also wears a red fedora with a wide, floppy brim and a pair of circular, wire-framed sunglasses (which are similar in design to glacier sunglasses and old-fashioned Wilson welding glasses) which he uses to cover his long black shaggy hair. However, this form seems to be a part of his being as he can change it at will.

In the anime (both the TV series and OVA) Alucard is voiced by Jōji Nakata and Crispin Freeman in the English adaptations.

Character outline[edit]

Background[edit]

Volume 8 features flashbacks of Alucard's life as a human. Dracula starts his career by fighting the Ottomans, believing that God does not reward prayer, but instead wants mortals to show their faith visibly. However, when his army is defeated and he is about to be executed, Vlad, believing he has been abandoned by God, turns his back on the divine. It is not explicitly shown or stated how he became a vampire, but in one scene he drinks blood from the floor in front of an executioner.[1]

The series mentions the events of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but deviates at the point of Dracula's defeat. In Hellsing, he was staked in the heart but not destroyed. It is unknown if he was forced into servitude or was willing, but he became a servant of the Van Helsing family, who not only augmented his formidable abilities, but also placed shackles of his power. He, along with a young Walter C. Dornez, were sent to Warsaw, Poland to stop Millennium's vampire production program.[2] Integra's father eventually imprisoned Alucard in a dungeon in the Hellsing manor, as he believed the vampire was too powerful to be used frequently.[3] After 20 years of imprisonment, Integra, marked for death by her traitorous uncle, opened Alucard's crypt as a final resort. Her blood awakened and resuscitated the ancient vampire, who then executed Integra's uncle and his followers, and willingly entered the service of Integra.[4] While the TV series does not include the same scenes to explicitly state that Alucard is Dracula, the end of the anime series implied that he is Vlad the Impaler, one of the original inspirations for Dracula. In the OVA series, however, it is much more explicitly stated that he is Dracula. In episode 8 of the OVA, he is shown as his former self wearing medieval armor, a long black cape (blood red on the inside), long hair, a mustache, and a long sword.

Personality[edit]

Alucard taunts and belittles his opponents, allowing them to inflict wounds before healing and retaliating, as shown in his first appearance in the manga.[5] He longs for battle[6] and has been shown to become angry when his opponents kill themselves. His lust for battle is fueled by a desire to find an opponent powerful enough to end his eternal life, though he wishes only to be slain by a human, for "Only a human can destroy a monster. Only a human could dare hope to."

He expresses admiration for some humans, calling Integra's order to kill "splendid"[7] and the determination of his rival, Alexander Anderson, to destroy him an example of the "fantastic" and "magnificent" qualities of humans.[8] He recognizes Anderson as a parallel to himself, and pities him.[9] He has great respect for humans, going as far as to say he would have been proud if Anderson had killed him in his human form.[10] As the manga continues, it becomes increasingly evident that Alucard is deeply depressed and is struggling with his nature as a vampire, going as far as crying over how things turn out.[11] It can be said that Alucard considers vampirism a step down from humanity, and regrets the choice he made when becoming a vampire.[12] Alucard expresses extreme disgust with the vampires he hunts, especially when they kill without purpose. Commenting on the "Bonnie and Clyde" in the story, he mentions the two vampires' killing as unnecessary.[13] He especially enjoys taunting his fledgling, the police girl Seras Victoria.

Abilities[edit]

Alucard is the closest thing to an immortal. For as he said himself "There is no such thing as immortals" but he does not age. In reality, Alucard's immortality comes from the amount of humans whose blood he consumed over the ages, which is a number in the millions.[14] As many come to realize, whenever he drinks his victim's blood, Alucard also sucks out the soul of that person to obtain their memories while converting the victim into an extension of himself referred to as a Familiar.[15] When he retains all the claimed souls within his body, Alucard can easily regenerate from near fatal injuries in seconds.[16][17] His regenerative abilities took even Anderson by surprise in their first encounter; Alucard was able to reconstitute himself within minutes of being decapitated and having his heart pierced, injuries that would kill an ordinary vampire.

Alucard exhibits incredible accuracy when firing his twin large caliber handguns (his basic firearm being the .454 Casull and a more powerful handgun codenamed 'Jackal', armed with explosive rounds; the latter was designed to fight regenerators like Father Anderson, Luke Valentine and Incognito), and is capable of accurately shooting targets while looking the other way.[18][19] He can tear humans apart with ease and move faster than the eye can see.[20] He is seen passing through walls[21] and moving up vertical surfaces.[22] He shapeshifts into various forms, including bats,[23] arthropods,[24] demonic dogs,[25] amorphous masses of darkness,[26] and humanoid forms (among them being a young girl, a form he took while infiltrating the Nazi group Millenium during World War II).[27][28] He communicates telepathically with Seras[20] and can hypnotize other characters.[7] He is also immune to sunlight.[29]

Alucard's power is restrained by a series of seals presumably made by Hellsing (known as the Control Art Restriction System). Alucard can release the seals up to Level 1, where numerous eyeballs surround his body and can manifest a massive "Demon Dog" named Baskerville. He also trades his traditional red fedora and duster for a black straight jacket with a large eyeball coming out of the center of his chest. When Integra Hellsing releases Level 0, the final seal, Alucard can assume the form he had in life while manifesting all of his familiars as an army. Though this is his most powerful form, it also leaves Alucard vulnerable to attack, as the souls he consumed no longer reside in his body; though he can draw familiars back into himself, any that are destroyed must be replaced through feeding. The Major took advantage of Alucard's weakenss by having Schrodinger kill himself before getting absorbed into the vampire's body, in what was believed to be a means to effectively destroy him. However, after destroying every additional soul except Schrodinger's in his body, it gave Alucard the ability to be omnipresent.

Reception[edit]

In the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation Awards from 2008, Alucard was nominated as one of the best male characters.[30][31] In an interview with Anime News Network, American voice actor Crispin Freeman stated that he enjoyed voicing Alucard, stating that he loved "characters who are on the edge of madness for one reason or another".[32] Various merchandise based on Alucard's appearance has been created, including action figures,[33] bust figures[34] and key-chains.[35]

Anime News Network's Mike Crandol praised Alucard for being "a refreshing change from the traditional, mopey, woe-is-me vampire anti-hero", and called him "quite the cool figure".[36] T.H.E.M Anime Reviews describes Alucard as "anti-hero through and through, but you just can't help rooting for him even when it's obvious he's not really a good guy at all..."[37] Carl Kimlinger also from Anime News Network said "Hellsing's greatest attribute, without doubt, is Alucard. He's one of the scariest, and most unspeakably cool, anti-heroes to ever slaughter his way through an anime."[38] Jason Thompson commented that when the manga started "Alucard looked too much like Master of Mosquiton, or another badass manga character with John Lennon glasses" and thought he seems like Vash the Stampede and his backstory is similar to Vlad the Impaler.[39] IGN ranked him as the 21st greatest anime character of all time, saying that "There have been many vampires in anime, but none have been as deliciously sadistic as Alucard."[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2007). Hellsing, Volume 8. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 184-199. ISBN 978-1-59307-780-8.
  2. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2007). Hellsing, Volume 4. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-59307-259-9.
  3. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2008). Hellsing, Volume 9. Dark Horse Comics. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-59582-157-7.
  4. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2003). Hellsing, Volume 1. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 44-59. ISBN 978-1-59307-056-4.
  5. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2003). Hellsing, Volume 1. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 22-26. ISBN 978-1-59307-056-4.
  6. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2007). Hellsing, Volume 8. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. p. 89. ISBN 978-1-59307-780-8.
  7. ^ a b Hirano, Kohta (2004). Hellsing, Volume 3. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-59307-202-5.
  8. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2007). Hellsing, Volume 8. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-59307-780-8
  9. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2008). Hellsing, Volume 9. Dark Horse Comics. pp. 26-27. ISBN 978-1-59582-157-7.
  10. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2008). Hellsing, Volume 9. Dark Horse Comics. pp. 149. ISBN 978-1-59582-157-7.
  11. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2008). Hellsing, Volume 9. Dark Horse Comics. pp. 129. ISBN 978-1-59582-157-7.
  12. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2008). Hellsing, Volume 8. Dark Horse Comics. pp. 165.
  13. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2003). Hellsing, Volume 1. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 80-81. ISBN 978-1-59307-056-4.
  14. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2007). Hellsing, Volume 4. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-59307-259-9.
  15. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2007). Hellsing, Volume 4. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 28, 57. ISBN 978-1-59307-259-9.
  16. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2004). Hellsing, Volume 3. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 62-67. ISBN 978-1-59307-202-5.
  17. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2003). Hellsing, Volume 1. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 166-167. ISBN 978-1-59307-056-4.
  18. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2003). Hellsing, Volume 1. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-59307-056-4.
  19. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2004). Hellsing, Volume 3. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-59307-202-5.
  20. ^ a b Hirano, Kohta (2003). Hellsing, Volume 1. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 52-53. ISBN 978-1-59307-056-4.
  21. ^ Hirano, Kohta. (2004). Hellsing, Volume 2. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-59307-057-1.
  22. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2004). Hellsing, Volume 3. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 153-154. ISBN 978-1-59307-202-5.
  23. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2003). Hellsing, Volume 1. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 169-171. ISBN 978-1-59307-056-4.
  24. ^ Hirano, Kohta. (2004). Hellsing, Volume 2. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-59307-057-1.
  25. ^ Hirano, Kohta. (2004). Hellsing, Volume 2. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 85-90. ISBN 978-1-59307-057-1.
  26. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2007). Hellsing, Volume 4. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 17-19. ISBN 978-1-59307-259-9.
  27. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2007). Hellsing, Volume 8. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. pp. 40-41. ISBN 978-1-59307-780-8.
  28. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2008). Hellsing, Volume 9. Dark Horse Comics. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-59582-157-7.
  29. ^ Hirano, Kohta (2004). Hellsing, Volume 3. Dark Horse Books/Digital Manga Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-59307-202-5.
  30. ^ "Society For The Promotion Of Japanese Animation Announces SPJA Industry Award Finalists At Tokyo International Anime Fair". Comipress.com. March 27, 2008. Retrieved September 22, 2008. 
  31. ^ "SPJA Industry Award Winners are Up". Giapet. July 6, 2008. Archived from the original on August 2, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  32. ^ Bertschy, Zac (September 9, 2002). "Crispin Freeman: The Interview". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Revoltech Series No.114 Alucard (14 cm PVC Figure) Kaiyodo Hellsing [JAPAN]". Amazon. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  34. ^ "SIF-EX ヘルシング アーカード バストアップフィギュア". Amazon. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Anime Hellsing Alucard Keychain". Amazon. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  36. ^ Crandol, Mike (July 17, 2002). "Hellsing DVD 1 - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  37. ^ Bustard, Jason (2001). "THEM Anime Reviews - Hellsing". T.H.E.M Anime Reviews. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  38. ^ Kimlinger, Carl (October 20, 2007). "Hellsing Ultimate DVD 3 - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  39. ^ Thompson, Jason (March 22, 2012). "Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Hellsing". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  40. ^ Isler, Ramsey (February 4, 2014). "Top 25 Greatest Anime Characters". IGN. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 

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