My obsession with vampires started while I was [redacted]. I frequented the library often and as it turned out, they had the Hellsing manga. I think it was the first few volumes. One, two and three…possibly four and five too. I feel in love with the series mainly because of it’s main character, Alucard. There are two reasons for this:
1) He was unlike any vampire that I have heard about…he’s one bad motherfucker
* Immortality: This ability is rather ambiguous, as Alucard himself has stated that immortality is a myth. However, what it most likely refers to is the human souls inside Alucard; it has been shown that, when damaged with exceedingly holy weapons, a blow that might have killed or incapacitated him is instead directed to his resevior of souls (when nearly bisected by Nail-Anderson, hordes of his familiars burned away instead of Alucard dying).
* Regeneration: Alucard’s ability to regenerate is considerably greater than any other vampire’s, and may be due to the Hellsing family’s experimentation. He has regenerated from a pool of blood and from being blown to shreds by gunfire, incinerated completely, etc. When damaged to an extreme extent, his body simply turns into a shadow-like substance and reconstitutes.
* Superhuman Senses
* Superhuman Accuracy: Alucard has been known to hit targets at great range using handguns while looking the other way. He does this by using his so called ‘third eye’. He states that “if you shoot like humans do, you’ll only miss like they do.”.
* Superhuman Strength: The extent is unknown, but Alucard can physically rip humans and vampires apart with ease. He also ripped through Tubalcain Alhambra’s card which was strong and dense enough to slice through uranium.
* Superhuman Speed: He can move faster than can be seen, and is faster than Mach Speed. He caught a magic bullet within his mouth [which tore through an SR-71 (which is made of multiple alloys, including VARIOUS amounts of titanium) and crushed it within his teeth].
* Intangibility: The ability to pass through solid objects.
* Superhuman Agility: The ability to defy gravity to an uncertain limit. He is also seen leaping impossible distances and can go up vertical surfaces.
* Shadow Manipulation: Manipulation of shadows into physical form.
* Shape-shifting: Alucard can transform himself or parts of himself into bats, insects, snakes, hellhounds, other human forms including a little girl, an amorphous mass of darkness, and many other forms. Alucard has four known human forms, each with different characteristics and weapons. He also states that his form means nothing and that he can take any form that he chooses.
* Weather Control: The ability to control the weather to an unknown limit, as demonstrated by the fog created when he returned to London aboard the H.M.S Eagle.
* Telekinesis: In the manga, Alucard uses this ability only once for certain; to close a door on a fleeing police officer. Alucard is later seen moving a broken down air-craft carrier from the Gulf of Italy to the Dover of London all in a little less than 40 minutes, only traveling at a few knots. However, whether this was telekinesis or the craft moving under it’s own power is not adressed.
* Telepathy: Alucard can speak telepathically to his fledgling.
* Mind Reading
* Mind Control and Hypnosis: (fans sometimes call it the “sex beam” after a remark from Pip).
* Summoning: The ability to summon familiars, the souls of those whose blood he has sucked in a variety of forms that either sprout from his body or swarm about him as an army numbering in the thousands. These familiars can also include animals such as horses and the weapons and abilities that the familiars possessed in life, but Alucard can only use this ability when control art restriction system level zero is released.
* Blood Sucking: The ability to suck a person’s blood and absorb their soul and, consequently, their knowledge and memories. (He learns more about Millennium after absorbing Tubalcain.) He can also absorb blood through his clothes and skin, as he does with Luke Valentine’s blood after his hellhound had eaten Luke’s body.
* Hibernation: Alucard is able to survive long periods of time without consuming blood, but is able to fight at a usual level of strength after drinking blood.
* Immunity to the weaknesses most vampires possess: His abilities and health are not in any way compromised by such things as sunlight or silver. In fact, it appears that the only weapons capable of harming him to any real extent are the most holy of Christian artifacts, such as Father Anderson after augmenting his abilities with Helena’s Nail (a nail which was from the True Cross which crucified Jesus Christ and was blessed in his blood).
* ‘Supernatural Sense’: The ability to sense supernatural activity (In The Dawn, a prequel to Hellsing. Alucard knew the Captain was a werewolf the moment he saw him, and in the OVA, could see the blessings on Father Anderson’s bayonets).
* Combat Experience: In addition to his superhuman abilities, Alucard also possess centuries of combat experience. While he usually relies on crushing his opponents with sheer power, he does at times use strategy. When he fought Alhambra, Alucard used shadow duplicates to distract him, allowing Alucard to close the distance between them and deliver the death blow.
2) After reading more, I identified with the character on one important level. The feeling of being betrayed by god thus resulting in an everlasting hatred for anything religious.
Huge spoiler here for those that are a little behind on this, Alucard = Dracula. Crazy shit, no? When the library had no more Hellsing for me, I would use their computer and browse for hours looking for scanlated manga readable online. Couldn’t really download onto HD on those computers. Superb cockblockers that they are, they had most folders as read-only. I found what I was looking for eventually. One was a msn group and another was an independat group called Blood-Knight. Both sites aren’t around anymore.
That’s when I learned about
Alucard’s...err..Dracula’s hate for god. At that time, I was more Agnostic and sometimes I would delude myself to appease the sensibilities of the family. But deep down, I harbored a deep hatred for religion and god(s) of any form. I swear, when I read volume 9, I cried during some parts. That’s how much I identified with this character. Eventually, somewhere towards the end of the run of the manga, the OVA came out. I remember watching volume 4 of the OVA in the library. The scene where Drac absorbs Rip Van Winkle on the boat was oddly erotic and two women that were next to me gave me the look we all get eventually. You know the one. It’s the one people give you for farting in public or for dutifully mentioning as loud as possible that the only reason people drink is too fuck eachother and/or public property. But….
Got a little off track there. Anyway, since the Bram Stoker book was mentioned in the comic and OVA, I decided to do research on the net about it. I managed to collect a list of “essential vampire” books from the net, as well as, from reading a Vampire Story compilation book’s introduction and forward. Luckily, they had Dracula by Bram Stoker in the library already. Some books I had to request them to borrow from another library. It was like that with Anne Rice’s Interview With A Vampire and some books no public library seemed to have. I’ll probably doctor up a list of the books that I had as mandatory vampire reading some other time.
After having reading the compilation volumes of vampire stories andDracula, I wanted to get some concrete facts on the man that this was all loosely based on. After digging in the library’s archives (something I did avidly and frequently), I found a wonderful treasure:
The fictional Dracula of Bram Stoker’s novel is better known than the actual Vlad Dracula the Impaler, who ruled as prince of Wallachia for three brief periods in the mid-15th century. This study by two Boston College professors who have written other books about Dracula explores how the legend of the Transylvanian vampire arose. As a ruler, Dracula spread terror far and wide, inflicting appalling tortures on his victims, killing them by impalement, by boiling or skinning them alive. Yet when the time came to defend Europe against Turkish invaders, he led the battle, and the authors view him as “the first modern Renaissance prince of the land.” Florescu and McNally offer so much detail about the battles of kings, princes, princelings and claimants to thrones that the book will appeal only to the most ardent Dracula fanatics. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Dracula is the third book that Florescu and McNally, both historians at Boston College, have written about either the real Dracula or the legendary vampire ( Dracula: A Historical Biography of the Impaler, 1431-1476 , Hawthorn, 1973; LJ 2/1/74). This scholarly work focuses almost exclusively upon the “real” Dracula, a 15th-century Romanian prince. The authors present him as a multifaceted figure, a national hero still revered for defending Romania from the Turks, yet also a psychopath who used his power indiscriminately to torture and murder thousands of his enemies and subjects. Because of the constant interest in the occult (especially in the vampire Dracula), public libraries will want this for popular collections. Because of its sound treatment of an important figure in Eastern European history, academic libraries also should consider.
– Ann H. Sullivan, Tompkins Cortland Community Coll. Lib., Dryden,
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition
The book was really all encompassing regarding the subject of Dracula. These two men gathered just about every scrap of legit historical fact about the man in question. Later in the book, they explore the birth of the vampire legend. I don’t mean Dracula the vampire, I mean vampires in general. Then they explore how it became that the term became associated with Dracula via Bram Stoker. The book also reveals some very fascinating information regarding Stoker’s process for writing Dracula.
So now I’m rather hooked on the creature that is the vampire. I am constantly in search of stories about these creatures that don’t depict them as depressed sad fucks all the time. Also something outside of the conventional modern gothic sensibilities that tends to depict them as overly sexual beings. I have succeeded in finding those few engaging stories.