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Because No Two Sparkles are the Same (Vampire Knight vs Hellsing)

Hello everyone! Nice to meet you, I’m Monomanique and I’m really excited to be contributing my first post to this lovely blog! I’m going to have to apologise for the nature of its content. You see, I’d initially intended to write a rave review on Log Horizon and why 21 episodes of the MMORPG anime were enough to convince me that Mamare Touno’s treasure is going to exceed all my gaming girl geek needs. I was even seated at my desk, warming up my fingers for a wicked, mind-blowing intro…

Then a friend called me out for drinks, rambled on for two hours on why Twilight sparkly vampires are better than Anne Rice’s gothic vampires, and you get the anime version of that debate and this rubbish introduction instead. Sorry. The Log Horizon article is going to have to wait till I’m done telling everyone why a diehard Hellsing fan can and does like Vampire Knight too (or bits of it because there are times when Kaname is just…yeah…too much for me).

Because I had to listen to drunken endless sentences for ages on end, I’m going to spare you that and list it out under categories in point form. Let’s start out with why Hellsing is not the perfect vampire story, despite being seen through the rose-tinted glasses that this fangirl is wearing.  

Red is a bit of a theme when it comes to Hellsing. So is that very long arm of Alucard's. 


Okay. So don’t get me wrong. I love Hellsing. There’s action. There’s blood, lots of it. There’s a badass vampire in a red Victorian duster and he wears the most annoying sunglasses in the universe and does all manner of bizarre things like sprout eyes all over his body, grow very long hair, and kill his female human master’s enemies like the boss of bosses. It doesn't hurt that there are nifty references to Bram Stoker’s Dracula if you’re looking out for them (not that many though and not particularly accurate although reading manga or watching anime for accuracy is a bit like reading the Business Times for fun).
But here’s a list of things about Hellsing that either weirded me out, made me sad, or that I found just downright creepy and/or unnecessary. NOTE PLEASE: These are highly subjective and I’m happy to agree to disagree. I’m not forcing these opinions on anyone. 

1) Alucard’s hair. When it’s great and he’s got that hat on and everything, he looks like a dream. Then he starts releasing power seals and...that hair. It just…grows. And uh. Sometimes the art is just perfect and he’s still devilishly hot (especially when he’s doing the Bollywood wind tousle, you know, the one where an invisible giant fan is blowing onto the movie set) but sometimes, it just looks like mine after I forget to wash it for days. Not that I do that or anything.

   2) So I know I said that inaccuracies don’t really matter in the anime or manga world, but I still don’t get why the Vatican has such a large presence in London. I mean. Okay, I can see why they’re clashing with the Royal Order of Protestant Knights (a.k.a Alucard’s side) but, um, shouldn’t they be kind of happy if the Protestants lose to evil vampires and get wiped off the face of the earth? Confusion.

3) WALTER. NO. WHY?! Why make me like a nice old butler THEN (SPOILER ALERT) makehimbad?

4) I get that Hellsing falls under the Seinen category and that I’m not the target demographic, but I can’t help thinking that if Seras went for a breast reduction operation, she would actually kill a lot more things a lot faster. Not that she isn’t doing a good job at the mo. Keep it up, Police Officer.

5)  Right. I know that romance really isn’t the main point of the story at all and believe me when I say that romance doesn’t appeal to me the way a plot revolving around a twisted apocalyptic fascist vampire army does, but why oh why did Kouta Hirano go out of his way to create the delicious, psychotic, dysfunctional relationship between Integra and Alucard only to tell us that they are master and servant and NOTHING MORE?

Nuuu. I’m going to move on now before the depression settles in and I end up reading fic to make myself feel better.

On the other side of the spectrum, we've got Vampire Knight. Now. I’m predisposed to disliking shoujo manga/anime. It’s a personal thing and I can see why many people enjoy the genre. However, the art style, the themes, the plot, the tropes, they don’t do it for me. That being said, I did follow the series (I was alone in the house, it was scary, I was scared, and I needed something pretty and distracting and very unlike Ju-On to keep me occupied). And there were aspects of it that I really, really loved. 

I forgot to mention that I also like feathers. A lot. And the pretty dresses that Yuki gets to wear.


1) The school setting. I don’t know what it is with me and school settings. Not just any school setting, but high school to be precise. There’s something lovely about wearing uniforms and hating calculus and being forced to do PE. I've watched shoujo series just because of the setting (Karekano, I’m looking at you). And this one is even better. It has vampire night school.

2) Okay, so I don’t like shoujo art, but I like Gothic shoujo art. The whole set-up with the roses and the crosses and the black and white themes paralleling good and evil. Lace and cloth and ribbons everywhere even though it would be incredibly impractical in a real-life situation. School gates that look as though they were imported from Transylvania. Paisley. Chandeliers. Velvet curtains. Wings. You name it.

3) Yuki gets the best of both worlds, in a manner of speaking. SPOILER ALERT FOR THE ENDING HERE: She loved them both, she had them both. Not necessarily at the same time, but I think that does put a good spin on the usual need to choose one boy over the other.

4) The music for the anime. Very Victorian Gothic quirky with a hint of musical boxes, violins, and all the pretty visual effects I mentioned in point 2 above.

5) The Artemis rod/scythe. I love that Yuki’s weapon is only about 45689758989789 times more overpowered than Zero’s. Go girls! I would be proper upset if I were Zero, though: ‘She gets a giant death reaper anti-vampire weapon and I get…a gun that looks like…a gun. Gee, thanks, Mr Principal.’ 

There you go. Both Hellsing and Vampire Knight have their ups and downs, but they’re good in their own right. So really, there is no such thing as a better vampire story, just individual preferences. Peace out, world.

OH. I've just remembered another vampire manga actually. Nanae Chrono’s Vassalord, which is the best read I've had in ages. I highly recommended it, provided that you can stomach: 
a) Ambiguously gay men and women;
b) Religious imagery;
c) A cyborg vampire that is really a priest.

It’s better than I’m making it sound. Trust me. 

It is incredibly difficult to find a picture for Vassalord that does not require some kind of content filter.

Disclaimer: All images were sourced from the internet. The series and characters mentioned in this post belong to their respective copyright owners. 

Written by Monomanique

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