Hellsing’s vampire antihero Alucard is an arrogant, bloodthirsty creature of the night, but he’s also the most human character in the series.

HellsingThe vampire antihero Alucard is an arrogant, bloodthirsty creature of the night who takes pleasure in torturing and humiliating any lower-class vampire who thinks they have a chance against him. Yet for all his sadism, he shows a surprising amount of humanity. When it comes to his boss and subordinate, he shows a softer side, and when faced with his own monstrous acts, he feels a deep sense of regret. Alucard is definitely a monster, but he is also the human character of the series.

Alucard fights with extreme ferocity, and takes pleasure in prolonging his fights against the people who claim the title of “vampire.” He makes sure to humiliate them, to make them humiliate and beg for death. At the same time, however, he shows great respect for anyone who chooses to fight for a living. When he first meets Seras, he shoots her in the chest to kill a murderous vampire priest.

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However, he does not let her die, but instead takes her hand and comforts her before asking her if she would agree to become a vampire. He sees her will to live in her eyes and speaks of her humanity. He assumes the role of mentor and father figure to her, often reminding her that he will never become a full vampire until he drinks human blood. It’s not until she does that he finally calls her by her real name instead of “Police Girl”.

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Alucard’s relationship with his teacher Integra also demonstrates his own human complexity. He acts arrogant and sometimes antagonistic towards her, but he also shows her a high degree of respect, even as a child. After she woke him up in the dungeons of the property, the first thing he did was bow down and acknowledge his role as the leader of Hellsing, despite his young age. He watched her grow and mature into a young woman, helping her develop the skills necessary for someone in her position. We see how deep their bond runs when Alucard begins to fade after absorbing Schrodinger and Integra begs him not to leave her.

Alucard’s tragic backstory explains much of its complexity. Growing up, he was enslaved and abused by the Ottoman rulers. He grew up becoming the dreaded Vlad the Impaler, killing people on both his and Turkish side. His defeat at the hands of the Turks led him to become a vampire, as he drank blood from the battlefield in defiance of God and his fear of death. He wanted to live, even if it meant turning into a monster.

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Perhaps the best demonstration of Alucard’s humanity is in his relationship with Father Alexander Anderson. This relationship is one of respect and rivalry. He sees a lot of himself in Anderson and hopes that Anderson can defeat him as a human. However, his hopes are dashed when Anderson impales himself on Helena’s nail, turning him into a prickly vine human hybrid. Alucard pleads with Anderson to fight him as a human, but his pleas are not heard. The fight continues, with Anderson gaining ground. However, eventually Alucard can defeat Anderson.

As his enemy agonizes before him, Alucard does not mock him or attempt to humiliate him. Instead, cry for him while yelling “You’re just like me!” He cries for the man Anderson used to be, for the man he saw as his equal and for what he himself has done. When Anderson faints, he says to Alucard, “Monsters don’t cry. And that’s why you became one, right? So you don’t have to.”

Alucard did not become a vampire because he wanted power or immortality. He became a vampire because he was afraid to face his humanity and his God. These are not the fears of a monster. These are the fears of a human. Despite his propensity for violence and cruelty, he genuinely cares for those close to him and is not the monster he thinks he is. A monster does not cry for the man who has repeatedly tried to kill it, because “monsters do not cry.” Humans, however, do.

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