For the DP Challenge: Shine
I had been reading vampire stories recently and the prompt today reminded me of the Japanese animation called Hellsing. Well, not really the anime per se, but its ending song with the same title.
A little introduction for non-anime and non-vampire fans. Hellsing is a manga made by Kouta Hirano-sensei based on the most famous vampire in the history (I hope even you’re not a vampire lit fan, you guys have heard of him)– yep, Count Dracula. Except that here, he is known as the vampire Alucard (you have to note the spelling, guys!), the ultimate weapon deployed by the Hellsing Institute to dispose illegal and anomalous vampires and ghouls. If Hellsing seems to strike a familiar chord to Dracula fans, yes, it came from the name of Abraham van Helsing. Their family line took up residence in London and they were given the knighthood to study and defend England from, yes– vampires. The current head is Sir Integral Fairbrooke Wingates Hellsing, daughter of Sir Arthur Hellsing who was present during the WW2 Blitz (that’s a different story, though). She is assisted by Walter Dornez, the current butler of Hellsing and Alucard’s former comrade during WW2. In one of their operations, Alucard had created a fledgling out of the policewoman, Seras Victoria when she became critically wounded in killing a rogue vampire priest. She became part of the Hellsing Institute’s disposal team.
It’s been a while since I have watched any anime, I stuck mostly with reading the manga but Hellsing became one of my most favorite because it has all the elements I liked in a show- bad-ass characters, bad-ass art, vampire story and a mix of truth (meaning, it was based on historical facts– well, in this case, very loosely). Plus, the original soundtrack rocks socks. There were two animation videos made– Hellsing produced by Gonzo (the anime with 13 episodes) and Hellsing Ultimate OVA. The OVA was more closely based with the manga. Sadly, had no more time to watch it except through clips.
Here is Shine, the ending song of the anime.
Anyway, more on Shine, the song, shall we?
The song was sung by a British pop rock band called Mr. Big. These guys have pretty nifty sounds. This is the better version of the MTV of Shine. I read that most of their recordings were in Japan. Hmm.
Oh, they have an acoustic version! ❤
The lyrics are pretty cool, too.
Although the anime was mostly seinen (meaning for guys), I wanted to think that this song was an image song of Seras (yes, the fledgling) about her vampiric state. You see, in the anime series, she was a reluctant vampire. Well, apart from that, she was also an innocent. In Dracula’s story, I would say she was the Lucy. Except that she retained her innocence and reluctance to kill. Except when extremely provoked.
She was also awkward, hesitant, gentle and extremely good-natured but don’t let that fool you because she is a dedicated soldier and as a policewoman, she was brave and strong-willed (otherwise, how else would she have impressed Alucard into turning her). Her squabbles with Pip Bernodette were adorably annoying (and tbh, their kissing scene, canon at that, made me cry– that’s in the manga, and I just saw the Ultimate animation. Ugh, if it was not undignified to weep in my cubicle, I would have done so). Alucard messes with her head but she respected her. Integra treats her coolly but she also respected her skills in defending her in the place of her master, when she was cornered by Iscariot and Millenium.
Seras wasn’t exactly I would aim for a favorite character. Personally, I love Integra better. But I must admit, Seras has a hidden fire and it made her spectacular as her character grew in the manga and series. She just SHONE.