Monday, June 27, 2011

Inuyasha Season 5

Due to the long running nature of this show, there WILL be some spoilers in this review and the review to follow related to the last season. Read at your own risk, you have been warned. (Although if you've gotten this far, you probably don't need the warning anymore.)

We're almost there. Just one more season and then we'll be done. And I'm kind of glad (I know I said that last time), because I'm running out of things to say about the show. Since I'm tired of posting links to the other articles I did before this one, you can find all the previous parts to the review in the review list under the tab "Inuyasha." To make sure we're covering our copyright obligations, Inuyasha is produced by Sunrise based on the manga by Rumiko Takahashi and licensed in the United States by Viz Media. The Band of Seven are on the prowl, so stay sharp and keep your eyes peeled.

I stand on what I said before: When almost half the band is dead
should they really be the Band of Seven anymore?
When we last left our heroes, they were just about to catch up to Bankotsu and the remaining Band of Seven members who had just come to a local castle to reclaim Bankotsu's halberd...  aggressively. By the time the nakama got there the band was pouring sake in the courtyard surrounded by bodies if that tells you anything. After a brief skirmish, Naraku's presence is confirmed as one of his demon puppets shows up and the Band of Seven is forced to retreat. Eventually the party follows the clues to an island that is said to house this old mummy of a monk by the name of Sant Hakushin, and then things get really interesting after another fight with Bankotsu when it turns out that a number of items in the shrine seem to be assisting Naraku's helpers. (Now why would a force for good ever do something like that? What could this possibly mean? There's a reason, I assure you.) Thank goodness the side-quest cue seems to have finally emptied out, because we seem to have jumped headlong into a mystery folks! Meanwhile other elements are also moving as Kikyo circles the mountain looking for a place to lay to rest the remains she carries and Sesshomaru continues searching for Naraku. Koga's also one the move and things are starting to heat up.

Thank goodness it doesn't get much further than this.
In spite of all the reasons why Naraku should not be on Mount Hakurei, all the evidence points to the fact that something is going down there. As a result, in order to avoid the demonic party members being purified by the mountain's affects, Sango and Miroku climb the mountain in order to check it out. Meanwhile a number of epic battles take place, starting with Koga nearly getting blasted to pieces by Ginkotsu and Renkotsu. Fortunately for those of us who deny the existence of medieval cyborgs, this results in Ginkotsu self destructing although Koga also takes heavy damage and ends up having to be dragged to safety by Inuyasha. Suikotsu also meets his end at the hands of Kikyo and Sesshomaru, along with some assistance from his better half who refused to allow himself to kill Rin. Renkotsu also tries to get rid of Kagome and Koga while the former is tending to the latter, but only really succeeds at ticking some people off. Meanwhile, Sango and Miroku finally find conclusive evidence that Naraku is actually hiding inside the mountain and this results in some very nice character development where they basically admit that they love each other more than they try to show. Inuyasha finds the need to try and get up there himself, resulting in his demonic aura being purified and forcing him to go back to being human. This is very inconvenient since Jakotsu happens to have followed him into the mountain and...   well, we talked about Jakotsu before I think. (*shivers* Gay guy with ambiguous intentions possibly including rape, it's never explicitly said.) Fortunately for Inuyasha (as well as the audience), Sango and Miroku eventually find Saint Hakushin (who in spite of being mummified is somehow still alive? or undead?) and manage to destroy the barrier before anything too creepy can occur and he mostly just goes blood crazy. Which allows Inuyasha to take Jakotsu out.

Naraku: Ha! You are no match for my tentacles and eyeliner! 
The last two members of the Band of Seven, Renkotsu and Bankotsu are soon dealt with, though Bankotsu is a bit trickier since not only is he a formidable fighter, but he actually got some character development. Granted, if he had known how Inuyasha generally deals with his foes he may have tried a different finishing strategy than giving his halberd a demonic aura. Otherwise the fight might have gone on way longer than it did. Naturally other things are going on right now too. For instance, on the outside, Kikyo sees Kagura fleeing the scene with a small bundle in her arms before figuring out how to finally lay Saint Hakushin to rest, and Miroku and Sango stumble across these nasty clumps of flesh that look like they were used to sculpt something. But where would the show be without the villain finally showing up, and Naraku finally does, sporting an even creepier appearance. To add to the ominous eyeliner, he's now also sporting tentacles and some extra eyeballs. So what's the first thing he does after reforming himself? Solidify his victory by insuring that the entire Nakama is dead? No, that would be the easy thing to do. Instead, he leaves them for dead in the crumbling mountain to attempt to kill Kikyo now that he's separated himself from Onigumo's heart. Thus the first half of the season ends on a real downer as Inuyasha is distracted by her apparent demise (somehow she manages to fall off another cliff. You'd think she'd be afraid of heights by now with all the cliffs she's gone over.).

Yeah, we always knew it was the
little ones you needed to watch out for.
The repercussions for this set of developments are pretty vast. For one thing, we have a new character introduced in the latter half of the show. This is Akago, a new incarnation of Naraku who looks like an infant and happened to be the bundle Kagura was carrying away from the scene as Mount Hakurei is about to collapse. He's a pretty nasty little boy, seeing as he can reach into peoples souls and try to control them, and he tries this with Kagome, and fails but still shows what a clever little devil he is by devising the plan to lure Inuyasha away so that he could get at Kagome in the first place. While he runs around for Naraku to try and find the last jewel shard, we get to take a break for a bit and have a few character episodes as the rest of the gang regroups, Kagome's school holds a cultural festival, and Miroku and Sango officially become a couple following a creepy scenario involving a village of possessed women who've been forced to swallow demonic salamander eggs (Eww...). 

Wow, apparently no one can resist
being attracted to Sesshomaru in-universe,  either. ^^
There's also some filler and retconning as Shippo becomes the leader of a nakama of fox demons for an episode (one of the most annoying you'll see in either language ><;) and a story arc about a human woman who had an unrequited love for Sesshomaru and pulled an Onigumo because of it. We also get to see a couple of other minor characters again as we run into the old exorcist who couldn't sense auras, as well as a character from the films, Akitoki Hojo, an ancestor of Hojo's (the unlucky boy who likes Kagome in the present) as he has been given the task of finding a way to purify half of a very special naginata at the end of the season. Of course, since Mount Hakurei basically dissolved, this isn't quite as easy as it should have been so he has to find a different shrine to go to. The search for the shrine is where the season leaves off with the Nakama fighting it out with a gang of nasties inspired by the four primary directions on the compass who follow this guy named Hoshiyomi. They don't seem to be related to Naraku in any way which is a little annoying (damn filler ><), especially since Kagome is stressing out because the Hojo in the present showed her a family tree that revealed Akitoki's wife was named Kagome leading her to wonder if she stays in the past and marries him. We're still getting quite a bit of filler, but it doesn't feel like quite as much as last time, which is good, because I am getting sick of filler.

This season we get one new intro and one new outro. The intro "One Day, One Dream" by Tackey and Tsubasa isn't much more than another generic pop song, but "Come" by Namie Amuro does very well as an outro. However, there is also an image song that plays around the time of Kikyo's untimely exit, and a new them introduced for the infant that sounds rightly evil and ominous for when he's scheming something. His voice actor is also the only really notable addition to the cast, (aside from filler characters that I'm not gonna count). Ai Kobayashi (Deunan from Appleseed) does a good job at voicing a creepy kid, but Chiara Zanni, his English voice actress isn't half bad either. We're almost there gang. On it's own, I can't say this season is as good as the first two, but not as bad as the last one either, so it's gone back into tolerable ranges, so I think we'll make it. So, until next time, jya ne!

Images taken from Inuyasha.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fun with Japanese: The Language of Emotions

Think of this as my apology for only showing half of Sasuke's
face last time.
We've already done a language segment on how to express love, but that is only one in a host of emotions in a vast sea of expression. Especially in anime that plays for drama and story, it's only natural that there are countless expressions that characters will utilize, running the gamut from absolute elation to the deepest despair, and everything in between. Naturally we can't go over each and every single one, but we're going to go over five related words and phrases for this article today. Some like determination, which is being aptly demonstrated by Sasuke here, from the series Naruto may not always come up except as represented by body language, but others will come up more often. Either way, they are important indicators in anime as to where the story is going to go. So here we go again language nerds, let's get to it.

Aww...   he actually looks kinda cute when he's not having
one of those annoying angst-fests he's so notorious for.

They often say that laughter is the best medicine, and it may be true. This verb means to laugh, and naturally, this it is a very healthy thing for many characters to do. It can also be used to indicate a smile or a show of happiness. You probably won't hear it as often in drama, but when you do it it generally carries a lot more weight. You can't hear it that well in this scene from Neon Genesis Evangelion, but Shinji uses it in a sentence here to try and get Rei to smile once in a while.

She swears she isn't crying, but the picture doesn't lie.

Have you ever wondered why anime characters have such big eyes? I'll tell you. It's because the Japanese believe that the easiest way to look into the soul is through a person's eyes, and therefore it's the easiest way to see a person's heart. Naturally, a characters eyes must be one of the most expressive things about a character. So what's the most expressive thing that a character can do? They can cry. Especially when an emotional character gets all teary-eyed, someone who's trying to get the person to calm down will probably use nakunai, a negative request version of this verb in order to try an calm them down as in this scene from Inuyasha. As you can see, Kagome is not taking Inuyasha's advice.

Wouldn't you be mad too if your manager
was hiring people you didn't like behind your back?

You don't want to hear this one. It means someone is getting angry, and it's also thrown around a lot in shows that incorporate a good deal of drama. Likely places include heart to heart talks between boyfriends and girlfriends, motherly lectures, points where the villain has had enough playing around... oh yes, and also those moments where someone has done something someone else didn't approve of and is trying to explain themselves. This happens in this scene from Read Or Die (R.O.D., TV version, not the OVA) in which Nenene is grumpy at her manager for hiring bodyguards behind her back.

Be glad you can't hear him crying, this is probably
one of the most grating sounds you'll hear in anime,
at least in the Japanese dub..

This is a common one for children and characters who aren't usually supposed to be on the front lines. Many characters will just say this word, expressing their fear to indicate that they are terrified of what's going on, as can be seen in this shot from Dragon Ball Kai, where poor little Gohan (only 4 and 1/2 at this time in the series) gets lost at the very beginning of the series. It is interesting to note that you will almost never hear this from truly heroic characters unless there is a comedic aspect to the series, and even then, you're less likely to hear it from anyone who is a designated badass unless in the form of a taunt.

Maybe it's just me, but if I were skydiving without
a parachute, I wouldn't be holding hands and talking
about how happy I was. I'd be more worried about how hard the
landing was gonna be.

A form of expressing elation that something good has happened. Not much else to say, since that about sums it up. It's often used by someone when they've heard some good news, or something great's happened (no brainer there). It's often translated as "I'm glad", or "wonderful." Either way, it's a good thing to hear, because it will usually indicate that things are looking pretty good, and if events have not already seen a positive trend, it will probably start happening pretty soon. This happy circumstance occurs in the film Spirited Away when Chihiro manages to help Haku remember who he is. It's a very sweet moment, though from the caption, you can see there are some things that could be a little distracting about their situation to some people.

Well that's all we have for today, see ya!

Images taken from Dragon Ball Kai, Inuyasha, Naruto, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Read Or Die, and Spirited Away.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Daughter of Twenty Faces

There are plenty of anime out there that deal with law enforcement and detective work, but for every anime that deals with one of these themes, it seems that there is one to match that deals with the other side of the coin. That is to say, criminals. Some even incorporate both aspects as sympathetic positions which is exactly the type we're looking at today. In the early 1950's a young girl is rescued from the home where her relatives are slowly poisoning her to get her inheritance, by the legendary phantom thief known as Twenty Faces. After being subsequently reclaimed by the authorities two years later, Chizuko Mikamo pits her wits and her knowledge against the great detective Kogorou Akechi in order to find Twenty Faces first and unlock the secrets of his past while dealing with several other attackers who are after his legacy. So grab your throwing knives and make sure you're aware of your surroundings, today we're  looking at The Daughter of Twenty Faces.

Twenty Faces, the man who started it all.
Read in Japanese as Niju Mensou no Musume, and alternately titled as Chiko, Heiress to the Phantom Thief, this anime was based on a manga of the same name by Shinji Ohara. It ran in Comic Flapper Magazine before it was taken up by the studios Bones and Telecom Animation Film as producers. The anime aired on Fuji TV, as well as Kansai TV, and Tokai TV and it ran from April to September of 2008. It has yet to be licensed by an American company, which quite honestly, I find to be a shame, especially for any literature buffs out there. Shinji Ohara had to get special permission to use Kogorou Akechi and his nemesis, Twenty Faces, in the story from the surviving family of Edogawa Rampo who had been a well known writer of detective fiction during the periods before and after WWII. You can think of him as the Japanese Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, with Akechi and Twenty Faces being the Japanese Holmes and Moriarty respectively. It may not be a clear cut comparison, but it's the best I got.

Though here it's not so much in the romantic sense,
Twenty Faces sure knows how to sweep a young lady off her feet.
Since the theme is phantom thieves, what better way to start than with a heist? After introducing Twenty Faces by having him make a total fool out of the Japanese police, we are introduced to our main character, the young heiress, Chizuko Mikamo. While living with her aunt and uncle, she has discovered after doing some research that they are trying to slowly poison her to death by drugging her food in hopes of getting her fortune. In order to counter this, she tries to find ways around it, with the assistance of the new Butler that was just hired. By coincidence, Twenty Faces happens to be after an heirloom of her family's called the Anastasia Ruby. At the last moment, it is revealed that the Butler is Twenty Faces and he offers Chizuko the chance to go with him as he takes the ruby. Naturally Chizuko accepts without question. After basically being adopted by Twenty Faces and his gang, she lives with them for two years, becoming fast friends with one of the younger members, a young man named Ken. However, tragedy strikes when most of the gang is wiped out in an attack by a rival gang of thieves leaving Chiko in the hands of a bumbling detective who had been hired to find her while Twenty Faces, her mentor and father figure vanishes without a trace. Over the subsequent days, she is returned to her aunt (who had killed off her uncle while she was away) and runs into another Detective named Akechi, who challenges her to see who can find Twenty Faces first, because he has good reason to suspect that the legendary thief is still alive.

Edogawa Rampo often had Kogorou Akechi
wearing a dirty yukata or a business suit.
In this story  Ohara paid attention to this detail by having Akechi
appear with both fashion choices.
As is often common in seinen stories which tend to lean more towards character and plot development than other anime genres the world is very well defined. The story takes place in the early 1950's shortly after Japan has had it's sovereignty returned. As a result, many of the older characters carry their share of scars from that time and World War II is mentioned often, though always as "The War". Naturally, many of these scars are important to the plot and have some pretty major repercussions. The majority of the action takes place in Tokyo, though there are points where we venture into other parts of the world such as Britain, China, and other parts of Europe. Wherever the story goes, the locations are very well defined for the most part and I never felt lost when I wasn't supposed to be. Suspension of disbelief is maintained very well throughout the series and it goes out of it's way to make sure important events are kept into account, even if they aren't outwardly mentioned. Since it's a period piece, the costumes are designed specifically to reflect 1950's attire and as best I can tell much of the representation of the period is historically accurate seeing as by this point in time the rebuilding of Tokyo would have been mostly finished. There is a little bit of technology that shouldn't have been developed yet like a tank Twenty Faces' gang has commandeered (or in some cases has never been developed at all like some of the researcher antagonists who've done things with their bodies most of us couldn't even consider) but the story is good enough you're willing to ignore it, even if you are a history nerd.

The first official meeting of the Shojo Tantei-dan,
Shunka tried to be inclusive  by making it the "Onna tantei-dan"
(Onna=woman) but Tome vetoed it because
she didn't want to be considered old. ^^
The main characters are well done. Chiko is a smart and intelligent girl who learns early on from the gang how to take care of herself, and when she comes home, she uses these skills to do everything to evade her aunt's continued attempts to poison her. Because of this she is still living in a very unfriendly environment and it's interesting to see how she deals with this challenge while steadfastly soldiering on in search of her missing father figure who constantly seems to evade her as well as the antagonists that are also searching for him. She is also joined by Tome, a maid in her aunt's household who helps her once she discovers the truth and her schoolmate, Shunka. Tome is hard to read at first but she is unconditionally protective towards Chiko, initially pitying her for the hard times she perceives Chiko went through while "kidnapped" and then coming to care for her as a younger sister almost as they get closer. Shunka has a vivid imagination and conceives of calling the core group the Shojo tantei-dan, which is a play on words based on the Shonen tantei-dan or the Detective Boys who were the original helpers of Edogawa Rampo's character Kogorou Akechi (think of them as the counterpart to the Baker Street Irregulars who helped Sherlock Holmes on some of his cases.) The only difference being that Shojo indicates that everyone in the cabal is female. Shunka is mainly interested in Chiko and the adventures she gets wrapped up in because she herself is bored and says she wants to have as much fun as possible before her arranged marriage kicks in. This is especially funny since not only is she the most prone in the group to getting herself in trouble following Chiko around, but she even recruits one of the other girls at the school to be the group's manga artist at one point.

Not to downplay the loss of his eye or anything,
but considering the before and after shot,
I'd say in his brief absence, Ken took a level in bad-ass.
Naturally the focus is on the main characters but the supporting cast is fun in it's own right. Naturally Akechi and Twenty Faces are an important part of that supporting cast. Twenty Faces on his own is presented as a larger than life type character who is shrouded in mystery even to those who know him and yet in Chiko's mind his status as a father figure is as solid as granite. In spite of his absence throughout much of the show, his presence is felt very strongly. Akechi plays a much more outlier part but his unwavering devotion to his craft and his determination to find Twenty Faces serves to fuel Chiko's drive to to get there first. Akine, the bumbling detective who was initially hired to search for Chiko by her aunt and then to handle the press after her return is also of interest since even though he's something of an bumbler, he isn't a bad guy, and even strikes up a friendship (and possibly even a romance?) with Tome later in the series. There's also Ken, who later turns up as a survivor of the attack, sporting an eye-patch and longer hair. His development is also interesting as he has come back from the experience bitter and angry because he feels like he had been abandoned by "the boss." Even so, he is a helpful ally to Chiko through the rest of the story. The only real gripe I had with the supporting characters was the fate of the gang of thieves. They're set up at the beginning to be the nakama as the gang travels the world in search of things to steal but right at the point where it becomes easy to remember everyone's names and care about them, everyone dies. It happened a little later in the series than most sacrificial lambs are slaughtered, (episode 6 is fairly late by most standards) but by that time I had invested enough into getting to know them that it was pretty upsetting to see them go. ;-; Although on the flip side, it makes Chiko's return to her aunt's house all the more traumatic because she had only just before been with a surrogate family (however morally questionable) with whom she was legitimately happy.

They say love will make you do crazy things,
but volunteering as a guinea pig for the military funded
body enhancements she developed just so Twenty Faces
would notice her might have been a little excessive.
As far as antagonists are concerned, they are a far cry from monster of the week. The aunt is a constant threat to Chiko's health and well being while she is at home, and one has to wonder how such an evil witch could have ever been allowed near the family. Clearly Chiko's as of yet uninherited fortune must be incredible indeed for her to risk poisoning Chiko and her own late husband in order to get it. While the thief known as Tiger and his gang who are responsible for Twenty Face's gang's demise are definitely a threat, he's not around very much. However, once Chiko get's home she finds herself the target of a number of other unsavory characters who are after her thanks to a rumor that she has been given Twenty Faces' legacy. For starters we have a number of characters who have basically been human test subjects for military research. One woman basically inhabits a prosthetic body except with a more supernatural element as it seems her mind is the only thing that's still really human while she seems capable of hypnotizing people and controlling them on a whim. She had this done to herself why? Because she wanted Twenty Faces' attention. Another duo of antagonists (one of which shows up later to help Ken out) are the results of experiments to reinforce their own existing muscles for superhuman strength.

I guess you could say she sweeps the floor with these guys. ^^
Thankfully the story is almost completely free from filler unless you count the single interlude where Shunka asks one of her classmates to chronicle the adventures of the Detective Girls in manga (which is really funny) and most of the stuff that might otherwise seem eccentric such as the sequences in the first few episodes where Chiko learns her skills from the Twenty Faces' gang serve very clear purposes as the viewer recognizes the affect of this training well after Chiko has left the gang behind. It also trains the viewer to keep on their toes to some extent since the show is largely an extended mystery. While you will get several action sequences, which are very well executed by the way (there's one scene in particular where Chiko uses a broomstick as a weapon and basically pwns a pair of would-be assassins), most of the focus is on Chiko's quest to find Twenty Faces and to find answers, while dealing with her aunt and various other dangers. Even the side trips that do exist are worthwhile, such as when Tome takes Shunka and Chiko to the beach, because it serves to establish their relationships with each other before the story moves onward. The other main characters do also get their moments of awesomeness, like when Tome, after having learned the truth about the poison basically intimidates Chiko's aunt into allowing her to take Chiko and live in a different house (you could feel the intensity in that room). Ken was also a pretty cool guy before, but after he gets the eye-patch his level of coolness goes into sufficient bad-ass territory to give him clearance to take part in the finale rather than just watch which can't be said for Chiko's nakama since the rest of them are decidedly non-combat personnel.

Somehow, my intuition told me that this strangely friendly
and innocent old guy couldn't be trusted.
What do you know? My Intuition was right.
As the story continues, and Chiko and the others draw closer to getting answers to what's up with Twenty Faces, the stakes seem to get higher and higher. At first, it's just a matter of Chiko wanting to find him, but then the antagonists start coming after her for a legacy she doesn't even know she possesses. It is eventually revealed he was a military scientist during the war turned rogue when his research became too dangerous for anyone to have access to as it involved the creation of plasma, most commonly referred to as the fourth state of water and it is this that drives us closer to the climax of the story where one of Twenty Faces' fellow researchers puts the entire city in danger in his mad desire to complete the research.  As far as the ending is concerned, the climax is well worth the effort. In fact the whole journey is very enjoyable from start to finish, especially if you like mysteries and thrillers. The only real problem I saw was that in some places it was kind of easy to predict what was about to happen, and that got to me a little bit, but it wasn't enough to ruin the experience.

The presentation was well executed. Some 3D animation is used for vehicles on occasion but  it's completely unobtrusive and you barely notice. Music also plays a small role as a song is one of the keys to the story. This is nice because it takes some advantage of the fact that the roles of Chiko and Twenty Faces were both given to singers. Aya Hirano, Chiko's voice actress is known pretty well for playing the lead role of Haruhi in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but she's also an accomplished singer in her own right. Twenty Faces' voice actor, Yuya Uchida has appeared in a number of films and shows both live action and animated including playing Dr. Stein in the Japanese dub of Soul Eater but his musical resume takes him back as far as the 1960's, even touring with the Beatles. The ambient music is at times reflective, jazzy, and even whimsical on occasion, but does it's job decently well. The show only has one opening, "Kasumi", by 369 Miroku, and one ending theme, "Unnamed World", performed by Aya Hirano. "Kasumi" covers the overall tone of the show perfectly as it reflects Chiko's longing for the family and father figure she has lost, while "Unnamed World" is an upbeat but somewhat generic pop song. Overall, the show is very well put together and it's a shame it hasn't seen a release in the United States. The show is heavily underrated and should get a lot more attention. If you manage to find it, check it out. It's well worth it, and that's the tiger's two cents.

Images taken from The Daughter of Twenty Faces.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dangerous Characters: Alucard

With Summer kicking off, it seemed like a good time to start introducing some serious heavy hitters, and we've got a huge one here today. We don't really need to look that far into Satelite and Madhouse's OVA version of Hellsing or even Gonzo's TV version in order to know this guy is dangerous. Considering that one of the first thing's he does in the story is shoot a hostage, drink her blood to save her life (sort of) by making her into a lesser vampire and then shoots a whole bunch of zombies full of holes, how could he be anything but dangerous? (Never mind that his name is Dracula spelled backwards.) Delighting in violence and the thrill of the hunt, allow me to introduce Alucard. Believe me, you do not want to meet this guy in the dead of the night.

At the beginning of the story, it's hard to say exactly what Alucard is. He seems to be a very powerful elder vampire who likes to use pistols and fights like a demon. Considering the kind of creeps he goes up against in his service to the Hellsing Organization, he's definitely a blood knight. (You can even find him as an example of one at this link. ^^) He revels in fighting for fighting's sake and seems to love engaging in badassery. If you didn't think his gun play was scary enough, wait until I tell you about one of his favorite techniques where he allows his opponent to shoot him up and think he's dead before reforming and totally destroying his enemy with demonic powers that involve dark miasmas forming into demonic dogs from the pits of Hell. One can't help but feel pity for the vampires that he goes up against, as well as some of the unfortunate normals who end up in the crossfire, like poor Seras Victoria who ends up being sired into vampirism at the beginning of the show because of him. So if you ever find yourself in a dark alley in Britain when vampires happen to be about, you'd better hope the Hellsing Organization isn't going to be involved, lest Alucard be around and decides to give Seras some company by shooting and then turning another hostage.

Image taken from Hellsing (Gonzo version.)