Review: Hellsing (manga)

Hirano, Kohta, and Duane Johnson. Hellsing. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Manga, 2003-10. Print. Vol 1-10.

“Your job, gentlemen, is to fight these monsters with bullets, garlic, and holy water. Put a stake through its heart, cut off his head, burn the corpse, scatter the ashes at a crossroads. For further instructions, consult Bram Stoker.”
-Sir Integral Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, Hellsing vol. 2.

To say that this series is one of my favorites would probably be an understatement. Behind Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, and Outlaw Star, it is one of my favorite series. It demonstrates my love for the horror genre, when done well. (I have a tendency to dismiss most vampire stories that detract from the original mythos or do so in a way that’s disrespectful towards it.) Hirano, for all his fanboyish/otaku tendencies (of which he has many, and has been openly caricaturized in High School of the Dead‘s Kohta Hirano) has written a lovely manga that not only exemplifies the strengths and depravities of humanity.

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Review: Battle Angel Alita (manga)

“I didn’t dig you out of the rubble because I saw a monster, a military machine – I saw something beautiful – and you grow more beautiful every day!” -Doc Ido, Battle Angel Alita (Vol 1, page 34).

Cyberpunk has been one of gender studies’ biggest champions as well as one of its biggest villains. As Judith Butler once stated in her work Gender Trouble, the “transcendental move away from the body tends to exclude women by subsuming their difference in the great universal.” Battle Angel Alita, known as Gunnm in Japan, was originally published from December 1990 to April 1995 in the serial Business Jump manga-zine, created by Yukito Kishiro. Its creation was heralded as a positive, gritty post-cyberpunk future that took people beyond the scope of Blade Runner into a future where human life and flesh is cheap and it is the machine that is expensive, notably, the machine that can be used as a weapon is the most vied after.

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