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Hirano: Now then, it's time for us to get to work digging through these germ-filled leftovers. ...Fufufu.
Interviewer: ...Ah, so this is where you were, you scum. What a filthy ruin. I searched for you y'know, you piece of garbage.
Hirano: What's with you guys? This is my house! This is my house! Get out!
Interviewer: Aah, it's been a while, hasn't it? Don't you remember our interview before? Weren't you writing a manga called Hellsing back then? I'm gonna make a zine about it this time.
Hirano: Ah, ah you guy's! You're from that Pafu place...!
Interviewer: Pafu isn't here anymore.
Hirano: Get out! I don't have anything to talk about with the media, so get out!
Interviewer: Come on now, if we release this in a magazine we'll pay you too, so you'll at least be able to buy a can of alcohol, right? Let's have an interview again.
Hirano: Shut up! You bunch of unmannered hooligans! Leave! Now that you don't have the prestige of being with Pafu you aren't scary to me at all!
Interviewer: AH? You wanna bring it on? It seems you don't learn even if brought to the brink of death twice now, you dimwit!
Hirano: Bring it on! C'mon now!
HELLSING Memorable moments...
Interviewer: (While washing a pair of bloody brass knuckles in a ditch) 3 years have passed since the series' conclusion, but looking back on it, what does Hellsing mean to you?
Hirano: Ah, it's nothing... sorry.
Interviewer: Do I need to repeat the question?
Hirano: Ah... it's fine... Sorry.
Hirano: Ah, I guess it's just youthful enthusiasm or... Well I just did it however I wanted to... Really sorry.
Hirano: that’s about all I can say… At any rate it was my first long-term serialization, so I decided to do everything I wanted to do, and it was a work that resulted from tossing everything in.
Interviewer: One would call that “youthful zeal”, but I wonder how youthful zeal could lead to destroying England.
Hirano: It got translated and published in many countries, but it doesn’t have an English release. Even when it’s published in Polish, Czech, and Russian.
Interviewer: Serves you right
Hirano: But I don’t regret it.
Interviewer: You should. Aside from the prequel THE DAWN, do you have any plans to draw spin-offs and such?
Hirano: The prequel story isn’t finished, so I would like to draw that. Though I don’t have any place to draw it for. Regarding the main story, I consider it a completed work. So I’m not particularly interested in drawing anything like a sequel. That story has ended.
Interviewer: And the final chapter does effectively serve as a sequel. Die
Hirano: Did you just say “die”? Well, that’s true. I already drew a sequel there, so if I try to continue any further it’ll only become a sequel to the sequel.
Interviewer: Okay, then give us some secret HELLSING trivia that you can reveal now.
Hirano: I pretty much revealed them all in the Puff interview, you punk. Like Heinkel being a futanari. I originally meant for it to be a joke, but people started asking me “Is she a futanari? Does she have a dick?” and I had to draw her with “Heinkel is a futanari” on my mind ever since, you know. The anime OVA staff even had to change Heinkel’s VA from male to female when I told them “Turns out Heinkel is a futanari”. It’s all your fault. I hear they originally planned Sugita-san for the role. Don’t you feel bad for Gin-san? Apologize to Gin-san.
Interviewer: I don’t care, that’s just how you feel. So, are there any moments or scenes that have a special place in your heart?
Hirano: There’s one. That time I wasted an entire chapter on The Major’s speech. It took balls to show the script to my editor for the first time. “He gives a speech this chapter and that’s it”, how crazy is that? He’s like Tonegawa on the Espoir. I did check with them several times, mind you. “Are you really okay with this? I’m going to draw it for real. Are you sure?” I’ll never forget the chief editor giving me a look that said “Yeah, but… Yeah, but…”
Interviewer: Even the anime staff too, when they make the anime, doesn’t it seem that they think in their heads, ‘what shall we do with this?’ Standing for six and a half minutes, the fatty, pretending to be like Chaplin, chatted by himself with reckless abandon. This doesn’t seem possible (normally)
Hirano: It seems that the voice fitter, Asukada-san was also in a difficult situation, you know. I am very sorry.
Interviewer: In manga, since there are a lot of characters, things like phototypesetting and proofreading seem very difficult. Manga artists don’t understand things like the troubles of editors face. Go die
Hirano: Shut up. You go die.
(Omission due to profanity)
Interviewer: Please tell us about what you remember from the event that you went to.
Hirano: I accidentally came across a gay parade in the city, and it was quite amazing. Large numbers of gay men who bring up Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga paraded on a pink track.
Interviewer: Since it was only gays, was it really an accident? Lol
Hirano: I’ll beat you to death. Afterwards, the civilians saw that they made a small museum like thing and displayed a heap of V1 rockets. The civilians thought ‘what a bunch of unexploded bombs, worthless’. Then I went to a small army museum. They were showing this movie that was like 'look at all the terrible things our army did to the Japanese army!' Then, the old dude that was standing there (some museum staff) looked at me with the most self-satisfied look on his face. He really did! I'm sure of it!"
Then Hirano describes himself getting pissed off about this (and possible erect) and fantasizing about getting back (at this old dude? possibly?)
Interviewer: People who draw manga out of frustration are the worst, aren't they? By the way, there are lots of different types of aircraft and missiles in your manga, plus the characters use a wide variation of weapons, but out of these are there any you like in particular?
Hirano then talks about how the doesn't particularly care about an accurate depiction of weapons in his manga and is just like "whatever" as long as it looks ok in the picture. Like, he draws Alucard's weapon from whichever angle looks better. It also has an endless supply of bullets.
Then he describes a scene in which Millennium vampires" attack a mansion.. Bernadotte uses the directional anti-personnel mine, the Claymore, it's not like he would really destroy tankers in a big explosion like that.
Interviewer: As for the weapons that have been drawn, somebody mentioned that Father Anderson's bayonet, and Lieutenant Rip Van’s musket gave off a very special impression.
Hirano: Who said that? Isn't the bayonet cooler? The shape of the bayonet itself is pretty interesting. Well, same goes for the musket guns too, Mami-san.
Interviewer: No! Mami-san wasn't even yet there at the time!
Interviewer: I am confused! Anyway, what about Zorin's large scythe?
Hirano: Well, I had to put a tattoo on Zorin just so she could stand out as a character. Her external appearance had these tattoos that covered half of her body and what was called glaring so I thought why not give her a huge scythe too. To be honest, I hate Zorin the most, so in hindsight I should have made her hold shit instead. It was a pain in the ass to draw her tattoos, she had weak character, and she had no appeal. This is a triple handicap right here. Am I Helen Keller? So I thought of balancing it with a large scythe. I also thought of letting her fight barehanded without any weapons, but then again... She's not Shizu-chan, you know!
Interviewer: Hey, Shizu-chan wasn't even a boxer back then.
Hirano : Anyway, it's just way too hard to draw her! Too hard! Half of her body is covered with tattoos of spells, you know. It's not just the body too, if she stretches out a hand on the wall or the floor, how the heck am I supposed to draw her?
Interviewer: Is this about Shizu-chan?
Hirano: No!! Shizu-chan is a monster, right? I'm not an idiot, you know. Anyway me and my assistant drew those scenes with faces like a wet weekend. Heck, even Ash-san told me off, "Why did you get yourself into this sort of trouble, " he said. I, Ash-san, and all of my editors kept yelling to ourselves, "Let's just end our lives here!"" repeatedly.
Interviewer: Is this about Shizu-chan?
Hirano : Shut up! I have no friggin clue about why are you thinking this is Shizu-chan! So, right, and that's why Zorin died the most horrible death. That's just personal revenge. It is a sanction by the author myself, "You will never be drawn again!". This is the iron fist of law. I will never forgive you, and I will never let you be revived or appear again.
Interviewer: I think you have a sickness. Leaving that aide, the battle against Zorin
Interviewer: was an important battle for Seras that decided whether to "drink Bernadotte's blood and become a vampire or not", wasn't it?
Hirano: Yes, that flow of the story was something that was decided on from the beginning. Since the "Alucard & Seras" combo was not possible, I introduced Bernadotte so I could stick him with Seras. The combos "Alucard & Integra" and "Bernadotte & Seras" were already decided when the story had progressed about 1/3 of the whole. That was an unwavering part of the unfolding story.
Interviewer: "Shizu-chan and Yama-chan".
Hirano: Fine, just go with Shizu-chan.
About the side story, "THE DAWN"
When was Walter's betrayal actually decided?
Hirano: I think I was thinking, "let's make this guy betray" around the middle, over a pure power-related problem. By the time Alucard, who had been sleeping underground, revived, Walter is already not an existence that is completely needed by Integra in the aspect of a pure battle unit, actually, since he's clearly weaker than Alucard. And then even Seras showed up. So he really has no role other than as a literal "butler". The only jobs left for him to do are things like pouring tea and bringing out cigars. Aging also makes his power drop lower and lower. And this is the largest factor, but Walter "will definitely die earlier than Integra", so he had no choice but to become a vampire in the end. But, the Hellsing Organization does not have that technology. So there was no choice for him but to betray over to the Millennium side. Around that part was going to be shown in the side story, "THE DAWN"......but...... the side story stops halfway through. I'll write the continuation someday.
Interviewer: Have you already thought about how the side story is going to go later on?
Hirano: Yes. It'll probably end in about 80 more pages. Because the setting of the story is Year 1944 Warsaw, I'm thinking of letting the story unfold along with Warsaw Uprising. Since it's supposed to have been pretty busy in those days, I thought no one would notice some ghouls walking around behind the scenes.
Interviewer: THE DAWN" had an anime version recorded during the volume 8 OVA and volume 9 special edition, and it even had been made into a booklet and added as an extra to the magazine, "Young King OURs" February 2012 issue, which gathered the attention of many fans- I was told to say that.
Hirano: He is like a chick. In the Anime, young Walter's voice was Romi Park Nee-chan, so I danced. "Hurray, it's Ed-jan"
Interviewer: Ed is Romi.
Hirano:You are truly a former pup of the editorial department. In every series, there will be a favorite character.
Interviewer: In the story I mentioned earlier, Zorin was your most dislike character, but who is your favorite character in reverse?
Hirano: It is Jan Valentine. He is easy to draw to even to the extent of his death. Both clothes, hair and hat are solid, since there is no easy-to-draw characters.
Interviewer: Eh, so that's your reason.
Hirano: No, of course it’s not only because of that, but also because he stood out as a character. He was the most human-like…… Although he’s not human, he’s said to smell like human. It was fun drawing him because he was a more human-like character, who went on rampages as he pleases and was a smelly thug, [and things like that]. It was fun making him move. If I didn’t like it, I won’t mess around like that with the postscript of my comic book.
Interviewer: Who else?
Hirano: It’s Integra. I like the characters whose personalities aren’t blended together, so I like all main characters in general. Major too.
Interviewer: In the previous interview, you said I like “Lieutenant Rip Van”, but…..
Hirano: Since they even draw erotic illustration in Hiroe-san's doujins. Also, isn't that because they were drawing Rip van's episode about the time when they were taking the interview from a little before? As I thought, since I have feeling of attachment for characters that I was drawing then. It's just that, looking at the entire work as a whole, Rip van isn't 1st or 2nd. Although I do definitely like Rip van, it's not because I'm the creator blah blah, but I just like her in a sexual way. She has black hair, large breasts, tall height, freckles, and has her messy hair all moved back, which are all things I love that I placed on her. It's like Ramen Jiro*. In all works, at least one of this kind of character comes up, so Rip van would be that. Like, "There's no way I can add anymore topping to this".
Interviewer: Who is your favorite character in Section 13?
Hirano: I liked Anderson and Maxwell. However, after thinking back, I wondered if Anderson wanted a little more room.
After manga volume 8 I got a little hasty and ended the battle prematurely. I think Alucard VS Anderson and Seras VS Captain had a better show of battle. The reason I think so is because I had a time limit for completion when I was drawing them.
Interviewer: Do you have regrets when drawing the battle scenes such as, "now I could've drawn them better than I did then?"
Hirano: The story has stayed on course with my schedule and the ending was as I imagined. So, I think my regrets are more about Dramaturgy and the climax scene in regards to "what I should have done." For example, in section 13, I have a deep attachment to Anderson, therefore I think that I didn't leave enough space for him- but the page had a time limit.
What is an unexpected weakness of Millennium ?
Interviewer: Father Anderson already existed in the early versions of the story, but what about Section 13, and the other members of Section 13? When were they created?
Hirano: Before I wrote Hellsing, I wrote CROSS FIRE in which Yumie and Heinkel were its main characters, and an organisation called Section 13 was introduced. Therefore, when Anderson was introduced in HELLSING, Section 13 as an organisation was already created. This team of Yumie, Heinkel, Maxwell, and Anderson already existed as an organisation opposite of the Hellsing institute. To be honest, there were more characters, but since the story's focus isn't Hellsing vs Section 13, I reduced it to these 4. Yumie and Heinkel already existed way before HELLSING was written, and back then, a character who Maxwell was based on also existed.
If Anderson wasn't here, it wouldn't have become an organization where the thirteenth division would oppose to the Hellsing Organization. Every character was too weak. I thought about a character that could go against Alucard, and decided to create Anderson. When you look at it from that perspective, there isn't a character that could go against the Alucard in Millennium. I thought about putting the captain in that position, but he isn't strong enough. Even if the captain joined the battle between Alucard and Anderson, I don't think he would win. Even though the Millennium is the central evil organization, they aren't strong enough to fight Alucard.
Interviewer: If I'm correct, the only person Alucard sees as a rival is priest Anderson.
Hirano: On the opposite side, it doesn't seem like Alucard struggles in his fights with Millennium. He just full comboes him, grins, and it's over. He lost once with when the Major got involved, but in the end Millennium isn't really strong enough a character to be considered a rival.
Interviewer: In regards to the Captain, there's still the question of whether or not he's actually hostile towards the Hellsing organization.
Hirano: Right, that's the feeling. He's kinda just a war machine, the mental depiction was intentionally made thin. In regards to the Hellsing Organization and the 13th Section, I don't think the Captain held a grudge or did things because he saw them as a rival. Within Millennium, before the major created the organization, the Captain was the only one who was actually an armed guard, and so he was just like a war machine that acted with no relation to a creed/belief.
Interviewer: Rip van and Zorin had fought as if they wanted to and could win against the Hellsing Organization, but compared to them, the Major and Captain gave off the impression that they wanted to fight and die flashily.
Hirano: Right, I definitely think there was that kind of feeling. Ripvan was overconfident in her abilities and so she probably thoughts he could win. Of course, it wasn't as if the Major and Captain were fighting to die, but rather while thinking "I want to fight and die," they also thought "We can win if we do it right." Well, the Major and them were people who were left behind by time and failed to die, and so you could say their views on life and death were different from normal people... But, if they really thought they just wanted to die, they would have just ran in unarmed and so at worst, it's just the thought of wanting to fight. I think they just wanted to fight with everything they had.
Interviewer: That's also connected to the Major's last line where he says "It was a good fight." right.
Hirano: I drew it with the intention of showing that the Major fought with everything he had. In actuality, according the the Major's calculations, it was a fight where he should have been able to win. If Zorin didn't go berserk, the Headquarters would've been taken out; the 13th Section and Hellsing Organization working together was beyond his calculations. But the Major liked both winning and losing so he was probably thinking something like "In war, unexpected things can happen." Just as long as it was war, he'd put his all into thinking of plans.
Interviewer: Those results, if they defeated the Hellsing Organization, I suppose they would’ve started another war as well, right?
Hirano: Oh, I think they’d start one, and if they had vampires all over the world, next they’d probably start a civil war together. The Major really wanted to have a big war. With that meaning, he’s an easy to understand character. Though he is war crazy, because he isn’t combat crazy, his combat ability doesn’t really matter. To him, no matter what he was doing, it was always a war. Even if he’s eating food, it’s a war, even if he’s sleeping, it’s war, preparation time leading up to war is also war. All that piles up, and he only wants to say “Yes, it’s a big war!” Those results, both winning and losing are fine. In the story, the path that this person is on, because it’s only for the purpose of war, he has a bad personality.
Hellsing is a work that I wrote for me
Interviewer: How is the reaction of the new readers who knew “Hellsing” as a result of the serialization of “Drifters”?
Hirano: Are there really those kind of people? If there are, I am very grateful. I think “Hellsing” is something that everyone could read rapidly. Yea. Please read, please drink, please hug.
Interviewer: What are some of the things you hear from your readers through things like fan letters?
Hirano: I don’t get fan letters
Interviewer: What is the estimated gender ratio of your readers? Hirano: Probably 9 to 1, no matter how much I think about it
(Following: including the editor in charge and why they’re excited by the development expectations of “One Piece”, all cut because it has nothing to do with Hellsing)
Interviewer: So the conclusion is that Nami’s clothes and hairstyle are more erotic now than before?
Hirano: Don’t cut this part!
Interviewer: Just the hairstyle then (laugh)
Interviewer: Hellsing has even made it overseas, and you (hirano-sensei) have gone to many conventions overseas as well but, could you tell if there was any difference between
the reactions you got from the fans overseas to the ones from your fans inside japan?
Hirano: in the conventions overseas,the fans go crazy no matter what. I heard things like "You rock!" or"Hell yeah!." they're always so hyped. It makes one think "Wow, I'm
really famous." But, for the most part, it's just "Wooow!" or "Holy cow!" It's kind of similar to the reaction one gets when being introduced as a guests on "telephone shocking" That's why I'm not sure if there's really a difference. I'm just a japanese mangaka drawing stuff for japanese readers, and only for a small amount of them. Rather, It'd be more fitting to say that I draw for people like me. So, I'll be
happy as long as there are middle schoolers out there smirking while reading the stuff I draw.
Interviewer: was there an scene or episode in hellsing so difficult to draw that made you think it was a pain the ass?
Hirano: Zorin's tattoo.
Interviewer: Yeah, I heard about it. That must've been difficult to draw.
Hirano: another one was the airship.That's because I only had one copy of it, and also because no real plane resembled it, so it was quite an ordeal. Oh, and Anderson's
thorns. I lost the count of how many times I thought "Please no more thorns!!" Seriously, I even think it became a trauma. The kind of trauma a small girl would get from being raped by a monster of thorns something like that.
Interviewer: go shutter island. and, well,I guess that's the "suffering of giving birth" or rather, the suffering of being a manga artist.
Hirano: I didn't experience any difficulties aside from drawing. Because I loved writing the story and drawing its characters. But well, drawing manga is harsh.
Interviewer: did you ever find yourself in the kind of situation where you had to say "This looks difficult to draw, so let's go with this one"?
Hirano: Actually, I always get a single idea for everything. So, I have no choice but to draw that. Because of that, I always end up falling behind in the drawings, which puts me and the ones in charge in quite a predicament. I'm always causing them trouble.
Interviewer: Next question, what was the thing you enjoyed drawing the most?
Hirano: I love drawing villains, so I'm glad I got to draw many of them. Whenever I feel like drawing a villain, I always look for ways to avoid drawing them in an orthodox way.
Interviewer: is there anything you'd like to say to all the Hellsing's fans out there?
Hirano: I know it's been 3 years since the serialization came to an end, but I want to thank you all for reading it. I also Invite you all to watch the OAV's. I'm currently
drawing a manga called "drifters" so if you guys have some free time, please read
that one too.
Interviewer: lastly, how about a word to all those who are planning or want to read hellsing?
Hirano: This is a chuunibyou manga in which a chuunibyou author poured all his time and effort to draw for all the chuunibyou people out there, so if you are one, please give it a try. Thank you very much.
Interviewer: Wow, take care.
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