Hellsing by Kohta Hirano is an bloody and thrilling story that follows the vampire Alucard and Hellsing as they take on a myriad of monstrous foes. Admittedly, if a manga has vampires in it I’m going to buy it, because I love anything that explores the world of the vampire, especially if it has a unique twist and take on them like Hellsing does.
I recently reviewed the Berserk Deluxe Editions on the site, so if you’ve seen that review you know that I love the Deluxe Editions by Dark Horse. I think they are some of the most high quality manga releases that have ever released to date, so I of course picked these up and couldn’t be happier that I did.
With that all said, here's my review of the Hellsing Deluxe Editions! I'll first talk about what makes these different from other Hellsing manga releases and then I'll get into the positives of picking these up.
Differences Between the Hellsing Deluxe Editions and Individual Volumes
First, I want to talk about what makes the Deluxe Editions unique from other Hellsing manga releases. Dark Horse released both individual volumes and Deluxe Editions of Hellsing with English translation. There are a total of 10 individual volumes of Hellsing and the Deluxe Editions complete the full series with Deluxe Edition 1 collecting Volumes 1-4, 2 collecting volumes 5-8, and 3 collecting volumes 8-10.
The translation in both are done by Duane Johnson and the lettering is done by Wilbert Lacuna, who also worked on the lettering in the Deluxe Editions alongside Studio Cutie.
The biggest thing that’s different about the Deluxe Editions is their size and design. The deluxe editions are printed in a larger 7x10 format. The Deluxe Editions are also hardcover whereas the individual volumes are paperback and they both feature totally different designs.
I also noticed that the panels that fully extend to the edge of the pages are slightly less cropped at the bottom in comparison to the individual volumes. It’s a small difference, but I just wanted to note that! The printing in the Deluxe Editions is better too. You can see more of the finer details thanks to the larger format but there’s also more contrast here thanks to the print and paper quality.
They made no changes to the translation aside from very, very small edits that I noticed, like when Anderson first comes into the picture and is talking to Integra she calls him only Anderson in the individual volumes, but she calls him Father Anderson in the Deluxe Editions. Only minor things are changed, but aside from those, the way things are worded in the first Deluxe Edition is true to what’s in the first individual volume. From what I read and saw, neither the individual or Deluxe Editions are censored, so they are as bloody and gory as ever also.
Aside from their size and design, the only other thing that’s different about the Deluxe Editions is their sound effects. In these editions, the sound effects are translated underneath the panels or directly on the panels underneath the original Japanese sound effects, whereas they aren’t translated in the individual volumes and there is no reference guide in the individual volumes that translate them either, so this is definitely a nice addition.
The individual volumes also have a bonus story called Crossfire at the end as well as commentary by Kohta Hirano that are fun to witness and read, but these are all included at the end of Deluxe Edition 3, so all of the extras you get at the end of the individual volumes are included in the final volume of the Deluxe Editions; In addition to a cover art gallery, some really nice full color illustrations, and more extras that aren’t included in the individual volumes.
I saw some people on Reddit upset that they didn’t see these in the first two volumes, so wanted to make sure you guys knew they were included in the third Deluxe Edition. If you'd like to see those extras, you can check them out in the video below!
Positives to Buying the Hellsing Deluxe Editions
They are in a larger format
One of the biggest benefits to these of course is their larger format. They are in that 7x10” format, which is the same size as the Berserk Deluxe Editions, and the series is an absolute joy to read in this larger format.
They have a sewn-binding and an eye, so they lay flat at all times while reading and no panels disappear into the "gutter," which is something I always hope for with these larger editions.
They are beautifully made and have a striking appearance
The Hellsing Deluxe Editions have a striking appearance and they are beautifully made. They are wrapped in a bold red pleather, which is almost in this blood red color. The Hellsing logo looks incredible and it really looks as though it’s been slashed and the cross in the center looks as if it's embossed into the volumes. Everything on the spine is raised as well, so they look amazing both on and off the shelf.
The Hellsing Deluxe Editions are a lot less textured than the Berserk Deluxe Editions, so they have a smoother finish to them. I'll show you guys this difference in the video below!
Their print quality is incredible and Kohta Hirano's art looks even more incredible in the Deluxe Editions
When I opened up the Hellsing Deluxe Editions, I first noticed their print quality, which is absolutely top-notch. This is something I’ve come to expect from Dark Horse and the Deluxe Editions. Their print quality and the way Kohta Hirano’s art looks in these volumes due to their larger format are two reasons as to why I recommend these over the individual volumes. The paper quality too is much better than the individual volumes. The paper in the Deluxe Editions is brighter, so I prefer their look over other Hellsing manga releases.
With the bright color of the paper and how dark the blacks look on these pages, the contrast is just amazing. Kohta Hirano is an incredible artist and these Deluxe Editions really do his art justice. In addition, the Deluxe Editions are read in the original right to left reading format to preserve the orientation of the original artwork, which I appreciate as well.
The sound effects are translated
The sound effects as mentioned prior are translated on the pages as well, which is a first for an English translated release of Hellsing. The individual volumes did not translate the sound effects, so if this is something you are looking for, the Hellsing Deluxe Editions are the way to go.
They are well-priced for what you get
The individual volumes are out of print, so the prices of the individual volumes vary, but I saw a recently sold listing for all 10 individual volumes on eBay that sold for $250. But depending on bids, you may be able to get this lower. With that said, the Deluxe Editions are probably the easiest way to fully collect the series since the individual volumes are out of print and these are cheaper to buy, especially when you can find them on sale.
If you want to learn more about out of print manga and see a list of currently known out of print manga, check out our out of print manga guide.
They come with extra illustrations, commentary, the Crossfire bonus story, and more
All of the extra materials (A cover art gallery with all of the 10 individual volumes covers as well as material that wasn’t included in the Dark Horse individual volumes but were included in another edition, including comedic inside-cover cartoons, author notes, character descriptions, comedic short stories, and the crazy “Kohta Hirano” pages with original color illustrations restored, and more) are included in the third and final Hellsing Deluxe Edition. It's fun to read Kohta Hirano's commentary and all of these extras are great editions to an already incredible release.
You also get a full color cover art gallery, which are some of my favorite additions and are absolutely beautiful, in the 3rd Deluxe Edition.
Final Thoughts: Are the Hellsing Deluxe Editions Worth It?
If you want to experience Hellsing, I highly recommend going with the Deluxe Editions over the individual volumes. The sound effects are translated, the print quality is top-notch, they are nicely designed, are well-made, and the large format makes the art in this series look that much more amazing! Not to mention, the third Deluxe Edition includes all of the commentary and the Crossfire side story seen in the end of the individual volumes as well as extras never seen in the individual volumes before.
If you want to get an all-around look at as well as an inside look of the first Hellsing Deluxe Edition and the extras in Deluxe Edition 3, check out the video below!