The Virtue of Bloody and Violent Tales

For this post, my dear readers, I’ll let you into the workings of my scrupulous mind.  You see, for a long time now, I worried whether manga like Akame ga Kiru and Silencer actually carry a benefit to the reader.  In general, a fascination with blood and violence for their own sakes obviously manifests a disorder of the soul.  At the opposite extreme, squeamishness at the sight of blood and the refusal to countenance the existence of violence must also count as defects.  So, do Akame ga Kiru and Silencer fall in the mean between these two extremes?  And if they are in the mean, what is their particular virtue?


A couple of quotes I found recently appear to show the value of such works.  One derives from Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s Leftism: from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse and the second from one of Chesterton’s Father Brown mysteries.  After describing a horrific and monstrous scene from the French Revolution. Kuehnelt-Leddhin writes the following:

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My Last Foray into Hellsing

The Hellsing TV series is one of the most enjoyable anime one can watch.  The characters, particularly Alucard, Fr. Anderson, and Lady Integra (I shall refer to her as Lady Integra.  Calling her Sir Integra is too confusing.), display a great degree of panache.  The fights keep the viewer on the edge of their seats as we eagerly await the humiliation of the wicked.  The manga was similarly enjoyable until I read volumes 7 and 8.


Now, I must state here that Hellsing contains an incredible degree of gore and violence–second only to Berserk among what I have perused.  I could not read through the first volume of the latter nor of the former on my first attempt.  Then, after college and age had rendered my soul a little more callous, I read the first six volumes in a couple of days to discover that the website holding the scanlations deleted the manga chapters on the third day.  And so, it was not until recently that I decided to give Hellsing another try.


Not only were volumes seven and eight the most gory experience I have yet to be treated to in my short life, but I cannot imagine the fifth circle of hell being far different.  *Spoilers ahead for those who care*  Basically, a horde of Neo-Nazi vampires attacks London as the Iscariot organization steps in to stop the fighting.  The latter are so far from being truly helpful that they shout things like: “The only good Protestant is a dead Protestant!”  That’s flushing ecumenicism down the tubes!  But, the bitter hatred between Catholics and Protestants in the manga, judging by the calls for Pope Benedict XVI’s imprisonment prior to his trip to England, may not differ too widely from the actual situation in Britain!

Don't ask me why Catholic knights should be dressed like the KKK.

Don’t ask me why Catholic knights should be dressed like the KKK.

But, volumes 7 and 8 did have many enjoyable points.  I wouldn’t have missed Seras Victoria dual wielding giant 20mm or 30mm machine guns and bringing down a Zeppelin with incendiary rounds for the world.  Then again, at the death of her latent love interest, she drank his blood to become a full fledged vampire and took down the horde of enemy vampires storming her position.  Lady Integra lit up a cigar in the midst of her innumerable foes and contemned them for abandoning their humanity as she defied them to attack her.  Fr. Anderson with a team from Iscariot came to her rescue.  With lofty chivalry, he accompanied her home and prevented his compatriots’ plan of arresting her.  Lastly, in homage to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Alucard sails up the Thames in an aircraft carrier whose crew had been slain prior to this.


I only wish that the violence and gore had been toned down.  My conscience forbids me from reading further, despite my love for seeing the exploits of our heroes.  Unless someone tells me that it gets less gory with the advent of Alucard.  Why not concentrate more on the coolness of the heroes?  After all, no one reads a manga to see the effect of metal on flesh!