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Doujinshi-Ka’s Inbox: Incognito

Doujinshi-Ka’s Inbox: Incognito published on 1 Comment on Doujinshi-Ka’s Inbox: Incognito

Questions/analysis sent in by the very insightful Tsukasa Macleod.

Incognito: What’s this? Someone wrote a letter about me…?

Letter: I am a fan of Hellsing, the anime in particular. I was aware of the anime first, and was rather confused the first time I read the manga. I only later learned of the beef many fans have against Incognito. I always liked Incognito more than Millennium, and could never make sense of the argument, until I read your comic, which at least gave a reason. However, your argument contains a few flaws…

Firstly, you said that he has no literary basis, while all the other major players in the manga do. I have never found any references in the characters Zorin, Alhambra, The Captain, The Doctor and even The Major. While Rip and Shro both have basis, these characters seem to be simply made up.

Erin: Let me be more precise. Most of the characters are based on a literary, historical, or mythological source.

Rip: Name alludes to the literary Rip Van Winkle. Her character arc is heavily tied to the German myth of the Freischütz, and the opera of the same name.

Schrödinger: Named after the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who proposed the “Schrödinger’s Cat” thought experiment. His powers relate to the quantum mechanics that the physicist won the Nobel Prize for studying.

The Major and the Captain: They’re Nazis, and their ranks, uniforms, and insignias are historically accurate. The Captain is also that classic mythological creature: a werewolf.

Doc: Falls right in line with the Nazi tradition of unethical medical science.

Zorin and the Dandy: These two don’t seem to have any specific source. They also have the fewest fans of any Millennium characters. Coincidence?

Luke and Jan: No source, but they have style, which counts for so much.

Letter: Furthermore, Incognito seems to be based off of Count Orlok, the antagonist of the Silent Vampire film “Nosferatu” who was a substitute for Dracula due to the fact that they could not get the rights to Dracula at the time. Rather symbolic, no?

Erin: …you know what? You might be on to something here. That said, Incognito’s design still looks sloppy and thrown-together. He would have been much classier if he had been modeled directly on Orlok, with none of this “vaguely yonic head decoration” business.

Letter: The main reason I prefer Incognito of Millennium is…the Major seems to have no motivation for his actions other than being a complete jerk…

Erin: Yeah, but he owns it. (Hey, it worked for the Joker.)

Letter: …while Incognito is at least carrying out the orders for his Master, whoever it may be.

Erin: This could have been interesting if it had been explored at all. Alucard’s reasons for servitude, for instance, are plumbed in detail. Incognito’s are never even brought up.

Incognito: But someone likes me anyway! Really likes me! *sniff*

Integra: There, there…if it helps, I find you a lot less annoying now that someone pointed out the Count Orlok link.

1 Comment

BigKwell on Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:16 pm

Well… I guess someone had to give Incognito some love.

LordDeraj on Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:37 pm

Hey when I mentioned that Incognito was based off Nosferatu it was shot down what did I have to do write a letter?

Kreiga on Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:42 pm

Being a WW2 reenactor, I would be very grateful if somebody could tell what exactly the captain’s jacket is. All the other uniforms and equipment seem accurate, but that particular one eludes me. I’ve seen an Afrika Korps dust jacket that was close, but not quite the same. Not that it really matters, the level of accuracy shown in the manga is already beyond what I expected.

McMonsterRidgeback on Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:20 am

-reads today’s strip-

Oh, I liked the major because he had no motivation. Just wanted war, and stuff. I thought that was the point.

Brynnie-chan on Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:30 am

…Same here, Erin, about the whole Orlok thing. My friend Scott always said that that was how vampires were supposed to be: not the classy, sexy, Victorian-dressed figures we all know and love, but evil, undead, hideous monsters. (Doesn’t stop me from liking the sexy ones more, though.)

And I’ll give Incognito this… he’s the only anime character – ever – in the history of anime – who actually sounded better in the English dub than he did in the original Japanese.

FelinaofL2 on Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:14 am

From Wikipedia: “Unlike the Major and Lieutenant Rip van Winkle, he still wears a full uniform in the main story, which is similar to a M42 Greatcoat with its neckguard constantly turned up, and an M43 officer’s cap emblazoned with the Totenkopf symbol.” Hope this helps!

Chickenperson on Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:14 am

I like Incognito. He’s weird, but I thought he was cool-looking in the anime even if I didn’t understand what the heck he was. Plus if he hadn’t made Alucard freak out with that, “You and I are different,” comment, Integra would have been eaten by the baobhan sith. (Did I spell that right?) And that would have sucked.

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