The Witness Stand
There are lots of intelligent and devoted AxI-shippers out there, and some of you have responded to our standing request for your observations in favor of the pairing. Your testimonies are placed here.
Foremost among these is a piece of evidence not from the series, but from the artist himself, at Anime Expo 2005: As a fan reported it on the Hellsing LJ comm, Hirano said of Alucard and Integra that "their relationship is master and servant and twisted love like that can be allowed." Which doesn't make it canon, but it means he approves.
Witness 1: Lorena
Order 01: Integra's glare when he told her about Seras being now part of the Organization. It was mixed irritation and jealousy (of what kind is the question. Could be a supplanted child's over the younger sibling as well).
Also, the smug look on his face (noticed he didn't even pay attention to Seras in his arms until Integra's helicopter disappeared from view. His gaze was all for her).
Order 02: The initial conversation of Alucard and Integra, he pointed out "The police girl chose it by herself". No favoritism implied, he will do the same for her if she asks. And Integra takes the hint and changes of subjects.
Order 13: Alucard keeps insisting to take his blood to Integra. He will never leave the subject.
Manga volume 8: He bows to her [the background image of this layout] and addresses her as "Countess." She can't actually be a Count, as Count is not an English title. It's probably a mark of respect - he sees her as his equal - but then again, it could also mean he wants to marry her ^_~
[I'm paraphrasing that last one, from an AIM conversation which I don't have the actual text of. You get the point ^_^;]
Witness 2: Dr. Tristessa
You picked up on a lot of things between Alucard and Integral that I didn't notice before, but there was one scene you forgot to mention; it was the one in Order 03, when Alucard offers Seras his blood and her freedom. Although having to serve a human master bothers him, he almost seems more troubled, in this instance, by Integral's disappointment in him and her doubts about his competence.
[I was initially going to present this scene as evidence, but decided against it because I felt it was too ambiguous. As it turns out, I'm not the only one who read AxI implications into the scene. It also proves, despite the incredible improbability of it, that Alucard does pout.]
Witness 3: Aria
Order 10: After watching this particular order again, and in response to your [anime] Exhibits [7 through 11], it occurred to me that it might be entirely possible that Alucard is causing Integra’s dream. . . . If this is true then it could add a lot of depth to the meaning of ‘moral support’. He is showing Integra her father, her actions, her spirit, and her ‘indomitable will’, as well as her words: ‘I’ll never give up! I would die before giving up!’ And who can forget that he shows her his devotion to her and his attraction to her? :D (As an AxI fangirl, I cannot get over the implications of that line....)
Also Order 10: I also think I like the dubbed translation of their dream conversation better: ‘You will always be that same little girl to me,’ to which she responds, ‘Thank you.’ It’s almost as if he is congratulating her for her bravery, and saying that he will always see her as such. So sweet, at least for Alucard, and so respectful!
[The line in the sub is "You're still a little girl, just like you were back then." It's not quite so sweet and fluffy, but Alucard isn't really the sweet and fluffy type, and she does thank him anyway. I think that line is very telling: he's just insulted her, like he always does, but for once she's letting herself respond without her guard up. It shows that their insults and arguments aren't out of dislike of each other. You don't get that impression if he's just congratulating her.]
And, once explained, I can see the attractiveness of the subtitles. I'm still not sure I like it better, but perhaps it is more like Alucard.
Witness 4: Meade
Consider young Integra.. . . [I]t’s highly unlikely that she went away to school, nor would a young aristocrat have a member of the opposite sex as a tutor, especially with no blood family on the premises. Walter particularly would be sensitive to appearances and “doing the done thing” in consideration for her future place in society. She would have a governess of good family with no children (or with a daughter around her own age for a suitable companion) for the conventional curriculum and presumably Walter would handle the unorthodox instruction concerning the *ahem* family business, with assistance from Alucard.
Now think about this. As strong and controlled as the Integra we know & love is, she was a teenaged girl with all the curiosity about relationships that carbonating hormones tend to inspire at that age. With the possibility of young military personnel, which it’s doubtful she spent any time with unchaperoned, who is constantly around?
Alucard. Mysterious, intriguing, handsome Alucard who saved her life and calls her “master” with a gleam in his eyes. Now other than someone on the telly, who is our ingénue likely to think about? Against her better judgment, become infatuated with? Walter?
[There's only one thing I'd say against it, though. Yes, Integra was once a teenager, and although she was far more controlled than most kids that age (and a lot of adults), she probably wasn't completely immune to the effects of hormones. But you've left out one element in her perception of Alucard: He isn't human. Although now, ten years later, she's shed the "vampire" prejudice, that belief of hers was probably still there at age thirteen.
Not that he doesn't have sex appeal, though . . .]
Fast forward to adult Integra, who is now well-aware that Alucard takes liberties with reading her thoughts, and has probably done so from day one. How embarrassing is that? How would one such as Integra behave toward the object of her youthful fascination in order to convince him, and possibly herself, that whatever she may have felt as a child is NOT the case at present? Mmm-hmm. My case rests.
Witness 5: Kay
Order 04: It's notable that Alucard took Kim's fate into his own hands, deliberately choosing to feed from her when he's never done so before in this fashion, and it's not violent or messy at all -- if anything, it seems like a seduction, a pleasurable way to go.
Also worth noticing is that Kim has Integra's coloring -- dark skin and pale blonde hair, blue eyes if I recall correctly as well. They don't look much alike outside of that, but when Alucard's head is bent to her throat and his hair obscures her face, all you need to see is that fall of hair and that clinging hand.
And Integra sees it. She stands there for a long moment and watches Alucard feed from this woman who looks very much like her and then, all at once, she turns on her heel and leaves.
To me that seems a part of their game. Alucard toying with her since he knows that she's watching him, wanting her to notice the similarities... Integra morbidly fascinated by this woman who could easily have been herself in this situation she's so self-destructively curious about...
That was the realization that made me into a full-blown AxI shipper, and the manga solidified it.
[I never thought about this situation, but now that I look at it, she's exactly right. In fact, it was Integra who suggested that Kim was "beyond man's judgment," to which Alucard remarks that it's up to him to deal with her then. So who's playing with who?]
Witness 6: timi
Order 02: Regarding your Exhibit 2 (Order 4). I found this to be very puzzling as well and I just had this cleared up when I finished the last episode. This is a bit hard to explain without sounding redundant; my apologies.
My world is your world" in the most basic sense means "we have common ground". "We belong to the same world of struggle" It's a very Integraish way of showing concern. "You affect me--I was worried about you" something like that. She was looking very intently at Alucard as he was asking for a new weapon.
It could also be implied that Integra is telling Alucard she is "internally struggling", with her sense of honor and duty and her attraction for Alucard love and Alucard's offer. If taken with the Alucard's statement and considering Alucard's long standing offer: I belong to a world where all is death. Your world of choices was not meant for me to interfere with.
Alucard is implying "You've been rejecting my offer" ergo "You've been deliberately ignoring what I've been offering you and you'd prefer to pretend that it is not a choice." It's a sort of tease but by replying that they share the same world, Integra admits that she's been gravely considering it--which gives Alucard a megawatt grin.
[The more I read this, the more I like it. It's unusual, and I can't vouch for how accurate it is, but it's extremely interesting.]
Witness 7: Laura, Alucard fangirl
Volume 1, Chapter 2:
I would like to add the scene when young Integra discovers the "corpse" in the dungeon and says something like:
"During a little time, I really hoped I would find the Prince Charming here who would save me." I don't have the manga to check the real text and I read it in French anyway, but it sounded so clear... :-)
So, Integra found her prince charming who saved her life, except it was a vampire! Of course she was a little girl right then, but... doesn't Alucard say she still is?
[The irony of the Prince Charming scene is overwhelming. First, Integra wishes for a knight in shining armor - typically a love interest - and Alucard is what she gets. Second, take a look at the panel not long afterwards, in which Alucard bows like a knight to his lady. Third, note the repetition of this scene in volume 7 (it's the background of this page), in which Alucard actually IS in shining armor. Not to mention the fact that Alucard was once a prince. Over and over, Alucard is associated with these roles which are love interests of the heroine.]
Witness 8: DuchessRaven
Volume 7, chapter 10:
I have attached a page from volume 8, which takes place as Alucard heads back to London on the military ship on which he killed Rip Van Winkle. The text is a direct reference to the Dracula novel, in which Dracula comes to claim Mina, as Alucard now comes to claim Integra, the “woman he so thirstily longed for”.
[I think this one needs no explanation - the parallels are obvious.]
Witness 9: Katherine
There are certain elements of Integral's personality which are demonstrably archetypal. Integral is the "captain" of Hellsing, if you will. It is an extremely common theme in stories about organizations such as Hellsing that the leader is utterly ALONE.
By this I mean that a person who is at the top of an organizational chain MUST appear infallible, despite their shortcomings. Odysseus talks about this with the Nausicaans in Book 9 of the Odyssey. It is also very thoroghly explored throughout the Star Trek franchise. Ever wonder why Kirk and Picard and Janeway never marry? Captain Kirk at one point says "there is only one woman in my life and her name is the Enterprise".
This reoccuring theme states that leadership is akin to marriage. It is a TIMELESS theme that eople in positions of absolute power such as Odysseus, Kirk and Integral must act a certain way (cold, aloof, fearless) in order to instil uncompromisable loyalty in their followers. (Remember Walter's little speech in the anime about General Patton's troops having "supernatural" powers? He said it was because Patton inspired them to trust and follow him with unshakable conviction. He is telling Seras that Integral invokes the same feelings in her servants as General Patton). Like I said, the cost of having that faithful following is sometimes having to come across like a hard-ass tightwad egotistical jerk.
That is why the relationship between Integral and Alucard is so interesting. Alucard is NOT human. He knows it. Integral is human but because of her unique position (leader of Hellsing) she must transcend that humanity. That is the thing that both of them have in common... NEITHER is truly human. Therefore, in some sense, they're the ONLY suitable pair. Could you really see Integra marrying or loving a boring mortal man? And it's clear that Alucard has no love for most vampires, as he takes so much pleasure in destroying them.
Remember the scene where Luke Valentine is looking at a painting of Elizabeth I and all those swords rip through the painting at him? This was a very potent piece of imagery. Elizabeth I was the VIRGIN queen. She chose not to marry because in the same way that Kirk was "married" to the Enterprise, Odysseus was "married" to his ship (why else would he leave Circe except out of a responsibility to get his men home?), Elizabeth declared that she was "married" to England. It was a very astute political statement. On that level, Elizabeth I and Integral Hellsing are similar. They do not have the time or place in their life to be the "human women" that they are/were (ie: explore lovers, cry on someone's shoulder, have children, fight with friends.. whatever) because they have been given a divine purpose that is greater than what they want for themselves.
[There's a noble and idealized quality to their relationship, which I think this justifies quite well.]
Witness 10: Umi
In the episode where Integra and Maxwell meet in the museum, Maxwell compares Alucard to Peter Pan, Integra to Wendy, and Seras to Tiger Lily.
Tiger Lily was fascinated with Peter, but Peter only had eyes for Wendy, right?
[Darn right. "Tiger Lily" and "Peter Pan" were official code names - with Anderson as "Captain Hook" and the Hellsing soldiers as the "Lost Boys" - but "Wendy" appears to be Maxwell's own invention. Even if he didn't know what it implies, the writers certainly did.]
Witness 11: Felina
In OVA III, Walter has just finished telling Integra about the Special Forces sent in to kill Alucard and Seras while they're in Brazil. Integra asks him about how he thinks Alucard will respond to a threat; Walter says that she "seems to forget that Alucard's a monster" and that "history has shown" how he'll deal with the threat.
Clearly, the fact that Walter has to REMIND Integra about what Alucard's "true" nature is - that he's a vampire who'll readily kill humans - shows again that Integra doesn't very often think of her servant as just a bloodthirsty vampire or a simple servant; she really cares and worries about him just like she would a normal human.
If you have eyewitness evidence or further interpretations to add to the case for AxI, from the manga or anime, please let me know and it will be added to this page!
The Case Against