Rip van Winkle (Hellsing)
Rip van Winkle is a female villain that features in Hellsing.
First Lieutenant Rip van Winkle (リップヴァーン・ウィンクル中尉 First Lieutenant Rippuvān Winkuru) was a young female Nazi officer who operated as a young soldier in World War II. During that time fifty years ago, she encountered the vampire Alucard after his initial defeat by the Captain and while he was smoking with his sentient coffin. She appears in full uniform, wearing her hair in two braided pigtails, and bears the rank of Untersturmführer. The glasses she wears (which are not actually hers, but were mixed up in the confusion) make it difficult for her to focus properly, and Alucard spends some time trying to make her understand who he is and why he's in the building. Finally, realizing that he is an enemy, Rip tries to shoot Alucard, but is knocked unconscious by his sentient coffin in an amusing way: being Judo chopped and kicked across the hall.
In the present day, Rip van Winkle was assigned by the Major to take over a British ship, Eagle, as a distraction for Alucard. Whether or not she knew the exact condition of her mission is unknown. The Ship's vice-captain was offered the chance to become a Vampire if he then devoured all those on board, turning them into ghouls. When Rip arrives she killed the Vice-Captain who destroyed the ships crew and allowed her own troops (members of the Letztes Bataillon) onto the deck. She paints the Nazi emblem onto the deck of the ship in blood and paint, and begins to wait eagerly for her arrival to London. Later SAS squads are sent over to destroy the ship but are instead completely destroyed by one shot of Rip's magic bullets. Once Sir Penwood and his staff see how powerful Rip Van Winkle actually is they allow the Hellsing Organization to intervene. Integra Hellsing sends Alucard over on a remodeled SR-71 Reconnaissance Jet allowing him to easily land on the ship, destroying all of the Vampires, save Rip, on board. Alucard instills a great deal of fear in Rip as he approaches, and inevitably kills her, despite her last-ditch effort to force him over the edge of the Eagle's deck with a magic bullet. Alucard impales her through the chest just left of her heart with her own gun, after being repeatedly peppered by the bullet and then literally catching it in his mouth and breaking it to shrapnel. He then drinks her blood in the climax to Volume 5 of the manga before using his shadows to devour her body, killing her and making her his familiar.
Ironically, The Major would not permit the Doctor to incinerate her by activating her chip as he had done with Alhambra and Jan Valentine, and in fact, in a rare gesture of "generosity," requests other members of Millennium to Heil her, bidding her "Auf Wiedersehen." ("Sayonara" in the Japanese version) Her mission was to effectively trap Alucard on the Eagle because he cannot cross water without the aid of some form of external transport such as a plane or ship. By using the Eagle as a decoy, Millennium isolates Alucard in the middle of the ocean while the rest of Millennium makes its landing operation; to boost the morale of his army to a fever point, the Major glorifies Van Winkle's death (even promising her through the radio they would again meet in Valhalla) so hers will be the first death of the operation, thus priming the army for the destruction of London. Unfortunately for Millennium, Alucard takes control of the ship and manages to return to coastline, though the Major himself seems to be anticipating this. Rip later shows up as a familiar after Alucard releases his zero restriction, merged with Tubalcain Alhambra. After helping shoot down Maxwell's helicopter and attacking Anderson, she is destroyed in a massive fire along with all the other familiars likely killing her for good.
Personality and attributes
Rip van Winkle is a youthful-looking vampire, despite the fact that she is over 70 years old. She is a tall woman, with freckles on her cheeks and glasses. She has long black hair that goes about to her knees; a large curlicue that often sticks up from the front of her head. She usually seen dressed in a black suit and green tie, with brown shoes and a pink office shirt. She also wears white gloves, presumably to protect her hands when firing her musket, and a large silver Swastika pendant around her neck.
She enjoys singing operas, especially Der Freischütz, and she often compares herself to the character Caspar from that opera. The Major even notes that she is very much like Caspar (and also likens Alucard to Zamiel, the antagonist of that opera and representative of the devil). Additionally similar bullets, that never miss their target, are used by Kaspar. The Major at one point tells Rip the end of Der Freischütz and says she'll suffer a similar fate. The exact quote is "First Lieutenant Rip Van Winkle, do you know how Der Freischütz ends? Kaspar, having trifled with the Black Huntsman Zamiel, is whisked away to hell for his sins. His corpse is then thrown into a ravine to be eaten by wolves. Prepare yourself, First Lieutenant, for now, Zamiel comes to collect you." She believes that the Zamiel in her life is Alucard, and he instills a great deal of fear in her. Rip is rather childish compared to most characters in the series; while onboard the Eagle, she counts down the time to Millennium's attack with a child's alarm clock with a cartoon face on it. She also has a freckled face, characteristic of schoolgirls, and in 1944 wears her hair in pigtails which further emphasises that point. When she senses Alucard's approach, she starts shaking, and at one point retreats within the ship sobbing. This, and the manner of her death, makes her one of the more sympathetic villains of the series. Despite this she can be quite vicious depending on her mood, ruthlessly killing the zombified crew of the Eagle along with their vampiric captain. Also when shooting down Alucard's plane, an evil grin is seen on her face.
Powers and abilities
Rip uses a long-barreled flintlock musket that fires magic bullets which "punish all without distinction," tracking targets of their own accord, and which are seemingly armor-piercing (destroying helicopters, fighter jets and missiles with ease). These magic bullets are even able to change their trajectories in mid-flight and repeatedly pepper a target before expiring. Rip seems to have a limited amount of these bullets, as she only uses one at a time. In fact, she uses only five on-screen before death throughout the entire series and only one directly against Alucard (so far: she might use them again during The Dawn.) It's possible that this could be due to the fact that she has to go through the slow process of manually reloading the musket after each shot, forcing her to rely on taking out all of her targets with a single, decisive shot during engagements. Rip also seems to have some measure of enhanced resilience as she takes a punch to the jaw from Alucard where the only visible damage is that her mouth is bleeding. She does not appear to have any other powers beyond this however. It's also possible that she's a master pilot, as seen in her debut when Rip is shown piloting a helicopter to the Eagle with seemingly just her feet while singing and preparing her musket.
- Rip van Winkle was created by Kouta Hirano where she appeared as an antagonist in the Hellsing setting.