Kouta Hirano was born July 14, 1973 in Adachi, Tokyo. He began his career as a mangaka's assistant (self-described as "horrible" and "lazy" in this career) and later as an ecchi mangaka, he went on to enjoy somewhat limited success with other relatively unknown manga titles such as Angel Dust, Coyote, Gun Mania and Hi-Tension. Hellsing was his first major success, which got its start and was serialized in the monthly manga magazine, Young King OURs, towards the latter half of 1997.
However, Hellsing was not the earliest Hirano series to be published in Young King OURs monthly. In 1996, the very same year Hellsing's precursor, The Legends of Vampire Hunter, was first released as a single ecchi short story in Heavenly Pleasure (a monthly H-centric manga magazine), another WWII-based short story named Hi-And-Low was being published in Young King OURs by a then lesser-known Kouta Hirano. The story takes place primarily at a train station in Russia and features two female characters that are strikingly similar to Integra Helsing from Hellsing and Yumiko/Yumie in Crossfire; and who are, in actuality, undercover Axis spies in-league with one another for a common purpose: the success of Operation Barbarossa. This story saw ink in one issue of OURs before being discontinued in favor of Hellsing itself.
A decent number of Hirano's older works are now considered collector's items due to the small number of them that exist. Many characters from Hellsing appear in his previous works and, as mentioned above, there is a rare hentai prototype of Hellsing titled The Legends of (the) Vampire Hunter. At Otakon 2006, he said in an interview that in about a year and a half to two years, he will finish Hellsing and move on to a different project which he says will be kept a secret until the time comes. This statement was proven true when Hellsing ended with 95 chapters in October 2008. Hirano has since begun a new series, [[wikipedia:Drifters (manga)|Drifters], which has been published in April 30's issue of Young King Ours.
List of WorksEdit
- Angel Dust
- Be Wild!!
- Bishōnen de Meitantei de Doesu
- Count Pierre Eros' Gorgeous Daily Grind
- Daidōjin Monogatari
- Desert Schutzstaffel
- Doc's Story
- Gun Mania
- Ikasu Sōtō Tengoku
- Karera no Shūmatsu
- Koi no Strikeback
- Mahō no Muteki Kyōshi Kawaharā Z
- Magic School
- Susume! Ikaryaku
- Susume!! Seigaku Dennō Kenkyūbu
- The Legends of Vampire Hunter
- The Weekenders
- UFO 2000