「Catacombes―死が眠る場所―」 (Katakonbe―Shi ga Nemuru Basho―)
“Where Death Slumbers”

Luca’s small frame belies the immense power and high title he already possesses at such a young age. That high title brings him in close contact with the Queen and her secret that everyone is so desperate to hide. Such patriotic fervor does not extend to Vanitas, who respects no-one, and Noé, who has been left out of the loop in part due to being raised by humans and in part due to the quirks of his Teacher.

Noé has only just met Ruthven, but his family and teacher had a fraught relationship with him (why that would be so, I can’t tell, as he seems like a laid-back guy, so long as he is not provoked. I’ll just chalk it up to Noé’s Teacher’s difficult nature, which was alluded to previously). Ruthven drops hints of tantalizing information, only to leave us hanging. He mentions in passing that Noé is the Shapeless One’s child-whatever that ominous sounding title means. He also warns to never talk about Luca’s cursed brother, saying only that it is for the best that he is cursed.

Vanitas (not surprisingly) quickly violates Rule #1 of good guest etiquette-don’t piss off the host. Ruthven seems the relaxed host, until you push his trigger-insulting the Queen by accusing her of either being dead or dirty (guilty of releasing the curses). He is not someone you want to mess with. Once again, by saying or doing something that is at once bold and incredibly stupid, Vanitas pushes the buttons of the people around him to squeeze information out of their pressure points. Unfortunately, everyone else around him also had to take damage from Vanitas’ bull in the china-shop methods.

Yes, Vanitas does accomplish whatever needs to be done, whether protecting people from an out-of-control curse or in this case, gaining information. Quite perceptively, he got his confirmation from Luca’s alarm which was very quiet in the background compared to Ruthven’s maelstrom of patriotic anger that took mainstage. For their honesty in expression and inability to hold back, children can be a good measurement of the truth of things. However, all of that is at the expense of emotional or physical well-being of the people around him. Vanitas talks about getting revenge by saving the vampires and I can kind of see what he’s getting at-burning his bridges with others and wounding everyone around him in the process of solving the curses.

Infuriatingly, Vanitas has the gall to smile care-freely while announcing that he just broke diplomacy with a high-ranking vampire court official-a connection that would have been important in shielding them from other vampires. It speaks volumes to both his “I’ll do whatever the hell I want” attitude and confidence in his own abilities. As calculating as he is, I doubt he would burn bridges if he wasn’t confident that he could get what he needed without them.

To keep their heads low while waiting for offended loyalties to cool down, Vanitas and Noé dive into another case-vampire kidnappings courtesy of the Chasseurs (or according to Vanitas, fake Chasseurs). They seem to have picked the wrong case to lay low with, as after a war-fraught history, the Chasseurs and vampires have a strained relationship. Sticking one’s nose in the wrong place could have disastrous consequences. It screams “bad idea!!!” for Vanitas to be involved in a situation that requires the utmost delicacy. Yet, even if Vanitas had not chosen to take a stick to this particularly nasty hornet’s nest, I have a feeling the hornets (Chasseurs) would come chasing after him anyway, as his reputation precedes him.

Similar to Vanitas, the Chasseurs ignore the tenuous situation in pursuit of their goal of salvation- though through killing rather than curing pure-blooded vampires (and only beating up dhampires-half human half vampires). Vanitas and Noé, as is their habit, get themselves right in the thick of things, heading right for the vampire head-hunters’ lair and into the arms of Roland (Kawanishi Kengo). (I love the blatant Pandora Hearts reference in their pseudonyms!) You can see the look of terror on Noé’s face when he realizes what he’s gotten himself into, while Vanitas, seemingly out of character, relaxes his guard. Given that his imprisonment happened right after he warned Noé to not take the Chasseurs lightly, I strongly think that Vanitas is probably using Noé (unbeknownst to poor Noé) as bait.

The Chasseurs are ( or at least Roland is) a high and mighty hypocritical bunch, criticizing the vampires for being “freaks” of nature, but yet they use some sort of substance to manipulate their own human nature to fight against the naturally power-endued vampires. Vanitas, for all his flaws, can at least admit to them, rather than putting on a hypocritical mask of a better than thou attitude.



  1. While we’re already talking about Ruthven – this is NOT a spoiler, cause I don’t know anything :

    Ever since they talked about the “shapeless one” and the episode where Noé talks to his teacher in his dream in Ruthven’s room, seeing how Ruthven observes Noé and Vanitas in that episode from afar after Noé’s teacher basically told him to stay close to him…I asked myself if Ruthven and Noés teacher isn’t the same “person”?

    1. That is an interesting thought, however, I would have to disagree. From small glimpses we got of the Teacher in Episode 6, we don’t see his face but we do see that he has blonde hair, in contrast to Ruthven’s red hair.

      Princess Usagi

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