「Chasseur―紅を狩る者―」 (Shasūru―Kurenai o Karu Mono―)
“Those Who Hunt Crimson”
After seeing Vanitas’ “means to an end” approach, we finally get to see Noé’s more humane negotiation tactic. And it works! But not before a hairy moment where the two butt heads over their contrasting methods-Vanitas wants to take a hostage to force Roland’s hand, even if it means shedding blood. Noé wants to try a more peaceful solution. Noé compromises-but with Vanitas as the hostage. In a way, it gives Vanitas a taste of his own medicine, making him experience the panic that his proposed hostage (and that all other living things that he uses as his tools) experience at his hands.
After the intense fighting between Roland and Noé at the beginning of the episode, Vanitas was building Roland’s menace factor up, making the audience (or me at least) expect another long drawn-out battle before a resolution. So, it was surprising that all it took was Vanitas as hostage and some simple negotiation to end things.
Roland is astonishingly, all pointy and flashing weapons aside, an agreeable fellow, willing to work things out with Vanitas and Noé. Given Roland’s anti-vampire stance informed by his experience with only bad vampires, I was expecting him to be more resistant to Noé, but he proved open-minded enough to even make allies with him. I guess it goes to show you can’t always trust Vanitas’ opinion.
Vanitas’ ill-will towards Roland makes sense in a way, given his history with the Chasseurs. Vanitas often has the look of a haunted man, as Noé notices. His traumatic history of being orphaned at the fangs of a vampire, then being taken in by the Chasseurs, only to be handed over to their mad scientist as model organism certainly explains his disdain for the religious bunch. Because he received harsh treatment at the hands of both humans and vampires, Vanitas is able to see beneath the formulas to the darker side of intelligent beings able to hurt each other while justifying themselves.
It reveals something about Vanitas, that as much as he talks (and acts upon) his means to an end work ethic, he doesn’t use the book against humans or vampires. With the immense power it has to change not only the formulas of vampires, but also the astermite, he has what effectively could become a terrible weapon in his hand with the potential to turn vampires against each other and against humans. Yet, he uses it to save afflicted vampires. Much as he boasts about his selfishness, he does have a some semblance of a heart deep down. Or there is much more to his story than we currently know (which is probably also the case).
And here, deep down the spooky underground tunnels, we are introduced to yet another foe, Moreau (who shares a name with the crazy researcher in H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau). Moreau seems to be a typical mad scientist, getting kicked out (but not stopped) after performing not so ethical experiments with humans and vampires.
I really wonder about the intelligence (or at least observation skills) of these Chasseurs-the fact that Moreau continued working in his underground lab after the Chasseurs thought they kicked him out and they never thought to check that the lab was empty is a head-scratcher. How could Moreau continue doing his large-scale human-vampire experiments (and kidnappings, too) in their lair and the Chasseurs not notice? From the taste we have gotten of the Chasseurs, they seem like the type to get caught up in the fervor of their cause and not pay attention to much else- which I guess also includes a mad scientist and his experiments hiding out in their tunnels.