Regenerator myth as neanderthal too stupid to die

I started thinking about this in response to the character of Father Anderson in Hellsing:

Father Anderson is a “Regenerator,” meaning that he is able to restore body parts that are lost and heal himself. This is clearly demonstrated in Episode 3 of the anime; Alucard’s bullet enters Anderson’s head, but he recovers quickly and appears unscathed…Thanks to his healing, Anderson is very durable. He is able to shrug off automatic-gunfire and even Alucard’s explosive silver bullets with ease.

Anderson claims that his ability is “the divine gift of God,” but later states that it is due to “man’s technology.” In the manga he calls it a “technique” while Integra calls it bio-technological regeneration (possibly some form of nanotechnology meaing he is cybernectically altered). In certain adaptations, Integra claims Anderson’s regenerative powers surpass any known nanotechnology, possibly being divine. Anderson is often considered not entirely human due to this augmentation , and Integra goes so far as to call him a “thing” or a “monster” while in the TV series Alucard states that Anderson is less than human and a “failed science experiment.” Still, in the manga and OVA it appears that Alucard considered Anderson human enough to fight monsters (Alucard believes that only humans can destroy “monsters” like himself). This is shown when Alucard becomes enraged at Anderson for choosing to use the Nail of Helena on himself, truly becoming a “monster” rather than a man.


Alucard begs Anderson not to become a monster like himself. Anderson doesn’t heed the warning and states that he wishes to become a being neither human or demon, but a whirlwind of destruction and piety

I included that last part because it reminds me of Asperger’s. Alucard himself, like all vampires in fiction, is clearly a melonhead. Inspirations for calling this a myth:

3×3 Eyes
The Dark Tower
Somewhither (the protagonist is literally a neanderthal, which Wright equates with the immortal regenerating Nephilim)
Hellsing (Anderson)
Samurai Jack

These have extraordinary parallels in their story structures, with Kurozuka being the most archetypal and Dark Tower coming in 2nd. Something about a man thrown out of his time eternally chasing Ahriman/Babylon and always ending up back where he started with no memory of the previous cycle. Character-wise, the protagonist has basically two qualifications: receiving damage and never stopping their quest for the Tower of Babel. Let’s dig in to the plot of the most archetypal of these:

Kurozuka (黒塚, lit. “Black Tomb”) is a Japanese novel written by Baku Yumemakura. A manga adaptation was illustrated by Takashi Noguchi and it was serialized in the seinen manga magazine Oh Super Jump starting in 2003 by Shueisha and ended in December 2006. An anime adaptation by Madhouse was announced by Japanese anime television network Animax in May 2008[1] and ran between October and December 2008, spanning a total of 12 episodes.


The series begins in 12th century Japan and centers on Kuro, a character based loosely on the legendary Japanese swordsman Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Kuro and his servant, Benkei, meet a beautiful and mysterious woman named Kuromitsu while on the run from Kuro’s elder brother, who seeks his life.

Starts with Cain and Abel, except in this story Benkei turns out to be Cain.

Kuromitsu and Kuro fall in love, but he soon discovers that she harbors a terrible secret: she is a vampiric immortal.

Neanderthal first comprehends melonhead.

Following an attack by his pursuers, Kuro is badly injured and must imbibe Kuromitsu’s blood to save his own life.

Gross! That’s how you get AIDS, people.

Kuro is then betrayed and attacked by Benkei, who has been subverted by a shadowy organization called the Red Army, and Kuro’s head is severed, which interferes with his transformation into a fully immortal being.

This part of the story is similar to the part of the Epic of Gilgamesh where Enkidu is lured into the melonhead’s world by a woman and then gets a bad case of cooties from Humbaba. This is likely referring to miscegenation and a case of bad hybridization. Here are a couple more examples:

Their discussion was interrupted by news reports of a giant monster flying over the city. Pai recognised the creature as her pet Takuhi, who must have been released from his home in Pai’s cane by the thief, and who was now looking for her. Pai set out to retrieve him, with Yakumo close behind. However when Yakumo saw Takuhi fly towards Pai, the lad mistook the beast’s welcome for an attack, and shoved Pai out the way; immediately Takuhi ripped into the lad, fatally wounding him. Unwilling to lose the boy she had been hunting for and just located, Pai’s third eye opened, and she absorbed his soul. This restored his body, but tied him to her as her undead servant. Linked to her, he can only become human again when she becomes human.

Soon after their arrival in the distant Barony of Mejis, Roland falls in love with Susan Delgado, the promised “gilly” of Thorin—the mayor. His love for Susan Delgado clouds his reasoning for a time and nearly results in a permanent split between him and his previously inseparable friend Cuthbert. He and his ka-tet also discover a plot between the Barony’s elite and “The Good Man” John Farson, leader of a rebel faction, to fuel Farson’s war machines with Mejis oil. After being seized by the authorities on trumped-up charges of murdering the Barony’s Mayor and Chancellor, Roland’s ka-tet manages to escape jail with Susan’s help, destroy the oil and the detachment Farson sent to transport it, as well as the Mejis traitors. The battle ends at Eyebolt Canyon, where Farson’s troops are maneuvered into charging to their deaths into a thinny.

The ka-tet also captures the pink-colored Wizard’s Glass, a mystical, malevolent orb or crystal ball from the town witch, Rhea of the Cöos. The globe had entranced Rhea so much that she was starving herself and her pets to death because she spent every free moment watching the visions in the orb. The glass then shows Roland a vision of his future, and also of Susan’s death (she is burned as a harvest sacrifice for colluding with Roland).

In Berserk, it’s the Eclipse event right after Guts and Casca bump uglies. It may be important that the idyllic before-world before is called Midland (Berserk) or Mid-World (Dark Tower).

After this point in the story, the neanderthal gets thrown into a time warp like in the Ninja Turtles game and starts wearing an eyepatch to remind you he’s a living ghost. Then he vows some combination of revenge and getting his love interest/innocence back and goes on a quest. Returning to Kurozuka:

Kuro loses consciousness and wakes up centuries later in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian Japan with his memories of the past century missing. The surviving citizens have fallen under constant oppression by the Red Army, and Kuro is quickly found and recruited by an underground revolutionary movement called Haniwa. The remaining episodes follow Kuro’s fight with the Red Army and its host of elite warriors, who have been hunting Kuromitsu for her blood, believing it contains the secret to eternal life; focusing on Kuro’s quest to find his inexplicably lost love.

In the first few episodes, the story shows Kuro’s memories of travelling through the centuries with Kuromitsu with gaps in the recollection indicating lapses in his memory. The recollections show the past up until Kuromitsu goes missing.

The starting plot for the series is probably inspired by Kurozuka, a 1939 Japanese dance-drama, which features a man-eating ogress named Kuromitsu,[2] as well as the life of Minamoto no Yoshitsune.

There’s a lot of Edenic baggage to unpick there, so I may return to this later. The important thing is Enkidu got thrown in the time warp spiral, woke up in techno-Mordor, and makes a beeline for the Tower of Babel intending to tear out Aku’s throat with his teeth before Aku learns that the real melonhead’s stone was the friends the melonhead made along the way.


The most important thing is the end:

Kuro confronts the Red Emperor, who is revealed to be Benkei, and kills him. Kuromitsu beheads Kuro and places his head on a new body. Kuro awakens in the forest, having lost his memory, and begins again his search for Kuromitsu.

Similarly, in the ending of the Dark Tower series (interestingly, Stephen King apologizes profusely for following his artistic instincts here):

In a final “Coda” section, King urges the reader to close the book at this point, consider the story finished with a happy ending, and not venture inside the Tower with Roland. For those who do not heed the warning, the story resumes with Roland stepping into the Dark Tower. He realizes that the Tower is not really made of stone, but a kind of flesh: it is Gan’s physical body. As he climbs the steps, Roland encounters various rooms containing siguls or signs of his past life. When he reaches the top of the Tower, he finds a door marked with his own name and opens it. Roland instantly realizes, to his horror, that he has reached the Tower countless times before. He is forced through the door by the hands of Gan and transported back in time to the Mohaine desert, back to where he was at the beginning of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, with no memories of what has just occurred. The only difference is that, this time, Roland possesses the Horn of Eld, which in the previous incarnation he had left lying on the ground after the Battle of Jericho Hill. Roland hears the voice of Gan, whispering that, if he reaches the Tower again, perhaps this time the result will be different; there may yet be rest. The series ends where it began in the first line of book one: “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

Presumably the cycle continues for as long as Sisyphus wants to roll the rock uphill. As Nietzsche pointed out, we must imagine him to be happy because his legs are thicc af.


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13 Responses to Regenerator myth as neanderthal too stupid to die

  1. Obadiah says:

    “The captain is mostly an expressionless man, not speaking a single word throughout the entire series. It is unknown why this is so, whether he is simply taciturn or unable to speak. His exact personality is hard to place, though he is utterly obedient and monstrous in battle.”

    ^MT = Werewolf

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I haven’t watched that far yet. But a corresponding data point: Koanic said the best part of Vampire Hunter D was the one-second fight with the werewolf. I’ve always associated werewolves with straight-up TTs though.

  2. Obadiah says:

    At a glance, Kurozuka is about vampire-hybrid (serpent bearer) Kurobadiah going to take out his Babylon-cultist God-betraying Pharisee ex-Tribesmen in the popular sandbox video game “Minecraft”

    • Obadiah says:

      Kuromitsu herself = Obadiah’s unconscious/anima/shadow/capacity for self-acceptance and genuine self-love (as opposed to the false self-love of narcissism); her being vampiric represents genetically-inherited knowledge of good and evil/genetic connection to serpent in the garden

      The regenerator myth itself is just aesthetic for “undying will”, which happens to often overlap w/ Thal characters i.e. Anderson from Helsing (the regenerators from RE4 and the blood-regenerating vampires from Blade are not terribly Thallish)

      • Obadiah says:

        Regenerator myth = someone’s will and/or motivations are supernatural in character and so powerful so as to be predominant/preeminent over the generally-accepted constraints of flesh/blood/physical reality (these motivations can be good or evil).

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          Well, Alucard also regenerates. Two things:

          1. He’s not too dumb to die so much as it would ruin his fun.
          2. It’s not fundamental to his character that he’s basically impossible to kill, like a stress tolerator cockroach. It’s an expression of his power in general.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        >The regenerator myth itself is just aesthetic for “undying will”

        I agree it is that, but it’s not *just* that. It appears to be endemic to the Sysyphean cycle of Believe Wamen -> Get Head Chopped Off -> Believe Wamen.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >At a glance, Kurozuka is about vampire-hybrid (serpent bearer) Kurobadiah going to take out his Babylon-cultist God-betraying Pharisee ex-Tribesmen in the popular sandbox video game “Minecraft”


  3. Pingback: The Cthulhids of Technobabylon | Aeoli Pera

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