Jeanne D’Arc has got to be one of the most misinterpreted and reinterpreted characters that actually existed. I know I’ve seen a lot of versions of her in anime! And although this episode of The Case Study of Vanitas didn’t explicitly tell us who the character is, we all know, right? I mean, you put a Jeanne in any mildly religious-looking outfit and make her French on top of that. Who else is it going to be?
There’s always a Jeanne, and she’s always loads of trouble!
I have been reading first impression posts of Vanitas from my fellow bloggers and I saw a theme. It seems a lot of people were expecting this to be a drama. Like an all-out angsty drama. I don’t blame them as that’s the genre AniList has it as. I have to wonder who determines these. Granted I only read the first volume of the manga but it was even more ridiculous than the anime. It was downright slapstick. And for any adaptation to be anything else than a comedy, it would have required major changes. Maybe I just don’t know what drama is anymore?
In any case, I have a feeling that anybody that was hoping for some type of serious period drama, Vanitas was, is and is going to continue being a disappointment and possibly a little frustrating. I hope it doesn’t ruin the series popularity.
I noticed that a few reviews also called it “gay”. Again, I haven’t read that far into it but the first volume of the manga had some pretty insistent displays of heterosexuality from the main characters so I wouldn’t hold my breath for any Boy’s Love here. Unless maybe we’re talking about Murr.
And we should talk about Murr because he’s the real star of the show! AniList has him on there as one of the main supporting characters and that just makes me happy!
So now that I’ve wasted all your time talking about with The Case Study of Vanitas is not, how about we talk about what episode 2 was.
One of the things that’s obvious right from the start is that Vanitas and Noé are both dorks. Huge silly dorks! I would even go as far as to say that Noé in particular is a bit of a himbo. And I love that. First, I love himbo characters in general and I think we don’t have enough in anime or in fiction as a whole. Second, it’s such a clash with his temper and appearance that it creates, for lack of a better term, gap moe.
I really like that Vanitas is human. I think it adds a lot of potential t the story. Since he’s not Noé’s master or love interest or anything, their dynamic is fairly precarious. After all, the power balance is completely out of whack. If Noé gets tired of him he can basically just squash Vanitas like a bug. And that imbalance was illustrated so well with Noé carrying Vanitas around like a sack of potatoes because Vanitas simply can’t keep up otherwise. It was hilarious to see it animated but it’s also a really good way to represent their entire relationship.
The thing is, whereas Noé may be a himbo. Well-meaning and passionate but a little slow on the uptake and not too book-learned. Vanitas is not. If anything, he’s a lot shrewder than he lets on and being underestimated is probably to his advantage. So this power Noé holds over Vanitas is really only properly appreciated by the latter. Which does even out things a bit.
Because I know what’s coming, the next episode should be a mix of action as the two try to fight off Jeanne and mystery, as they try to once again find and hunt down the crazed vampire who’s been committing murders all over Paris. I remember thinking that this part of the manga had an almost Holmes and Watson feel and I hope it translates to the anime!