I’m just going to lay it all out. I have enjoyed The Case Study of Vanitas since episode 1. I think it’s a surprisingly good show with an adaptation that outdoes the source material, or at the very least, brings out the best of it. But this arc elevates the whole. The Beast of Gévaudan (which is based on an actual legend if you’re interested) adds nuance, raw emotion and depth to this story in a way I did not expect. 

I really should have. The show has been pretty unfailingly solid so far.

There will be spoilers but even if there weren’t, you should watch this episode. It’s not something that I can describe in a post.

The ideas in this episode, and I suspect what will be one of the main themes of the show in general, is that we create our own monsters. The beast never existed but people would keep hunting it until it was dead, so a beast needed to be created. And it’s tough to feel bad for the people who perpetrated the long traditions of fear and hate that finally manifested into a monster. But the beast is also love, born out of a desperate wish to protect those we care about.

So who do I root for now? Who am I expected to wish to fail? My dear Jeanne, whose kindness continues to hold her back in a way that is starting to look a lot like strength? Maybe Vanitas, who is getting really bad at hiding the fact that he just likes Noé and wants the best outcome for everyone.

you ain’t fooling anyone!

Am I really going to think of Jean-Jacques as an antagonist? The kind man that rescued Murr from the mountain and made something special for him. That now only wants to be remembered. The boy who gave up the one and only thing he had for a chance of being killed in the place of the only person who ever cared about him. I’m making it sound so dramatic. And it kind of was. But it was also rather touching.   

What about Chloé herself? Is she to blame for just existing? 

At this rate, they’re going to give me a logical and touching explanation for all of Charlatan’s actions and then what will I do? But that’s what’s good about this show, right? All the darkness and light blend together into a pretty silver. There’s still that crazy Astolfo running around if I really need to label someone a baddie. I suspect we will get some very impressive animation next week!

For the second week in a row, we get a sincere and emotional episode from The Case Study of Vanitas. But there were moments of levity. For one, I’m just so glad to see Vanitas and Noé reunited. It just feels like things are as they should be when those two are together. We also had a lot of reactions from Murr this week. The usually impassive star of the show had facial expressions and did not hesitate to show his displeasure. That coat scene was possibly my favourite Murr moment. And considering Murr is my favourite part of the show, it really boosts my appreciation of the episode.

Let’s not forget the fantastic revelation that Chloé only picked up the book because it was a shiny thing. Literally! She liked the jewel on the cover and tried to pry it off. When she couldn’t, she lost interest. One of the most powerful objects of the series. The ultimate McGuffin! And she just put it somewhere and isn’t too sure where it is now. It really reminds you that the characters of this show have a gift for not taking things and themselves too seriously, no matter the situation.

I had fun and I also got very invested. It was a good episode among a lot of good episodes. I hope you guys are watching and enjoying Vanitas as well. 

The last scene changed everything. It’s a pretty amazing cliffhanger as it demands that we reframe our understanding of half of the characters and most of the lore. And I can’t wait to see where it leads. I mean, it sort of changes everything in such a grand way. I doubt it will happen but IF Chloé manages to go through with her plan, it will mean that the entire central plot of Vanitas never actually needed either of the main characters to exist. That’s insane. I would have to tip my hat to that.

Like I said, it’s an unlikely outcome. I’m not worried. Whatever The Case Study of Vanitas has in store, I bet I’m gonna enjoy it.

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5 thoughts

    1. I know what you mean but at the same time, they pass so quickly for me that I wonder if they’re not 15 minutes

  1. Oh man, Murr bringing the coat and delivering a cat punch in retribution!

    I now really wonder where this is going. What’s Astolfo (or more accurately the faction behind him, whoever that may be) after. And the show now officially mentioned a time loop, too. I got some of Chloé’s motivation right, but most of it wrong. I didn’t predict her just discarding the book, but at the same time I’m not really surprised. I totally didn’t expect her to draw out the carneval shadow whose name I can never remember (and didn’t remember we knew before Noé mentioned it). We’ll see where this goes.

    As always, this episode was over far too soon.

    1. I know! And what’s going to happen with the rest of the season? I think the manga is ongoing so… I’m hoping it’s a huge success that sparks a Pandora Hearts season 2.

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