How are there only two episodes left of The Case Study of Vanitas? Even if they somehow manage to wrap up this arc in so few episodes, which seems doubtful, there is a lot left to explore in this story.

So far, The Case Study f Vanitas has been pretty good with pacing. They haven’t drawn out any of the arcs past the point of interest and I haven’t felt rushed through any of the action either. That’s something I appreciate a lot. So I have faith that rather than trying to cram the current arc into two episodes, they are going to give us some type of closure for the season but leave it open for more to come. I guess we’ll see soon enough.

But instead of worrying too much about the episodes to come, let’s concentrate on the one we just watched! This is one of those cases where I actually have so much to say that I don’t know where to begin. On top of that what I do have to say goes off in all different directions. It’s a little intimidating trying to pin these thoughts down, to be honest.

The opening tag was actually a bit horrific. In fact, all the flashback to the time spent in Moreau’s lab was effectively traumatic. At least for me. I very quickly started to care about Mikhail, or should I say, Misha. I also started seeing Vanitas in a new light. It was though to reconcile the bits we’ve heard about Vanitas’ past and what we were actually seeing. The toughest part may have been the fact that this young Vanitas was both noble and very kind.

And then I remembered one very obvious thing. Something we all know but somehow it can be easy to forget when you get swept up in the story. Vanitas lies… He lies all the time. And it’s very likely that the image he gives of his past, or even of himself, shouldn’t be taken at face value. He is an unreliable narrator. And you know who else is? Mikhail. An obviously traumatized little boy who underwent a lot of medical experimentation. Could you really blame him if his memories are a bit wonky? He was just a kid, he may not have understood what he was seeing in the first place.

It’s getting really hard to figure out what to believe in this story. But you know one question I have. No one brought it up but it seems important. At least to me. Who’s 70?. Vanitas is no 69 and Mikhail is n 71. Unless Moreau is wacky in every way imaginable, there was certainly a no 70 at some point. Who are they? What happened? It must have affected Vanitas.

And then everyone’s life changed.

I have to agree with Misha, the Vampire of the Blue Moon is beautiful. That black skin and bluish-white hair make for a very striking design. And somehow inviting. We have seen a lot of beautiful but dangerous characters in Vanitas. In fact, even the leads can be a little scary and hard to trust. But I never had any doubts about the Vampire of the Blue Moon. They might be the first character in the entire show that I just think is… safe. Isn’t that odd?

And the scenes of Vanitas, Misha and let’s call them Blue, living an idyllic family life, were such a welcome respite. I could have stayed in that comfortable home for a long time. You may notice that I’m calling Blue they, because I’m not sure where their gender falls. At first, I thought they were a lady and they did talk about treating Vanitas as if they were his mother. But Blue is who Misha calls father. There is still a lot to unravel here.

There were also some really nice stylistic story touches this week. On several occasions we get to hear Vanitas’ thoughts and they are illustrated on a flat blue background. I found that really cool. Also, Vanitas is not called Vanitas yet. Blue is but they do not claim the name. There are a few scenes where Vanitas would naturally introduce himself but they are always cut off so that we never hear any sort of name for him other than no.69. He remains only Vanitas. Finally, I just want to take a second to say I really love Bleu’s voice. It gives them an ethereal feel that adds a lot to the character.

Although Vanitas’ birth name remains a mystery, we did hear a tiny bit about his early childhood before Moreau got his clutches on him. And of course, his own history with vampires. Turns out he had a bit of a rough start since his mother died in childbirth. But his father loved him very much and did his best to take care of him. Until the vampires came… I’ve noticed something. Most of the characters in The Case Study of Vanitas were loved by their parents. The story goes out of its way to show us that Luca, Chloé, Jeanne, Astolfo and now Vanitas all come from loving families although most had tragic ends. Arguably you could say that Domi was also very loved by her family even if they do have their issues.

It’s always just little flashback scenes and no one has spelled it out but there seems to be a lot of importance placed on parents loving their kids. There are so many similar shows that never go into the parental relationships of the main characters, let alone everyone else. And there are two big exceptions.

When Mikhail was introduced, the show not only made it a point to let us know his mother was a prostitute who had little time for him. But also that she kept him around to sell to customers. That doesn’t sound like a very loving home. Yet Mikhail was strangely attached to his mother even if he seems indifferent to her absence. I wonder if that’s why he calls Blue father. Because he already has a mother. Since Misha comes from an implicitly unloving family, this sets him apart from pretty much every character up until now.

The other exception is Noé. We don’t know anything about Noé’s parents. They are never seen or even mentioned. We do know that Noé was loved in his childhood though. The Sade siblings showered him with love and he had his needs attended to. And although the professor is the scariest character in the entire show, that’s saying a lot. He does seem to be kind and caring towards Noé. I really want to know what’s happening there!

The last scene of the flashback shows Vanitas holding Bleu as they dissipate into ash, seen from Mikhail’s point of view. But it’s quite vague. You can’t really tell if Vanitas actually killed anyone. Bleu also talks about making the kids part of the clan of the blue moon but Vanitas refuses flatly. Yet he always introduces himself as a member. Did something change? Was it before or after Bleu’s disappearance? If anything Mikgail’s memories just bring up a ton of new questions. And I’m looking forward to finding out the answers next week.

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2 thoughts

  1. I also assumed the Blue was a mother figure from the hair, the voice, and the face. Even their body looked vaguely feminine in a delicate way.

    I suspect Vanitas did not kill Blue but rather Blue sacrificed themself to bring the two of them into the clan.

  2. To be honest, it looks like at the end the Vampire of the Blue Moon has found a way to save their new found kiddies – at their own expense. Not entirely sure, but that final disintegration looks a lot like “the body no longer taking it” – as if “something” was transferred. Not sure what happened in that final full scene (before the disintegration). Some sort of disagreement? Also, Vanitas seems to not have known that Misha is still alive: did something more happen, or was that just a can-he-survive-on-his-own moment? I have a lot of questions.

    And I fully agree about the voice acting. Park Romi did an outstanding job. I loved the pouty voice at the dinner scene especially. (For whatever reason I was reminded of her role as the black witch Gyubid in Kuro Majo san ga Tooru, which was a really fun character.) I hope we get some more flashbacks with her in it (Park Romi’s in both Attack on Titan and Shaman King, too, this season, so she’s probably busy).

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