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EP. REVIEW: The Case Study of Vanitas


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Neverwhere



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 310
Location: socal by the sea
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:10 pm Reply with quote
I haven't fallen to quickly and deeply in love with an anime in years, Vanitas so far is so much fun and I eagerly anticipate each new episode Very Happy
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 1008
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:05 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, there is going to be a fair amount of jumping between seriousness and silly SD chibi shenanigans. Jun Mochizuki's big inspiration is Hiromu Arakawa after all. So if such a thing bothered you in Fullmetal Alchemist, it mostly will here too. That said, when Vanitas gets dark and angsty, it really gets dark and angsty. To Madoka and Evangelion levels. Just ask the manga readers of this and Mochizuki's other major work, Pandora Hearts.

But really this is a first rate adaptation and I hope it because enormously popular and also leads to a proper remake of PH down the line.

Also to anyone having questions of whether Noé and Vanitas will have any real romantic feelings for each other... The non-spoilery answer is it's complicated.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1818
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:53 pm Reply with quote
^I for one fell in love with this show at first sight and I think only nitpicky jaded people would not at least like it based on the first several episodes. Well written, well directed, gorgeous artwork, great VA work, intriguing and fresh-ish concept. And spoilers aside, one can see that Noe' and Vanitas aren't thinking of romance and might not become more than very good friends based on their personalities (sorry Gina...). Noe' is well grounded with a repressed childlike emotionalism while Vanitas is selfish with a histrionic persona to hide a serious and ambitious side. Neither "needs" the other emotionally...
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Dian Z



Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 418
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 3:02 am Reply with quote
Quote:
It does feel more natural with Vanitas, who is something like whiplash personified (poor Jeanne – if she cries when you kiss her, maybe you shouldn't be kissing her, Vanitas), but it doesn't quite work with the overall narrative.


I thought there will be more discussion about the kiss.

Anyway, it's my first exposure to Mochizuki-sensei's work (I've yet to read/watch Pandora Hearts) and I love it.

Quote:
Yeah, there is going to be a fair amount of jumping between seriousness and silly SD chibi shenanigans. Jun Mochizuki's big inspiration is Hiromu Arakawa after all. So if such a thing bothered you in Fullmetal Alchemist, it mostly will here too.


I personally don't see much similarities between this and Fullmetal Alchemist, and I don't remember there's a lot of jumping between serious and silly scenes in FMA as well. But I read it years ago and if there's these quick changes between serious/silly tones, I suppose I didn't have a problem with them in FMA, as I don't have any problems with them in Vanitas even though I think they're easily noticeable.

Honestly it reminds me more of Clamp's works, joke-wise, with the dynamics between two very different/opposing characters, the teasing, and the chibi/cute light moments (probably also because both mangaka have pretty looking characters). And as much as I love Clamp, I enjoyed Vanitas better than Clamp's recent works, I think it delivers more successfully.
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ab2143



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 319
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:26 am Reply with quote
I love the goofy dynamic between Noé and Vanitas. I personally prefer Noé as he has a cute kitty companion and is just straight-up adorable. Will take a bit more time to get used to Vanitas. He's basically a combination of Dazai and Gojo lmao

As for the tonal whiplash, I haven't found it bad so far.

The Little Red Riding Hood metaphor is certainly interesting. I'm excited to read the weekly reviews for this series!
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Princess_Irene
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Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 2227
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:44 am Reply with quote
ab2143 wrote:

The Little Red Riding Hood metaphor is certainly interesting.


Be careful what you wish for - I wrote a whole dissertation on that fairy tale and can spend hours discussing it, its evolution, and its symbolism! Laughing (I actually had a whole first draft of this review that was 90% LRRH, but I thought better of it. Smile)
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blameitonStarBlazers
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Joined: 06 Oct 2018
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Location: Westchester, NY
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:35 pm Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
ab2143 wrote:

The Little Red Riding Hood metaphor is certainly interesting.


Be careful what you wish for - I wrote a whole dissertation on that fairy tale and can spend hours discussing it, its evolution, and its symbolism! Laughing

This right here is why we love your reviews so much, Rebecca. I’m delighted you’ll be reviewing Vanitas!
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JadeDahlia



Joined: 14 May 2015
Posts: 61
Location: New York, NY
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:31 pm Reply with quote
Yeah the kiss was awful and if it weren't for someone whose opinions I trust recommending this series I might have dropped it right then and there. Him making a big deal of her being scared and "weak" and how he liked seeing her like that made my skin crawl. Like, this guy is supposed to be the hero?? Ok, to be fair, I think we're meant to see him as possibly morally dubious in general, but that was definitely a step too far imo.

Enjoying the rest otherwise, but I really hope the series doesn't pull something like that again or I'm out.
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ab2143



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 319
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:58 pm Reply with quote
Hmm... Wonder what's going to happen to Vanitas now that Jeanne sucked his blood.

Using a masquerade ball as a way to show a different side of Vanitas is a really interesting point!
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Helix91



Joined: 30 Apr 2017
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:14 am Reply with quote
I had a different understanding of what Vanitas' speech meant. I thought what he meant by "curing" the vampires was saving them from becoming curse bearers. The rest of the vampires are suspicious of him because the original Vanitas created the book to corrupt true names and turn them into curse bearers. The vampires who trust the current Vanitas are the ones who know about Charlatan and have seen him use the book to restore true names instead of corrupting them.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 1008
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:48 am Reply with quote
Helix91 wrote:
I had a different understanding of what Vanitas' speech meant. I thought what he meant by "curing" the vampires was saving them from becoming curse bearers. The rest of the vampires are suspicious of him because the original Vanitas created the book to corrupt true names and turn them into curse bearers. The vampires who trust the current Vanitas are the ones who know about Charlatan and have seen him use the book to restore true names instead of corrupting them.


Yeah, Vanitas wants merely to cure the Vampires of the curse for all time, not to take away their powers and make them ordinary humans. He wants to do the opposite of the proclaimed goal of the Vampire of the Blue Moon to get his revenge on them. And if such a deed humbles some of the more arrogant and high ranking members of the race so much the better in his eyes.

Also it should be clear now that Charlatan is an organization and not just that demonic shadow being that's been corrupting vampires' true names.

And also also, Vanitas and Jeanne's relationship is going to go to some interesting places in the future. You are suppose to have very mixed feelings about it throughout but it will become more plateable and mutually consensual in time. Meanwhile, Noe and Dominique genuinely love and care about each other truly and deeply.
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DuskyPredator
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Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 3:14 am Reply with quote
I agree, I didn't pick up Vanitas saying that he wanted to turn vampires into humans, just that he wanted to stop the curses, but not because he wants to actually hurt them but actually because he hates the ones who would want to corrupt vampires. So he isn't really a good guy right now, but someone who incidentally helps for more malicious reasons. I think it is fine that he isn't perfect, as long as his twisted sides don't get idolised too much. His perusal of Jeanne does seem rather predatory, and I am curious how she might react from here, such as would he buy his romantic comings onto her or see his twisted side. Preferably Vanitas would move already because there are a bunch of innocent vampires being corrupted.

Also, the whole masquerade ball reminded me of the movie Van Helsing, which I know is not a great movie, but had iconic scenes like the aforementioned ball.
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Dian Z



Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 418
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:22 am Reply with quote
That's an interesting way to look at that kissing scene and now combined with him offering Jeanne to suck his blood. I still find it uncomfortable to watch (also both scenes were very stylishly and convincingly animated, good work mr director and animators, they enhanced the uneasy experience), but if Vanitas really has other motives than just sexual desire, whether he's aware of it or being unconscious about it, maybe that part of his twisted mind pursues a form of non-sexual curiousity or something crazy else, I suppose that at least might complicate it. So, not as shallow a use of those scenes.

I wonder if Vanitas and Jeanne relationship will go stronger/more canon than Vanitas and Noe. I was quite surprised by how much/quick Vanitas and Jeanne relationship is developed compared to the latter.
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Princess_Irene
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Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:27 am Reply with quote
Thinking about it, I took my interpretive cues from the way all of the vampires reacted to Vanitas' statement - they seemed fairly aghast, which makes it look more sinister than he perhaps intended. I suppose they could have just been horrified that he dropped from the balcony to the chandelier.

I have to admit that he still seems very sinister to me.
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ab2143



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 319
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 8:15 am Reply with quote
Anyone else curious about what's going to happen to Jeanne? I mean, she's sucking the blood of a member of the blue blood clan. Would she become a member or remain the same seeing as Vanitas is a human and unable to pass on the bloodline? I get the feeling it's the latter
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