Case Study of Vanitas Season 2
Episode 13-14

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 13 of
The Case Study of Vanitas (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.4

How would you rate episode 14 of
The Case Study of Vanitas (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.4

Who was the Beast of Gévaudan? No one really knows the answer. Historical records claim that between 1764 and 1767, some sort of dog-like beast killed a large number of people in Gévaudan, France, and that King Louis XV did in fact send musketeers to hunt it down, including the one specifically named in episode 13. Because the 1760s relatively far removed from the werewolf panics of the Middle Ages, no one really questioned the Beast as being anything but a regular killer dog/wolf/hyena.

But this is The Case Study of Vanitas, so we can hardly expect it to be just a regular old canine with a taste for human flesh, can we? Especially not if Vanitas and Noé have left Paris to investigate its apparent return in the 1890s. That doesn't mean that we should have expected them to be whisked back through time to the 1760s, of course, but here we are.

As a fan of time travel stories, I think it's a very nice touch, and it certainly blurs a few more lines between what is real and what is not—are they still in the 1760s in episode 14, for example? It seems likely, since Chloé, the cursed vampire who becomes the Beast, is still able to retain her human form, but there's a lot we still don't know about the vampire aging process, cursed or otherwise. And Chloé is very, very old; Jeanne met her when she was a child, but even then the other woman was older than Ruthven even if she looked about fifteen. Her depredations as the Beast in the 1760s may have been because she couldn't control herself, but as we see with her attack on Noé this week, it's possible that she simply no longer wanted to control herself. She absolutely knows that it's wrong of her to drink Noé's blood without his consent; she just doesn't give a damn. In fact, she has to be physically removed by Jean-Jacques to stop her, indicating that if he hadn't come in, she would have kept right on assaulting Noé. She's as much a beast in human form as in animal shape.

Episode 14 is actually quite the episode for not-entirely-consensual acts upon our heroes. Noé's attacked in his sleep, and Vanitas is also treated to some forced proximity and kisses courtesy of Jeanne. The latter is arguably much less of an issue, because Jeanne is trying to save his life by getting him out of his wet, cold clothes and keeping him hydrated by kissing water down his throat, but it's also hard to say that Vanitas is in a good state of mind; in fact, he's very standoffish with Jeanne. He could be trying to be a gentleman, but I think the bigger issue is that he's feverish, poisoned, and emotionally distraught by the loss of his book. (And Noé. Probably.) He's just not in the headspace for Jeanne to suggest they lay down on the bed like some terrible blanket fic from the early 2000s, something she does realize in the light of day. But he also needs to stay alive, so this is a much trickier area, especially if we consider 19th-century medical knowledge.

What's perhaps more to the point is that Vanitas has been robbed of his book, something so important that he literally kept it chained to his body. While Astolfo bears the brunt of the guilt for the book's vanishing, what's more worrisome is that Chloé now has it. We don't understand what's going on with her enough yet to know how she could use it to her benefit, but I somehow doubt that she wants to destroy her Malnomen. It seems more likely that she'd use the book to enhance her beastly powers, and I'm not sure that Noé alone could stop her—or that Jean-Jacques would. If she's the big bad wolf, Noé is definitely Little Red Riding Hood, which also fits her attack on him; some scholars believe the tale is a metaphor for sexual assault and one early French variant even makes it clear that the wolf is, in fact, a werewolf.

Noé is in danger. Vanitas is not in his right mind. Dante has been withholding information, Astolfo is still out there, and everyone may still be stuck in the 1760s. (And if Jean-Jacques turns out to be Jean-Jacques Rousseau, I'm going to scream.) It's an eventful start to the second half of the story, so grab your wolf repellant and hang on.

Rating:

The Case Study of Vanitas Season 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.


discuss this in the forum (95 posts) |
bookmark/share with: short url

this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history

back to Case Study of Vanitas Season 2
Episode Review homepage / archives