The Case Study of Vanitas episode 18 is out with a lot of fuzzy feelings. It seems that this week’s theme circles around the idea of a loving companion. The episode starts strong with Jeanne and Vanitas and ends with an equally emotional scene with Chloé and Jean-Jacques. The episode is titled, “Avec toi―Just the Two of Us”
Naenia’s presence caused a lot of them to relive their traumas. Jean’s despair, in particular, is a heavy one. Throughout the years, she’s built up the idea of herself as unworthy, cursed, and as the bad child. It is difficult to imagine how much mental anguish she has for not wanting to carry out her Bourreau duties, but at the same time, having gratitude for Ruthven’s protection (which is him actually guilt-tripping/using her.)
And then comes Vanitas who we know is not great with emotions and relationships. For example, last week Noé insisted Vanitas trust in him more, and if you think about it, Noé’s kindness is actually really rubbing off on Vanitas.
Despite it being awkward and cheesy, it was overall a lovely scene. To be honest, I couldn’t help but squeal and fangirl about it! Vanitas pulled Jeanne out of her void, gave her the choice to save Chloé, and lastly, the sweet assurance of fulfilling her wish. This interaction is extra special because, unlike his teasing before, this one really feels genuine — like he’s actually in love with her. (Or whatever it is. I don’t think he’s fully realized it yet. ) He thinks he’s saving her, but in a way, Jeanne is also becoming a special person in Vanitas’ cold world.
He was definitely embarrassed about the whole thing because he was bright red later with the guys, even putting it out on Noé and the poor Jean-Jacques. The way The Case Study of Vanitas switches from serious to chibi drawings is one of the reasons why I love this show.
The Root of Astolfo’s Hatred
Astolfo’s strong and uncompromising hatred for vampires comes from the fact that his family was slaughtered by one. It’s a tragic backstory, however, the same goes for his vampire “friend” whose family was also killed by Chasseurs. Both of them are equally heartbreaking, and I hate that it has to be that way.
If there’s one thing we learned from this arc, hatred begets hatred, and that cycle of violence and revenge will continue to run deep if no one puts a stop to it. In the end, Vanitas’ mocking in the first episode was actually spot on and is less amusing now. And that’s also why Noé conflicts with Astolfo. He is unable to get through and talk to the extremely rampant Chasseur. Either way, that battle sequence was awesome to watch.
A Glimpse into Vanitas’ Past
An interesting part of The Case Study of Vanitas episode 18 is when Vanitas removes his glove to reveal a mysterious blue webbed tattoo. We barely know anything about his past, so when this came up, I was intrigued by it. However, it just ended up with me having even more questions! His forearm is apparently integrated with a blue/divine tearstone, so it definitely has something to do with his blue moon inheritance.
Additionally, the line “That is the face of someone ready to die,” felt way too real. Is this another clue to his past? The blue moon vampire herself has an amazing character design, and I really like the whole vibe. Ah, goosebumps.
The ending is no doubt the highlight of The Case Study of Vanitas episode 18. Love, devotion, protection — Chloé and Jean-Jacques were both doing separate selfish things which they thought would help the other be free of pain. In the end, all they needed was each other and them actually expressing it. It’s only fitting that in true Noé-esque fashion, Jean-Jacques basically confessed his love for Chloé. When he pleaded, “Don’t leave me alone,” that hit me hard.
Nobody wants to be alone. They want to be wanted, needed, saved, adored and loved. Everyone has a void of anguish, but sometimes, there are companions who pull us out of it. What’s more, they even make the battles worth fighting and living for. Communicating is key. To quote Noé, “No matter how close you stay to her… even if you want to protect her… she won’t understand … not unless you put them into words! “
The Last Act Approaches
To be honest, I was so hooked on the episode that it felt way too short. The Case Study of Vanitas episode 18 was a chaotic one with too many epic things happening with different groups of characters, all at once. While the story continues to be phenomenal, I can’t help but notice that there were a lot of prolonged frames in this episode. Of course, these cuts are understandable and I’m hoping that they’re saving the best for the next episodes. Now that Vanitas is reunited with his grimoire, he can finally free the curse bearers. My wish is that Naenia doesn’t show up anymore.
Another thing that this episode made me think about is how Noé almost went down a miserable road of hate like Astolfo’s. Noé suffered the loss of a loved one, but because he met Vanitas, he remained kindhearted — determined to save other curse bearers and end the Charlatan. It just goes to show that life and people fracture in different ways. My question now is, who’s going to save Astolfo?
The next episode will release on Friday, February 25, at 24:00 JST. The English subtitled versions will also be available later on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Bilibili in select regions. Don’t forget to vote in our weekly polls!
Images via Bilibili
©Jun Mochizuki/SQUARE ENIX, “Vanitas no Carte” Production Committee