The Case Study of Vanitas episode 22 is out with the long-awaited reveal of Vanitas’ guarded past. To be honest, it gives me mixed emotions to see the story unravel like this, even though I was so excited to see it. Just like last week, this episode is brutal and heart-wrenching. It also manages to speak volumes about Vanitas and how he became the way he is. This is the most interesting thing to happen so far in the season. There are just a lot of layers to unpack in this episode, including the official introduction of the vampire that started it all — Vanitas.
First off, we have a lot of discoveries about Vanitas as a young boy, whose eyes aren’t as blue yet. The episode goes straight to the heavy weight on his heart. We discover the first fracture — the death of his parents. (Which explains the self-loathing and guilt.) Following after is his vow for revenge by becoming a Chasseur which then, unfortunately, steered into physical and mental torture from Dr. Moreau.
Young Vanitas went through a lot of pain and suffering, even for Mikhail. Unlike Alfonso, however, Vanitas remains with a good heart even though he has a lot of reason to lash out at the world. That’s why when he finally breaks down, my heart really ached for him.
One of the most unsettling things about The Case Study of Vanitas episode 22 is the fact that Vanitas and Mikhail were victims and experimented on. At this point, I finally understood what Vanitas meant in the first episodes on how he equally hated both humans and vampires. The episode showed both evils. There’s so much hurt and pain, and for children to go have to experience this is too heartbreaking. A perfect example of this is Mikhail — was he just really an innocent child or was it a defense mechanism to all the ugly damage? His reaction all throughout the episode didn’t feel right, and it made the situation sicker to the stomach.
Towards the end of the episode, however, the mood shifts into a lighter and heartwarming scene as the Vampire of the Blue moon appears. Mikhail’s smile was bright, Vanitas wasn’t on edge anymore, and even the vampire herself seemed so kind-hearted. Her visuals and voice are really pretty. Plus, I really loved the chibi and montage drawings that made them seem like a family. It also adds context back to episode 19 when the Vampire of the Blue Moon wished for a loving future for them.
The Case Study of Vanitas episode 22 fills up a lot of new information to the story. For one, we know that Vanitas and Mikhail are somewhere between being human and vampires. Another one is that the Vampire of the Blue Moon took them in and sought a cure for both of them. We don’t exactly know how it happened, but it’s for sure that these two boys became the vampires’ kins and that she “disappeared” in Vanitas’ arms.
Which then leads me to my biggest curiosity of the episode — what exactly happened with the Vampire of the Blue Moon? It’s also interesting to note that her bracelet is the earring that Vanitas wears now. Was this an omen for their counted days or an incoming death? Does this mean the same for Vanitas now? Plus, that scar again.
All in all, The Case Study of Vanitas episode 22 puts Vanitas into a new perspective. Fast forward to the present, Mikhail’s innocence crossed over to insanity, and he’s become manipulative and heartless. Vanitas’ guarded secrets are finally out, but it’s not all of them yet. If last week’s episode was pain and this one was suffering, what will the next one be?
The next episode will air on Friday, March 25, at 24:00 JST. The English subtitled versions will also be available later on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Bilibili in select regions. If you enjoyed the episode, don’t forget to vote in our weekly polls!
Images via Bilibili
©Jun Mochizuki/SQUARE ENIX, “Vanitas no Carte” Production Committee