The Case Study of Vanitas 2nd Season Review – Another Exciting Chapter in This Gothic Mystery!

The second season of everyone’s favorite steampunk vampire drama has at last come to a close, leaving behind a “sexy Victorian anime character” shaped hole in our hearts. We visited the isolated district of Gévaudan for a Beauty and the Beast themed arc, learned more about Vanitas’ complicated past, and even got some cute romantic filler content to fill in the gaps. But, as a whole, does this latest installment of Jun Mochizuki’s wild ride hold up? Let’s check out The Case Study of Vanitas Season 2!

Mild Spoilers Ahead!

Mysteries Upon Mysteries

By far, the most intriguing part of this season is figuring out more of the main characters’ backstories and how those events shaped them into the people they are today. We learn more about how Louis’ death affected Noé and Dominique’s relationship, and even how a small miscommunication caused Domi to radically change her appearance for a time. We also finally get to see some of Vanitas’ mysterious past, all the way from his time as a mad scientist’s test subject to his new life with his brother Mikhail and their “father”, Vanitas of the Blue Moon.

What we love about these mysteries is how intricately they tie in with the characters’ current personalities. Sometimes, a tragic anime backstory will just be used as an excuse to explain why someone is evil or has a particular quirk, but in The Case Study of Vanitas, the events that happen in these characters’ pasts affect them in subtle and realistic ways. Vanitas’ extreme self-loathing comes (at least partially) from killing his own “father”; as a result, he acts pompous and arrogant so that people won’t get close to him, pursues unsustainable relationships, and violently lashes out against anyone who tries to understand him on a deeper level. And yet, he’s still a lovable character because his personality is so well fleshed out and we know how he ended up this way.

New Romantic Developments

Speaking of unsustainable relationships, boy is there ever some romantic drama in this season! Besides the great writing and gorgeous aesthetic, The Case Study of Vanitas is perhaps best known for its very hot and chaotic romantic plotlines. Chloe and Jean-Jacques from the “Beast of Gévaudan” arc make for a cute couple (although their dynamic is mostly platonic, since Chloe is stuck in a childlike form) and their devotion to each other is inspiring. Noé and Domi get some great moments together as well, showing just how deeply they care for each other despite all that they’ve been through.

Vanitas and Jeanne get the lion’s share of development, though. After sharing a steamy night sheltering from the cold together in an abandoned cabin, they both independently realize that they actually have feelings for each other and promptly freak out about it. We particularly enjoyed watching Vanitas frantically trying to get advice from Roland (who, as a chasseur, isn’t really on his side, but is happy to help regardless) and Jeanne ping-ponging between a lovestruck schoolgirl and a professional soldier who totally isn’t getting distracted by how hot her “nemesis” is.

We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention the increasing tension between Vanitas and Noé, whose vitriolic friendship faces its biggest challenge yet in the finale of the season. They may not be an official couple, but the massive bi energy radiating off of both of them gives their dynamic an extra bit of depth that we would miss if it wasn’t there.

Doesn’t Come Together as a Whole Package

Despite how great all of these moments are individually, however, the season as a whole feels somewhat disjointed. The “Beast of Gévaudan” arc takes up over half of the runtime while not adding much to the overall story except for some more information on the shadowy Naenia and how the world formula can be altered. It’s a nice addition to the series, but feels more like a filler arc than it should. This also causes the last episode to leave off on a massive cliffhanger that leaves the audience a bit unsatisfied. We suppose this is because the anime has mostly caught up to the manga at this point and doesn’t want to spill all of its secrets at once, but it still makes the season feel incomplete. We hope future installments in the series will make up for this strange pacing with new plot developments that tie into what we’ve seen here.

Final Thoughts

The Case Study of Vanitas Season 2 is beautifully animated, set in a richly textured world, and filled with lovable characters whose complexities make them all the more interesting. And while it stumbles in spots, it’s absolutely worth your time if you loved what the first season had to offer. We can’t wait for season 3!

What did you think of our review? Did you watch this anime during Winter 2022? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!

Vanitas-no-Carte-Wallpaper-563x500 The Case Study of Vanitas 2nd Season Review – Another Exciting Chapter in This Gothic Mystery!


Author: Mary Lee Sauder

After the hard-hitting East Coast lifestyle hit me a bit too hard, I started pursuing my passion as a writer in my cozy home state of Ohio. Aside from that, I spend my time cooking, cosplaying, collecting anime merch, and being an improv comedy actor. I also love sneaking alliterations and stupid puns into my writing, so be on the lookout for them! 😉

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