Noe Archiviste travels to Paris to learn more about the Book of Vanitas. Vanitas was a legendary vampire in possession of a cursed book that can destroy vampires. On his way, he meets a human who claims to be Vanitas himself and who uses the famed book to restore vampires affected by the Charlatan, who steals their true names and puts them in a mindless state of blood-frenzy, to their former healthy state. The two end up living and traveling together, putting the pieces together, about the dark truth behind the new vampire epidemic, and their own pasts.
We've got 19th century Paris, steampunk paradise, shoujo glimmer all around, Noé Archiviste of the Archiviste line of vampires, beautiful, kind, and cursed, and Vanitas, a blend of contradictions, over-the-top, genius, and a fool. This is Vanitas no Carte (The Case Study of Vanitas) for you, a blend of historical vampire mystery, with shounen elements, and a generous side of comedy. The first part of The Case Study of Vanitas we just finished watching sets the tone, introduces the universe, the antagonists, and the love pairings we need to focus on in the rest of the story. It left us with questions unanswered and just a taste into Vanitas’ past, enough to keep us watching!
Everyone Is Hot
Priorities! OK, jokes aside, so many great anime series have attractive characters without letting the story flop or the overall quality be affected. The Case Study of Vanitas knows that it can do fanservice well, but it doesn’t let it overtake the plot. All these steamy interactions we see between Vanitas, Noe, Jeanne, and Domi are important to show us their past (Noe’s and Domi’s), and current dynamics (Jeanne and Vanitas). This is also how Vanitas no Carte establishes a part of vampire lore well, too: the sexual aspect of feeding on blood. So, it’s no wonder that we get moments like that, it’s a sexy genre by definition.
With Roland Fortis in the game, and the introduction of The Chasseurs we get a glimpse into the forces at play. It’s not just vampires versus humans because vampires are stronger and blood-thirsty. There are fractions among humans devoted to taking vampires down, the Chasseurs, and vampires affected by the Charlatan who cannot control their bloodthirst.
There is also August Ruthven, the cruel and strong member of the upper vampire class, who supposedly acts to the vampire Queen’s benefit, but who has a shady connection to the Charlatan. We often end up dazzled by the beautiful surroundings and the character chemistry, and we admit that we’ve been missing clues! So, by the end of the season, we were shocked to learn more about Vanitas’ painful past, and we're left with many questions!
We’ve got to be patient to learn what’s going on with August Ruthven, what kind of pact he formed with Noe, and what the future holds for Vanitas. Until then, let’s rewatch this beautiful, atmospheric yet funny vampire anime, and track all the clues!
What are your theories about the Charlatan, or Vanitas’ goals? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading!