We see Shirase’s intensity that emerges when pursuing a story applied to Kurusu. He was an unofficially adopted son in Shirase’s family. When he leaves for war and personal independence, Shirase with her will (and foot) of steel insists he must return alive. Of course, as a vampire, that isn’t too hard for him. She treats him as an old friend and doesn’t realize her feelings may (or may not) be something deeper than that-although the neighbors have different expectations. When Shirase meets Misaki, it was a nice touch that Shirase’s admiration extends to her clothing. Prior to encountering Misaki, she wears all blue and afterwards, she wears reddish-pink clothing-similar to Misaki.
A woman as determined as Shirase, Misaki flits in and out of this series like the apparition that she is to Maeda. I liked Misaki’s character-strongly independent in pursuing acting and living outside her family home at a time when women were encouraged to be homemakers. It is telling of her character that she auditions for the role of the strong-willed Salome rather than the gentle Juliet. Both plays end in tragedy, but Salome is the driving force, determined to get what she wants at any cost, while Juliet is swept along by tides of fate and family.
Off-stage, the role of homemaker was in Misaki’s future with an arranged engagement to Maeda, whose letters appeal to her romantic sensibilities. Misaki is in love with the sensation of romance more than with the man himself, whose emotionally repressed nature is not that of the dashing lover she imagines him to be from his letters. If Misaki had lived on to marry Maeda, she still would have died- but in a different sense. Her free-spirited nature no doubt would have been killed by the constrictions of having to fulfill the expectations of being a traditional wife.
I was initially surprised that Nakajima allowed her to pursue acting. As an official, I expected him to get on board with the “good mother good wife” ideal the government encouraged at that time. Looking closer, this may have been intentional. Nakajima with ties to the British vampires had to be aware that his daughter was acting in the same company as Defrott. Nakajima even used one of his government connections to place her in the same theater. This would give him more privacy to conduct business at home and allow Defrott to keep an eye on her, to take quick action if she found out about the vampires.
Up until this point, we saw Defrott from Code Zero’s point of view-a dangerous vampire involved secret transactions. This time, we see Defrott from Misaki’s point of view-a gifted actor who begrudgingly helps her and wards off all attempts at feeding him. (As a side note, the dessert featured throughout this episode, Siberia cake, was in vogue during this time, but fell out of fashion in later eras). Defrott cared at least enough about Misaki to remember her dream of performing for her fiancé when he turned her into a vampire so she can perform for Maeda. Although it is debatable if turning her into a vampire really was a kindness, given how that turned out for her.
It seems Defrott is keen on harmonious relationships between humans and vampires based on his interactions with Misaki and Shirase and his distaste for bloodshed. I am curious why he collaborates with Nakajima who is not taking a peaceful approach. It could be that Nakajima promised something different from what actually happened and this is Defrott’s turning point. Or, Defrott sides with whomever he chooses whenever he wants, as long as is convenient. Another possibility is that he initially was more violent and used acting as a cover for his activities. Then, after Misaki showed him continual kindness, he softened. In the aftermath of the earthquake, Defrott urges Misaki’s fiancé to live and to that end, is ready to turn him into a vampire. It is a twist of fate that Maeda must take the hand of the one who turned his fiancée into a vampire, but now, he understands Nakajima is behind Misaki’s death. Will Defrott and Maeda team up to bring peace from Nakajima’s take-over or will Defrott continue to act independently as he sees fit?