「Serment-誓約-」 (Serumento-Seiyaku-)

In a ranking of best violinist (of the human heart), Vanitas comes in first place- but Ruthven is close behind. He certainly knows how to play Noé’s heartstrings to elicit blushes and interest at the right times.

He is smart about showing his true colors-capturing Noé’s time and body when Vanitas is not around. The whole situation with Ruthven highlights how important Vanitas’ mastermind is to his and Noé’s team. As manipulative as Vanitas can be and as much as that frustrates Noé, it also protects him because Vanitas is able to see through (most) ruses. Without Vanitas there to understand the nasty side of humans and vampires, it leaves the naïve Noé defenseless towards emotional deception. I knew Ruthven had something nasty up his sleeve, but he took it to a whole other level of despicable, preying upon Noé, drugs and all.

I don’t know how much of Ruthven’s story is true. The tragedy of his students’ deaths and his resemblance to Noé’s own teacher tugs plays so perfectly to this impressionable young man’s compassion and desire for a new master to fill the hole his Teacher left, that it wouldn’t surprise me if Ruthven made it up. On the other hand (or the other fang, given this is about vampires), it would not be surprising if it was all true because contention over the students’ deaths would explain the friction between Ruthven and Noé’s teacher.

It would also make sense if that friction was rooted in contrasting views on education of the young and the purpose for it. Ruthven’s adamancy that humans and vampires are mortal enemies clashes with the open-mindedness the Teacher passed on to his pupil. Given his views on that subject, I suspect that Ruthven may have been training students as anti-human fighters.

I found it significant that upon being asked his stance on vampires vs. humans, Noé answers that he sees no difference-the same answer as Vanitas. In typical Noé fashion, his is the positive perspective that he likes them both. As opposed to Vanitas’ pessimistic perspective that both humans and vampires are monsters. The pair really are two sides of the same coin.

Jeanne, amusingly, is hoisted by her own petard- right into the typical shoujo (or any romance-genre) trap of falling for the very person you claim to hate. Intuition tells me that Vanitas probably knew Jeanne’s intention right from the start and purposefully acted the dashing gentleman to sway her heart for his amusement. If the passion is as strong as Jeanne’s, it probably doesn’t (and indeed didn’t) take much effort to move it from hate to love.

This wasn’t purely a pleasure trip for Vanitas-he probably also intended from the beginning to soften Jeanne up so he could get some leads on Charlatan and the possible curse Jeanne carries. Unfortunately, another vampire’s power seals Jeanne’s lips on this matter and curiously, the perpetrator’s silhouette looks a bit like Ruthven. If that is the case, then Noé may soon be in the same boat as Jeanne. With Vanitas’ previously confided interest in Jeanne, I hope that some part of Vanitas does genuinely care for her and it is not all a disguise. I have never seen him so gentle before, the way he comforted Jeanne as she worried over her future and he certainly enjoyed offering himself to Jeanne (although some of that may have been the aphrodisiac these vampires emit). One thing is for sure-Vanitas is complicated.



  1. A sweet, endearing and sometimes comical episode for the most part, until it took a hard, dark left turn towards the end.

    It was a forgone conclusion that Jeanne’s attempts at severing ties with Vanitas would backfire. But seeing it actually unfold was far more spectacular than expected. What made easy to see that her plan was doomed from the start was that the exposition showed that aside from being at Luca’s side as his guard, this was Jeanne’s first full blown exposure to kindness and affection. Which suggests that the entirety of her life so far has been nothing but harsh discipline and servitude. Therefore, why she’s easily overwhelmed by a simple outing with someone she has no obligations to.

    Ruthven raised red flags last episode with that post credit scene, but now he’s really getting under my skin. I can’t bring myself to quickly write him off as a bastard based on the backstory he gave about him having students that he lost. Assuming any of it is true, anyway. So, whatever he’s up to better have a valid reason for all the chaos that’s been ensuing. That he’s keeping his own nephew Luca in the dark insinuates it’s something really out of bounds. Aside from that, Noé’s childish naïveté stopping him from reading his surrounding and the moods of whoever he interacts with is as frustrating as ever.

    There’s really no need guessing who’s responsible for putting Jeanne under a gag order when you recall the dialog of past episodes. Remember who she belonged to before becoming Luca’s knight. In the second episode when Vanitas and Noé met Jeanne and Luca for the first time, before arming herself with her Crimson Gauntlet and subsequently attacked them, Vanitas outright told Noé that she’s Ruthven’s bourreau (which is French for “executioner”). It wouldn’t be a surprise if she was gagged by Ruthven as an insurance policy not to reveal anything she shouldn’t and I’d bet a hundred dollars it’s the same method he just applied on Noé.

    1. Ruthven’s shadiness will really put Luca in a tough position-I imagine it will be devastating for him when he finds out the truth. I suspect Luca knows something is going on, what with his his involvement with the Queen. He just doesn’t know what yet. Eventually he’ll get old enough to hopefully piece things together, especially if Jeanne, Vanitas, and Noé figure it out.

      Jeanne’s past does make total sense of why she would fall so easily for any kindness shown to her. Also, I think it’s just typical in the romance genre to have any sort of romantic feeling start out as annoyance.

      I had completely forgotten that Vanitas said she was Ruthven’s bourreau. That being the case, it explains how she became Luca’s knight in the first place and of course, the literal gag order.

      Princess Usagi
  2. That was a great episode. But sometimes I wished there were no BGM :/ Even though I generally like Kajiuras OSTs, this one is really jarring…

    It was a good choice to combine those two chapters, Noés and Vanitas‘.


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