「Canorus−雪の花−」 (Kanorusu−Yuki no Hana−)
As Vanitas notes-all ends on a false note of security. Jacques-Jean and Chloe get their happy ending together and Jeanne breaks out of her rut. Except something is off. Ruthven’s brainwashing which seemed iron-clad, is thrown off by Jeanne and Vanitas and the relentless Chasseurs pack up and leave Gevaudan Both parties seemingly forgetting to bring home Chloe’s head. Things obviously aren’t going to end here.
The question is-where do they go from here? Chloe and Jacques-Jean no longer have the power to fight off enemies and there’s only so long they can be on the run with both the Chasseurs and Borreaus after them. As for Jeanne-she is the loyal, earnest type who won’t run away from her duty to Luca, which means going back to the hell of punishment at the hands of Ruthven. She knows what she faces by going back-her outpouring of tender passion for Vanitas and reminder of his promise almost seems like a farewell.
Is this the beginning of Vanitas’ own farewell? He overexerted himself using immense amounts of astermite power to drive the World Formula Alteration machine, attempting to cure Chloe, and healing Jacques-Jean. The blue mark on his hand spread extensively-whatever happens when it spreads too much is probably bad news.
From the way Vanitas is so set on revenge against the vampire Vanitas, I was expecting a total asshole. Yet, the picture we get of the vampire Vanitas (I’m assuming that’s who the hooded figure in the flashback was) is anything but. Vanitas Sr. actually seemed to care for young Vanitas. Something must have gone down after that flashback occurred to warrant Vanitas Jr.’s sentiments. If I had to guess, it probably had something to do with that other boy in his memories.
I was confused as to why they focused so much on Astolfo when he didn’t add anything other than another road-block. After going back to previous episodes, I remembered the two are in the same boat-Vanitas’ parents too were killed by vampires and he also was taken in by the Chasseurs. The biggest difference is what happened to them after that-Vanitas was used for research and Astolfo was trained as a weapon. Vanitas broadly sees both humans and vampires at fault because he suffered at the hands of both and as a research subject, escaped indoctrination by the church. Would Vanitas have followed a trajectory of hatred and anti-vampirism similar to Astolfo, had he become a Chasseur? Astolfo’s character gives pause for thought on what Vanitas could have been and what would not have been (namely Vanitas’ friendships with Noe and Jeanne).
Jeanne as the sweet, loving girl overcomes the fearful, trapped woman inside. I was rooting for her the whole time and was so glad she could do what she couldn’t do the first time in saving Chloe. And sort of confess to Vanitas to boot (actions do speak louder than words). That was an incredibly beautiful scene, with the flowers softly falling and each party involved realizing their feelings without needing words. Vanitas even did the most un-Vanitas thing and broke down in tears after realizing Jeanne had broken through his defensive walls (well, some of them at least).
I am beginning to question Vanitas’ nature. He went from being terribly cynical and self-serving to being so gentle with Jeanne and even encouraging Noe to follow his own sense of justice. He’s obviously changed through interactions with genuinely kind people like Jeanne and Noe, but it’s almost like he’s a completely different character. He is even allowing himself to remember his past-this is the first time we’ve encountered his past through a personal flashback rather than him giving a matter-of-fact account through 3rd person narration. Don’t get me wrong, I like that he’s opening up-but at the same time, to go from 0 all the way to 100 almost seems contrived.
Vanitas is not the only one who has changed. Noe has become more assertive thanks to Vanitas’ urging- willing to seriously fight against another person. As opposed to previously where Noe would hesitate against an opponent, caught up in empathy. I am getting an increasing sense of Noe becoming isolated. During Vanitas’ emotional moment and then when Jean-Jacques and Chloe chose each other over their curses, it Noe was in a daze-like an outsider looking in on something he can’t quite grasp. (Although losing your hand and a lot of blood with it would also have that effect.) Vanitas and Jeanne have found each other and are driven by their personal motives (revenge and protector, respectively). Jean-Jacques and Chloe have each other and are willing to fight for that. They all have a purpose that drives them, whereas Noe seems lacks that-he goes where life takes him, without any clear end-goal to fight for. It will be interesting to see if this divide becomes even greater or if Noe finally finds purpose beyond mere curiosity in his journey.