「Mal d’amour―不治の病―」 (Maru Damūru―Fuji no Yamai―)
“The Incurable Disease”
Poor lovesick Vanitas-his utter bewilderment followed by complete horror of his “condition” cracked me up. For someone who is quite good at pinpointing and manipulating the weak points of others, he has no clue as to his own emotions. The dude was like an awkward middle schooler-he even sat down with the detested Roland and used the old “I have a friend” line to get the scoop on romance. I must say, this is a completely new side of Vanitas. It’s almost as if he and Noe have traded places-Vanitas now has the wide-eyed look of joy and innocence and Noe has the look of a hardened man.
Not all is fun and games for Vanitas-he can’t love himself enough to comprehend how someone else can love him and therein lies his anguish-feeling something for another that he cannot feel for himself. Love means making yourself vulnerable to the other person-something Vanitas has a hard time doing. Or perhaps more than being unable to do it, he is unwilling to do it- to expose the darkest corners of his heart. Asking someone to accept him is a scary concept for someone who cannot accept himself.
An even greater danger is that Vanitas has now given any enemies a bargaining chip to use against him. It’s far easier to laugh in the face of your enemies if you have no-one or nothing to lose, than when you have found the love of your life that you then risk losing at their hands. It’s so obvious he’s head over heels for her and even exposes himself to Olivier and Roland. There’s no way Ruthven and company won’t get wind of it (especially with Luca and Domi knowing Jeanne’s feelings for him) and try to manipulate that for their purposes.
Jeanne for her part, is as passionate in her love as she is in her fighting. Although, whoa girl, put the brakes on a bit! Consummating her passion on the spot?! That confession leaves poor Luca’s head spinning (completely understandable for a young boy who just found out that the object of his first innocent crush is not so innocent nor in so in love with him as he would wish). I just hope she gives Vanitas a chance to catch up with accepting her feelings, rather than pushing him into something he’s not ready for yet. While Vanitas is in disbelief that Jeanne could even love him and wishes for a speedy death to his feelings, Jeanne never once pauses to question whether Vanitas feels the same way for her. It’s quite clear here who is going to take the lead (and indeed, who has already been doing the pursuing) in this romance.
Domi, meanwhile, is the polar-opposite of Jeanne, preferring the discreet courtship method of letters. I feel bad for Domi, deeply in love with a man who only sees her as the childhood friend. I can already see her jealousy becoming a wedge between her and Jeanne. Jeanne has the happiness and lack of concern in her feelings that Domi with her one-way romance can only ever dream of. To make things worse, in Domi’s mind, Jeanne has the coveted heart of Noe (although I don’t really get the sense that Noe actually has feelings for Jeanne).
Jeanne and Vanitas’ romance is not the only headline-Domi’s string of serial murders opens up the new story arc. Right from the beginning, it was obvious from the silhouette that Domi was the culprit of a recent string of murders in the dark Parisian alleys. But is she the true criminal? It appears as if she is being manipulated by the as yet unnamed boy who appeared in Vanitas’ memories (although MAL lists him as “Mikhail”).
While somethings are definitely an incredulous coincidence (namely, Vanitas running into Roland in the vast, populated Paris), Mikhail showing up in Vanitas’ neighborhood right after the astermite spreads further through his body is no coincidence. He strikes me as a vulture diving in to take advantage of a vulnerable creature’s dying moments. While Vanitas may not get the cure to his lovesickness, some good, bloody drama with his childhood friend (or perhaps acquaintance is more like it) will be just the thing to get his mind off his predicament.