「Rencontre―蒼の夜―」 (Rankōntoru―Ao no Yoru―)
“Blue Night”

I find Dr. Moreau quite boring as the stereotypical mad scientist who pursues knowledge at the cost of anything. Nothing more, nothing less-they needed someone to fill that pair of worn-out shoes and so voila- you have Dr. Moreau. It was pretty cruel of him to inject Vanitas and Mikhail (or Misha, as he prefers) with vampire blood, (presumably) knowing the children’s trauma with vampires.

The burning question of the day is-how did they obtain samples of Vampire Vanitas’ (Park Romi) blood and their tomes? Vampire Vanitas’ statement “This wouldn’t have happened if not for me” could either refer to destroying the lab or intentionally or unintentionally supplying the blood. Something tells me Vampire Vanitas knowingly supplied their blood and books until the humans went too far with their research. With Vampire Vanitas’ reputation, I doubt they would let their guard down enough for a crazy scientist to nab their possessions. Why would they do such a thing? Perhaps out of curiosity to see how far the foolish humans would get. In spite of their ethereally aloof attitude, Vampire Vanitas assumes responsibility, taking the two orphaned boys under their wing.

We are finally privy to some of Vanitas’ past. In an escapade typical of a classic romance novel, his wealthy father runs off with a circus girl. Unfortunately, human life is fleeting and Human Vanitas’ mother died in childbirth and his father perished defending him from vampires. Heartbreakingly, Vanitas cannot conceive a parent’s love, bewildered that his father would die for him. His father must have loved him to some extent, remaining with Vanitas in the circus troupe in spite of the father’s hatred of the circus members. Perhaps the circus troupe were the ones to blame Vanitas for his mother’s death, leading to internalization of guilt.

Vanitas kindly acts as the older-brother type for Mikhail, even offering himself to take Mikhail’s place in Moreau’s experimentation. Vanitas’ intent to save rather than kill vampires revealed a hidden kindness that shone forth in looking out for Mikhail as a teenager. I wonder how much of it though is due to genuine kindness or as repentance for what he perceives as the sin of “killing” his parents (although in truth, he is obviously not to blame). His belief that his parents died because of him certainly explains his deep self-loathing.

Intriguingly, Mikhail remembers and continues to go by his name before he became number 71, however, Human Vanitas never once mentions his name before becoming number 69. It makes sense that hating himself for “causing” his parents’ death would cause him to abandon his name and take on the name of someone he hates (Vampire Vanitas) as punishment.

To quote Atticus Finch, “You never really understand a person until you climb into his skin and walk around it.” Or in the case of Vanitas, until you absorb their blood. In a mature way, Vanitas comes to understand the suffering vampires go through and cease hating them after living through the shared horror of being Dr. Moreau’s lab rat. While the human (and vampire) mind may draw clear distinctions between the races, the steel syringe does not. Teen Vanitas’ declaration that humans are the true monsters pretty much echoes earlier remarks from him on how humans and vampires are equally horrible.

Like it or not, vampires are the underlying destiny of the two “brothers”. Vanitas and Mikhail met because of vampires and subsequently parted because of them. Mikhail had no qualms taking Vampire Vanitas up on the offer to become a vampire to save his waning life. Vanitas thinks otherwise, insisting he remain human to the end-even if it kills him. I would assume that was the beginning of their rift, but we don’t get to see the rest (yet, at least), courtesy of Vanitas’ interruption. Now that the brotherly pair have met for the first time in who knows how long, it looks like astermite sparks will fly and tomes will clash-but who will have the winning hand?



  1. I already knew Vanitas’ past would obviously be tragic, but it was far harsher than expected. I’m not going to lie, the parts of the episode involving Moreau were hard to digest. In all honesty, I found myself seething a bit. And I also agree with Vanitas’ statement about humans being monstrous because that’s ultimately the result if humans were left free of any kind of regulations. Human nature is generally ugly and simply held back by a leash in the form of society’s laws and structures. Most disturbing is that people with Moreau’s callousness can actually exist in the real world.

    On how Moreau got samples of Blue Vampire blood and the two books, I’d place bets on them being part of a previously made deal that inevitably went south for obvious reasons and humans being the cause of it. That the Blue Moon vampire was able to find the lab at all in order to destroy it likely meant that a certain amount of information was exchanged.

    But now with part of Vanitas’ past revealed and insight into his mindset from years past, I’m really curious to see how he presses on as both his past and present self are clashing. Because not only has his actions thus far in helping vampires gone against the mentality and statements of his younger self, mainly his declaration to stay human until the end instead of becoming a member of the Blue Moon Clan, he’s gone as far to actually falling in love with a vampire in Jeanne. Establishing that there’s a possibility for a person to change based on their circumstances.

  2. As I originally thought, given the anime’s pacing, it’s reached the 9th volume’s manga material before said volume has even been released to the public by the English publisher “Yen Press”. This episode’s title is chapter 48 of the 9th volume. And since there’s currently a total of 55 chapters available, I’d imagine the anime ends covering the next three to four chapters for a cliffhanger ending. The drawback is that after this, it will take a long time for enough material to be created in order for another season to be made. Author Jun Mochizuki apparently works in a different way compared to her colleagues.

    Allow me a few examples of difference in terms of vampire manga:

    The Case Study of Vanitas (Vanitas no Karte) by Jun Mochizuki, which just got an anime adaptation, began on December 22nd, 2015 and has a current count of 55 chapters.

    Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign (Owari no Seraph) by Takaya Kagami, which got a split cour anime adaptation in 2015, began on September 4th, 2012 with a current count of 112 chapters.

    Call of the Night (Yofukashi no Uta) by “Dagashi Kashi” author Kotoyama, which is getting an anime adaptation in July 2022, began on August 28th, 2019 with, judging by the raws, a current count of 119 chapters.

  3. Here’s a bit of information on how “The Case Study of Vanitas (Vanitas no Karte)” came to be. Author Jun Mochizuki got the idea for the story during her trip to France. Paris was the first place she ever visited outside of Japan, which highly impressed her. One of her influences to draw a vampire story was the 1994 movie “Interview with the Vampire” which was based on the novel by Anne Rice. When she watched it, she was captivated by the tragic and fleeting existence of vampires, as well as the blood sucking scenes. The creation of Vanitas and Noé were inspired by Holmes and Watson.

    1. I would agree that Vanitas has changed a lot, opening his heart to Noe and (especially) Jeanne. Even Vampire Vanitas predicted that he would change when he met someone capable of helping him do so.

      From what you say, it certainly is apparent that Mochizuki-sensei takes her time writing her stories, which I would say can be a good thing (although it makes the cliff-hangers that much harder).

      The backstory behind the origin of Vanitas no Karte is interesting and I can definitely see the connections between each of those threads in the story. Now that you mention it, Vanitas and Noe are very much like the logician and physician combo of Holmes and Watson.

      Princess Usagi

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