「Après la pluie―彼の願い―」 (Apure Ra Puryui―Kare no Negai―)
This episode was almost as if the previous episode had never happened. Everyone made up and are all buddies again (well maybe except for the jealous Mikhail). Based on the last episode, I was actually expecting Vanitas and Noe’s partnership to be over, ushering in a cliffhanger for another arc focused on the two as archenemies. It would certainly have been a plot twist, but based on the taste we got last episode, wouldn’t have gotten very far since Noe, the more physically powerful of the two, is not a killer.
This point about Noe makes it intriguing that Vanitas chose Noe to be his executioner when he reaches the end of his metaphorical chain. While it would be messed up to make your kid brother do the job (especially if the job brings such joy to said little brother), Noe still lacks the resolve to actually kill. Not to mention, Noe has the trauma from Louis’ death and posthumous request to kill him. Yet, Noe is kind, so he wouldn’t let Vanitas suffer the fate of inhumanity and Vanitas clearly respects him enough to entrust himself to Noe.
Mikhail confirms what has been my growing suspicion that Vanitas’ time is limited to how much he uses the tome. You can’t have too much of a good thing-there is always a caveat. In the case of the tome, every time Vanitas heals someone, he becomes a little less himself, until eventually, he will reach the point of being his worst nightmare-a non-human. He won’t even be a vampire, he will be an out of control creature (which Mikhail previews for us). It certainly spells out the tragic end awaiting Vanitas. While I am excited to see more of this story, I also don’t want to see Vanitas’ story end tragically.
I love how they incorporated the sense of a ticking time bomb into Vanitas’ character design. They kept zooming in on Vanitas’ earrings, until I finally figured out that they must be a timer for the number of book uses left before becoming inhuman. A very creative wardrobe choice (although I don’t know that I would want to wear something that reminds me how much time I have left). From the looks of it, he has about half of his time remaining, but that doesn’t say much about whether that is a span of weeks, months, or years-depending on how much he uses that tome.
Knowing Vanitas, he will stop at nothing, even his life, if it means rescuing a curse so I imagine his end will come sooner rather than later. True to his nature of pretending not to care, Vanitas claims that he only saves vampires as revenge and uses the curses as a way to find the culprit who stole Vampire Vanitas’ name. I’m not sure how curing the curses will lead him to the culprit, unless they leave some sort of fingerprint in the formula after altering it.
Of note, is the information that Vampire Vanitas was killed by Human Vanitas after they transformed upon having their name stolen. Clearly we’re not done with Naenia yet. Ruthven and the Chasseurs have been largely absent this arc, but if Vanitas keeps pursuing Naenia and curse-bearers I imagine they will also be just around the corner.
The Teacher showing up to collect Mikhail was an unexpected turn of events. From the glimpses we got of him in Noe’s flashbacks, he came off as a kind, open-minded vampire. What we see of him here is a cunning, sinister guy who is maybe too open-minded (at least about resurrecting the dead Vampire Vanitas). Mikhail is basically in the same shoes as Noe now, having been rescued by the Teacher. The Teacher certainly doesn’t seem up to any good (trying to resurrect someone who’s name has been distorted screams for trouble). This contrasts sharply with the image I had of him from Domi and Noe as the kind eccentric. I guess he isn’t called the Shapeless One for nothing-shapelessness also includes morality alignment.
The finale (in true Vanitas no Karte fashion) came off as having split personalities, one half epic battles with our gang against Mikhail’s vampires in the first part and the laid-back bonding between Vanitas and Noe with some mystery via the Teacher thrown in the second half. I feel like that middle part with the theme song and shots of background scenes was filler since they are coming to the end of what is currently available of the source material. Even if the tone was a bit inconsistent, it still did the job of wrapping up the season and getting me pumped for a continuation of the story (even if I have to settle for it in manga form only).
The series did an amazing job of deepening the characters and the plot. It keeps leading to new, interesting directions, from the mystery of Chloe, to the fight with Mikhail, and now whatever is up with the Teacher. They ended it in such a way that it would suffice if they didn’t continue the anime (Vanitas and Noe making up their friendship is a nice ending), but still leaves enough of a cliff hanger with the Teacher for a potential second season. I have no idea if they will make another anime and if they do, it might be eons (or at least feel like it) before enough material is written for it (unless they go with anime original scripting). I hope they continue this on the anime front-I thoroughly enjoyed how the voice acting, music, and visuals brought the story to life and is certainly worth continuing!