Ai KayanoAkira IshidaKoji YusaKengo Kawanishi
The Case Study of Vanitas: Season 1
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2021: C
Also known as: Vanitas no Carte: Season 1
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2021
Director: Tomoyuki Itamura
Writer: Deko Akao
Original creator: Jun Mochizuki
Actor: Ai Kayano, Akira Ishida, Ayumu Murase, Inori Minase, Kaito Ishikawa, Kengo Kawanishi, Koji Yusa, Miyu Komaki, Natsuki Hanae, Riho Kuma, Shino Shimoji, Taro Kiuchi, Tomoaki Maeno, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Yoko Hikasa
Keywords: historical, vampires, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Website category: Anime 2021
Review date: 23 February 2023
case study vanitas
I liked the first episode. I was initially interested by how things unfolded, but about halfway through the season I started getting bored. By the end, it felt silly and dull. I won't watch the second season.
It's a lavishly animated vampire period costume drama, set in Paris in 1889. There's a silly, rude, smug, overbearing human called Vanitas who dresses like a circus tent and has sworn to save all vampires, whether they like it or not. He'll acquire a vampire friend called Noe, who's polite, enthusiastic, easily distracted and very likeable. These two will...
...uh, not actually do anything that interesting.
There's a "curse" that turns vampires into, well, vampires. (This show's vampires eat normal food, can be seen in mirrors, go out during the day, etc. Oh, piss off. But there's also lots of blood-drinking, sometimes because it's sexy and sometimes because those cursed vampires are homicidal.) Anyway, our heroes hunt curse-bearers. Then, they hunt curse-bearers. After which, they hunt curse-bearers.
There are some Chasseurs, who are vampire-hunters. They're a bit silly, although I did end up liking Roland. Our heroes meet them when going into Paris's catacombs in search of Dr Moreau, who's extremely silly.
The cast is mostly pretty boys who may or may not find each other attractive. (The original manga is by Jun Mochizuki, whose previous famous work, Pandora Heights, has points of similarity.) I'm not the target audience. Female characters aren't absent, but they tend to be or become a love interest of one of the protagonists and they're capable of being silly too. Jeanne's "date" with Vanitas in ep.11 is tiresome. (She hates him and wants to drive him away, so she's pretending to be in love with him as reverse psychology. This is, though, less silly than her mindlessly blurting all this out to his face in ep.12, then realising and saying "whoops".)
Vanitas has hidden tragic depths and there's a lot underneath his loud, arrogant surface, but personally I didn't give a toss about him. He's rude. I can see how he's been designed to appeal to the target audience, though. Noe's okay. Roland's okay. The vampires are twats. I'll admit that this show has intelligent fans who rate it highly and voted it among their favourite anime of the season. Personally, though, it lost me.