Shadow’s First Impression

I wasn’t really planning on blogging about this series, but here I am anyways. When watching the first season, I was pretty hyped about watching it. Though after taking some time and thinking about it, the pacing and plot is kind of a mess lol. It always feels like things are kind of happening at random without a particular direction. There are definitely things happening, but it doesn’t feel like they flow together smoothly. This episode basically accentuated these problems with how fast it went while ramming an obscene amount of content in one episode.

We basically start off where we left off with Noe and Vanitas heading off to Gévaudan to deal with a beast that has been terrorizing the area. The first part of the episode was very laid back, which absolutely gave me whiplash when suddenly things go from 0 to 100 in a blink of an eye. Not to mention the sequence of events felt really weird. Everything was fine and dandy and all of a sudden CHAOS. The change felt way too drastic and everything afterwards felt like things were just happening.

The beast is pretty terrifying. Especially when it introduces itself right next to Vanitas to show the contrast in scale. Literally a thing out of a nightmare. There’s always something about large creatures just appearing beside you and all you can see is its eye at first. Or I guess in this case eyes. I’m not sure if Vanitas thought the whole plan through with how they were going to defeat this thing. Especially with how massive this monster is. But things start getting complicated when best girl Jeanne makes her appearance. Despite Jeanne swooping in to save her princess Vanitas, they are on two very different agendas with Jeanne wanting to kill the beast while Vanitas wants to save it.

However, another problem arises with the introduction of Astolfo who is also a Chasseur Paladin. Not gonna lie, him appearing so soon after his teaser at the train station felt mildly jarring. Though that probably has to do with things jumping from one point to another rather suddenly. Despite how sudden his appearance was, as a character, he does intrigue me a bit. While he may be a terrifying psychopath, they do seem to hint at there being a reason as to why he’s like this. Especially when Vanitas apparently quite a bit about him and exploited those facts to get under his skin. Though I can’t go too much into detail due to spoilers. But he does make for a good foil for Noe who wants to protect both humans and vampires while Astolfo couldn’t care less who he kills. There goes Murase Ayumu voicing yet another psychopath lol.

But that’s not the end to the chaos. Naena makes another appearance with her weird Charlatan dream sequence she brings into the real world. Which…. okay? It ends up showing hints to both Jeanne and Astolfo’s backstories as whatever they saw deeply affected their mental and emotional states. Where Astolfo went on a blind rampage, Jeanne nearly broke down. And everything ends with Vanitas losing control of his grimoire when Astolfo breaks the chain that connects him to it, which… wipes everything out? I’m actually not sure what it does as everything just sort of fades and the next thing we see is someone picking up the grimoire and a small girl named Chloe looking down at an unconscious Noe.

Not gonna lie, I feel like way too much happened in this episode. I even went back to check how many chapters were in this episode and they shoved three freaking chapters into this episode. Not only that, but these chapters are updated monthly so… yeah. They shoved so much into one episode and it showed with the pacing. Not to mention one of Vanitas’ problems in the plot and pacing development is that things just feel like they happen for the sake of happening. Like it feels like they want to be episodic while also having an overarching plot happening, but it’s just very clumsily done. Which is a shame because the premise is really interesting… it’s just really messy in how they’re choosing to tell the story.

So many things happened and just kept happening that it didn’t really allow us to take a moment to breathe and really ruminate on what happened. Everything was just rapid fire pace and I felt like I could hardly get my thoughts straight on what to think on. Which is definitely a shame since there were some intriguing character moments. Specifically with Astolfo and Jeanne. Both of them are carrying out their duties even if it means going against Vanitas’ little crew. Though the main difference between them is that Astolfo seems to be going off and doing things his own way without it really relating to his mission. And then Jeanne’s connection to Chloe who is supposedly the beast.

In any case, I’m not sure if I’ll be covering this since this mostly feels like a strictly watch and enjoy rather than talking about it kind of series due to it being rather messy. But I’ll give it a couple more eps unless the second episode’s pacing is abysmal and I just want to stop the coverage. Glad to be able to watch Vanitas again but… it could have been handled a bit better…

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A passionate yet somewhat awkward individual who just wants to talk about anime