This arc is such a mess, it’s not even funny. The pacing for this arc has been incredibly poor and things just keep going from one thing to another without a proper transition. Like I’ve been saying, it just feels like things happen for the sake of happening without any coherent sense flow-wise. It really annoys me how they decided to rearrange the events since there were two moments in there that I really liked, but I don’t think they should have been in the same episode since they don’t particularly have much to do with each other. Which ends up making this episode feel cluttered and choppy.

Now this is one of the bigger reasons why I really like Vanitas/Jeanne. As a Bourreau, Jeanne was never allowed to really think about her wants. She was always forced to carry out her orders no matter what they were and had to bury her wants for the sake of making up for the “sins” of her parents. Jeanne is naturally a very caring individual and the fact that she is forced to set aside her feelings is heartbreaking. She’s desperately afraid of losing more people around her that she would stifle her wants and wishes to protect them. Despite Vanitas’… less than acceptable first impression on her, he actually asks her what SHE wants. He challenges her Bourreau mindset, trying to get her to think about herself more and what she wants. It’s almost as if trying to bring back her “humanity” in a sense. Even back in the cabin, he asked her if killing Chloe was really what she wanted. He treats her as a person rather than the tool Jeanne believes herself to be. And I think that’s beautiful.

I especially love the symbolism of the scene where Jeanne is just trapped in a colorless void. She’s feels trapped by her circumstances and it isn’t until Vanitas enters, he brings color and light into the darkness. And it hits me right in the heart when the darkness shatters, allowing bright colors and light to shine through once Jeanne asks for help, finally voicing what she wants. My Vanitas/Jeanne shipping heart was fed well with just that scene because UGH it was probably one of the most tender moments they had so far that doesn’t have any… weird precedents that they usually have. With Jeanne breaking down and showing her genuine feelings and Vanitas patting her head in comfort. That final moment between them just felt incredibly soft and I live for it.

Though I am a bit peeved that they didn’t use these lines back when Vanitas promised he’d kill Jeanne if she ever lost herself. The fact that he repeats the same lines he said back when he first made that promised cements the fact that he’s going to help her no matter what. Which is most definitely got from Noe.

It’s honestly really hard not to feel bad for Astolfo. Like Jeanne, he was a kind little boy with a kind heart, only to lose his family in a blink of an eye in one of the most tragic way possible. I can’t even blame him for his hatred towards vampires. He was legit a sweet kid back then who didn’t want to harm others despite coming from a vampire killing family. Even helping an injured vampire child when he saw that he was hurt. He’s probably the human equivalent of Ruthven as he initially believed that not all vampires were evil and that they could live together with humans peacefully. Unfortunately, just like Ruthven, that view was immediately shattered when the vampire child essentially stabbed him in the back by bringing a bunch of vampires to his estate and slaughtering his family.

It’s an unfortunate thing that kindness doesn’t always get you the best outcome. In Astolfo’s case, it cost him his entire family and that’s just heartbreaking. And while the fact that he comes from a family of vampire hunters doesn’t help the situation, it’s still sad to see him go from this caring little boy to the broken psychopath that he is now. Especially when he gave vampires a chance and was rewarded with betrayal. He didn’t deserve what happened to him. Just like in Attack on Titan, it’s all a terrible cycle where hatred just brews more hatred. Thus creating the terribly cruel and ruthless person Astolfo is today. I don’t support Astolfo’s actions, but I feel extremely bad for his circumstances and seeing how mentally and emotionally broken he is now. He’s not someone that can be reasoned with like Roland. After what he’s been through, I can imagine that he has forever closed off his heart to even the notion of there being good vampires in the world.

And despite how great that first scene was… the rest of the episode felt haphazardly stitched together. They started the episode off with a powerful Vanitas/Jeanne moment… and then they suddenly go a different direction to tell us Astolfo’s backstory. It didn’t really match the moment of the initial scene narrative-wise or mood-wise. Which is probably because this flashback wasn’t SUPPOSED to be here. It was supposed to show up earlier when Astolfo and Noe started fighting. I felt like was thrown through a loop as my reaction was: Wait, we’re getting this now????

There was also the problem of certain scenes not making much sense time-wise. Like when Astolfo picked himself up and started towards Noe, it took him like 4 minutes of the episode to get over there… despite them being in the same room and Noe and the others having time to do quite a few things… which was really weird. You cannot convince me that it took him that much time to get over there and they did not notice him until it was too late. Even if their attention was elsewhere, that is an open spaced room, he could not have snuck up on them like that.

The third part of the episode had to do with Jean-Jaques and Chloe’s relationship and not going to lie… how the anime set up their relationship, it kind of killed the intrigue for me. I understand that they are the only ones who would stand by each other’s side, but I just don’t feel convinced by how it was portrayed. They cut out so many instances of just how and why they’re so close. We got the gist of it, but nothing that makes me go beyond “Oh, okay.” It’s a shame since I feel like it could have been much more hard hitting if we had gotten to know them and their relationship more. Especially with how Chloe was planning on dying once she completed her plans. Even going as far as to make those animatronics that would kill her and named it after her past family members. (Which inserted a level of even more heartbreak if we actually got to see her interactions with them in the first place)

This episode was a mixed bag for me. On one hand, there were a couple scenes that I did like. Such as the emotional moment between Vanitas and Jeanne and seeing Astolfo’s backstory. But on the other, it felt like this episode tried to stuff too many things, making it feel rushed and cluttered. Though I suppose that this complaint isn’t anything new. I’m just frustrated because I feel like certain emotional and plot moments do hit, but then everything else is just thrown in as well on top of it. I’d like to think this arc will take another two eps to wrap up, but with how fast they’re going, they may just wrap this arc up next episode. And don’t get me started on the animation this episode. I could tell that they were definitely not putting their all into it during the fight with Noe and Astolfo. Maybe they’re saving it for the next ep, but who knows.


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