As cute and nice as this episode was, I’m still a bit miffed at how much content they took out detailing both Chloe and Astolfo’s stories. Not to mention they really cut corners with this arc and it could have been helpful to have the full 12 episodes to cover it. But what else is new?
I’m definitely pretty bummed that they essentially skimmed the surface of Astolfo’s backstory. Sure they gave us the gist of it, but when you find out that his mom was violated in front of his dad before killing both of them, that was disgusting. Not to mention that this tragedy didn’t happen in just one night, it was spanned over DAYS where Astolfo and his sister were fed on, leaving like 14 marks of possession on Astolfo which is all kinds of horrifying especially with how young Astolfo was at the time. It’s really no wonder why he’s so broken and devoid of the compassion he once had. I was also pretty annoyed how we never had the moment where Vanitas actually tried to ask Astolfo why he hates vampires, which ended up triggering the dude. Usually Noe tries to understand or reasons with others, but he never gave Astolfo that chance in the anime like he did in the manga.
Not to mention that they didn’t even add Astolfo’s staff’s ability to extend beyond its normal reach.
We also get the context of how Roland was the one to save Astolfo from the vampire attack. I can only imagine the sheer amount of relief he went through at that moment but all the while feeling an incredible amount of grief over being the only one to survive. But man, seeing him break down as if he were reliving the moment his family got slaughtered was PAINFUL. We got to see the real Astolfo there for a moment, pleading for Roland to save his sister and berating himself over it being his fault. He desperately needs help and I’m glad that he didn’t end up dying. PTSD, survivor’s guilt… this guy needs so much help and I am a bit sad that he wasn’t “saved” in the end. But considering his circumstances and mindset, there was no one that I think could have saved him. It will take time for Astolfo to get the help he needs and I don’t think Noe currently has it in him to try and befriend him. Not that Astolfo would let him considering his immense distrust towards vampires and Noe having punched him into a wall. I wish the best for the guy.
And then there’s Chloe. I’ve said it before, but man, they completely skipped over really important parts of her circumstances and didn’t really show us why Chloe is so motivated to end her life once she exacts revenge. Sure we were told her reasons… but we weren’t shown so the information feels rather detached. It was a touching moment where she finally breaks free and lands in both Jean and Jeanne’s arms. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the anime did a terrible job in showing us just how deeply this has affected her and her relationships. So while this moment was supposed to be really heartfelt, it just felt a little hollow. Same thing with when Chloe said she wanted to live. Something like that is supposed to hit HARD. Buuuuuut… in the anime, I never felt that much towards Chloe because it felt like I hardly knew her. And that is a gigantic shame because I felt for her so much more in the manga because we actually got to SEE what she went through that lead up to this.
If I am to be honest, I feel like the Vanitas and Jeanne moment this episode just absolutely stole the show. Which is kind of annoying in the fact that this arc was supposed to be about Chloe. But then on the other hand, I can’t deny the fact that I absolutely LOVED this scene in the manga and had been waiting for this scene to be animated upon reading it. Despite how they first started off as enemies, the two have gradually come closer in a sense with Jeanne’s overall view of Vanitas changing into something more positive. I’m sure after their blood sucking rendezvous and their date back in the first part of the season, Jeanne must have developed an attraction to him but nothing really on a deeper level. It isn’t until he helped her save Chloe and helping her break out of her inner darkness that her perspective of him has completely shifted. Not only did she go off to find him when she noticed he was missing, but as soon as she saw him, she ran in and gave him a bear hug. Which was super cute.
And then the freaking blood sucking scene part 3 lol. Out of all their blood sucking moments shown thus far, this one was shown in a more lit up area without any shadows or darkness that accompanied these scenes prior. Not to mention that this was probably the first time it’s happened without Vanitas putting on his typical snarky facade and Jeanne not having any negative feelings whether it be annoyance, frustration or guilt. They were both just their genuine selves in this moment with Vanitas actually showing embarrassment for the first time over it. I also couldn’t help but notice that this was the first time during these types of encounters the two have had that Vanitas actually touched Jeanne with his marked arm. In the past encounters, he would either use his other arm while his marked arm was either dangling on the side or just away from her in general. It’s almost as if he’s become comfortable enough with her to allow this or he’s slowly letting his walls come down. I feel a bit embarrassed over going through and dissecting that scene considering how it was portrayed and all… -\_\-
However, what took the cake was what happened afterwards with Jeanne kissing Vanitas on the cheek. That scene felt so incredibly soft as it seemed to mark the permanent change in their relationship. I absolutely loved the colors that were shown in the lighting with hues that represented them being blue and pink. However, despite it being incredibly sweet, there was also a foreboding feeling behind it with Jeanne going over his promise to kill her if she ever lost herself. Which makes me all sorts of nervous because this is the second time that promise was brought up in this arc especially since we KNOW that Vanitas dies by the end of this. And if this series takes Jeanne away from me, I will not be okay. Especially when we were graced with the most genuine smile we’ve ever seen from her since she was a kid. All the while Vanitas looked as if was absolutely awestruck by it and even made him think back to what the Vampire of the Blue Moon told him about finding someone who he could cuddle up with to keep warm… Which he did earlier with Jeanne in this part of the season. And seeing the smug Vanitas lose his composure while blushing like a beat is probably one of the most amusing things in this series.
I do like that this moment also highlights both of Vanitas’ most important relationships. One obviously being with Jeanne and the other being with Noe. Through out the series, Vanitas has unintentionally developed a close bond with both in different ways, making so that the Vampire of the Blue Moon’s words of “never be lonely” become true.
The arc gets closed out with Vanitas curing Jean-Jaques from his curse and restoring his true name. And while it was a somewhat happy if not slightly bittersweet in the case of Astolfo, the concerns Vanitas had while Jeanne was hugging him are quite valid and raises a bit of questions. Such as what exactly is Ruthven aiming at, what will become of Chloe and Jean-Jaques now, what is going to happen to Jeanne and just what the heck is going on with Murr? There are still quite a lot of questions that have yet to be answered and unfortunately won’t all be answered this season
or if ever in the anime. Though the thing that made me the most curious was that close up on Murr’s purple eye and whether or not he is a spy of some sort. But with that the Gevaudan arc comes to a close.
I had a strong feeling this episode was going to wrap up the arc considering how fast the pacing was and I was correct. Looks like they’re gonna try and fit
an unfinished another arc for the last four episodes… which doesn’t even make sense to me since they haven’t even built up what is about to go down because they cut out those scenes. Not only that but the animation felt incredibly lazy at times while a lot of the shots felt unnecessarily far away. There were so many far shots that I felt should have been pulled in closer so we could actually get a little bit of their expressions. It reminded me a little of what I hated in the Persona 5 animation where so many shots were so far away as if they were trying to cut corners of putting in detail. Also the fact that they completely cut the dams part in the arc. They had a little bit bigger of a role in the manga while also even showing a little bit of Dante’s backstory. But we got almost nothing from them in this arc besides just kind of being there.
In any case, for this arc I’d recommend to go read the manga since I feel like everyone would be more attached to the new characters and be a little more informed to what was going on in and out of the main plot. Because boy did the anime butcher it.