I feel like I’m beating a dead horse at this point with my complaints about the pacing. But just like the other episodes, it felt like there were some parts missing, even without me remembering exactly what. I had to go back and see what was cut from the manga and a part of me is both glad and annoyed at all their cuts. On one hand I absolutely HATE having to see children suffer through traumatic events. But then on the other hand, we didn’t get to see the full scope of what this kid went through and his extreme phobia of pain. Which was one of the bigger reasons why Vanitas decided to take his place in the experiments. Not to mention, this episode felt incredibly lazy with the lack of animation and the overabundance of still frames. I just hope they’re just saving the budget for an action piece or something at the end.
Watching what Vanitas and Mikhail had to go through at such young ages was honestly really hard to watch. I already have a hard time sitting through people screaming bloody murder so it was twice as hard having to listen to Mikhail scream in pain. And when Vanitas offered himself to endure the experiments meant for Mikhail in his place, the look of absolute dread on his face made my stomach churn. We don’t even have to see what those experiments were. We already know it’s terrible for him to be making that face. The scientists working on this inhumane experiment had to be completely heartless. And actually seeing Morou happily torture these poor kids just made me hate him all the more since hearing about what he’s done is very different from seeing it happen.
We finally get to officially meet the Vampire of the Blue Moon in this episode. While we’ve had glimpses of them in past episodes, we actually get to see what kind of person they are and how they interacted with Vanitas and Mikhail. From the story told in the first episode, they made the Vampire of the Blue Moon out to be a vampire driven to take revenge on all the other vampires. However, the vampire we got from this flashback was a soft-spoken and a genuinely caring individual. Despite lacking normal social cues, they still had a lot of compassion as they took the responsibility to look after the two boys after interrupting the final experiment. Not only that but they stayed by Vanitas’ side and listened as he poured his heart out about his trauma in his fevered state. They even had their cute moments and I had quite the laugh when they got so frustrated about Vanitas’ critique on their cooking that they just threw the spoons down on the floor. They did their best for the boys and most likely became a parental figure to them in one form or another.
All through out the episode, Mikhail was just this innocent little kid who has gone through so much traumatic experiences a kid should never have to suffer. When he tearfully pleaded for Vampire of the Blue Moon to take him with them after interrupting the final experiment, it did hit me in the heart a bit. So seeing him just live his life with Vanitas the Vampire of the Blue Moon like a normal kid was actually really sweet to see because that’s honestly a life he should have had in the first place. So it when his life was nearing the end due to the experiments done on him, of course he would take up the Vampire of the Blue Moon’s offer to make him their kin in order to save his life. He didn’t want to lose the best thing he’s ever experienced, a peaceful life with his family. The kid was already broken so when Vanitas killed the Vampire of the Blue Moon, it’s not surprising that he would have snapped. Especially since he seemed especially attached to the Vampire of the Blue Moon’s compared to how detached Vanitas seemed.
Vanitas is also an interesting case as despite his denial, he still cared for others and would have rather sacrificed himself instead of allowing others to be hurt. Vanitas could have well become someone like Astolfo, hating vampires for killing his family. However, after seeing just how terrible humans can be as well, he came to “hate both equally.” I can hardly blame him as he has had to endure terrible circumstances from both sides. However, despite that he still chose to try and help others rather than allowing them to suffer. Which is a weird contrast as we don’t know exactly why he’s like this. But maybe it’s that he’s just naturally kind despite him claiming otherwise. Sadly we don’t get to hear his reasons for believing he’s not a kind person so it’s left up in the air for the time being.
From this flashback, we kind of get the sense as to why Vanitas is so afraid of becoming something other than he already is. The experiments he had endured was slowly changing him into something that wasn’t human. I’m not entirely sure why Vanitas is so set in staying who he is with no changes (maybe it’ll get touched on later in the manga) but it is understandable why he wouldn’t want to be changed in such a cruel and forceful manner. And while later on he adamantly declared he would never become the Vampire of the Blue Moon’s kin and remain a human, it is obvious he did eventually choose to become their kin. Though for what reasons, we don’t know yet. At first I didn’t notice that Vanitas’ eye color was different from how they are now. I know the doctor mentioned it before, but it didn’t quite hit until I actually saw the difference. So it must have changed once he became the Vampire of the Blue Moon’s kin.
One of the themes that pops up for him is “asking for help.” In the flashback, the Vampire of the Blue Moon says they came because he was crying out for help. And then in his fever’s delirium, he was crying out for his mom despite not having met her. He seems reluctant to accept someone else’s help. However, he seems more than willing to give others a helping hand as he coaxes both Noe and Jeanne at different times to ask for his help. He claims he is no one’s ally, yet he certainly seems willing to give it whenever someone asks of him or he can’t help but help others because that’s what just comes naturally to him.
Also despite his initial reluctance, Vanitas most likely came to care for both the Vampire of the Blue Moon and Mikhail as his family in his own way. It was pretty hilarious how he basically showed that he can be a house husband with how much he tidied up the place while also cooking a delicious meal.
Jeanne will be well taken cared of. It was definitely heartwarming to see how close the three had become and just living as peaceful of a life as they could while trying to find a way to save their shortened lifespans due to Moreau’s experiments. In the end, he became a kin of the Vampire of the Blue Moon while also ending their life. However, it was very obvious that it was a reluctant kill as it briefly showed him embracing the scattering ashes of the Vampire of the Blue Moon. Despite stating that he wishes to take revenge on them, it doesn’t seem to be out of hatred as one would assume. He seemed to genuinely care about them and even though he tried to put distance between himself and the other two, he most likely couldn’t help but be drawn in. To which the Vampire of the Blue Moon’s death must have saddened him much more than he let on judging from his body language in that brief scene.
It feels like we learned a bit about Vanitas’ past but not as much about himself. Though considering this was all from just Mikhail’s perspective and we don’t get any of Vanitas’ inner thoughts, it would be difficult to really get to know him as he keeps so much about himself locked away. Now in the present, looks like there’s bound to be a clash between the former brothers. This was a fairly straightforward episode. Though it did make me sad at how warm the trio’s lives were together before something tragic pulled them apart. It was also nice to finally get to see the Vampire of the Blue Moon and see what kind of person they were. They definitely had some cute moments within this episode and the three of them made quite the adorable family unit, making it sad that they ended up dying. I still have issues with how this backstory was adapted but I think by this point you should know that if you want the full scope of the circumstances, just go read the manga.