Vanitas no Karte Part 2 Episode 11
I don’t think I’ve ever expressed this yet, but I have a lot of problems with Vanitas as a character. He can be amusing with his gremlin ways, but there are just things he does and says that really frustrate me. Especially in this episode where he doesn’t seem to care about what happens to Domi despite Noe’s protests. Granted, the two don’t have the best relationship, but it did rub me the wrong way how Vanitas stated that Noe would be better off if Domi was gone. Especially with what we know what is going on with Domi mentally. I’ve also grown tired of the trope of characters badmouthing each other in order to “protect them” somehow. While Vanitas is a decent person underneath it all, there’s just something about him that prevents me from really liking him. Though I feel like it may stem from the fact that I don’t fully understand him. There are so many things about him that are withheld from the audience as we don’t fully understand what really makes him tick and why he feels the way that he does. And because of that lack of understanding and his unwillingness to really express who he truly is, it’s hard to for me to get a read on him as a character. Which is essentially how Noe feels as we know Vanitas on a surface level, but we don’t truly know what is going on in his head or why he feels the way that he does.
Though I am curious as to whether or not Vanitas has some sort of connection to Louis. Since in the cabin in his delirious state, he dropped a “Lou” but didn’t seem to finish whatever he was trying to say. And when Mikhail talks about Louis, Vanitas seems to react slightly. So I have an inkling that the two may have been involved somehow, but even in the manga it still remains a mystery.
With Domi’s life hanging in the balance and Vanitas refusing to tell him anything, I can hardly blame Noe for losing his patience and attempting to bite him. Though it is rather alarming that Noe would attempt to do something like that, especially since earlier this season, he told Chloe that vampires shouldn’t bite someone without their consent. Noe has always been driven by his emotions so after finding out how Domi feels about the Louis situation. It must have hurt him so much realizing that he had basically been feeding into Domi’s insecurities because of what happened and how he reacted to it. So hearing Vanitas say that he would kill her to get Noe out of his way most likely was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.
When Vanitas fell into his self-inflicted hypnosis, the way he kept repeating “Kill him. Kill” and then “I will kill that vampire” felt eerily similar to how Astolfo said it. Especially with him injecting himself with what I assume is the serum that boosts humans’ abilities that the Church uses. Further accentuating the fact that Vanitas could have as easily fallen into the same mindset as Astolfo did.
It’s interesting how they bring up the fact that Noe has never killed someone before. Noe is very confident in his abilities and seems sure that he can win in a fight without having to take someone’s life. The way Johan phrased it as while Noe hates violence, “he knows he can use it to silence others,” I found myself also annoyed by Noe’s way of thinking. It almost felt like just because Noe was strong, he could basically get anyone to think the way he does by using force. If he only used it for self-defense, that would be one thing. But the fact he also uses it to “strong-arm” others does leave a sour taste in my mouth over his character.
In that sense, Noe and Vanitas couldn’t be any more different. While Noe doesn’t want to kill, Vanitas will resort to taking someone’s life if there is no helping it. Like he did back at the party back in Atlus when the vampire child was too far gone in her corruption. Unlike Noe, Vanitas is just a human so he has to resort to different ways of fighting to survive instead of using brute force. Which is something he uses to his advantage as he’s become familiar with how Noe fights and comes at him intent to kill knowing that Noe wasn’t going to kill him.
When Noe yells at Vanitas for never listening to what he has to say, I couldn’t help but disagree. Throughout the season, it has shown that Vanitas has picked up on some habits from what Noe has told him. Such as when he promised Jeanne that he would save Chloe despite him claiming to be someone who doesn’t promise anything to anyone. Not to mention that when he wanted to run away from a specific malnoman, it was through Noe’s determination that he was able to actually follow through with saving the vampire. Vanitas has been listening, though it’s not always apparent.
Domi continues making me sad with just how trapped she is in her own head, firmly believing that Noe would be better off if she weren’t around. It’s not hard to see just how much these two mean to each other, however they really need to relay those feelings to each other through words. In Domi’s case, Noe is literally the only one who’s really a friend to her and someone that she can depend on. She has a terrible relationship with her family and Jeanne and Luca more or less just feel like friendly acquaintances rather than friends. It’s especially alarming how she doesn’t think she’d be able to live if Noe were to die. Domi is in such an unhealthy mindset and is in desperate need of help. Even when Jeanne shows up and saves her from throwing herself off the ferriswheel, Domi’s first instinct is to attack her and declare that she doesn’t want her there and that she hates her. All of her insecurities are starting to leak out and her inferiority complex towards Jeanne is only further pushing her into despair.
Thank goodness Jeanne showed up. Not only did she save Domi from falling to her death, but she also helped Noe by telling him to really LOOK at Vanitas. Out of everyone, I think Jeanne is the one to really watch and see what kind of person Vanitas is over the course of the series without becoming privy to his past or demanding more of him. Which is probably a big reason as to how she fell for him. And while Noe is objectively closer to Vanitas and has been watching him, he sometimes overlooks little things about Vanitas and gets caught up in his emotions. Which is why he did need to be told to pay more attention to Vanitas because he didn’t realize until he saw his own reflection that he was going about the whole situation wrong. He wasn’t looking at Vanitas, he was only focused on saving Domi and how Vanitas never tells him anything. If he was paying attention, he would have realized sooner that he was looking quite terrifying to Vanitas. If it weren’t for Jeanne’s intervention, Noe probably would have continued trying to attack Vanitas. It’s not until Noe actually tries to reach out to him rather than attacking and yelling at him that Vanitas finally seems to respond. Essentially telling him that he’s not going to leave him.
I do really like the scene of him looking at Vanitas with his normal eye color at the end rather than his vampire eyes. Basically showing that he’s finally SEEING him and isn’t blinded by his rage and the circumstances around him. Especially since it was just constantly showing up close up of Noe’s vampire red eyes up until this point all the while he was always lashing out in anger.
Boy did this episode highlight my problems with Vanitas and Noe as characters lol. But I’m sure this will help them develop in the future. While this episode was exciting with all the action, I do admit there were times where it felt rushed. Not to mention the fighting choreography wasn’t particularly interesting and also hard to see at times with the dim lighting in certain shots. Like I get that it’s night and it’s raining, but you can still portray the shots in ways that allows the viewer to see what is happening. I’d like to be able to see the details on what is happening without having to try and turn the brightness on my computer all the way up. We have one episode left, which means this arc is most likely going to be wrapped up by then. This arc felt way too short and I feel like they could have definitely focused more on the characters especially Domi and her circumstances more that lead up to her being in this situation. Overall, this episode felt better than most episodes of the Gevaudan arc, but there were still things that irked me a little. Hopefully they can end things somewhat satisfactory despite how quick this arc came and went.