As much as I absolutely loved these chapters in the manga… it felt pretty dang fillerish in the anime since it didn’t really move the plot along for the majority of the episode. But I guess you could chalk it up as the “calm before the storm.” And don’t even get me STARTED on how badly they built this arc up… if at all. I don’t even think they built this up properly because they literally cut out crucial scenes that would lead into this arc. It’s so frustrating since in the manga there were several instances that hinted more towards the white haired boy than what was shown in the anime and it definitely felt like they were building up to this rather than it just suddenly happening. Especially since this arc will be more personal.
Despite my gripes, this episode was fairly funny especially with Vanitas trying to figure out what he had come down with… which was obviously love sickness. After his last run in with Jeanne, he started viewing her in a different light. Actually EVERYTHING started looking different to him. Even the scenery that he’s most likely didn’t give too much attention started shining more. However, due to Vanitas never actually understanding what love is, went through a bunch of books to find what was ailing him and even believed that Jeanne must have put a curse on him. It’s not until he bumps into Roland and Olivier where it is spelled out to him after his dumb roundabout way of “asking for a friend.”
Despite the hilarity of the situation, there was still an underlying sadness to the situation. When Roland tells him he’s in love, Vanitas’ first response is being terrified. And it gets even more sad when he claims he’s used to pain, but nothing like this. Now, there was a very specific scene that was taken out of the anime that would have added to this more. When he’s staring at his arm with the blue marking, he thinks back to what the Vampire of the Blue Moon told him. “The more you use it, the more you yourself will be rewritten.” And in the scene where he laments how the feeling makes him feel like he’s being “rewritten” is used once more. That was very SPECIFIC of him to say and I think it touches on how Vanitas is actually afraid of losing who he currently is. Whether if it means by being forcefully changed from an outside force or if he changes naturally. He seems to have a very specific view of himself and doesn’t seem to believe he’s capable of being anything more. However, over the course of the series, he has shown signs of changing.
At the start of the series, Vanitas only seemed to show interest in others if they intrigue him to an extent and not really caring that much for them personally. But now it seems he has developed a fondness for both Jeanne and Noe to where he’s willing to push himself if it meant helping them in some way or protecting them. He’s found people he’s willing to change for if unintentionally. It is sad to find out that Vanitas doesn’t view himself worthy of being loved and holds a great deal of self-loathing. The only reason why he expressed interest in Jeanne at first was because he did it to fuel his self-hatred as if he was out to prove himself right in that aspect. Oh how wrong he ended up being. But more on that later.
We then get Jeanne’s perspective on her growing affections for Vanitas and boy was her reaction the complete opposite of Vanitas’. Also Luca can only blame himself for Jeanne realizing she has fallen in love with Vanitas since she most likely wouldn’t have figure it out (or would have taken longer to realize) if he hadn’t brought it up. When she realizes her feelings, she is incredibly ecstatic over it. Man, Jeanne is such a cutie especially with how much more expressive she’s gotten after Vanitas helped save Chloe. It’s honestly hilarious how Jeanne is basically someone who is “go big or go home.” And while it is… questionable whether to let what initially happened with Vanitas slide, it is sweet that Jeanne was finally able to just be a girl for once instead of just a bourreau. Though… considering what she says later on… she might be just as bad or even worse. ^^;;; Though I laughed really hard over Jeanne having learned this much too bold of a move from her mother of all people. Dominique’s reaction of “She taught you this?!” ascended me.
As sort of a foil to Vanitas not believing his worthy of being loved, Jeanne didn’t believe love was something she could ever have. It honestly feels incredibly poetic in a way. And while Vanitas has been incredibly shallow when it came to his initial advances on Jeanne, the thing that actually elicited him falling for her was incredibly sweet. Just a smile he’s never seen from her was enough to make his heart skip a beat. Their relationship was incredibly rocky at the start if not a bit toxic, but the two seem to moved past their initial views of each other and actually started to genuinely care for each other. Vanitas seems to be someone who needs someone who will stand their ground and make it explicitly clear that he DOES deserve love as much as anyone and won’t give up on him no matter what. With Jeanne being firm in her feelings for him, she’s not going to let him deter her so easily. Also shown with Noe with how he basically reaffirmed that he’s glad Vanitas is the way that he is as he could have ended up just like Astolfo: a Chasseur fueled by his hatred towards vampires.
I’m still salty Noe never attempted to try and talk things out with Astolfo as he did in the manga.
Speaking of self-worth issues… My gosh I am so annoyed over the fact they cut out Dominique’s whole situation that leads up to her breakdown. For a while, Dominique has been wrestling with her unrequited feelings for Noe. Seemingly believing that he’s fallen for Jeanne. Even putting herself down by comparing herself to Jeanne. In the anime it feels like it came out of nowhere but in the manga, there’s been two big scenes that lead up to her succumbing to what it looks to be blood lust. The big things that were cut from the anime was her accidental run in with the white haired kid at the end of her spying on Vanitas and Jeanne’s date and her insecurities being prodded at by her siblings who constantly made comments on her being boring and not mattering. Which would have added A WHOLE LOT MORE to her situation and a much better lead up to her ended up in the hands of the white haired kid instead of just happening… again.
Now that I think about it, Dominique and Vanitas actually share a lot of similarities while Noe and Jeanne share several as well. Both Dominique and Vanitas suffer from self-loathing and don’t believe they are worth anyone’s time, much less love. Believing there are better people out there compared to them. Both of them tend to put a smile on their faces so that others won’t worry about them and are quite cunning in their own right. Unafraid to take less then ethical ways to get things done. Noe and Jeanne on the other hand have strong senses of justice and often will jump into things without fully thinking things through. Not to mention that they both get absolutely lost in the beauty of the world around them and get excited over the smallest things. They also are very firm in their beliefs and morals and won’t run away when things get tough. It’s interesting how one group kinda needs the other to balance the other out (or however you want to arrange it).
This episode felt pretty rushed with a lot of things not really having the impact it should have. Like when Vanitas was lamenting over his feelings in Count Orlock’s office and when he was talking to Roland and Olivier. It felt like they were kind of rushing through his feelings and thoughts and not giving us enough time to really process what he’s saying. It comes and goes too fast. And as a broken record, they cut out some key scenes out. Such as Dominique waking up from a dream of the white haired kid and the vampire council meeting over what to do with Jeanne after failing to kill Chloe for the second time. This series could have been so much better if they weren’t rushing to fit all of these arcs in the first season. It’s a shame really. Well… guess we’ll see how this season ends on an incomplete arc.