Don’t you be even TRYING to convince me that Vanitas ended up killing Noe since we all know that the opposite is going to happen since episode 1. They make it explicitly clear that Noe will be the one to eventually kill Vanitas for unknown reasons. However, from what we’ve seen of this episode, Vanitas could go out of control or cease to be himself if he overuses the power of his book or marking. And thinking about it, it could create a scenario where Noe could “redeem” himself with what happened with Louis. He wasn’t able to kill him despite his pleads and now that he’s older and has the power, Noe could actually fulfill the wish of killing someone. And I think it’s also important that they bring up the fact that Noe hasn’t killed anyone before. They’ve been alluding to Noe killing Vanitas and now we may know WHY he may have to. I initially thought it would be through a command from Ruthven, but now I’m getting the feeling that it’s gearing up towards another Louis scenario with Vanitas. Especially when Vanitas literally just spells it out and says that if he were to choose how to die, it would be by Noe’s hand. Extremely reminiscent of how Louis wanted to be killed by Noe in the past.
The part I wish we got more time with was Domi’s inner struggle. It felt like they glazed over that part way too fast and didn’t give it the build up and time that it deserved. But I digress. Anyways, I really love the representation of what is going on in her mind. She’s struggling with self-worth and self-hatred, but she’s trying to hold back her belief that she’s better off dead after seeing just how terrified Noe was seeing her jump. It was heartbreaking hearing her list out the things that she hates about herself. In her headspace, she believed no one would care if she were gone, but after witnessing just how much it tore Noe up inside at possibly losing her made her realize that she was precious to at least one person. And that was enough to want to keep on living. Which is such a hard topic because it is realistic. Someone with that type of mentality feels like no one cares and the thing they need is some sort of connection in that moment. And while they still haven’t told each other in words how much they mean to each other, Domi was still able to feel the connection between her and Noe through his expression and I feel that’s extremely touching. Though they do really need to tell each other how they feel so it can give Domi the reassurance she desperately needs.
The part that hit me hardest was when it revealed that the “Louis” in her mind turned out to be just another part of her, the her that had been dressing up as Louis in the past. All the while her telling herself that their true names weren’t defiled and was only preyed upon her weakness. I love the imagery of her slowly coming into color as if she finally was starting to see the light from within the dark tunnel. Especially now that she seems to be ready to try and take better care of herself. Sadly I do think they kind of went through it a bit too fast to really hit home. But I do like the build up to her finally using her vampire abilities. Domi hasn’t been in the series all that much so I had to think back to whether or not we’ve seen her use some sort of power before. We’ve seen her fight using a sword, albeit very briefly, but this was the first time we’ve seen her use the same scope of power like her sister. Which shows that she has the potential to be strong, she just couldn’t see it in herself. But I do love the reason why it came out as she was finally able to tap into this power to protect others rather than use it selfishly like her sister. Domi totally has Princess Utena vibes, especially with her outfit.
The biggest twist had to be the fact that Noe’s “teacher” finally made his first present-day appearance and being the one behind Mikhail’s attempts to bring back Luna. Not to mention that he has the exact same eye alteration as Mur does, hinting that he could have been watching from Mur’s eyes. Especially since he’s essentially been established as someone who just watches things unfold without interfering until absolutely necessary. From the very beginning, this guy has had huge sus vibes. Especially since at this point, anyone voiced by Akira Ishida cannot be trusted unless proven otherwise lol. Especially with how he just offed his grandson’s head without a care right in front of Noe already raised the sus meter to high levels. And don’t even mention the amount of creepy faces this guy has sported. That is not a trustworthy face. He even intimidated Jeanne by just smiling at her.
While we don’t know exactly what he’s up to, I feel like he’s definitely manipulating situations to test what could happen. Which is why he just lets things play out and doesn’t step in until the last moment if things go array. At this point, it feels like literally no higher figure can be trusted at this point. Ruthven, the “Teacher,” the Church, Doctor Moreau… I feel like there are just too many different factions that have their own shady goals and there doesn’t seem to be any lesser evils. It is a little frustrating when the only good faction is our little group. But we’ll see what becomes of everything in time… I guess.
While I don’t condone his actions, I do feel bad for Mikhail and I understand why he did everything that he did. The kid is a very simple-minded person and still has a very child-like mentality. He thinks everything could just go back to how it was despite the very permanent changes that have happened. Such as Luna having been killed and Vanitas making bonds with others. Which is why he tried to have Noe suck Vanitas’ blood, knowing that Vanitas would try to kill him. He so desperately wanted to go back to the time where he, Luna and Vanitas were all together like a family and he believed that Noe was getting in the way of it. He’s so desperate to get back the happiness he felt when the three of them were together because that was the happiest he had been in his life and he seems to believe he can’t be happy any other way. Which is pretty sad. And it did hurt to hear him ask if it was his fault that Luna died.
Despite the way he acts, it’s still evident that Vanitas still cares for Mikhail. Especially since he was someone he essentially grew up with and had an initial reluctant familial bond with him. You could tell that seeing him in such a broken down state hurt him nearly as much as it did having to watch Luna fade away in his arms. And it makes you wonder how whether or not Vanitas can even go through with the promise he made to Jeanne, to kill her if she lost herself. Especially with how close they’ve become lately. He wasn’t able to kill Mikhail despite all the atrocities he’s committed and Vanitas vehemently denying any sort of bonds with anyone. The fact he still tried to reach out to Mikhail says a lot.
We also finally get confirmation on why Vanitas killed Luna. On the verge of becoming a monster due to having their name stolen, Vanitas decided to join the Blue Moon clan despite having claimed he would never do so. From the sounds of it, he must have done it as a final request sort of thing and his way of honoring Luna’s wishes and their bond. Thus becoming someone who would cure curse bearers in order to find out who was the one who stole Luna’s true name. Though it still confuses me when he says he’s seeking revenge on them despite everything that he’s done. I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU VANITAS.
I’m honestly not the biggest fan of how this arc wrapped up. Especially with how fast Mikhail seemed to settle things between him and Vanitas. But it is what it is. Though I’m sure the Vanitas x Noe shippers and the Domi x Jeanne shippers had a field day. I do feel like this arc went by way too fast and it just leaves me wondering about the aftermath of everything. Though I will say this arc probably helped Vanitas take the biggest step in the right direction in a development sense as it seems like he’s finally willing to let others in after holding them at arms’ length for so long. He’s let Noe into his life and seems to be on the verge of letting Jeanne in as well. And while I still don’t understand him that well, I can appreciate good character development.
Man… this series was sure a roller coaster in terms of its pacing. Certain episodes were really good, but the other times it just felt like they were rushing way too fast to get to the end of the arc. Sadly the Gevaudan arc suffered the most in terms of pacing. Which is such a giant shame because that had to be one of the best arcs so far in the series… only for them to completely skip over extremely important details and cut out foreshadowing for future events. It was so butchered that it left me feeling completely apathetic towards Chloe and Jean, which SHOULDN’T happen since they were the focus of the arc. The Mikhail arc was definitely better paced, but the fact they just kinda skimmed over Domi’s inner issues and cut out his foreshadowing events did rub me the wrong way. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the Gevaudan arc should have been the entire twelve episodes and they did such a disservice to it by how they adapted it.
In terms of characters, it felt like a mixed bag. The Gevaudan characters were especially shafted REALLY hard as their stories were slimmed down to the bare minimum where it didn’t feel like we actually got to know them very well. We basically got the clip notes versions of their stories. The manga definitely made me fee a lot more for these characters, especially Chloe. Since it actually showed just how much she’d been suffering all these years and all of the events that had slowly been breaking her down mentally and emotionally. Astolfo was ironically the only one that I actually felt really bad for since we got to see (albeit cut down) what he had gone through first hand, allowing us to really get to know why he feels the way that he does.
The Mikhail arc sadly also cut down Mikhail and Domi’s stories, however, I was still able to feel for both of them. This was the arc where I really started feeling a lot more connected to Domi as a character upon seeing her inner struggles and her feelings towards the Louis incident. Her feelings felt incredibly relatable and I’m sure a lot of people struggle with similar feelings of self-hatred. And while what Mikhail did was terrible, I can still sympathize with what he went through and the desperation to go back to a happier time in his life. To a certain extent, I can relate to both Domi and Mikhail in different ways, making their impact as characters a lot stronger to me.
Overall, this series felt like such wasted potential with how much they cut out, even crucial details where it felt like scenes were missing even if you didn’t read the manga before hand. And while the Mikhail arc felt a lot better pacing-wise, I still feel like they missed a few important beats. There were also times where I felt like the animation was a bit lazy. This is Bones we’re talking about, I expect a little more effort from them. Sadly, it felt like they weren’t giving this series as much attention and just kind of sped through it so they could finish it. A lot of their decisions to cut and rearrange just felt bizarre to me. Especially ending where the manga is currently up to. Which means if this series got a season 2, it’s gonna be a LONG while before it gets picked up again if ever.
I’m pretty disappointed with this half of the season as it could have been so much better. With how poorly the Gevaudan arc was adapted, it’d be best to just go read the manga as it has so much more information on the characters and they give them amount of time to lay out their stories that they deserve. It’s like, if they weren’t going to appropriately adapt the important arc’s characters’ stories, what was even the point of making the anime? While I was incredibly annoyed during the Gevaudan arc, after the Mikhail arc I’m left feeling neutral about the whole thing. I’m debating whether to give this part of the season a 7 or a 6. Considering I’d give the Gevaudan arc a 6 while I’d give the Mikhail arc a 7. So I guess this overall part would be a 6.5/10 if we were to average out the two scores. And with that, I can bid my coverage on Vanitas farewell with much disappointment as it could have been so much more than what we got. At least the Vanitas x Jeanne moments were 10/10 lol.