REVIEW: ‘The Case Study of Vanitas,’ Episode 4 – “Night of Mocking Masks”

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The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 4 - But Why Tho

Get ready for some spicy vampire content in The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 4, in which the characters have crossed over to Altus Paris. Jun Mochizuki’s (Pandora Hearts) steampunk tale follows vampire Noé as he teams up with eccentric human doctor Vanitas. Vanitas is in possession of the Book of Vanitas, a cursed grimoire from the Vampire of the Blue Moon. As Noé discovers more about Vanitas, the two get thrown into case after case where someone (or something) is corrupting vampires’ true names. The anime adaptation is done by Studio BONES (My Hero Academia), and the original manga is published in English by Yen Press.

Vanitas, after taking a leap of faith and being caught by Noé, accompanies the naive vampire into Atlus Paris. Atlus can best be described as another dimension, or a parallel Paris, where the vampires can live peacefully. Dominique is less than thrilled about the human doctor tagging along. Dominique was introduced at the end of the last episode, barging in and declaring herself Noé’s fiancé. Granted, this was a joke, although it becomes quickly apparent that she has feelings for her long-time childhood friend. For Noé’s part, he’s oblivious.

A central focus of The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 4 is the act of sucking blood. This was briefly touched on previously when it was revealed Noé was an Archiviste. He is able to delve into someone’s memories through drinking their blood; however, the first time he drinks from someone, their memories flood into him uncontrolled. It is a classic trope in vampire lore to make the act of drinking blood a sexual metaphor, and The Case Study of Vanitas definitely leans into that. The show arguably goes one step further, because the spicier moments aren’t just fan service, but a deeper exploration of the characters. The relationship between Domi and Noé is that of childhood friends, but Noé likes to drink Domi’s blood because she is someone he is comfortable with. Noé doesn’t like the idea of seeing someone’s memories without their consent. It adds an intriguing layer as viewers are also shown flashes of Noé’s own memories that he seems to have suppressed.

Domi and Noé aren’t the only ones who have a spicier moment this episode, but anything more would involve spoilers. What can be touched on is Vanitas’s interest in the world of vampires. He is clearly intrigued by the intimacy and vulnerability of it all. However, there is a selfishness to Vanitas that blocks him from connecting with others. Through butting heads with the (rightfully) suspicious Domi, it becomes clear that Vanitas isn’t a doctor out of the kindness of his heart. His relationship to the Vampire of the Blue Moon is slowly appearing to be more traumatic than viewers and the rest of the cast likely assumed.

The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 4 is a steamy installment that leans into traditional vampire symbolism, but instead of just providing fan service, it creates meaningful character interactions that have just as much depth as they do spice.

The Case Study of Vanitas is streaming now on Funimation, with new episodes premiering Fridays.

The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 4
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 4 is a steamy installment that leans into traditional vampire symbolism, but instead of just providing fan service, it creates meaningful character interactions that have just as much depth as they do spice.