REVIEW: ‘The Case Study of Vanitas,’ Episode 8 – “Where Death Slumbers”

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The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 8

Every vampire tale needs a religious faction hunting them, and The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 8 introduces its group of fanatics in the depths of Paris’ catacombs. Based on the manga by Jun Mochizuki (Pandora Hearts), The Case Study of Vanitas is a steampunk vampire fantasy gorgeously brought to life by Studio Bones (My Hero Academia). The story follows Vanitas, a human and self-proclaimed vampire doctor, who wields a cursed grimoire as he reluctantly teams up with sheltered vampire Noé. The original manga is published in English by Yen Press.

After a fiery introduction, Noé and Vanitas get to have an actual conversation with Lord Ruthven at the start of The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 8. Noé’s starry-eyed excitement is once again wonderfully balanced by Vanitas’ calm. Additionally, the reveal that Luca is actually the Grand Duke, with Ruthven acting in his place as he is so young, sets up a big power dynamic in the vampire politics of the story. Luca’s rush to grow up isn’t just fueled by his crush on Jeanne, but because he wants to live up to his title as second in command to the vampire queen.

There are plenty of awesome Vanitas character moments in The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 8. Every time the camera cuts to an up-close shot of him dropping the upbeat act I get chills. His nagging questions to Ruthven are so pointed they could be considered cruel. He knows exactly what will get people angry. Once again, we can see his own disregard for his life and well-being. One could argue that he would be happy if he pushed Ruthven too far and was killed. Additionally, The show cleverly reveals more about him through what he doesn’t say. Noé picks up on the fact that Vanitas often knows information he shouldn’t, and through these moments, one can slowly piece together more of his background.

Additionally, more factions than just humans and vampires have been introduced. Dante and company reveal themselves to be dhampirs. Mixed raced human/vampire beings who are granted some but not all abilities of vampires. Additionally, for whatever reason, the vampire hunters pass them by once discovering they are dhampirs.

Speaking of vampire hunters, it was about time the anime introduced the fanatic religious group, and the Chasseurs are just that: a faction of the church whose sole purpose is to eradicate vampires. Since vampires’ origins are through a rewrite of the world formula, stemming back to the story of Babel, they are seen by the church as blasphemy. The art immediately makes this organization feel sinister beneath the surface of faith. The investigation leads Noé and Vanitas into the catacombs, which not only contain human remains but a prideful display of murdered vampires.

As always, the animation choices are spot-on for Mochizuki’s art. Even the choice to make Noé’s vision (as a vampire, he can switch between seeing the normal world or all its formulas) being disrupted as that of a rainbow kaleidoscope is as beautiful as it is disorienting. Additionally, I’ve praised the music before, but this week’s score really stood out, especially the tracks when Vanitas and Noé were breaking into the church. I hope the OST gets released at some point because I would play it on repeat.

The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 8 dives into the next story arc by introducing the Chasseurs and mixes the story up by making the potential enemies humans instead of vampires or Charlatan. It keeps things interesting. Additionally, Vanitas continues down a path of self-destruction as he digs up the politics of the world, and it is tense and exciting.

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


The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 8
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 8 dives into the next story arc by introducing the Chasseurs and mixes the story up by making the potential enemies humans instead of vampires or Charlatan. It keeps things interesting. Additionally, Vanitas continues down a path of self-destruction as he digs up the politics of the world, and it is tense and exciting.