REVIEW: ‘The Case Study of Vanitas,’ Episode 10 – “Number 69”

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The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 10 - But Why Tho

The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 10 once again touches on the past trauma of a major character, this time Vanitas himself, and it is another success. Set in a steampunk Paris, the vampire tale brought to life by Studio Bones (My Hero Academia) is based on the manga series of the same name by Jun Mochizuki (Pandora Hearts). Human vampire doctor Vanitas possesses the grimoire of the cursed Vampire of the Blue Moon and gives him the ability to access world formulas and see vampires’ true names. In search of answers, vampire Noé teams up with Vanitas to learn more about the book and curse-bearers.

After agreeing to an alliance with Chasseur Roland, the group travels further into the catacombs to find the hidden laboratory of Doctor Moreau. Much to Noé ‘s discomfort, Vanitas puts on a show of being thrilled to see Moreau in order to get information. Through a high tension table chat, the group learns through Moreau’s rantings the tortures inflicted upon Vanitas as a child. While he was the doctor’s favorite specimen, he was still dehumanized and is only referred to by number. It reflects on his behavior throughout the show, and his visceral reaction to Roland last week. He is consistently demanding others give him his agency and identity.

The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 10 does a good job of framing this episode: Vanitas is facing his abuser. It is painful for both Noé and Roland to watch, as he lets Moreau fall back into old habits. Vanitas is foregoing his own mental state for the greater good, something Noé will only let go so far. The episode parallels Episodes 5 and 6 in many ways because both now have pulled the other from the brink when the trauma of the past has paralyzed them.

The direction for The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 10 is fabulous as well. The anime’s beautiful score gives big, eerie strings to the unsettling Doctor Moreau’s lab. Additionally, the production chooses the perfect moments to be silent. Seeing Vanitas visibly shaken, the music cuts, all color is literally drained from the screen into greyscale, with the exception of the bright blue accents on Vanitas’ person. This haunting shot tells viewers so much about Vanitas’ time with the Vampire of the Blue Moon without having a long flashback sequence. The entire episode is an excellent example of “show, don’t tell” in how Vanitas needs Noé’s presence, whether he wants to admit it or not.

Additionally, Roland is shaping up to be absolutely fascinating. His motivations are a lot less black and white than his initial presentation. While he may come off as a religious fanatic, he displays a dangerous side that is willing to disregard the Chasseurs’ rules if he deems something more important. He plays well off of Noé and hopefully will make more appearances in the anime soon.

Great direction, use of color, and sound all paint a painful picture of Vanitas’ childhood abuse in The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 10. It serves as a lovely parallel to Noé’s exploration a few weeks ago and creates a bridge in the two’s relationship. Additionally, viewers get more of the fabulous Roland, who is one of the most fun characters in the show (and the competition is high).

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

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

TL;DR

Great direction, use of color, and sound all paint a painful picture of Vanitas’ childhood abuse in The Case Study of Vanitas Episode 10. It serves as a lovely parallel to Noé’s exploration a few weeks ago and creates a bridge in the two’s relationship. Additionally, viewers get more of the fabulous Roland, who is one of the most fun characters in the show (and the competition is high).