Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Season 1 of The Case Study of Vanitas anime and up to Chapter 23 of the manga.
The Case Study of Vanitas will be returning in January 2022, with Noé Archiviste and Vanitas on the trail of the Beast of Gevaudan. Eight volumes of the manga have been released so far, so it's the perfect time to get reading if you want to spoil yourself a little on what's coming up. The Case Study of Vanitas has followed the manga closely thus far. There have only been a few small changes during Season 1 that likely won't affect the plot going forward; however, some details about Vanitas' past were omitted entirely, as well as some pretty significant facts about Jeanne. The manner in which the relationship between Noé and Vanitas was approached also set the two on a different level of relationship than currently features in the manga.
Vanitas' past is the big mystery of Season 1, and it's still not entirely clear. While infiltrating Doctor Moreau's lab, it is revealed that Vanitas was a child test subject there who was rescued by the Vampire of the Blue Moon along with another child. In the manga, Vanitas has a flashback of vowing to steal her power and kill all vampires, yet also has a flashback to being taught about the 'prédateur' by the Vampire of the Blue Moon, which saves their lives. While the anime shows Vanitas being rescued, it fails to show that Vanitas learned from the Vampire of the Blue Moon.
Leaving out these flashbacks changes Vanitas' past in an important way since, oddly enough, it makes him more similar to Noé, both rescued out of terrible situations by a very powerful teacher. Although Vanitas claimed that rescuing the vampires was his revenge on the Vampire of the Blue Moon, it would seem that she was his caretaker for a while, and now he vows to save the vampires instead of killing them all, making his history with the Vampire of the Blue Moon in the manga much more complex than in the anime. He also continues to have flashbacks regarding the other child who was rescued, who goads him about promises.
Jeanne is another character whose entire story is not laid out. The anime does reveal Jeanne going to Dominique de Sade for aid in getting Vanitas to dislike her, but it doesn't show how Jeanne has grown close to Dominique as a whole, and Dominique even once refers to Jeanne as 'hers.' Dominique reveals why Jeanne has such trouble in pushing Vanitas away -- borreaus are vampires whose ancestors committed great crimes, so they are punished by being the ones who must kill their own kind. It is a borreau who always kills a curse-bearer. Because of this, borreaus are hated by the rest of vampire society, so Jeanne has difficulty breaking away from anyone even remotely kind to her.
She is also almost certainly a curse-bearer who has been forbidden to speak of it, and while it's fairly obvious even in the anime, the manga confirms that it's Lord Ruthven who did so, adding to the growing list of why Ruthven is the greatest threat to Vanitas' goal. Jeanne does allow herself to lean on Vanitas more in the manga, who promises multiple times to kill her if she is a threat to her master, again comparing Vanitas to Noé, who could not kill Louis de Sade years ago.
However, perhaps the biggest change is how the anime emphasizes Noé and Vanitas' relationship. While some anime create opening and ending sequences that show the entire cast, the opening for The Case Study of Vanitas is a portrayal of the two happily exploring Paris in a way that never actually happens. The ending sequence is even more blatant. The song used in the sequence, "0 (zero)" by artist LMYK, is a love song and tells of a much deeper relationship than the two characters have as of the end of Season 1.
The result is that, while already the most important relationship in the show, the bond between the two is stressed even more through the opening and ending sequences. Whether this will have a purpose in later seasons or is simply to increase the drama behind knowing that Vanitas is now dead by Noé's hand can't yet be determined. Still, it does work to efficiently inform the audience of where their attention ought to be.
While the final episodes of Season 1 switched up the order in which events were presented and pushed back a character reveal, there's no doubt the hunt for the Beast of Gevaudan is on for everyone. With new characters to meet and secrets to uncover, Season 2 of The Case Study of Vanitas is being impatiently awaited upon so the good doctor can get to work.
The Case Study of Vanitas can be streamed on Funimation.
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