This Vanitas no Carte review contains spoilers. If you haven't seen the chapter yet, we recommend that you do it and then go back to read the review.

Vanitas
© 望月 淳 / SQUARE ENIX ・ 「ヴ ァ ニ タ ス の 手記」 製作 委員会

Chapter 5: "Memory"

Vanitas no card In its fifth issue it takes up the charlatan's attack in dance. Noah confronts this being, but is steeped in the past, memories of his childhood and his friend Louis.

As a child, Noah was auctioned off by his teacher (after living with humans and later being kidnapped). In his villa he met his grandchildren: Dominique and Louis. While she was living in the Sade mansion and only visiting, Louis had been adopted by his grandfather, who was rejected by his family because of illness. After experiencing happy moments, his grandfather reveals to him that he is the bearer of the curse. Louis becomes more isolated and obsessed with running bets to present them to Noah. One day he hears that Mina, a friend of the people, is about to be executed as a curse bearer. To avoid this, Domi and Noé take her to a safe place with the help of other friends. However, Mina loses her mind and attacks her. Then Louis appears who kills Mina to save her life. Nevertheless, he himself succumbs to the disease and attacks it. Noah cannot kill him, but the master comes and immediately beheads him. In the present, Charlatan wants to take the name Noah. Vanitas prevents this, however, and immediately drives away the shade.

Analysis: "No N!"

Vanitas
© 望月 淳 / SQUARE ENIX ・ 「ヴ ァ ニ タ ス の 手記」 製作 委員会

Vanitas no card travels to the tragic past of Noah, whose personality never makes us suspect such a trauma. At the roots, our main characters are even more complex, as Noé is a construction that always carries pain and joy with it.

On the other hand, we've said in previous reviews that using a spoiler isn't always negative, it can add and intensify interest in the plot. Noah's initial confession, which gave the story a circular meaning, makes the viewer live with the constant question of why and how, as well as a poignant empathy for vanitas. The more we are connected to the character, the more we will remember Noah's premise: "I killed it with my bare hands". And the more the bond between the two protagonists is strengthened, the more we will reject the idea: no, impossible! In this way, the author has achieved that we direct the focus, that the end itself does not count, but the why and how. That's the magic of a good spoiler that doesn't really spoil anything, so we call it prediction, prophecy.

The chapter ends with a brilliant "Non!", A sublime gesture loaded with elegance, in which Vanitas saves Noah. Other very notable aspects of the episode are the characterization of Louis and the animation given to the night of the blue moon. Although this last scene takes up just under a minute on the screen, it achieves an extraordinary beauty, it stands out.


Louis who could not be saved

Vanitas
© 望月 淳 / SQUARE ENIX ・ 「ヴ ァ ニ タ ス の 手記」 製作 委員会

Louis' story comes from Noah's memory, but it deviates from his point of view more than once. This creates an independence that strengthens the character. Above all, Louis is a mature and complex being with deeply bitter emotions that he doesn't know or wants to express, which is why they end up coming to the surface through stakes. As Noah points out, the acute suffering he must have endured alone is unimaginable. The chest is a cruel gift, a radical admission of his torment and desire to at least die at the hands of a friend.

But Louis also has this beautiful side. The pain is internal, but this appearance is not an illusion, but an expression of real love for Noah and Domi. Louis is a child who takes on his role as a premature adult, he is driven from childhood paradise long before his sister and best friend. Hence, he takes on the role of protector of the group. This is the strength of the characterization of Louis: a child who has awakened to the cruelty of the world and swallows all his pain to care for the innocence of his dear friends. So until the end, in which he does not hesitate to behead his girlfriend Mina to save her or to beg for her death.

Finally, one possible parallel to vanitas is that Noah could not kill him. Time will tell, but regretting the idea in Noah's mind that he failed to grant Louis' wish is a remarkable trauma and maybe it's a preview of that horrific ending we all know ... Could it be that Vanitas will ask Noah in the future to kill him? At the moment, this is something unknown even in the manga.

Finally

Vanitas no card Travel into the depths of Noé and Dominique de Sade's past. In them he forms the character of Louis, a child who is marked by curse and pain from birth, but at the same time sensible and ready to protect his dear friends.

A final singular element is the attack used to break or silence an event in the plot. He for example "No N!“By Vanitas is a radical cut that immediately drives away the past and the darkness. Before that, the stage of the past moved in a world of light and joy with threatening shadows in crescendo, until everything explodes with Mina and the curse. The shapeless man silences the music and the sound of his gruesome appearance and Louis' head shoots out. Noah's attitude is surprising, he is able to deal with pain rationally and to answer yes to his teacher that it is okay. Dominique de Sade shows a sweet and fragile childhood, a being very different from what it is in the present. Another development that promises interesting considerations.

About the Author

Sweety Otaku

One of the best parts of watching anime is how many times a show can surprise you. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. But if the Otaku know one thing, it's that anything is possible.

View All Articles