Book Review: The Case of Vanitas Volume 6

The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 6 cover

I hope everyone is doing well, and managed to get the
holiday shopping done.

Things have been going fairly well here, as I can still do
what I like.

A while back, I had preordered some titles from Amazon and a
couple titles or so got pushed back by the publisher.

Fortunately, the last title I was expecting this year
recently arrived, so it is time to get down to business.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 6
by Jun Mochizuki.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier
post
, I will not go over it again.

After recovering from the recent events that transpired,
while trying to find a creature, Noé and Vanitas find themselves separated,
with Noé meeting a strange woman who has lived in the area long before the
creature of legend.

However, when Noé encounters the entity that took his friend,
he starts wondering what is going on, while Vanitas, who is searching for Noé, finds
himself in a different past than the previous one.

While this series has been able to maintain my interest
quite well, I am still a little wary that it could go downhill, with how many
things have disappointed me this year.

Thankfully, after reading this, I can say that I enjoyed
this, though not quite to the level that I would have liked.

From the moment that I opened up this volume and started
reading, I found myself engrossed enough that I did not want to stop reading
for any reason.

As I have said a countless number of times, one of the most
important things in a work of fiction is how things begin, as the beginning is
supposed to pull the reader into another world, thereby giving the audience the
temporary escape that they desire.

While this kind of hook can be accomplished in many
different ways, depending on the genre and the medium used to present the work,
this, like many other manga series, was originally published in a serial
publication, which means that it has to pick up in a way that makes sense,
based upon how the last installment ended.

In the previous
volume
, Noé and Vanitas were separated, with Vanitas being in terrible
condition and Jeanne trying to take care of him and Noé waking up in a strange
place with a strange woman, and this volume started off with the situation
involving Vanitas and Jeanne.

Even though I am not particularly fond of how things started
out, seeing as the final panels of the previous volume ended with Noé waking to
see a strange woman greet him, which did cause me some confusion in this
volume, it still did a good job of pulling me back into the world, making me
wonder how and when Vanitas would be reunited with Noé, which was a lot better
than the last time I found myself just as confused as I was here, which was with
volume
9
of The Ancient Magus’ Bride.

If things had started out any worse than they did, I would
have been very disappointed, because Jun Mochizuki is usually good about starting
off the first chapter in each volume in her series, and by making readers feel
confused it in the beginning, that would have made it hard for people to get
into it, regardless of whether they are a newcomer or a fan of the series.

Fortunately, Jun Mochizuki did not mess things up too badly,
which makes me want to give her some minor applause.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to start off a little
better than this one did, as that will help maintain interest, especially because
it seems like the volumes are now released by Yen Press on a yearly schedule,
seeing as how nearly a year passed since the last volume was release.

I also liked how the past of the characters introduced were
explored.

One of the things that I really like about Jun Mochizuki’s
work is how she seems to know the proper time to reveal the past and in a way
that can add more to the overall mystery of her stories, making me want to find
out more about what is going on, and possibly making me feel pity for the
characters.

Here, in this volume, after we meet the woman that Jeanne
was chasing and Noé starts wondering what is going on and Chloe starts doing
something, a flashback occurs showing Chloe’s past from when she was young,
where the family’s research, for the purpose of making her human again, began up
to the point where Jean, Chloe’s current attendant, met her.

Within that flashback, we see that Chloe had met Ruthven
himself, who seemed to be a rather nice fellow at the time, though he did warn
her to be cautious of him, and even made contact with another vampire who had
only recently been mentioned earlier in the volume.

Later on, within the same flashback, Ruthven returns, after
Chloe was told that he was as good as dead, and tries to do the same thing he
did to Noé in the present, after calling himself a fool for chasing after a
dream, to try and get his hands on the research her family conducted.

Seeing all of this, it makes me wonder just when he forged
connections with Charlatan, as well as why he said what he did when Chloe put
up a fight, as well as helped me to understand a bit of why she would voluntarily
become a curse bearer, though the reason she seeks revenge is not really
talked.

Even though this probably does not tie back to the mysteries
surrounding Vanitas of the Blue Moon or the book of Vanitas itself, which are
way bigger mysteries in my eyes, it does a good job of capturing my interest,
giving me more reason to want to continue on with the series, just to find out
what is going on.

If Jun Mochizuki had not included this flashback, which makes
up most of the volume, I think I would have very disappointed, as nothing else
really happens in the volume that would have really piqued my interest, such as
what the book of Vanitas can do in the wrong hands, though that is still
possible because Vanitas has not recovered it yet.

Thankfully, Jun Mochizuki did make this flashback, which
makes me want to give her some applause for not making it obvious that very
little had occurred.

Hopefully, things like this would continue to happen as the
series progress, so that things would not start to get boring, but because Jun
Mochizuki and those helping her bring this series to the masses are only human,
I would not be surprised things get worse.

Another thing that I liked was how it was revealed that not
all vampires became curse-bearers involuntarily, like a disease.

Throughout much of the series, every vampire Vanitas
encountered and helped seemed to be suffering from something like a disease,
though it was shown that Charlatan was involved with those curses, which gave
me reason as to why vampires would attack their own kind, seeing as Ruthven has
already been revealed to be connected with Charlatan.

However, in this volume, when Noé found out the entity that
cursed his friend was now connected with Chloe, the person suspected to be the
sought after beast, the entity, known as Naenia, reveals that not just anyone
could become a curse bearer.

Now, some people may be thinking that the are some sort of
requirements, much like how Baskervilles in Pandora Hearts could form
contracts with chains without consequence, but rather than individuals not
meeting the right requirements, Naenia says it is because some vampires are
stronger than others to the point where it cannot do anything to them,
regardless of how badly it wants that vampire’s true name, thereby making it so
that such vampires can only become curse bearers voluntarily, and two of those
vampires were Chloe and Noé.

After hearing those words and being offered a deal of
anything in exchange for his true name, Noé asks Naenia if that was what it did
to his friend, Louis.

Even though this is a situation that makes sense to me, it
still makes things very interesting because I am wondering why Ruthven was able
to hold influence over Noé but Naenia could not, especially because Chloe had
fought of Ruthven’s attempts to curse her and allowed Naenia to curse her.

If Jun Mochizuki had not introduced this puzzling mystery, I
think that I would have been disappointed, as the series would have eventually
become more akin to a monster of the week series, rather than having any
questions that keep the readers interested, since Vanitas would have been just
going from one afflicted vampire to the next.

Fortunately, Jun Mochizuki did shake things up a bit, which
makes me want to giver her some more applause for a job well done.

Hopefully, there will be more moments like this in future
releases, because I would like to be taken for another ride like I had in Pandora
Hearts
, and I am sure other fans of hers are expecting the same, but I know
better than to let my satisfaction with one work delude me into thinking that
it would be true of anything released after.

The thing that I liked the most though was how this ended.

Aside from how things begin, another thing that is very
important is how things end, as it is supposed either leave the audience
satisfied, if it is a standalone work or the final installment in a series, or
give them an incentive to continue on, if it is an installment to a series.

While I would not say that the way this volume ended was how
I would have liked it to end, seeing as it just gears up for a fight, rather
than leaving me with more questions that I want answered, the way things
progressed right up to that moment managed to get me excited to see just what
exactly would happen, while not pushing the questions I had while reading this
volume to the side, making me want to get my hands on the next volume as soon
as possible.

This is how a work like this should end, when the big
questions to be had have already surfaced, and Jun Mochizuki and Square Enix, or
whoever they had put this volume together, chose a great place to end the
volume.

If Jun Mochizuki or Square Enix, or whoever put this volume
together for them, had not ended things like they did, I would likely be very
disappointed, as the intrigue behind what is going on could have been greatly
diminished, thereby hurting the overall quality of the series.

Thankfully, that did not happen and both Jun Mochizuki and
Square Enix, or whoever they had put the volume together, made a good choice on
how things should end, which makes me want to give them a good round of
applause.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to end just as well
as this one did, if not better, because I and many other people would like to
see this series end just as well as Pandora Hearts did, but I am ready
to pounce when things become disappointing.

Outside of those things, I can think of anything else that I
particularly liked, at least that stood out as much as what I talked about.

Because my interested was captured quickly and held right up
to the end, there were tons of questions I had by what was revealed, from
flashbacks involving new characters to conversations that happened, and that the
ending had me on edge while reading through it, this was a fairly decent read.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, and two things that could be easily overlooked without any
problems, and were already noted, nothing really bothered me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth
talking about.

Considering that there was quite a bit to like and nothing
to really hate, unless you want to get real nit picky, this was definitely
worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of The Case Study of
Vanitas
and Jun Mochizuki, as they will like this the most, though Vanitas
fans might be more pleased with with it.

As for everyone else, this may be worth giving a try, but I
strongly recommend reading the previous volumes first, to be able to really
enjoy this.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on either Patreon or SubscribeStar, or if you would
like a copy of the reviewed title, buy
The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 6
from Book Depository, who offers
free shipping to many countries around the world, so I can find more worthwhile
reads for you guys to check out, and, hopefully, on a more regular basis.

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