Book Review: The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 7

The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 7 cover.

I hope everyone is still doing alright, even with the
continued annoyances of the current predicament.

Things are going pretty well here, aside from needing to
adjust to recent developments, and I can still do as I please.

A while back, I was able to place a preorder for a title I
follow, and it recently arrived, which means that it time to get my butt in
gear.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 7
by Jun Mochizuki.

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

Things have started heating up, as various parties start to
make their move towards their own goals, with some things being discovered
about those goals.

However, while things are about to be wrapped up, something
happens that shocks everyone.

While the previous
volume
was good, it did not leave completely satisfied, which makes me
wonder if things are going downhill.

And after reading this volume, I found it to just be okay.

Fortunately, things were not disappointing enough that I feel
like going into a tirade, which would have really disappointed me.

From the moment I opened up this book and started reading
the first few pages, 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 before, one of
the most important things in a work of fiction is how things begin, as the
beginning is supposed to transport the audience into new world, thereby giving
them the temporary escape that they desire.

While this can be accomplished in a multitude of ways,
depending on the kind of work and the medium used to present the story, this
series, like many other manga series, was originally published in a serial
publication, which means that things need to pick up in a way that makes sense,
based upon where the previous installment concluded.

In the previous volume, Vanitas and Noé had finally
reunited, with Noé asking Vanitas to save Chloe, with the final panels showing
the appearance of the chasseurs, giving the impression that a battle was about
to begin.

In this volume, things start off with Noé prepared to duke
it out, realizing his mistake.

Even though I cannot say that this was the most satisfying
beginning, especially because the volumes come out only twice a year, this was
the only way things could start, as a battle was promised more than any answers
to questions that I had, making it rather simple to remember what had happened,
though not quite too well.

If Jun Mochizuki had not started things off like this or
Square Enix, or whoever they had compile the chapters into this volume, decided
to start the volume off differently, I would have been really disappointed because
I would have found myself very confused and readers hate feeling confused.

Thankfully, things started off as they should have, which
makes me feel like giving Jun Mochizuki and Square Enix, or whoever put the
volume together for them, a passing grade for doing something right.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to start off just as
well as this one did, even if my real wish is to see a beginning that does not make
it feel like I am better off buying the chapters Yen Press puts out monthly, as
that will help bring in more readers, as well as keep fans engaged, but because
Jun Mochizuki and everyone working their hardest to bring this out to the
masses are human, like the rest of us, I doubt that they can be consistent in delivering
great beginnings.

I also liked seeing how Jeanne was shown to be experiencing
internal conflict in this volume.

While many of us these days like seeing external conflict,
whether that be one team vs. another in sports, war, or trying to change
society, having a focus on that in fiction tends to become boring quickly
because it suggests human beings are all the same or have the same goals.

Now, seeing as I have said a few times on here that humans
are quite similar to each other, you guys might be wondering why I am saying
that humans are different, and that is because we have our own goals,
struggles, and dreams, and because of that our struggles are not exactly the
same, with different causes and different solutions, much like computer
troubles.

One of things I really like Jun Mochizuki’s work, aside from
how she is able put her own unique spin on things, is how she takes the time to
give her characters problems of their own to deal with, in the middle of their
adventures, like how Oz from Pandora Hearts did not value his life because
his father refused to acknowledge him as a person, making it necessary that he
finds a reason to live, rather than willingly accepting death, or how hung up
on the past Glen Baskerville was.

By having things like this, it allows the characters to
grow, and even gives the audience something to look forward to beyond the plot,
which is a major problem in many books published where I lived today, seeing as
there are so many stories out there with unnecessary epilogues.

Here in this volume, we learn how Jeanne became an assassin
that goes after vampires who have been cursed and lost control, and see how she
struggled to dispose of the one believed to be the beast, as well as how she is
still struggling to kill somebody that means a lot to her, ultimately asking
Vanitas to help Chloe.

For the longest time in this series, I could not really see
anything that interesting about Jeanne, seeing as she did not have much
character, beyond saying that she was a tool, which is understandable from the
past that was revealed in this volume, and here, I finally saw her human side
that made it seem like she was more than a side character in all of this.

If Jeanne was still resolved to carry out an assassination
mission without question, even though it has been confirmed that Chloe is not
the beast, I would have been very disappointed, and made me feel like she got
too much of the spotlight, but seeing how she was still struggling with the
past and expressed a selfish wish to Vanitas, it made things a little more
exciting.

Hopefully, there will be much more internal conflict to
come, aside from what is already expected by how things began, but considering
that there are things that are not quite up to snuff in this volume, I would
not be surprised if things go downhill in this area too.

Another thing that I liked was how things did not go as
planned for one of the parties.

Aside from how well Jun Mochizuki incorporates internal
conflict, I also like how she goes for something unexpected or something that
other characters do not expect, within a believable manner.

In this series so far, many vampires are cursed and will
have a somewhat predictable course of action, in that they will all go berserk,
and with what was revealed in the previous volume, in that there are beings too
powerful to be forcibly overtaken, many characters, including Naenia, believe
that they will carry out the explicitly revealed desire.

However, in this volume, we learn that Chloe’s true desire
was not to erase Gévaudan, but to go after Naenia.

While I feel less than impressed by these developments,
seeing as vampires who could only become curse bearers by choice could
obviously have other plans in mind, like how Light took advantage of the death note
rules by willingly giving up ownership of the death note, it was still
enjoyable to see the shock on the faces of the characters, when Chloe’s true
plans were revealed, even if I was not wondering to myself what Chloe’s plans
were.

If Chloe had done what Naenia thought she would, I would
have been very disappointed, especially because Noé was already questioning
Chloe’s motives for voluntarily becoming a curse bearer, which meant that Jun
wanted that to be a question in everyone’s mind, and made me consider dropping
this series.

Fortunately, Jun Mochizuki did decide act upon the thing she
wanted us to question, which makes me feel like giving her some applause,
though not as much as if Chloe’s hidden agenda was not made as clear as it was.

Hopefully, there will be more unexpected twists in future
volumes, as that helped to make Jun’s previous work so enjoyable, but because
the twist in here was not that well hidden, I doubt things were ever be as
exciting as they were in Pandora Hearts.

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

Aside from how things begin, another important aspect in a
work of fiction is how things end because the ending is supposed either leave
the audience satisfied, if it is a standalone work or the final installment in
a series, or give them a reason to read more, if it it is an installment in a
series.

While I am not completely happy with the way things ended,
due to being reminded of how many volumes of Detective Conan, another
series I follow, concluded volumes when there was only one chapter left, it
still did the job that it was supposed to do and makes me kind of want to get
the next volume as soon as, by making me wonder if Vanitas can succeed in
saving Chloe and Jean, now that he has found what he is looking for.

If things had not ended like this, I might have been alright
with it, as I only see Chloe’s situation taking one chapter to be resolved, but
there is also a chance that the ending could have been worse, thereby turning
readers away.

Thankfully, Jun Mochizuki and Square Enix, or whoever they
had put this volume together, chose to end the volume in a decent enough place,
which makes me feel like give them another passing grade.

Hopefully, future volumes will end just as well as this one
did, if not better, but considering that I was not quite as excited about what
I got in this volume, I am not sure that I will get anymore volumes to find
out.

Outside of those things, I cannot thinking of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that stood out as much as what I did talk
about.

Because my interest was captured quickly and held right to
the end, with a decent enough beginning, there was some internal conflict to be
seen in a character, things happened that were not expected, unless you
remember what had happened in the previous volume, and the ending had me on
end, this was a somewhat decent read.

Although there were things that I like about the book, there
are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, and stuff that can be inferred from what I have said already,
there was one thing that I was quite annoyed with, which was the surprise
revelation in this volume.

While I may like surprises in a work of fiction as anybody
else, and surprises did make me more excited with each installment of Pandora
Hearts
, Jun’s previous work, the surprise here just felt dull and like
something came up on the spot.

In this volume, after Chloe attempted to exact vengeance on
Naenia, Vanitas spoke up and said to not make Naenia remember who she is, at
which point Naenia turns into the vampire queen that no vampire could go
against.

Even though I feel like I should be excited for this, seeing
as Ruthven has been confirmed to be with Charlatan, and it would make sense for
other important figures, I do not feel like excited because I never heard of
the queen before, nor has there been anything to suggest that she would show
sooner or later, though there might have been hinted that would only be
revealed in the monthly releases from Yen Press right now, and because of this,
I feel like Jun Mochizuki just pulled things out of a hat.

If Naenia had not been revealed to be the queen and the
first vampire of the red moon at this moment, and just let her remain
mysterious, like Jun did with Jack and the Baskervilles for much of Pandora
Hearts, I feel like this would have been the highlight of the volume, seeing as
we are supposed to be seeing the story through Noé’s eyes, but because she had
to be named before her relevance to the series was made clear, I am left
wondering what reason do I have to keep on chugging along through this series.

What is going, Jun Mochizuki? Did you forget what made Pandora
Hearts
so great that it rightfully gave you the spotlight?

Yes, this series is almost nothing like Pandora Hearts,
as the only big question is why Vanitas will ultimately ask Noé to kill him,
which was brought up in the very first volume, whereas Pandora Hearts started
off as a journey for answers to a bunch of questions, but I still feel like I
need something more substantial.

If this is the best Jun Mochizuki can do now, I am extremely
disappointed in her, after she was able to impress me so much before.

Hopefully, Jun Mochizuki and her editors/proofreaders learn
from this and improve things enough that she does not become a one hit wonder,
because I really want to see her succeed, but if I feel less than excited right
now, I doubt that things will improve much in the future, though she could
likely show that this was just a small slip up.

Thankfully, this was the only thing that really bothered, so
Jun Mochizuki and those that helped her bring this series to the masses can
walk away knowing that they did not completely and utterly fail.

While there was only one annoyance, it did enough damage to almost
knock the volume down a peg from okay to just a step away from being bad.

Despite the fact that there was one thing that really
bothered me, the good balanced it out to make it good enough to kill time.

I mainly recommend this to fans of The Case Study of
Vanitas
, as they might like this the most, though one of the surprises
found might be a turn off, due to it feeling like Jun Mochizuki had a hard time
trying to think of something to make things interesting.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
seeing as this is a continuation of a story, it might be best to read the
previous volumes first.

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 to check out the reviewed title for yourself, buy
a copy of The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 7
from Book Depository,
who offers free shipping to many places around the world, so that I can find
more worthwhile reads for you guys to check out, and possibly give me more
incentive to continue on with this series.

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