Book Review: The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 9

Case Study of Vanitas Volume 9 cover.

I hope everyone has been doing well recently, even if you have to
deal with extreme weather right now.

Aside from having a
rough day pretty recently, things have been going fairly well here,
as I can still do as I please.

A few months back, I
went looking through Amazon to keep up to date on the series that I
follow and I saw a surprise listing, due to the series having been
radio silent here for nearly two years.

Recently, my copy of
that title had arrived, which means it is time to get off my butt.

Today, I will be
reviewing that title, which is called The
Case Study of Vanitas Volume 9
by Jun Mochizuki.

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

A person from
Vanias’s past has returned and has taken somebody hostage, to
coerce Noè to find the truth about some nagging questions.

However, when Noè
and the others think that Vanitas has come to save the day, after
being forced to experience some memories and wanting to save his
friend, Vanitas reveals that he has come with other intentions and a
motivation for his revenge.

While the previous
ended in an exciting way, and even left me with questions,
that does not mean that things will be all great with this entry.

And after reading
this volume, I have to say that I feel a little disappointed.

Fortunately, things
were not atrociously bad, so I do not need to do something I am not
exactly fond of doing by skipping right to what I did not like.

From the moment I
opened up this book and starting reading it, 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 draw the audience into the world of the story, thereby creating
the temporary escape that they desire.

While creating such
a good beginning can be done in various ways, depending on the genre
and the medium used to present the work, this series, like many other
manga, was originally published in a serial publication, which mean
that things need to start up in a way that makes sense based upon the
last installment.

In the last volume,
Mikhail decided to take Domique hostage after she failed to bring Noè
to him, where he made his demand clear that Noè had to drink the
blood of Vanitas and find the truth behind what happened to the
vampire of the blue moon if he wanted his friend to live.

In this volume,
after we see that it has been discovered by the staff that Domnique
was missing, things pick up where they left off, with Noè asking
Mikhail who he was talking about.

Even though I did
not exactly remember what happened before, due to the fact that Yen
Press had not released a volume for so long and both the anime
adaptation and the Japanese release of the manga revealed things that
I remembered more clearly than the previous volume, this was still
the best way to start things off, as the biggest question from the
previous volume’s cliffhanger was what would happen after Mikhail
made his demands and why Vanitas was so concerned.

By starting things
off like that, it maintains the intrigue, making it easier to slide
back into the series, with little trouble.

If things had
started off differently, I am not too sure if things would have been
that much better, seeing as this is the only way that things could
have started.

Thankfully, Jun
Mochizuki remembered the cliffhanger she left in the final chapter of
the previous volume, which makes me feel like giving her a passing

I also liked how a
bit of the past between Luna, Mikhail, and Vanitas was explored.

Even though the
vampire has been mentioned quite often in the series, we know nothing
about them other than that they created the books that Vanitas and
Mikhail hold and why they are feared, at least if you ignore the
anime adaptation, which has gotten past this point in the series, so
they were kind of mysterious.

Here, however, we
get to see what life was like for Vanitas when he, Mikhail, and Luna
were living together and what had transpired before the vampire of
the blue moon decided to take the two in.

Up until this point,
it never really made sense why Luna had taken them in, as what
Vanitas said seems to suggest that things were just as horrific as
they were under Moreau and that Mikhail appeared to have behaviors
similar to that of a cultist.

In the flashback, or
memory, presented in this volume, we see that Luna actually took care
of the two and showed concern, although they almost left Mikhail and
Vanitas behind in the ruins of their rampage.

Although this does
not answer any big questions, like why Vanitas killed Luna and is now
seeking revenge by erasing their existence, it does make me wonder
how accurate the legends are regarding Luna and if they are actually
evil, much like how Jack Vessalius from Pandora Hearts was
viewed as a hero before it was revealed that he caused the tragedy of

If Jun Mochizuki had
not included these moments in this volume, I think I would be alright
with it, since I do not know how long this series will run and Jun
Mochizuki has done a good job of tying up loose ends in the past, but
I do not think that I would have found too much to like about this

Fortunately, Jun
Mochizuki decided that it was important that we get this tidbit of
the past of Mikhail and Vanitas and that makes me feel like giving
her some praise.

Hopefully, we learn
even more about the past as the series goes on, as that will help
flesh things out better, but considering how desperate Vanitas was to
keep Noè from sucking his blood, I doubt that more will be revealed
until we get closer to the end, where we find out what the children
of ill omen in this world are and who Luna truly is as a person.

Another thing that I
really liked was the humor to be found in this volume.

While this volume
has been mostly series, seeing as the volume releases from Yen Press
are catching up to the anime that was dubbed by FUNimation, before
they decided to rebrand as Crunchyroll after the merger, it is nice
to be able to get some laughs, even if it was just bonus content.

In this volume, the
hilarity revolved around a few omakes where three characters go
missing at different times and different reasons and everybody is
freaky out.

First, Noè says
that he intends to walk around Paris after work and everyone notices
that it is getting late, so they decide to search for him, but
Vanitas reveals that he can be a free spirit and pursues whatever
interests him, like a huge crowd and such.

Second, Roland
apparently goes missing on a day he takes off, with his constituents
frantically looking about the place, before Olivier reveals that
Roland just do whatever and seems to come back at the worst possible
time and Astolfo makes a guess as to what happened, assuming Roland
is actually responsible.

Third, Louis says
that he is planning to go into the woods after reading a book about a
boy who disappears after going into the woods and everyone becomes
worried when he did not come back.

Even though each of
these three bonuses were funny, with Roland’s probably being the
only real stand out, I think I had much more of a laugh from the fact
that all three of them caused people to worry because of their
childish whims, with Louis being the real child of the trio, and that
all three returned or were found with no fanfare.

This was probably
the biggest highlight for me, even though I would not say it is the
best part of the volume overall, because these bonuses actually made
the volume worth reading.

If Jun Mochizuki had
omitted these bonuses, I would have been even more disappointed with
this volume than I am, and enough so that getting the next volume
would be low on my list.

Thankfully, Jun
Mochizuki decided to include some humorous moments in this volume,
even if they were just bonuses, which makes me feel like giving her a
passing grade.

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

As I have said a
countless number of times already, the second most important part of
a work of fiction is how things end, as the ending is supposed to
either leave the audience feeling satisfied, if it is either a
standalone work or the final installment in a series, or give the
audience a reason to demand more, if it is part of a series.

Even though I am not
particularly happy with the ending, as I know the events featured so
far are coming to a close and I was anticipating Noè meeting his
teacher again, like how things happened in the anime adaptation,
which has been fairly faithful to this manga, it still did its job
well and had me on the edge of my seat, in spite of knowing what will
happen later because of the anime adaptation.

I may not be anxious
to get the next volume, although it is set to come out in October
according to the product
on Amazon and I did place an order for it, but I can
still see how thrilling things seem to be, especially with the last
page showing what seems to be the end of the clash between Noè and
Vanitas that makes me want to find out how things end.

If things had not
ended here, there may have been a chance that I would have enjoyed
myself more, seeing as Yen Press released this after these events
were covered in a very faithful anime adaptation, but thinking things
through, I am not too sure there would be many good options for where
this volume could have ended.

Thankfully, Square
Enix, or whoever they had compile these chapters into this volume,
decided to make a good choice on where to end things, which makes me
feel like giving them some high praise.

Hopefully, future
volumes will be able to end just as well as this one did, but I would
not be surprised if there is actually an ending to complain about.

Outside of those
things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at
least that could stand out as much as what I talked about.

Because this volume
started off great, the bonuses were absolutely hilarious, and the
ending had me on the edge of my seat, inspite of what I knew, this
was a very decent read.

Although there were
things that I liked about this book, there are some issues.

However, aside from
things that are too minor to talk about, like typos, I have only two
problems with it.

First, the contents
are too time sensitive to enjoy.

While there is
nothing atrociously wrong with this volume, to the point where I
could have overlooked any small stuff, I did not find myself enjoying
things to the fullest because I have been away from this series too
long to the point where I forgot about any lingering questions I had
thanks to Yen Press releasing this after almost two years after
releasing the previous volume.

I may have a better
memory than most people, but two years is still along time and
interest in a series can wane within in that span, which is why
titles published in serial publications should not be seeing long
windows without any releases.

Yes, there are
people that follow series like Beserk and Hunter x Hunter,
which have gone years at a time or more without seeing new chapters
and still have a large amount of fans, but I would not expect people
to wait around too long.

In this case of this
volume, I would the long wait time hurt it because I would have
enjoyed this more if I had read this not long after reading the
previous volume, since there was nothing that really disgusted me as
a whole.

However, because it
took so long to release, I found myself not quite as impressed or

If Yen Press had
released this sooner, though I will acknowledge the possibility that
Square Enix might have had a reason to have the release delayed until
now, even though the Japanese got this volume back in 2021, I think I
would have enjoyed it a whole lot more.

Hopefully, there are
not any more delays like this, because I really don’t think time of
release should hurt things as much as it did for me, but I will not
be surprised if more delays do crop up.

The second problem I
have with this volume is that it does not seem like a great read if
you have already read the chapters or watched the anime.

Now, some of you
guys might be thinking that an anime adaptation cannot possibly ruin
the experience of a manga, unless the anime was without a doubt much
better than the manga, seeing as how I enjoyed Oz confronting Xai in
of Pandora Hearts more than how it played out in the
anime, even though the anime featured the confrontation first, but
from having watched the anime adaptation of this series and seeing
how faithful it was, especially with how similar the fight between
Noè and Vanitas was to how it played out here, the excitement was
gone and I was wondering when the mysterious teacher would arrive.

It may have been
exciting to see this fight play out when it was new in the Japanese
releases, but it is not really that fun to read through it while
knowing what is to come.

There are people
that like to reread or rewatch their favorite books, movies, and
shows and many of them get excited even though they see what is
coming because everything was just that good, but that only works
when there is enough interest to cancel out what they already know or
they were able to pick up on things or notice things or, much like my
experience with volume
of Detective Conan, the knowledge of things to come
makes things more enjoyable.

Here, however,
knowing how the events between Noè and Vanitas would end kills that

If Yen Press were
able to release this back in 2022, or even 2021, when it was released
according a page
on a wiki dedicated to the works of Jun Mochizuki, I think I would
have been able to enjoy this more, even if there would have still
been the possibility of the anime showing these events first.

Sadly, Yen Press did
not release it until now, when the anime got ahead of these events,
and it really killed the excitement for me to the point where this
just barely meets the expectations I have.

Hopefully, things
will get better from here, to where rereading future volumes or
seeing a faithful anime adaptation before seeing it in the manga does
not put a damper on things, but I would not be surprised if this
happens again.

Thankfully, these
are the only issues I had with this volume, so Jun Mochizuki and
Square Enix, as well as Yen Press, can walk away knowing that they
did not do anything truly egregious.

While there were
only two issues with this volume that bothered me, the fact that they
only hurt the enjoyment for those with bad memory or those that have
either read the chapters as they were released monthly or had seen
the anime adaptation lessens whatever damage they have done.

Considering that the
only things to real hate was that the wait time for this volume and
that it may not be enjoyable to reread, this was definitely worth

I mainly recommend
this to fans of The Case Study of Vanitas, as they will like
this the most, but I strongly recommended reading the previous
volume(s) before jumping in to get the full enjoyment.

As for everyone
else, this might be worth giving a try, but I strongly recommend
getting both this volume and its predecessor together and read them
back to back.

If you liked this
review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on
either Patreon
or SubscribeStar,
so I can continue following this series and possibly find more
worthwhile reads for you guys, regardless of what the future may have
in store for me.

Copyright © 2023 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.