First Impressions: The Case Study of Vanitas


I hope everyone is having a good day, especially those that are currently on spring break.

Things have been going pretty well and I am more able to relax these days, compared to how things have been recently.

Some time ago, I got titles from Amazon and reviewed each of them these past few days.

However, among the titles I got, a few were for a series that I wanted to try out, which started publication fairly recently.

While I have reviewed simulcasts and two or so shows by the episode, I kind of prefer following manga by the volume releases, at least here, because that gives me a better idea of how things are going, or if it can catch my interest.

As such, I am kind of going to do something a bit different from the usual, but not way too far out of what I normally do.

Today, I will be talking about my first impression of the currently running series, which is called The Case Study of Vanitas by Jun Mochizuki.

There once existed a vampire that was feared by many of his own kind because he was born on a night that many vampires are not, and was cast out.

In retaliation, the vampire, known as Vanitas of the Blue Moon, created a book that could destroy all vampires.

Now, after an unknown amount of time passed, many are searching for the book, either to confirm its existence and see what its true purpose is or to destroy it, and one person, named Vanitas, is in possession of this book.

The question is, what does this individual intend to do with the book of legend and why?

As many people should know, at least from the reviews that I have written, I am a big fan of Pandora Hearts and have kind of enjoyed Crimson Shell, though not as much as the former.

When I heard that Jun Mochizuki was working on a new series, I really wanted to see what she could come up with next.

After reading the first few chapters, which, regrettably, are only available on sites where you have to pay to read, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, where I live, I have to say that I am quite impressed.

The moment that I started reading a few pages, I was drawn into the new world that Jun Mochizuki has created.

Back in Pandora Hearts, almost every chapter brought about new questions that I had not even thought of asking before.

In this series, Jun Mochizuki has pretty much been able to establish quite a few questions, which I hope will be answered later, as the series progresses.

For example, I really want to know what VanitasÔÇÖs true intentions are with the book he carries.

He says that he wants to save vampirekind from the curse that they see spreading, but seeing as the narrator says that he would eventually reach the point where he must kill Vanitas, I am starting to think that Vanitas might just be another Jack Vessalius, who was also introduced as some kind of hero, but was eventually revealed to be the one behind the events of the Tragedy of Sablier.

If Vanitas does end up being another Jack, I may be disappointed.

Then again, Jun Mochizuki has been able to do some great work, and even showed that she was capable of improving, considering how Crimson Shell was rather predictable, but Pandora Hearts kept making things seem more mysterious, so I am hoping to see that Jun Mochizuki is able surpass the quality that she was able to attain writing Pandora Hearts.

I also liked how I was able to laugh quite a bit, though not as much as I found myself laughing about the things that Oz and his friends got involved in in Pandora Hearts.

Seeing this, I am hoping that I can actually get quite a good laugh as the series progresses, though I probably will not be talking about series again until the volumes start getting released.

If Jun Mochizuki can deliver on this, which I do not doubt that she can, though I have been disappointed in the past, this series may prove to be a worthy follow up to Pandora Hearts.

The thing that I liked the most though is that the way the series has played out makes me want to purchase the next chapter(s) right now, though I will keep myself in check and wait for volume releases.

When writing a series the hardest thing to do in the beginning is to write it in a way that makes your audience want to continue reading your work.

Even though Jun Mochizuki did not really pull this off too well in the first chapter, which is why I think it is best to review manga when volumes are released, instead of reviewing it chapter by chapter, she really pulled it off in subsequent chapters and I did not want to stop reading for any reason.

If all series started off this way, I would be able to find something that could interest me more easily, and we would have more high quality work.

Unfortunately, very few people can do this on a wide scale and for a long period of time, so I do kind of hope that Jun Mochizuki does not end the early chapters of this series at point where my interest starts to wane, much like Secret Volume 1 did.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that particularly impressed me.

Although I did like what I read so far, there are some issues.

However, considering that this series has only just started, which means that there are going to be the usual problems found at the beginning of a story, I am going to instead talk about the one major thing I hope to see in this series.

When I first heard about this series, there were reports that Jun Mochizuki was going to create a stories that featured vampires, and I was not too thrilled about that.

Now, I am not saying that Jun Mochizuki cannot do this well at all, since she did incorperate elements from the series that focused on Alice and her adventures in Wonderland, but vampires have pretty much run the course with me to the point where if I even realize that vampires are present, I want to either run from the series or be extra strict.

True, it might be very unfair, but there are a ton of vampire stories out there, easily on the Internet, and many of them feature few, if any, unique spins on vampires, or even not enough.

For example, when I saw the Twilight movie with my sister, who was a big fan, I could easily see who was a vampire because the aura they gave off and the feats they did were too much on stereotypical side of things.

In fact, the only thing that was different about the vampires in Twilight, when compared to vampires that appeared in other fictional works, was that they glow or sparkled in sunlight.

Really? Is that really anything to brag about? I want to see something really unique that has not been thought of before, as difficult as it may sound.

As this series goes on, I hope with all of my might that Jun Mochizuki can really make her vampires stand out from everyone else, because that is the only way that I can see this being any good, aside from having the things that made Pandora Hearts as good a series as it is.

If she can do that, which I am confident that she can, I would be able to proudly say that the talent she showed in writing Pandora Hearts was no fluke.

While I am kind of disappointed that Jun Mochizuki decided to create a story around vampires, it is not going to hurt the series if Jun Mochizuki can do things right while she writes this series.

Considering that there was quite a bit to like and that the only thing that may become iffy is how Jun Mochizuki will handle her vampires, this series is definitely worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of mystery, Pandora Hearts, and Jun Mochizuki.

As for everyone else, I recommend giving this series a shot, because Jun Mochizuki seems to be a very decent writer.

What are your thoughts on The Case Study of Vanitas? Did you like it or hate it? If you have read Jun MochizukiÔÇÖs works, do you think that this will become one of her best works or do you think that her abilities have already peaked? What is it that you hope to see from this series? Feel free to comment.

Copyright © 2016 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.