The second season premiere of Vanitas no Carte has an interesting distinction at LiA (and with well over 8000 posts, that’s saying something). It’s generated the most traffic of any post that didn’t get a single comment. Why? I’m honestly not sure. There are certain series that tend to generate fewer comments than their hits would normally suggest, and Vanitas historically fits that mold. Beyond that, who knows – it was a good premiere, if not remarkable in any specific way (though an awful lot did happen). But not every post makes history, so at least it has that going for it.
This week’s outing should, I suspect, scratch the itch of a lot of the series’ viewers. Jeanne is one of its most popular characters, for obvious reasons. And this ep was pretty much a connected series of shots of her being mostly nude, embarrassed, or both. It also featured Vanitas in an unusually vulnerable state, then trolling as he normally does. For those fans that ship these two this was all a fair breeze in the sails, I imagine. I’m not sure if I do or not to be honest, but it was certainly fun to watch.
Jeaane feeling a certain sense of responsibility for what happened to Vanitas (he figuratively took a bullet for her, pretty much) is understandable. But it’s also pretty clear she’s attracted to him, as horrifying as that idea is to her. I’m not actually 100% sure he’s attracted to her, despite his theatrics to that effect last season – Vanitas is such a troll I could easily see him putting that on to mess with her head (both for fun and to give him a trump card if he ever needs to use it). Vanitas weak and helpless (who is Lou?) is clearly a turn-on for Jeanne, though he does muster the strength to forbid her from removing his glove (if we know the reason for that, I confess I’ve forgotten it).
The MacGuffin of this arc certainly seems to be Chloe – who Jeanne further identifies as Chloe d’Apchier (the d’Apchier were the barons of Gévaudan, and historically involved in the hunt for the legendary beast). Their connection is that Jeanne visited the castle as a child and bonded with the vampire Chloe, who she tells Vanitas is “older than Ruthven”. Later she was sent as a bourreau to eliminate Chloe but hesitated, and is determined to make amends for that now.
As for Chloe, she’s taken Noe (hey, that rhymes) back to the chateau and when he wakes up, she’s sucking his blood. Doing so uninvited is something akin to a sexual assault among vampires, it seems, and Noe is terrified. The guy I didn’t recognize last week comes in, and his name is apparently Jean-Jacques (Hamano Daiki). He rescues Noe, though mainly because he’s furious that Chloe should drink any man’s blood but his own. He also returns Noe’s clothes and Murr to boot, and things are all rather civil. That is, until Noe comes down to breakfast and finds out that Charlatan is the one who told Chloe who he was.
If anything seems obvious at this point, it’s that Chloe is not some run-of-the-mill cursed vampire. She doesn’t look or act like someone who needs saving, the locals are convinced she’s a witch, and whatever is happening in Gévaudan she seems quite in-control. We already know via Jeanne’s testimony that she has a connection to Ruthven, and we know Ruthven is likewise in league with Charlatan and has Noe under his control. Therefore I think it’s safe to assume Ruthven’s fingerprints are all over what’s going on here, whether it was to get hold of the Book of Vanitas, take out what he sees as potential threats, or both.