Finally finished this show with the girlfriend and I figured it was time to give my thoughts on it! Despite my rather lackluster feelings to its first half I have stayed with the show. Have those opinions changed at all? Well after the cut let’s take a dive into the second cour of The Case Study of Vanitas and find out!
I was not kidding about feeling very ‘eh’ about this show during its initial run. Despite a cool premise and setting, I found Case Study to be too fast-paced, with characters not given enough room to breathe. The show seemed to jump from plot point to plot point at lightning speed and have little regard for what people might have wanted to see. Still I kept with the show and the promise that it would be entering a more focused singular arc in the next cour.
My hopes were overall proven right, as the second cour of Case Study is a marked improvement over the first. The Beast of Gevaudan gives the series the time and space it needs to establish itself, with proper pacing and a clear beginning, middle and end point. Instead of a wild shot-gun approach, the plot is focused and there is enough time to let it flourish without trying to go to the next thing. Watching Noe and Vanitas (with an assist from Jeanne) try to uncover the mystery of the beast has all the trappings of a solid adventure arc, and with enough foreshadowing to future events that make it not feel filler or padded. Is it anything special? Not at all, but for a show like Case Study which desperately needed something like this, it is a warm welcome.
The same can be said for the follow-up story arc, which sheds light on Vanitas’s life after he was rescued by the Vampire of the Blue moon. I have run hot and cold on the character of Vanitas throughout the show, and frankly I don’t care much for him, but it is his relationship with Noe that remains this story’s biggest draw. They are kindred spirits who, despite not caring much for the other, are tied at the hip in the way that echoes Holmes and Watson, or Kirk and Spock: a friendship that will define them both. Jeanne and Dominique remain good supporting leads as well, and seeing Jeanne come into her own and re-discovered her love and humanity has been a real treat. I just wish that Dominique had more to do this season that shows up, be emo, and then stop being emo. Her backstory involving her brother Louis is interesting, but isn’t;’ really explored enough from her point of view to have any staying power. Not to mention that her conversation with Jeanne at the end is completely off screen, which is a shame.
The second cour of The Case Study of Vanitas is in the end, a marked improvement over the first. All the flaws are still present, and I frankly don’t care much for the characters. But the show has slowed itself down, focused on one issue at a time, and finally given its cast room to breathe. I enjoyed myself far more this go around and would be interested in seeing what happens next. And while this won’t be a series I’ll be jumping at the bit to find out what happens, anything that can turn it around deserves praise. If you tuned out during the first half, maybe sit down and give the show a second look. You might be surprised at what you find.