Series: The Case Study of Vanitas #2
Author: Jun Mochizuki
Source/Format: Gift; Paperback
More Details: Manga; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Yen Press; May 23, 2017
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
Now installed at a hotel in Paris with the help of Count Orlok, Noé and Vanitas take their awkward partnership on the road...to a vampire masquerade ball! The order of the evening may be small talk and hobnobbing with fellow guests, but the mystery of the curse-bearers is never too far behind. The intrigue swirls as quickly as the dancers twirl, a blue moon ascends upon the guests...and all hell breaks loose!
So far, Mochizuki’s take on vampires is proving to be one of my favorites. They have some of the usual traits—super strength, immortality—but they don’t need to drink blood to live (it seems like more of an indulgence, so far) and they live in another world entirely. The artwork for Altus Paris was gorgeous. I loved the style of the city, and how different it was from the steampunk Paris the story began in—just by changing one aspect about the sky. I also liked the details about names. Names have meaning and importance. It comes up all the time in fiction, in particular fairy tales or stories based on them (think Spinning Silver, The Cruel Prince, and most stories involving fairies). Names, true names, have power in this story, and I was surprised at how closely linked it was to curse-bearers. I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops later on.
I also enjoyed how quickly volume 2 delved into talking more about the world, and mentioned some occurrence called Babel. I found this quote—“Babel really was an astounding incident, wasn’t it? Rewriting the principles of the world like that…”—pretty interesting since the magic-type system in this world is related to world formula revisions.
As for the events in this volume, it presented some interesting questions as to the source of curse-bearers themselves. It also fleshed-out the dynamic between the dual protagonist, and it directly showcased more of the vampire society/politics that were hinted about in the last volume. That also included the introduction of a few new characters.
With the way the twists keep coming, The Case Study of Vanitas is shaping up to be one of my favorite series. The current arc of the story isn’t over quite yet, and now more than ever I’m excited to read volume 3.