Halloween Reviews: The Case Study of Vanitas

The Case Study of Vanitas is a manga series by Jun Mochizuki set in Paris, France, where humans and vampires live in an uneasy peace. An increasing number of feral vampires threatens to plunge both human and vampire worlds into chaos. With beautiful artwork, engaging characters, and a bombshell of a narrative promise at the end of the first chapter, Vanitas is shaping up to be an unforgettable adventure. 

The story follows Noé Archiviste, a vampire on a quest to find the mysterious grimoire called the Book of Vanitas. This fabled tome is said to have the power to corrupt a vampire’s ‘true name’, and it is a lead to whatever is causing vampires to go mad. On the decks of an airship, Noé encounters a vampire who turns feral and attacks him. Swooping in to save the day, a mysterious man appears who claims to be a doctor for vampires… and who is the current holder of the Book of Vanitas. Is it possible to use such a tome to thwart the feral curse? And what is the true source of the madness?

Previously, Jun Mochizuki created Pandora Hearts, and Vanitas contains more of her stunning artwork. Paris comes to life through her pen. There are steampunk elements and interesting vampire lore that are sure to please readers. The series is rated OT (older teen, 16+) for vampire violence, questionable power dynamics, and surely more to come. As of this writing, there are 8 released volumes.

To find the Case Study of Vanitas, check your local bookstores! A fun fact: Many local and used bookstores are able to order books on demand. Tune in each Wednesday this month for more Halloween reviews!