Vanitas no Carte: The Case Study of Vanitas: Reflecting on the Bittersweet Farewell

The Bittersweet Ending of Vanitas no Carte: An Unsatisfying Conclusion

In the realm of anime adaptations, it’s not uncommon to encounter endings that leave viewers wanting more. Vanitas no Carte, a series that has essentially caught up with its source material, is no exception. While the finale is undeniably open-ended and somewhat unsatisfying, it’s important to acknowledge the constraints faced by the anime. The simultaneous release of the manga posed a challenge for Bones, the animation studio behind the adaptation. Given the circumstances, one can argue that there might not have been many viable alternatives to the way the story concluded.

An Irksome MacGuffin and Untapped Potential

The frustration with this ending stems from the fact that the central MacGuffin, Teacher (also known as Grandfather, Shapeless One, Marquis de Sade, or Comte de Saint Germain), plays a rather minor role throughout the narrative. Teacher is revealed to be the mastermind behind Mikhail’s destructive actions, and it’s implied that he has influenced numerous other events in the story. However, the true extent of his power remains shrouded in mystery. This revelation flirts with the idea of withholding vital information from the audience, potentially leaving them feeling cheated.

Surprisingly, Misha, a character burdened with immense suffering, elicits sympathy by the end. Considering his experiences and the torment inflicted upon him by Grandfather, it’s understandable that he would be deeply scarred. Despite possessing a similar power to Vanitas, Misha lacks the knowledge and maturity to handle it effectively. Ultimately, Misha’s goal is to reunite his fragmented family. Vanitas, however, dismisses this possibility and denies Mikhail the chance to be with his brother. This decision could be interpreted as a callous and harsh action by Vanitas towards Mikhail during the epilogue.

The Perils of Vanitas’ and Misha’s Books

Misha’s claim that their respective Books of Vanitas change them with each use resonates with credibility. It aligns with Vanitas’ consistent behavior patterns throughout the series. However, the details surrounding Luna’s demise, as recounted by Vanitas, raise questions. Why is Vanitas so desperate to shield his memories of that day from anyone’s view if Luna’s true name was simply stolen and Vanitas killed him to spare him from turning into a beast? This discrepancy suggests that Vanitas may have concealed the whole truth or performed this act of kindness to absolve Mikhail of any blame. Regardless, it is evident that Vanitas has not divulged all the information.

The Poetic Closure and Vanitas’ Vulnerability

The resolution of Vanitas’ story, where he declares that Noe would be the one to kill him if it ever came to that, ties back to the prologue in Episode 1. Though this revelation wasn’t what Misha desired, it presents a poetic conclusion. If Noe is the sole individual capable of infiltrating Vanitas’ memories, he also represents the person that Vanitas believes he can trust to spare him from a fate worse than death. Given Noe’s inherently kind nature, it remains uncertain whether Vanitas’ faith in him is entirely justified. Nevertheless, as the embodiment of both Vanitas’ greatest threat and potential salvation, it’s logical for Vanitas to keep Noe close by his side.

The Uncertain Future: Prospects for a Sequel

Considering that Pandora Hearts, another work by Mochizuki-sensei, outsold Vanitas no Carte and received no sequel, the chances of this series getting one appear slim. Even if such a continuation were pursued, it would be a considerable distance away. With the anime having covered almost the entire manga to date, supplemented by its monthly release schedule, the commercial viability of another season is dubious. While the series may currently possess some commercial appeal, it is doubtful whether this would suffice several years down the line. However, it is worth noting that predictions and assumptions about the future are fallible, and there have been instances where expectations were proved wrong.

A Personal Connection: Reflections on Vanitas no Carte

Vanitas no Carte has held a peculiar position in my anime repertoire. It maintained a steady level of interest throughout its run, occasionally delivering moments of greatness, yet never occupying the central focus of my attention. However, as the story progressed, I found myself becoming more emotionally invested, a testament to Mochizuki-sensei’s storytelling prowess. While the series falls short of belonging to the echelons of the greatest works produced by Bones, the studio’s decision to incorporate aspects reminiscent of Itamura Tomyuki’s work at Shaft felt excessive to me. I believe that casting an actor with substantial range and gravitas, perhaps someone like Kimura Ryouhei or Souma Saitou, as Vanitas would have been a missed opportunity. Despite these shortcomings, Vanitas no Carte remains a commendable series that outweighs its missteps, and its absence from my weekend routine will be keenly felt.


The decidedly open-ended finale of Vanitas no Carte may leave viewers yearning for closure, yet it is crucial to acknowledge the constraints that influenced the anime’s conclusion. The undisclosed nature of Teacher’s immense power and the unexpected empathy evoked by Misha’s plight provide both intrigue and frustration. Vanitas’ characterization raises further questions regarding Luna’s fate and his motivations. The resolution, with Vanitas placing his trust in Noe, encapsulates a poetic symmetry, even if doubts linger. The prospects for a sequel appear uncertain, and the series’ place in the anime landscape might diminish with time. Nevertheless, Vanitas no Carte has left a lasting impression as a series that struck a chord with its audience, despite not achieving universal acclaim. It remains a testament to the storytelling abilities of its creator and the dedication of its production team.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Vanitas no Carte worth watching despite the ambiguous ending?

A: Yes, Vanitas no Carte is still worth watching, despite the open-ended conclusion. The series offers a unique blend of intriguing characters, a fascinating world, and captivating storytelling that make it an engaging watch. While the ending may leave some questions unanswered, the journey leading up to it is still highly enjoyable.

2. Will there be a sequel to Vanitas no Carte?

A: The chances of a sequel for Vanitas no Carte are uncertain. Given the completion of its source material and the commercial considerations involved, the prospects may be slim. However, the future is unpredictable, and it’s always possible that the series may receive a continuation or spin-off in the future.

3. How does Vanitas no Carte compare to Pandora Hearts?

A: While both Vanitas no Carte and Pandora Hearts are works by Mochizuki-sensei, they differ in terms of popularity and opportunity for sequels. Pandora Hearts enjoyed greater commercial success and yet did not receive a sequel. Vanitas no Carte faces similar challenges, with the anime adaptation having covered most of the manga. It is worth noting that each series offers its own unique blend of storytelling, characters, and thematic elements.

4. How does the anime adaptation of Vanitas no Carte compare to the manga?

A: The anime adaptation of Vanitas no Carte remains faithful to the source material, capturing its essence and key storylines. While some elements may be condensed or altered for the purpose of adaptation, the anime successfully brings the characters and world to life, maintaining a strong connection to the manga. Fans of the manga will likely appreciate the adaptation’s efforts to honor the original work.

5. What can I expect from the anime series Vanitas no Carte?

A: Vanitas no Carte offers a compelling tale set in a beautifully constructed fantasy world. The series combines elements of mystery, action, and supernatural elements, accompanied by well-developed characters and intricate plotlines. It delves into themes of identity, acceptance, and the complexity of human relationships, presenting a captivating narrative that will keep viewers enthralled.