Vanitas—In the Event of Rusty Hopes

"Vanitas—In the Event of Rusty Hopes" is the first chapter of Jun Mochizuki's The Case Study of Vanitas.


Japanese Title

Vanitas [ラスティ=ホープスの場合] (Rasuti=Hōpusu no Baai)

Release Date

December 22, 20157

Volume, Chapter

1, 1


While taking an airship to Paris in search of The Book of Vanitas, the young vampire Noé Archiviste meets Amelia Ruth, also a vampire, and discusses the legend of The Vampire of The Blue Moon with her. When Amelia is suddenly ambushed by the human Vanitas and his assistant Dante, Noé flees with the unconscious Amelia after protecting her in a brief fight. As Amelia's condition worsens, Noé discovers that she is a curse-bearing vampire, and she begins to lose control and attacks him. Vanitas then reappears, announcing he is actually a doctor for vampires, and he cures Amelia's curse by restoring her True Name with The Book of Vanitas. He then falls from the airship, and Noé leaps out after him. The pair miraculously survive their fall, and Vanitas introduces himself and his plan to save all vampires, insisting that Noé should help him achieve this goal.

A grayscale illustration of Noé Archiviste facing the viewer, his cat Murr on his shoulder. A blue full moon and the backs of Vanitas and Dante are visible behind him, and large purple and blue gears frame the image

The Mémoire 1 cover


In order of appearance. * indicates a character who appears only in dreams and/or memories, and (1) indicates a character's first appearance in the series.


In order of appearance. * indicates a location that appears only in dreams and/or memories, and (1) indicates a location's first appearance in the series.


Sometime in the past, a young Noé Archiviste looks up at his teacher, clutching a book. His teacher leans down to speak to him, warning Noé that he mustn't ever let anyone steal his True Name, as his true name defines his very life.

In the present, aboard the airship La Baleine, a faceless crowd gathers around a newspaper article pinned to a bulletin board. The article tells of a vampire that has appeared in Paris and drained nine victims of blood, which sends a wave of shock through the crowd. They question whether such a vampire could truly exist in the modern day, as they were supposedly wiped out during a war with humanity. One voice reassures the crowd that the Church will be sending Chasseurs to deal with the issue, so they have nothing to fear.

Meanwhile, the thoughts of an unseen Amelia Ruth are shown above the voices of crowd, and she complains of a terrible cold.

Noé Archiviste, now a young adult, is observing the article from the back of the crowd when he notices Amelia standing across from him, obviously ill. She begins to breathe heavily then faints, and Noé rushes over to catch her before she hits the ground. She regains consciousness in his arms, and he asks her if she is alright.

A short time later, Noé brings Amelia tea in a small café area, and she insists to him that she's fine and thanks him for his help. She tells him that she's on her way to see a doctor already, and is then startled by Noé's cat Murr suddenly jumping up at her. She immediately cuddles him close, gushing about how warm he is, as Noé tries to figure out how he got out of his carrier cage. Amelia introduces herself and asks Noé for his name, but he misunderstands her and introduces Murr instead.

Before Amelia can correct Noé, an announcement sounds over the airship loudspeaker, informing passengers that they are one hour away from arrival in Paris. This prompts Noé to go running for the window, excitedly trying to catch sight of the city. Amelia explains that they're still too far away to see it, then asks Noé if it's his first time aboard an airship. He admits it is. He tells her he's from Averoigne, a remote place deep in the forest, and that he's never seen anything like La Baleine before. He begins gushing about his excitement to see Paris and the wonders of astermite, and Amelia asks if he's come to Paris to sightsee.

Noé tells Amelia that no, he's not there to sightsee; he's searching for The Book of Vanitas. He recites the legend of The Vampire of the Blue Moon to her.

Once, there was a vampire called Vanitas that was despised by others of their kind. They were born under the blue moon, a symbol of misfortune, and were eventually driven away from their village and into the snow by the vampires of the crimson moon. They thus swore vengeance against the crimson vampires and created a book that could alter vampires' True Names as a tool of their revenge. It is said that blue light will color the eyes of he that holds the book, and he will one day destroy all vampires.

As the final lines of the story are recited, Vanitas and Dante are shown on the roof of the airship. Dante asks Vanitas if he's sure he wants to go through with his plans, and Vanitas assures him that he certainly is. Their "target" is inside the airship.

Back inside the ship, a clocks chimes 9:00 pm, and Noé remarks to Amelia that they'll have to disembark soon. He offers to escort to her to her room, and they ascend a central staircase together as announcements about disembarking sound.

Feeling the intense cold of her curse more strongly than ever, Amelia asks Noé about his story, questioning whether he truly believes in the book of Vanitas.


The cover illustration for Mémoire 1 is a largely grayscale illustration of Noé Archiviste, Murr, Vanitas, and Dante walking down a parisian street.Noé Archiviste is shown from chest upward on the right side, facing toward the viewer. He is wearing his top hat and scarf, and Murr is perched on his shoulder. Noé's eyes, the band on his hat, the pin on his scarf, and Murr's bow are all colored the same purple. Murr's eyes are a lighter purple on one side and light blue on the other. Vanitas and Dante shown from behind and farther away. Vanitas's face is almost entirely obscured. Dante is looking back over his shoulder so that his face is visible in profile. Dante's visible eye and earring are orange.

Behind the group, street lamps line the street, a buildings are visible in the distance, and the full blue moon takes up the center of the sky. The image is framed on either side by gears that are purple on Noé's side and blue on Vanitas's. Many of the gears have ornate decorative patterns adorning them, including one on Noé's side that is distinctly floral. Shattered glass drifts across the whole page.

The Japanese version of the title page has text down both the left and right sides of the page. The right side shows the series title and Jun Mochizuki's name. The left side reads: "19th century Paris. Vampires. Steampunk." Below this is the full title of the chapter: "Mémoire 1, Vanitas—In the Event of Rusty Hopes." The english version simply says "Mémoire 1" in the top left corner.


"Vanitas" is the current name of one of the main characters, as well as one of the titles used by The Vampire of the Blue Moon. It is also a latin word meaning vanity, emptiness, futility, or falsehood.1

In 16th and 17th century European art, "Vanitas" refers to a painting, usually a still life, made to symbolically remind the viewer of the inevitability of death and the resultant futility and meaninglessness of earthly pleasures. They usually depict symbols of transience and ephemerality alongside contrasting images of worldly opulence and death and decay. Vanitas paintings commonly include books, maps, and instruments (symbols of worldly knowledge); jewelry and gold (symbols of wealth and power); bones, especially skulls (symbols of death); fruits and flowers (luxuries subject to quick decay); and clocks, hourglasses, and burning candles (symbols of the passage of time).2,3,4

"Vanitas" also commonly evokes the biblical phrase "Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas," which translates to "Vanity of Vanities, all is Vanity."5,6 The phrase is used to evoke the vain, futile nature of material/earthly life.4,6

"Rusty hopes" may refer to Noé's old, long-dormant hopes of saving curse-bearers from their fates, although this is unconfirmed.


  1. Vanitas Latin to English Wordhippo
  2. Vanitas—Britannica
  3. ThoughtCo's Introduction to Vanitas Paintings
  4. Art in Context—Vanitas
  5. Vanitas Vanitatum Biblical Source
  6. Vanitas Vanitatum English Meaning
  7. Vanitas no Carte—Gangan Joker Series Page

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