Review: Vampire Knight

Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Action
Author: Matsuri Hino
Manga: ongoing
Anime: 13 Episodes
Original Run: April 2008-July 2008
Vampire Knight Guilty 13 Episodes
Original Run: October 2008-December 2008

(Original from Wikipedia | This is an edited version)
Yuuki Cross's earliest memory is of a snowy night in winter, when she was attacked by an evil Level E vampire and was saved by a kind vampire, Kaname Kuran. Yuuki is the adopted daughter of the Headmaster of Cross Academy, Kaien Cross, who is an ex-vampire hunter that now wishes for vampires and humans to live alongside peacefully. She has grown up and become a prefect for the school which has one main purpose: for vampires to coexist peacefully with humans. Her fellow guardian and childhood companion, Zero Kiryu, whose parents were killed by a pure-blood vampire, is now determined to kill them all and refuses to trust them. Zero himself is now manifesting vampire traits, having been turned into a vampire after he was bitten by the Pureblood vampire who attacked his family, Shizuka Hio, four years earlier.

Yuuki tries to help him fight his bloodlust while also seeking to recover the memories she lost. As the series progresses, Zero's thirst for blood leads to his drinking from Yuuki, by her consent, to avoid becoming a level E vampire and losing himself to his monstrous instincts. To stop this, Kaname gives Zero his own "pure" blood, even though the only way for an ex-human to become a truly "stabilized" vampire is to drink the blood of the one who bit them in the first place. However, since Kaname is a Pureblood, his own blood helps keep Zero from going insane and from needing to feed from Yuuki.

Eventually, it is revealed that Yuuki is a Pureblood vampire herself, the Pureblood Princess of the Kurans and the fiancee of Kaname. It is also revealed that Kaname is Yuuki's elder brother and they spent their childhood together. Although, despite this being what Yuuki grew up believing, Kaname is not Yuuki's blood brother, but the ancient ancestor of the Kuran family resurrected by Rido Kuran. To save Yuki from being killed by Rido Kuran, their uncle, her mother had sealed her memories shortly before her own death and put Yuuki under a spell so she could live as a human and avoid being found. After Yuuki reawakens to her vampire nature, Rido again tries to kill her. As Kaname kills the corrupt vampire senate, Yuuki fights Rido. During a fierce battle, Zero aids her in killing him, but later on tells her he will have to kill her when he sees her once again. She tells him that she will keep running, so that he will have a reason to live. Although this is where the anime ends, the manga continues the story.

A year later, Zero is still determined to kill all purebloods, but has decided to hold off on killing Kaname Kuran because it would jeopardize the peace. He appears to be indifferent towards Yuuki now, but his body still seems to lust for her blood. Yuuki has received Artemis back and she vows to take any pureblood out of their misery if they wish, this being a way for sacrifice of her loved ones to be abolished. Kaname continues to strive for peace and continues to support Yuuki in any way he can. Kaname quickly has come to realize that Yuuki is also in love with Zero, but does not hold that against her.


Story: The story will be somehow complicated if you're not one to remember details and names. However, if you understand the story, you will find it interesting and very eye-catching. Although the concept of vampires, supernatural powers, and forbidden love are common elements of a manga, or even a simple story, The author has a different way of bringing out these factors and combining them together. If you are in for stories and unfolding hidden pasts, you may appreciate the manga more. It has more information and the complete background and history of every character. The story centers on Zero, a human-turned-vampire, Kaname, a pureblood vampire, and Yuki, a pureblood vampire who lived normally as human before her memories were recovered. The three, their conflicting romances, their different status and kind, and their contrasting goals of eliminating all vampires and having humans and vampires coexist peacefully are the central core of the series.

Day/Night Class: Cross Academy is divided into the Day Class and Night Class. The day class usually purposely leave the school on late hours to get to see and get near the handsoem and beautiful members of the night class. However, they are prevented from doing so by the school prefects, Yuki and Zero. Unbeknownst to them, the night class are actually all vampires lead by their leader and president, Kuran Kaname and vice-president Takuma Ichijo.

Characters: The characters are individually defined and each with his/her own design and matching personality. The fact that each character is being refined and their pasts are being revealed makes Vampire Knight a detailed series. However, it is one of the pluses of this series. Each character has their own distinguishing features that makes you see them all for themselves and not confusing them with each other.

Romance/ Romantic Relationships: The most notable romantic relationship in the story is the love triangle of Yuki, Kaname, and Zero. Fans are mostly divided between Zero/Yuki fans and Kaname/Yuki fans. However, it doesn't stop fans from being interested in the relationships of other characters such as that of Ruka and Akatsuki. Many fans also consider romance in the relationship of Rima and Shiki.

Animation: The animation for vampire knight anime is simply above-average. Although it's not to the highest level, you would appreciate that it's very detailed. Details have a big part in the story and the animators did a good job on not letting fans down on that. The style, specifically lightning, really works well especially since this anime is more on dark. It's impressive they can still show details in dark settings. In light ones, they also use the time to bring out brightness and life.

Voice Acting: The voice acting quality in Vampire Knight is very good! I must say that the seiyus did a very good job on giving life to their respective characters. I must also specifically note here that Mamoru Miyano did an exceptional work as Kiryu Zero and also with Kiryu Ichiru. Besides his act as Zero, his other notable roles were as Suoh Tamaki in Ouran High School Host Club, Yagami Light in Death Note, Nodacchi in Gakuen Alice, and Kiba in Wolf's Rain among many others. Aside from Miyano, many famous seiyus have featured their talents in Vampire Knight. This includes Yui Horie as Cross/Kuran Yuki who has also voiced Sawachika Eri in School Rumble, Sakuya in Sister Princess, Narusegawa Naru in Love Hina, and Honda Tohru in Fruits Basket among others; Junko Minagawa as Souen Ruka who also voices Cornelia Li Britannia in Code Geass and Echizen Ryoma in Prince of Tennis; and Kana Ueda as Wakaba Sayori who also voices Yoimachi Koyomi in Zombie-Loan, Tosaka Rin in Fate/Stay Night, Fukuzawa Yumi in Maria-sama ga Miteru, and Sakura Mikan in Gakuen Alice.

Themes/Soundtrack: For the opening themes of both seasons of the anime [Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi for VK; Rinne: Rondo for VK guilty], I applaud On/Off for a job well done! I really love their music and it totally fits the feeling of the anime. It's a bit bouncy and energetic yet it also gives out a feeling of sadness which serves as a sort of warm-up for the viewers for the coming of mixed emotions. As for the ending themes [Still Doll for VK; Suna no Oshiro for VK guilty], this really introduces you to a wonderful musician, Kanon Wakeshima. I must say, I was scared by her songs at first but it's a good song to listen to, actually. Her voice blends so well with her cello playing. The soundtrack by Haketa Takefumi is also note-worthy.

Again, I am very much hoping you'll love Vampire Knight as much as I did! Personally, I would prefer reading the manga than watching the anime. But, either way, it's still very good. Well, like it or not, it's up to you, anyway.