Vampire Knight was one of the first manga titles that I ever picked up and started reading. And with the recent end of the series, I thought I would talk about it, good and bad. Warning for those of you who want to read it but have not yet, there will be spoilers. 🙂
A little background, Vampire Knight is a manga series by HINO Matsuri that ended very recently with a total of 18 volumes. There are also two anime seasons (13 episodes each), Vampire Knight and Vampire Knight Guilty. The story starts off as appearing to be about a boarding school called Cross Academy where there are two groups of students, the Day Class (humans) and the Night Class (vampires), with the truth about the Night Class remaining a secret from just about everyone. Read a bit more and you discover that it really revolves around a girl named CROSS (KURAN) Yuuki, a vampire turned human turned back to vampire, and what happens to her and around her. And yes, a lot of stuff happens. She is the adopted daughter of the school’s chairman, CROSS Kaien, and also a “prefect” of the school. Essentially, her duty is to ensure that the two classes don’t mingle too much and that the secret of the Night Class isn’t revealed. There are two other very important characters; KIRYUU Zero, a vampire hunter turned vampire and Yuuki’s childhood friend/fellow prefect, and KURAN Kaname, a pure-blood vampire who is head of the Night Class and Yuuki’s “brother”/ancestor/fiancé/savior (yeah, it’s complicated).
One of the major plot points in this story is the love triangle between Yuuki, Zero, and Kaname. Honestly, I was hoping that the whole mess would be resolved with the last chapter since Yuuki vacillated between the two for practically the entire series. Even when she was supposed to be with Kaname, she still had not-so-secret feelings for Zero. The ending wasn’t clearcut either, and was too short with too many loose threads in my opinion. Without giving it all away, Yuuki basically still doesn’t choose one over the other. Even though she spends a large portion of the story with Kaname, at the end he tells her to be with Zero. Well, she is with Zero for less than a chapter (a few pages really), and then once he dies, she decides to turn Kaname into a human, killing herself. But you don’t actually see any of this. It’s just skimmed over and summed up in a few short sentences. It’s very vague considering the amount of thought that was put into the plot before. It’s disappointing and it’s not at the same time. I would have liked more explanation since I feel that HINO-sensei copped out in a lot of ways, but at the same time, this happens a lot in manga, so I’ve learned to accept it.
Speaking of the love triangle, since it seemed to divide most of the fans, out of curiosity, I actually looked at each volume cover and compared them to see who appeared the most and with whom. Yuuki appears the most of course, followed by Zero, and then Kaname. Also, it turns out that Yuuki appears with just Zero more times than she does with just Kaname. The three of them together is also more frequent than the number of times she appears with Kaname. I personally didn’t really care who she ended up with (I just wanted her to make a definite clear-cut choice!), but I think it’s interesting to see the results like that since it seems that a lot of fans feel that Yuuki was only with Zero because Kaname told her to be.
As far as the characters themselves go, I started out really liking Yuuki. She didn’t put up with crap (for the most part) and she was pretty strong and courageous. Yeah, she blushed a bit too much around Kaname and was a bit ditsy when it came to him , but she’s a young girl in love, so according to shoujo-logic, it’s to be expected. *sighs* However, later on she became so helpless. As soon as she turned back into a vampire, it was like she went back to being her 5-year-old self. After that, she started getting a bit better, but I was still annoyed with her most of the time. Kaname… I thought he was a bastard in the beginning. And it some ways, he remained a bastard throughout (hooray for consistency!) Some of it I can understand though, knowing his past and what he went through, but at other times, it was aggravating. I feel that he also played Yuuki, since he was obviously hung up on his last lover, but I won’t go into that. Overlooking that though, he was a pretty interesting character. Finally, I actually quite liked Zero, even though at some points I kept wishing he would man up and stop wimping out at the last moment, especially when it came to Yuuki. He was a decent guy though, considering his past and the mental torment he went through during the entire series. I also feel a bit bad for him, being Yuuki’s number two and all.
Quite a few of the side characters were interesting as well, Yuuki’s adoptive father being one of them. He was all stupid and clumsy and a bit girly in the beginning, but he was actually a very capable vampire hunter himself in the past and again later in the story. To stick with the ideals that his school represented, despite all that happened, was impressive to me. I may not have agreed with his logic most of the time, but I will give the guy some credit. The rest of the Night Class was pretty interesting as well, although not a lot of detail went into their pasts and backgrounds. SHOUTO Isaya, an ancient pureblood vampire, was also interesting to me, but again, not a lot of detail was given in regards to his past. I just wanted to know more. 🙂 Yuuki’s parents, KURAN Haruka and Juuri, were also intriguing to me. Why do I always have to love the secondary characters that don’t have much of a story? *Sighs again*
The art was really good to me at the time I started reading it and I liked it, but later on I thought the beginning art wasn’t really that good. It was inconsistent at times and the postures/angles sometimes seemed off. It does get a lot better as the story goes on. The art at the end of the story is very nice and expressive. I do like the art by then end. The amount of detail in the art sometimes is also impressive. Especially the uniforms and clothes, they were often very rich in detail. Haha, so I liked the art, then didn’t like it, then liked it again. Oh well, it all works out in the end.
There were times that I was really upset with the story and I did stop reading it for awhile, but I obviously came back to it and finished it. It is a special series to me and I’m a bit sad to see it go, but I’m glad it finally came to an end. Overall, I did like the series, even if it did have it’s “ugh” moments. I don’t know if I will read it again anytime soon, but I have a feeling I’ll come back to it later, probably in a long while.
Until next time,