Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Vampire Knight
Vampire Knight Guilty

Grade: A
Studio: Studio DEEN (Ranma 1/2, Rurouni Kenshin)
Manga author: Matsuri Hino
Genre: Romance, Supernatural
First complete run: 2008
Regular episodes: 26

Vampire Knight is almost like Harry Potter with a twist. The anime is set at a boarding school run by a retired vampire hunter called Cross Academy. At this school, humans and vampires unknowingly coexist; the humans take class during the day and return to their dorms for the evening, while the vampires study during the evening and sleep during the day. The prefects act as guardians for the humans, ensuring that the orderly setup of the school is maintained. Cross Academy becomes an entertaining, politically charged environment as larger conflicts in the vampire and vampire hunter worlds begin to invade the school. The prefects and main characters, two humans whose pasts are scarred by vampires named Yuki and Zero, become increasingly entangled with the mysterious "Night Class" students as the plot erupts. Zero is involved because he hates vampires for what they have done to him, and Yuki because she is falling in love with one.

Admittedly, this anime is a little girly. The show is very dialogue heavy, and a lot of the dialogue hinges on the odd love triangle between Yuki, Zero, and a vampire named Kaname. Vampire Knight falls well within the bounds of shōjo anime. Sometimes it feels more like an episode of The O.C. than a true animated adventure. But make no mistake, Vampire Knight is suspenseful throughout; once you start the anime it really tempts you to just watch all the way through. Many different plot strains often develop at once, between Yuki and Zero's troubled pasts, their current involvement with the vampire students, the larger political manipulations taking place, and the variety of colorful and engaging peripheral characters involved. The characterization in Vampire Knight is phenomenal; each character has a distinctive personality and their interactions are extremely cathartic, tugging on your heart strings when they feel pain and elating you when they are happy. While the manga is still ongoing, the anime is a 26 episode miniseries that will feel like it is over before it has started. Viewers should be prepared for a psychological and romantic journey that takes a few episodes to get off the ground. Then expect to be carried away by Yuki and Zero and never look back.

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