Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review: Vampire Knight (2008)

Vampire Knight (2008) is a Japanese vampire romance anime . It takes place in an alternative future where vampire hunters were formed to defend humans from immortal vampires. It contains two seasons, Vampire Knight and Vampire Knight Guilty, with a total of 26 episodes.

It was a stormy winter night when 5-year-old Yuuki Cross was attacked by a vampire and rescued by another vampire.10 years later, Yuuki, now the adopted daughter of school headmaster, Kaien Cross, has grown up to become a guardian. With her adopted brother and childhood friend, Zero Kiryu, both swore to protect the Day students (humans) from the Night students (vampires) at the elite boarding school, Cross Academy. This role also enables Yuuki to stargaze at her childhood crush, Kaname Kuran, who rescued her ten years ago.

Zero, now eighteen, hates vampires for destroying his life --- the murder of his parents and the kidnapping of his twin brother. His also struggles with transforming into a a creature of the night himself. On that fateful night, he was bitten by a powerful pure-blood vampire. The bloodlust becomes harder for Zero to control. The Kiryus were a legendary vampire hunter family, and Zero swore to uphold his family name by killing rogue (Level E) vampires.

Although Kaien believes vampires and humans can co-exist together, Zero does not believe that vampires have renounced their evil and murderous ways. When Yuuki begins to remember her childhood, she must make an ultimate decision: will she choose a life with Kaname, her childhood hero, or Zero, whom she wants to protect? Yuuki and Zero begin to show signs of a forbidden love. Furthermore, a darker secret is about to emerge that will unlock the truth behind Yuuki's past. Everyone has a role, and there is no escape until the mystery is over.

This dark romance was wonderful to watch. Everything falls into place like a chess piece. I could feel the pain and confusion from the main cast as each try to figure out their role in Kaname's plan. Yuuki's strong desire to help others continues even if her fate changes. Each story arc kept me on edge for the entire 26 episodes. Typical for many Japanese dramas catered to female teen audiences, the male characters look more beautiful than the female roles! To my astonishment, the English dubbed version is actually very good.

Although it disappoints me that the producers will not create a third season, you can pick up the story in the manga at Volume 10, Chapter 47: Towards Each of Their Respective Paths. Overall, I highly recommend this anime.

"Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi" by ON/OFF

"Still Doll" by Kanon Wakeshima

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