I, like many other girls who were a teenager during the time where Twilight and Vampire Diaries were at their peak, have a soft spot for vampires. Ever since that craze, I’ve always been partial to some vampire fiction. And, well, Vampire Knight was no different.
Vampire Knight follows the lives of the students of Cross Academy – an elite boarding school with two isolated classes. These classes are the Day Class and the Night Class. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryuu are the school’s prefects. Or, so they appear to be. In actual fact, the Night Class is full of vampires and Yuki and Zero act as guardians, protecting the secrets of the Night Class and keeping the Day Class students safe. As the adopted daughter of the school’s chairman, Yuki takes her job very seriously… Not to mention that it allows her to talk to her crush, the President of the Night Class – Kaname Kuran! Meanwhile, Zero has a deep-rooted hatred towards vampires and often will not hesistate to kill. The question is, can humans and vampires co-exist? Well… only time will tell.
The show is not without its drama. From quite early on, we get to know the histories of Yuki and Zero and these continue to be revealed as the series progresses. Not only that, but we continue to have these characters (and others within the show) developed due to the events and experiences they face, causing emotional struggles and even some romance. The drama only continues in the sequel, Vampire Knight Guilty, where personally I believe the show imrpoves somewhat. Not only are the events more dramatic, but we’re introduced properly to more characters, particularly those of the Nigth Class who take a backseat within the first series. The character development in this show is something that I have always liked.
Saying that, however, I do think the characters can be a little boring at times as well. I realise that may sound quite hypocritical, but bear with me. For example, let’s take Yuki as an example. Sure, she’s had her bad times in the past, but her character is just not unique. The damsel in distress for the majority of the show, it’s just another trope that is used way too often. And she isn’t the only example either. Despite my fondness of the characters in the show, they’re not entirely mapped out properly. The anime still manages to shroud the characters – even the main ones – in mysteries that can only be revealed if the manga is read.
Visually, both Vampire Knight and its sequel is fine to look at. I particularly like the colours that are used and the characters have been drawn out to cater towards the shoujo genre. However, I also have to complain about the lack of movements that the characters seem to have. There’s something almost robotic about the characters at times. This doesn’t improve in Vampire Knight Guilty either, where good movement should have been a priority due to the amount of fighting scenes.
Personally, I think the OPs and EDs for both series are great. Kanon Wakeshima does a brilliant job with supplying the first series’ ED, creating a spooky vibe with Still Doll and manages to maintain this for the ED of Guilty with the track Suna no Oshiro. I also think that ON/OFF were a good choice for the OPs of both series, but then again, I might also be a little biased due to what happened after I watched the show.
To watch it as a new anime fan, this show might not live up to the hype I’ve given it, sure. But, for me, and no doubt many others, Vampire Knight provides some great memories and I honestly think it’ll be one of the most memorable shows I’ll ever watch simply because of that. If anything, for Halloween, at least listen to Kanon Wakeshima’s songs.
Vampire Knight is available to watch on Netflix! (UK/US/Canada)