Why I love Vampire Knight!
Hana to Yume Comics. FOR THE WIN!
I’ve been reading Vampire Knight for ages and ages…gosh, since I was just starting high school. I feel so old now. It’s one of the most popular shoujo manga right now, and for good reason. It’s definitely on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of quality, for sure. Now, it has its flaws (Zero just loves to be…aggravating. T_T), but there’s not a whole lot I can be really picky about.
So, let’s get started~!
#1: The art.
Part of the reason I look forward so much to updates is mostly because of the plot, but also because the chapter title pages are so GORGEOUS.
Although this is a cover for the actual magazine, I’m pretty sure you get the picture. Hino-sensei doesn’t mess around when it comes to cover art.
The clothing design in this is also really unique in a lot of ways. The Cross Academy uniform is very distinct in its design (see first picture), which really sets itself apart visually from your standard blazer sort of western-style school uniforms. Hino-sensei also likes to dress Yuuki VERY well. Look at those dresses ❤
And the BISHOUNEN. Putting Aidou and Hanabusa aside (I like them, but I don’t necessarily fangirl over them), the guys in this are such wonderful eye candy. And what’s shoujo without a little bit of eye candy? ^_^ Kaname….even if he’s so stupid and has very odd motivations, he’s just so nice to look at…. *____*
#2. The vampire canon is SO MUCH BETTER than Twilight.
If young teenage girls want their vampire fiction, don’t read Twilight. Don’t read Vampire Diaries. And as for True Blood, I haven’t watched that yet, so I can’t really comment on it, but…
Vampire Knight GETS IT RIGHT. While series like Bisco-sensei’s Millennium Snow do a good job with mostly traditional vampire myth, but Hino-sensei uses her own unique take on vampires, which makes the series a lot more unpredictable.
The whole concept of “pure blood” vampires and the hierarchy below them is also rather interesting. The series starts out with the main concern being Zero’s fall to Level E (the lowest level on the vampire hierarchy, where a vampire loses all sense of self), but transitions slowly to focusing on the larger vampire society. The various events that surround Kaname and how they affect the vampire world provide insight to the characters surrounding Kaname and their true allegiances.
One major difference between most vampire lore: the vampires in Vampire Knight can bite EACH OTHER. Resulting in scenes like THIS:
This results in a lot of interpersonal drama that you wouldn’t necessarily find in say…Twilight. Drinking another vampire’s blood is a source of power, but also indicates a relationship of senority/subordination (case in point, Shizuka and Ichiru), as well as of love. So when a one takes blood of another, it’s a big deal (as seen with Ruka and Kaname). But what about Kaname and Zero? Now THAT’S a little bit more complicated. Essentially, the act of biting another vampire for blood can indicate a close bond between the two, or else something a little more complicated…
#3. The plot never goes where you’d expect it to.
As if Chapter 35 wasn’t enough, it’s been followed with twists, and turns, and crazy weird revelations about the Kuran’s past, with the discovery that EVERYTHING WAS A LIE. Yikes. Enthralling, for sure, but it gets to be a bit difficult to follow who’s who, and what’s what at times.
Then Zero and Yuuki go from being friends, to enemies, to frenemies….and the brink of canon. LOL joking about the last part, but everything with Yuuki is a bit of a roller-coaster. And a fun one at that.
In short, no one is exactly what they seem. Even Rido was an oddly intriguing villain, evil to the core, and oh-so-creepy. At any rate, the plot twists sure beat a half-human, half-vampire baby with a messed up name. Whoops, was that a spoiler? :p
Yuuki is one of my all-time favourite heroines of any manga. Although the top spot may be taken by Yuuko Ichihara of xxxHOLiC, I still love Yuuki to pieces!
Yuuki isn’t booksmart or particularly popular, but she sticks to what she thinks is right, even when other people are questioning her sanity. She protects her friends and sticks up for Zero, even though he’s a rough sort of person, and REALLY treats her badly in the later chapters. She also has a lot of faith in people, especially Kaname (don’t think he really deserves it T_T). Yuuki tries to believe in the best in people, and while that’s probably not the smartest thing to do when you’re surrounded by a bunch of dangerous vampires and vampire hunters, she holds her ground.
In the more recent chapters, Yuuki really matures as she is placed in more tense situations, and she starts to see that she has to be a lot more wary of who she trusts. The people she once trusted have changed significantly since the start of the series, and it’s really interesting to see how she handles the bonds that have changed so drastically, along with the new responsibilities she takes on.
And that fight she had with Rido was pretty epic. >:)
In short, I highly recommend this to anyone who likes vampires, who wants something a little different WITH their vampires, and to anyone who hates Stephanie Meyer’s
glittery angst bombs vampires ^_^