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After Twilight made it's presence known, I wasn't really entirely sold on trying out a vampire series again...or at least for a while. The whole 'sparkling vampire' thing sort of tainted vampires for me.
However, I stumbled across Vampire Knight whilst looking for some girly manga's to read (I had previously read Marmalade Boy and wanted more in the same vein). I received the first four volumes for my birthday, the first of which I had just finished. Luckily for me, there were no sparkly vampires in sight, and I actually really enjoyed it.
Written by Matsuri Hino, Vampire Knight is set at Cross Academy, a school attended by two groups of students-the day class and the night class. At twilight when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class who are just about to start their session at school. However, the school is protecting the Day Class from a huge secret-the Night Class are comprised entirely of vampires!
To stop the secret from leaking out and to keep the peace between the humans and vampires, guards are hired to work throughout the night. These guards are day students Yuki and Zero. Whilst Yuki believes that vampires and humans can co-exist (she was saved by one as a child), Zero has different ideas.
Vampire Knight centres mainly on Yuki, who is consistently falling asleep in class due to her guard duties at night. Like many girl manga's, Vampire Knight has romance (fellow guard Zero and vampire Kaname being set up as the two battling for Yuki's affections), with plenty of light-hearted, humourous moments. Hino not only provides an easy to follow but rather gripping story, but also cute, accessible and well drawn artwork.
Turning up constantly in manga readers top Shojo Manga lists, I am looking forward to reading the next volumes. Don't be put off by the vampire and high school setting, this was a great read.
Originally posted here: http://pagesandpanels.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/vampire-knight-book-1.html
Today I am going to write a review on vampire knights ^^.
Vampire Knight is a graphic novel created in the style of japanese manga. Drawn by Matsuri Hino vampire knights has been put into both books form and an anime collection. Its the perfect book to read as halloweens coming up ^^ yay.
Here's a little insight into what the storyline is behind Vampire Knight:
" Yuki Cross is a day student at Cross academy , she studies during the day like any other normal day student however after cerfue she and zero are given the duty of sending all the day students to their dorms inorder to seperate them from the collection of night students who happen to be vampires. They do this to follow the orders of the head master their father and also to stop love struck students getting court in vampire affairs."
Its a great book to read and it also gets you wanting to read more and more. This book has been printed in the typical right to left style of manga to keep the authenticity ^^. Once you read them the once you get used to it so no worries.
Anyway I hope this give you a better idea of what vampire knight is about ^^ enjoy. chibi xx
Okay, I am going to own up here. Those who have read several of my previous reviews and have seen my profile over the years will no doubt realise a few things about me, such as the fact that I have an unashamed love of beautiful vampires and demons with delicate features. It should therefore be no surprise that if I like them in Hollywood features, TV offerings, and what not, that I also have a near fatal weakness when it comes to manga. Yes, I read graphic novels and adore well done anime as well, ever since being initiated into the art form so many years back that to mention it now might be embarrassing!
So, there I am, in the midst of finishing up watching Ghost Hunt and Vampire Princess Miyu when a suggestion is sent my way that I might love mangaka Matsuri Hino's recent offering Vampire Knight which had just been made into an anime (the second season just began last week in Japan). I always prefer to read the original manga first so that I know the characters and original story quite well, as even though I do watch English subtitled versions of the anime, I don't necessarily read what is printed on the screen, preferring to watch the action instead.The artwork itself should be stunning, but to hold my interest, there also has to be a fairly well written plot.
Upon picking up this translated volume (I have only just started to learn the kanji form of written Japanese so no way I could read the un translated editions!) one of the first things that caught me attention (besides the truly bishonen vampires on the cover), was just how truly beautifully detailed the artwork of the mangaka (manga writer and artist) was. The writing was also way above what is generally offered for this sort of genre, as Vampire Knight is a shojou manga about forbidden love and loss. Not to say that the manga overall is sappy, far from it. There is plenty of violence and sexual tension to be had along the away, not to mention the blood flows freely.
The premise is this: one snowy night five year old Yuuki finds herself out in the snow, not knowing who she was or how she got there. The snow had red everywhere, and it was then a man came out from the swirling darkness wanting to feed upon her. Out steps a handsome young man, who tells him he is a disgrace to all vampires, and without another word, thrusts his hand like a dagger through the vampires chest, piercing his heart. Young Yuuki can see the glow of blood also behind the eyes of her rescuer, who kneels down and gently asks if she is alright and offers her his bloody hand. He takes her to a human family friend, one Kaien Cross, who has the dream of ending the war between humans and vampires. To this end, he has established a private school, with two dorms who share the lecture halls.
The Sun Dorm houses Day Students, who are from the families of well to do human citizens. They use the grounds and lecture halls from junior high through university level during the day until twilight falls, when they must cross back to the Sun dorms and remain. At dusk the students of the Moon Dorm come out. They are almost impossibly beautiful, with an aura that enchants nearly all the humans who meet them unawares..This is a subtle pheromone in reality, that by nature was designed to help them captivate their ancient prey. Made up of a group of the elite of Japan's vampires, the Night Class is nearly all made up of the Noble Class, and they are determined to help forge the peace that Chairman Cross dreams of. Mostly nobles that is, save for the one. That is the beautiful young man who brought the nobles with him to form the Night Class, so he could watch over young Yuuki, for there is a secret there that no one knows save himself, dating to that fateful night in the snow. Just who is "young" Kaname Kuran really, and what is his agenda?
Prefect Zero Kiryuu is determined to find out, especially as along with Chairman Cross and the now grown Yuuki, he is the only one that knows of the Night Class' true origins. Coming from a long line of vampire hunters he has no love lost for them, especially since that day four years ago in his own past when a vampire princess slaughtered his family and bit him, leaving him to slowly give into the blood thirsty beast waiting to emerge. Armed with his anti vampire weapon, a Colt 45 with an elongated barrel known as Crossing Bloody Rose, his anger makes the peace at the academy uneasy. Toss in several hidden agendas by the Council of Ancients, The Hunter's Association, the vampire princess Hiuo who killed the Kiryuu family, and even Kaname Kuran, and you have story with romance, intrigue, and gothic violence galore.
The characterisations are extremely well crafted. Zero is clearly confused, full of angst, and dedicated. He is unable to allow anyone to become close to him, no doubt not only because of his loss, but because of the emerging vampire within and the beast he fears to he will become once falling into a Level E category, as all non born vampires eventually go mad unless they drink the blood of their maker. Needless to say,that princess was not so thoughtful when she bit Zero with the full intention of having him turn, having had a hidden agenda beyond the obvious. Yuuki is both innocent and dedicated, with a tendency to rush into things without thinking much wishing to help. Determined to stand by all her friends, not knowing the behind the scenes machinations and her part in the overall drama being hidden from her, she manages to muddy the waters. Kaname himself is a truly tragic figure. The softness of the artwork allows for the sorrow in his large eyes to shine through beautifully. Something is paining him, deeply, and only once the final chess piece is in place, can he relieve his deepest sorrow. Additionally, a faint aura of menace appears from time to time, though it is always with deeply felt regret that only serves to deepen his pain. The rest of the cast are also well developed, unusually, with strong personalities shining out from main members of the Night Class as well as Chairman Cross (who is quite the eccentric fellow needless to say) and later side characters.
While the style of drawing is soft, it is not blurred, with great attention to fine detail. These details really add to the reality of the piece, helping the reader sink into the story. Each person presented in the manga has a very distinct look from the other, without the lazy habit of merely using the same face and putting different shaded eyes and hair and varying the hair styles slightly. No, faces, hair styles, and even postures are unique, showing a lot of effort being placed into character study. Likewise the backdrops are beautifully realised, as are the costumes of the characters. Being a school setting without year divisions all the way through university level (Cross' idea seeing as the Night Class might look the same ages as the Day Class, but be MUCH, MUCH older), much of the time we see the manga convention of characters being in school uniform. This time around though they are not merely little short skirts and sailor suits, with boys in boring plain shirt and tie. No, these are beautifully tailored uniforms for the males as well as the females, with Night Class in an all white version with black trim, and the day class being in reverse.
So, who would I think might enjoy a foray into manga with such a book? Well, if you loved Buffy the Vampire, Charmed, Forever Knight, or Angel, this will definitely appeal. Don't let the fact that it is a graphic novel put you off, as it is far from being a childish comic book. Look at it as an import of a Japanese cultural phenomena enjoyed by all ages as in Japan; manga is produced for all ages and across many genres. Just one tip though, if this is your first time reading manga, though the words have been translated, Viz has left the artwork alone so it is in its original Japanese layout. That is, you read the boxes pretty much right to left instead of left to right (as well as back to front). It sounds like it might be difficult, but it truly becomes second nature and is not hard to do at all. This volume contains the first five chapters of the ongoing story, with further volumes still being translated and released (in Japan they are up to volume 11). This was also recently made into an anime, which unfortunately is not yet licensed outside of Japan, but for which the first season may be purchased via eBay (and it has subtitles in English). Both the book and the anime are well worth a look in, as having read and seen this myself, it is no wonder this series has become one of the biggest sensations in Japan and abroad with fan sites from around the world flooding the Internet despite its quite recent appearance compared to many other popular mangas and anime.
Book Series: Vampire Knight