Saturday, March 21, 2009

Review | Anime | Vampire Knight

VAMPIRE KNIGHT : The prestigious Cross Academy offers a
special Night Class to certain students of the academy. The Night Class is
unique because it is inhabited entirely by vampires, unbeknownst to the Day
Class students. To keep peace and reasonable distance between the vampires and
humans, prefects Yuuki and her best friend Zero are hired, and work to ensure
that Day Class students never discover the Night Class students are vampires,
and most importantly, that the vampires don't lose control of their urges to
feed on human blood.

While attending an anime con last year, my friend and I sat down for a 3-episode preview of Vampire Knight, which had just been released in Japan the week before. Along with Monochrome Factor, Vampire Knight was added to my list of animes to check out.

Vampire Knight sports the common "haunting Gothic elegance" element throughout, and plenty of beautiful vampires that make Edward Cullen look like a convenience store clerk. Yuuki is fortunate enough to have the strongest of the vampires, Kuran Kaname, as one of her dearest friends. Yuuki has had a crush on Kaname ever since he saved her life from a rogue vampire - which are know as "Level E Vampires" - when she was a child. It is unclear whether her crush is an actual romantic crush or more of an academic sisterly crush, but because Yuuki is a prefect responsible for keeping the screaming fangirls at bay whenever Kaname emerges from his dormitory with his Night Class classmates, it makes it that much harder to stare at him.

Naturally, Yuuki's orders to not bombard the Night Class gentlemen go in one fangirl ear and out the other as they trample her to get to the sparkly vampires (no thanks to Aido Hanabusa, who just fuels their fangirl fury with his witless charm as he waves and flirts.) Fortunately, there to intervene when Yuuki loses control is another good friend, Zero Kiryuu, who was taken in by Yuuki's family when he was orphaned by a Level E vampire. Zero's cold personality and frozen glare is powerful enough to stop even screaming fangirls dead in their tracks, and send them running back to their dorms. Zero's disposition is so cold, even Yuuki, whom he considers his best friend, has trouble getting through to him. It doesn't help that Yuuki's belief that not all vampires are evil clashes with Zero's firm reckoning that all vampires, regardless, are scumbags.

Vampire Knight is the definition when the question of the closest anime version of Twilight comes up. The only difference? Vampire Knight is actually good. Too much bloodsucking, perhaps, but it's watchable. The artwork of Vampire Knight is very unique and recognizable, and in turn assists tell the story in a great way. It's playing with fire if you intend on making an anime and don't use the right animation. Many believe the animation style of an anime is irrelevant to the series, but this is not the case. In order to tell the story properly, your animation must match the story in many ways, otherwise the viewer tunes out. Vampire Knight successfully harnessed the right animation style for their anime, thus creating a brand new smash hit in the anime community.

Parents should know there's plenty of blood (naturally, where there are vampires, there's blood) and violence, courtesy of the Level E vampires. Once you finish season one, you should move straight along to Vampire Knight: Guilty, the second season of Vampire Knight, which a lot bloodier as we near the completion of the series. Yuuki's blood is like a drug to vampires, which can smell her a mile away, and Kaname's willing to do anything to prevent her blood from being taken, and is not above resorting to violence.

Vampire Knight is a must if you're trying to stay in the anime loop, because where there's an anime fan, there's probably a Vampire Knight fan somewhere in there. Enjoy, and don't go out at night.

Overall Rating:
/ 5


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