Vampire Knight Review

Original review by: VivisQueen from Anime Planet

story7/10

Vampire Knight screenshot
On the face of it, Vampire Knight appears to be just another hackneyed shoujo series designed to cater to sexually frustrated fangirls. Firstly, you have the exquisite beauty of the entire male cast; not to mention the relentless ‘sucking' and ‘biting' and ‘sinking' of teeth into soft, yielding flesh; and finally, the fact that the characters spend more time nuzzling each other's necks in hopeless abandon than they do talking sensibly about their problems.


Ultimately, though, Vampire Knight will amuse male and female fans alike because, at its core, it provides an original plotline that's consistently good from start to finish. At its best, Vampire Knight teases out the various threads of its central mystery whilst never actually giving anything away. By this I mean the dynamic relationship between super-vampire, Kaname Kuran, and brave-but-vulnerable Yuki Cross. Amongst other things, Kaname commands a loyal gang of vampires and can shatter glass with nothing but a thought - why he would go out of his way to protect a human girl for no apparent reason is a question that instantly captures the imagination. Following that, Zero Kiryuu's tragic subplot provides extra emotional depth as well as an action-packed glimpse into the world of vampires, hunters, and humans.
At only thirteen episodes, the only real flaw in the narrative is a general lack of complexity; although, with at least another season to go, there is more than enough scope for the dilemmas to get messier.
Vampire Knight screenshotVampire Knight screenshot

animation7/10

As a series of still images, Vampire Knight admittedly looks good enough to bite; rich colour tones, clean lines, and some of the best-looking bishounen this side of Ouran High School Host Club combine for a wholly sensual experience. Unfortunately, the characters have to move around (sometimes, they even have to fight), which only makes Vampire Knight's technical faults all the more obvious - I haven't seen such mediocre action sequences since... well, for a very long time. Luckily, these are few and far between and don't detract from the overall pleasant animation.

sound7.5/10

I find the opening theme fun and catchy but, as a single, also rather average; instead I'd recommend the ending theme, ‘Still Doll', a haunting piece with truly sumptuous vocals. Everything in between is about as memorable as last week's breakfast.
Far more impressive is the voice acting, which is not just suitable at all times, but very, very good; the convincing performances are probably the main reason why the script doesn't come across as melodramatic as it should.

characters6.5/10

Apart from the three protagonists, Vampire Knight is populated with a one-dimensional cast. However, taking into account that the vast majority are either unimportant or just make cameo appearances which doesn't require much depth, this isn't too big a problem. That said, even the central characters remain rather static across thirteen episodes, with only Zero displaying any noticeable changes in personality. What keeps them interesting despite this is that they are at heart entertaining stereotypes with little personal twists.
Yuki Cross is the generic plucky lead who spends all her time confused about what's going on and generally being protected; even though she is portrayed as somewhat kick-arse in the beginning, this isn't a trait that's followed through in her development. On the other hand, she's an easy character to get attached to because of her giving nature and adorable comedic moments.
Kaname Kuran, the most powerful vampire in town, also comes with a magnetic ‘wan' smile and a stunning arsenal of catalogue poses (like Family Guy's Captain Kirk, I don't think he holds the same position twice in the entire series). In all honesty, considering his sophistication and understated power, he's quite the cool cat - naturally, his main appeal is that nobody can figure out what exactly he wants i.e. why he's at Cross Academy looking out for Yuki despite obviously having better things to do.
Lastly, Zero Kiryuu is a wishy-washy Dante (Devil May Cry) with an attitude problem; when he's not moping about with his shirt conspicuously undone, he's venting some emo rage down an angled camera. He's completely uninteresting for the first couple of episodes; however, once his subplot kicks in and his personal conflicts come to light, he becomes immediately likeable in that anti-hero way.

overall7/10

With considerable emphasis upon pinning girls against walls and sucking their erogenous zones in every episode, Vampire Knight is easily a fangirl's dream anime; however, the quality of the storytelling should not be underestimated by anyone else for that matter. Any fan looking for a strong fantasy drama with an original take on vampires and a beautiful animation style should put this somewhere at the top of their list.

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