Yes, you can tell that I am a huge fan of Zero compared to Kaname. Still, Kaname is fine too. I like Ichijou most though!
It’s really a total pain when I have to blog two possible blockbusters in a single day. I am not complaining though. After Special A, the second series that I have been anticipating is here. Vampire Knight, derided by some as ridiculous and adored by others, has finally transited from manga to anime. As usual, with a manga adaptation with a rather strong following, it is always treated more critically than other manga. Does Vampire Knight Episode 1 fulfill its promise, or is it a time to flame on?
On a relevant note, I will be working as an editor for Orange subs fansubbing Vampire Knight. Do support us, all right? I cannot wait for the DVDs to arrive too!
Yuuki remembers how she is assaulted by a vampire when she is young, only to be rescued by Kaname. Years have past, and Yuki is now a prefect/guardian of Cross Academy. Surrounded by fangirls of the day class, Yuki is tasked to keep these fangirls away from the special Night class led by Kaname during the class change. The night class, with Aido in particular, gains a lot of attention from the others. Yuuki is shoved down by the mob surrounding Aido and Kaname is concerned. That earns the wrath of the fangirls.
Eventually, Zero the other guardian, appears to chase away the fangirls and warns Kaname & co to be on their way. Yuuki reminds Zero about his responsibility as a mediator, and Zero returns the warning. As Kaname walks off, he also rots a rose, displaying his supernatural powers. At night, the night class mentions about the vampire inhibitor while Aido is annoyed at the snooty behavior of Zero where he touches Kaname’s hands. Shiki also mentions about the nice smell of Yuuki, but Kaname clearly cares about Yuuki. Ruka also uses a book to hurt Aido’s hand. The moon is finally concealed while they speak. It is the time of the vampire.
In the office, Zero complains about their role to the school chairman to find more helpers for this escorting of the Night class. He adds that Yuuki is unreliable, but Yuuki adds that someone who always skips class has no right to berate her. The school chairman says that the night class’s secret identity (being vampires) cannot be revealed since the two classes study in the same school. The chairman adds that he feels better when his “son” and “daughter” is working on this. Zero gets even more annoyed, stating that he is NOT his son. Zero asks Yuuki to complain, but she seems to believe that the two can co-exist.
The chairman then talks in a grand manner about the pacifism between vampires and humans. As Zero leaves in annoyance, the chairman does admit that there are vampires who are savage. Yuuki says that she has no memory what happened five years ago where the chairman took charge of her after Kaname brings her to the academy. Kaname is the one who started her life. Ichijou warns that the reason why the vampires are peaceful is because of Kaname, and this peace is fragile. Yuuki also tries to cool down, telling herself that Kaname is from a different world. Zero also seems to be struggling, requiring some pills.
The next day, due to sentry duty, Yuuki dozes off in class and is asked to attend remedial lessons. Her friend, Sayori, seems to be completely uninterested of vampires and the night class. She also informs that Zero has already escaped remedial lessons. Yuuki finds Zero in the stable and is about to scold him. However, she earns the wrath of Lily, with Zero telling Lily that Yuuki is completely harmless. Yuuki tells Zero that it is time for sentry duty. Yuki thinks about the darkness in Zero’s heart.
At night, Yuuki dreamily gazes at Kaname, and Zero warns her not to display her affections in full bloom. They then walked to the ceiling of the school. Yuuki tries to hide her embarrassment by stating that the night class’s conduct is good, and there are no day class trespassers. Zero asks if she truly believes in peace between the two groups. She believes so, but Zero says he becomes a guardian to find the most effective way to kill these beasts in human form. Yuuki remembers the hatred in Zero’s eyes when he is brought here four years ago, and it is still the same now. She acknowledges that there are evil vampires, but believes in Kaname.
From the ceiling, Yuuki finds two trespassers at ground level and swings down using a tree. One of the girls is bleeding. She tries to move them away but Aido and Kain are already here. Aido speaks of a sweet smell, but it turns out that Yuuki hurts herself while swinging down. Aido licks the blood off Yuuki, and is about to bite her throat. The two students realize that Aido is a vampire and faint. Zero appears with a gun, reminding Aido about the no-biting rule. Aido says he already tasted blood, only for Zero to release the trigger to shoot slightly away from Aido.
Kaname warns Zero to get rid of the Bloody Rose. Kaname promises to discipline Aido and Kain, while Rika removes their memory. Kaname apologizes that Aido has scared her, but Zero drags her away. In the bathroom, Yuuki thinks about whether she can remove the darkness in Zero’s heart. Zero enters, completely ignoring the fact that she’s female. Zero adds that the smell of blood has disappeared. Yuuki wonders about the smell of his blood. Zero goes into the room, and he seems to be struggling. Zero is also a vampire. Aido is also slapped by Kaname for his careless remarks of Yuuki’s blood.
The OP is haunting, giving the right vibes for a vampire show. I also like the ED, which sets a huge ending mode, with Yuuki looking dazed and bloody. The soundtrack for this series is downright excellent and I am happy to say this is the first series that Impz has enjoyed through the sound of the ambiance. Some of the background sounds and music fits the theme of the night. It brings me to the world of the darkness, the time of the vampire.
I also like Yui Horie’s voice for Yuuki. It is exactly how I imagine Yuuki will sound like, unlike the cognitive dissonance I felt listening to Yuko Goto’s rendition of Hikari. That said, I always hold Yui Horie in very high regard, just like Kurogane. In addition, most of the guys sound all right, even though I feel that Kaname’s voice seems to bring a hint of haughtiness. Considering that he is a vampire, it is perhaps logical. For some strange reason, I feel that Ichijou’s voice seiyuu is chosen well too. It’s so queer how I am mentioning about seiyuus of guys, when I am a guy myself -_-
Animation is well done considering that the animation company is Studio Deen. No love is lost between me and the company, with their rather bad treatment of Hatenkou Yuugi. The character design is pretty, with Yuuki looking even more impressive than in the manga. However, there is a nagging feeling that the key frames are animated by them, while they outsource the in between frames to some Korean animation company. I am not sure but it is a concern by someone in orange-subs that triggered me to think.
Let’s be honest here, despite my clear biased interest of Vampire knight. Vampire Knight is nothing revolutionary. It does not set out a new path of shoujo. It is simply following the path of a shoujo series, and doing it very darn well. In that case, all the characters are nothing truly new, but it has a good strong story. Despite my concern over future manga spoiler plots, the characters are likable, with differing degrees of sophistication.
I will not talk about the debate between Kaname and Zero, a very heated debate between fangirls of the manga. That is a very tricky topic, particularly since it is not time as yet. I believe that there are enough mysteries/hints in the first episode that will be good for anyone. The first thing is the true identity of Zero, and his unexplainable hatred of vampires. Who is he and why is his family killed by vampires? Who is the Headmaster Kaien Cross, and why did he set up a peace pact with Kaname? Why is Kaname caring so much about Yuuki.
So, who should be the target audience for this series? For one, if you like pretty boys, and a pseudo love triangle between Zero, Yuuki and Kaname, you should apply. If you like a strong shoujo series that does not break too many boundaries, yet constructing each of its step with some intent, you should apply. If you like vampires, it’s obvious you should apply. For those who are looking for action once again, this is not your anime. So, have I tempted you enough to watch this?
If you do, follow THAT Anime Blog for subsequent episode summaries of this vampire series that will start out light hearted before going on with darker themes.
P/S: Please do NOT post spoilers of the manga for manga readers.
Reverse Vampire’s View:
Not going to mention any spoilers. I was really anticipating the anime series for months now (Yes, MONTHS!) and for my P.O.V, it was pretty cool for my standards but there are some minor changes on how the story goes (If you want to point the differences, read the 1st chapter of VK and compare.) The only thing I’m disappointed at is the part when Kaname came in after Aido got a taste of Yuki’s blood; his head is waayy too small. But I find nothing wrong with the rest of the episode. The ED gave me the creeps when Yuki was dancing like a puppet to be precise, or a doll, to sound nicer. But anyways, I will rate this episode: 8/10.