December 11, 2019

Adventures in Anime #2: Vampire Knight

It's always exciting when Rachel & I come up with a blog series to collaborate on, but I'm especially thrilled about Adventures in Anime (formerly known as Friends with Anime)! We share a mutual love for anime (with our tastes particularly aligning over shōjo shows) and decided that it would be a fun new project to pick out shows to watch (or rewatch) together before answering a series of questions. It's been five (!) years since our initial post about Fushigi Yuugi, but our love for anime has only grown in the time since. And so, I'm glad we decided to start doing this feature again! This time around, we picked out an anime that was new to us both: Vampire Knight.

Summary: Vampire Knight takes place at Cross Academy, a unique boarding school where humans ("Day Class") and vampires ("Night Class") are part of the student body. The heroine of the series is Yuki Cross, daughter of the headmaster and one of two guardians assigned to maintain the peace and safety of the student body. Her partner is Zero Kiryu, a fellow "Day Class" student and her childhood friend who has no love for vampires after his entire family was slaughtered by a Pureblood when he was quite young. Their clashing opinions on the possibility of vampires and humans being able to co-exist often come into play, particularly because Yuki is fixated on a Pureblood vampire named Kaname Kuran, a "Night Class" student who figures in her earliest memory as the person who rescued her from a vampire as a child. 

Thoughts: I'll start by saying that, overall, I did like Vampire Knight. The way vampires are portrayed felt very fresh (though granted, I don't consume that many vampire stories), and I appreciated the way that their abilities, society and culture were portrayed. I did find the storytelling to be slower than I expected, and definitely a lot darker and heavier too, which made it a little harder to binge. But the characters won me over in the end, and were the reason I ended up really enjoying the show overall. 

Favorite Character(s): I cheated on this question before, so it'll be unsurprising if I continue to do so in the future! Zero Kiryu has to be the character I was most invested in. He's in a difficult position, and only continues to face more obstacles and challenges as the story goes on. I admired his fiery passion, his love and loyalty to Yuki and the way that his struggle was portrayed. Apart from him, I was actually most invested in some of the secondary characters: Akatsuki Kain (who is my usual type in animes, honestly, and who proved himself to be further worthy of my regard in the second season),  Toga Yagari (shocker, another fellow who is my usual type), Hanabusa Aido (who bugged me initially, but eventually grew on me as more of his story is revealed), and Kaien Cross (the headmaster of the academy and Yuki's adoptive father). 

Favorite Episode: Is it cheesy to pick the first episode? Even if it is, I'm going to choose the pilot episode, "Night of Vampires". The reason I'm picking this one as my favorite is because I think it truly sets up this story perfectly. It introduces viewers to the characters of note, it immerses you in the setting and it hooks you enough to want to keep on going.

Favorite Scene: My favorite scene is, unsurprisingly, a scene involving Zero and Yuki. It's in the episode where he tutors her for an upcoming exam! He grabs her hand as she's walking away from him, draws her close and says "I think I was able to live on because you were beside me."

Favorite Quote: "She's not small. To me, her existence is not small.” (Surprise, surprise, it's a Zero Kiryu quote!)

Favorite Setting: This was actually the easiest question to answer! I love the headmaster's home, especially because it's usually portrayed as a cozy, safe space... which is what it represents for both Zero and Yuki.

Favorite Kiss: There's an actual kiss in the series, but I'm not a big fan of it. There is, however, an almost kiss that happens in S02E01 that brought me so much joy (when I thought it would actually be a kiss) and agony (when it turned out it wasn't going to be one), and I live for that romantic angst.

Have you watched (or read) Vampire Knight?


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