Manga Review: Vampire Knight, by Matsuri Hino

 

263145Genres: Shojo, Paranormal, Drama

Volumes: 19

Status: Finished

Favorite Characters: Zero Kiryu, Rima Toya, Senri Shiki

Rating: ✮

By the time you open your eyes, the world might have already changed.

This was my first manga. I remember that I used to really like it, but then again, I also liked Twilight, so obviously my taste in entertainment was disfigured.

Here’s the thing about Vampire Knight: it has beautiful artwork and that’s about it. Matsuri Hino’s art is detailed and her characters are ridiculously beautiful, but the story is flat.

It’s set at a private boarding school called Cross Academy, with a Day Class and a Night Class. As you’ve probably guessed, the Night Class are vampires. Yuki Cross, adopted daughter of the Headmaster, and her childhood friend Zero Kiryu act as Guardians, who protect the Night Class’s secret and prevent them from hunting the Day Class.

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Actually, the first eight, maybe even ten, volumes aren’t so bad. It’s after that when things go to shit. I can’t detail them, of course, but there’s a lot of weird stuff that happens that makes little to no sense.

As a matter of fact, that’s a big thing that bothers me about this series: I feel like there’s very little explanation – about anything. It was sort of, “this is this because I say it is.” I remember being really confused, and was never able to fully grasp what was happening. To top it off, it’s also very forgettable, which must mean that I didn’t find it that interesting in the first place.

The text irritates me because of how many ellipses are used. Breaks in dialogue and monologue make the story flow better, I know, but in Vampire Knight I feel like they’re trying to be overly-dramatic – like that one pause for suspense before a character drops a bombshell, except everywhere.

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I listed Zero as my favorite character, but that’s only because I used to have a huge crush on him. I don’t even like him that much anymore. He’s the perfect jailbait for 13-year-old me: tall, handsome, and angsty, with that perfect touch of menace that I used to find enticing.

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Oh god. So much angst.

There’s also some pet peeves of mine regarding the art. Matsuri Hino is fantastic at drawing characters, but she doesn’t illicit movement as often – lines, suffixes – and so everything looks really stiff. And when there’s a fight, it looks confusing and not as drawn out, like she was rushing through the scene in order to get back to the angst. Plus, everything muddled together so I couldn’t tell who was doing what.

And that ending? REALLY? What the hell was that? It was terrible.

It’s pretty, visually, but it’s like a rose without a scent. Everything sort of fell apart towards the middle, to the point that I don’t know why I kept on reading it – but I did. And it’s done. So now I can move on.

Even though we both know that our loved one will never so much as look our way we can’t erase that small something within us that continues to hope in vain.

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