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Title:
  Vampire Knight vol 1

UK Distributor:  VIZ Media

Created by:  Matsuri Hino

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  5.99

Number of Pages:  208

ISBN:  978-1421508221

Reviewed:  22nd July 2008 

Reviewer:  Ami-chan

 

The story of Vampire Knight follows the main character Yuki Cross and her life at the Cross Academy.  However, this is no ordinary school as it has a dual existence.  In the daytime it a school like any other, whereas, at night it becomes a place of learning for elite vampires.  None of the day students know of this, and are attracted by the night students' mystique.  This in turn causes problems for both Yuki and Zero who are both Guardians of the school and the only ones barring the teachers who knows the secret identity of the night class.  Their main roles comes into play at twilight when the night class walk from their dorm to their classes.  This is mainly because the day students are constantly finding inventive ways of crossing paths with the night class even though it is forbidden.

In the first chapter of the story we are introduced to the three of the main characters of the story.  It could be said that each of the main characters offer something different to the reader.  On one hand there is Yuki who has a positive attitude toward the vampires, even though she was adopted by the headmaster after being saved from a bloodthirsty vampire.  Then there is Zero, who is Yuki's adoptive brother.  He was also adopted by the headmaster after a vampire killed all of his family.  However, unlike Yuki he does not share her opinion that vampires and humans can coexist along side each other.  He's pretty much your stereotypical broody type that you find in Shojo manga who is is unwilling to share his thoughts and feelings with anyone surrounding him.  Finally there is Kaname, the vampire clan leader of the Night class.  He was the one who saved Yuki after she was attacked, he also for reasons unknown treats her with great kindness compared to other members of the day class.

From the start there seems to be a very obvious love triangle in place as Yuki is protective over her adoptive brother and wishes to help him in any way.  On the other hand, there is Kaname who Yuki has more open feelings for, however, whether this is love or admiration it is too early to say in the story.

In this first volume you are very quickly introduced to the boundaries between Vampires and Humans.  As in the first chapter Yuki's blood is drunk by one of the night school students.  This is strictly forbidden in the school rules as the headmaster believes in pacifism and wishes there to be peace between the two parties.  It is also in this chapter that Kaname is shown to be the leader of the vampires as he ensures that the vampire who committed the attack is punished.

The artwork of the manga is of a high standard, with the panels tending to use a lot of shading which suits the darker nature of this manga.  One thing that is great about it is the little details that are included within the artwork.  For example, the fact that the day class wear dark clothing and the night class wear light or the detail on the iconic bloody rose gun which is a symbol of fear to vampires.

Overall, this is a great start to the series.  It does not overwhelm you with too many characters and provides a good introduction to the 3 main people who will shape this story in the following chapters.  The artwork is beautiful with gothic elements which further help to compliment with story.  Furthermore, there is plenty of mystery to unravel on all 3 of the main characters.  Such as What happen to Yuki before she was attacked by a vampire?  Why is Kaname so kind to her?  And why does Zero keep emotionally distant from everyone?

Extras

There is of course the standard advertising for other Shojo Beat titles but what else I hear you ask?  There is a nice bonus manga which introduces you to some of the night class members.  Further to this there is also detailed drawings of the day school uniforms, which is handy if you are planning to cosplay.  There is also at the back a quick summary of all the main characters in the story.  Finally, along side the manga there is plenty of commentary explaining the author's thought processes as she began to draw this story.

Product: Extras:
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