Title: Vampire Knight vol 1
UK Distributor: VIZ Media
Created by: Matsuri
Suggested Retail Price (SRP):
Number of Pages: 208
Reviewed: 22nd July
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
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?
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.