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Vampire Knight, Volume 1

Review

Vampire Knight, Volume 1

Vampires have always been an alluring danger --- beautiful but deadly, irresistible even if you know it means your own death. In Yuki's high school, however, her headmaster has decided to try to broker a peace between the two races. He wants to prove that vampires and humans can live together, despite their natural antagonism, and so his school is divided into the Day Class, full of human students, and the Night Class, populated by young vampires. Of course, the day class has no idea just why their counterparts must attend classes starting at twilight, and two students, Yuki and Zero, are given the task of keeping the night class's true natures secret.

As a girl, Yuki was saved from certain death by a handsome vampire, Kaname, and still longs more than she wants to admit for his attention. Zero, on the other hand, was orphaned by a similar attack in which his entire family was murdered. He despises all vampires and will not believe that they can ever be anything but soulless monsters. Kaname, now a student, subscribes to the belief that vampires and humans can coexist peacefully and today leads the Night Class with a firm hand. Both are now the headmaster's wards, leaving them little choice in helping in his experiment.

Yuki and Zero have their hands full --- the Night Class is always pushing their boundaries, and the Day Class just doesn't quite understand why they can't flirt with the magnetic, beautiful boys they pass every day as the groups begin and end school, respectively. While some vampires seem to sincerely want to fight their blood lust, others seem far too willing to give in to temptation when Yuki or Zero let their guard down. Zero is caught up in a new problem, however, as he starts realizing he may have to transfer over to the Night Class.

Matsuri Hino, the creator of the delightful fantasy series MeriPuri, excels in evoking the bewitching beauty of the vampires without becoming so caught up in the look of her world that she forgets to give it a heart. Vivid and antique in flavor, the world is lovely, but her characters are the most important thing. Even within this first volume, which for most manga series is little more than a prologue, she makes you care about determined Yuki and conflicted Zero. She uses pacing, suspense and more than a few instances of honest conversation to build up relationships with realism and true-to-life emotion.

This series will be a good fit for fans waiting for the next Stephenie Meyer book --- the brewing romance, the beauty and the looming danger are all here, and it's a good bet that the series will only get juicier (pun intended) from here.

Reviewed by Robin Brenner on January 9, 2007

Vampire Knight, Volume 1
by Matsuri Hino

  • Publication Date: January 9, 2007
  • Genres: Manga
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
  • ISBN-10: 1421508222
  • ISBN-13: 9781421508221