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Series: Vampire Knight #1
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Yuki Cross has no memory of her past prior to the moment she was saved from a vampire attack ten years ago. She was adopted by the headmaster of Cross Academy, and now works alongside Zero to guard the Academy’s secret. Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy’s dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!
First of all, this is a re-read for me. I first encountered the Vampire Knight series looooong ago, like in high school. I read it for the vampires. And I automatically hated it because it’s a shoujo! Boo! At least, that’s how I felt about it then. Even now, though, I have a thing about shoujo manga – a kind of natural aversion to them unless they are exceptional in any manner – and Vampire Knight, Vol. 1 managed to distinguish itself from just another trope in the genre.
Mostly, it’s the characters. Mangaka Matsuri Hino expresses several times throughout the fillers in the volume that this is her first non-comedy, and you can definitely see it in her work. While the storyline can get a little heavy (or, more accurately, dramatic), there are interspersions of comedic relief from a little bit of everyone. Yes, it can be a bit over-the-top, but it’s all in good fun – and on the other side of a surprisingly good story.
The first few chapters may not show it, but the last few definitely give a glimpse into the progress and development to come in future volumes.
I don’t remember why or when I stopped reading this series, but I’ll catch back up and prolly watch the anime, too – because why the hell not?