52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2006
Matsuri Hino, who gave us the enjoyable light-hearted and funny romantic tale MeruPuri, has delievered a much darker tale with Vampire Knight. Yuki, a bright and likeable heroine, was saved from a vampire attack when she was young by a tall, dark, and handsome young man called Kaname. As an orphan she is adopted by the chairman of a prestigious boarding school who is friends with her rescuer.
In present day she lives and studies at the school. The school is divided into a "Day Class" and a "Night Class." She is also, under the guise of being a student councillor, an "Academy Guardian." The Academy Guardians, Yuki and a handsome fellow student called Zero, are the only students in "Day Class" who are privy to the knowledge that the "Night Class" is made up of vampires. It is their job to ensure that the "Day Class" and "Night Class" do not mix and that the "Night Class" keep their secret. The head vampire is none other than her rescuer Kaname. Yuki is torn by her friendship to Zero, a vampire hater whose family were killed by vampires four years ago, and her secret love and infatuation with Kaname.
The vampires are all beautiful beings, but almost every scene that they are in is charged with danger and seduction. Instead of delievering another funny manga, Matsuri has concentrated on bringing us a gothic and dark story which mixes romance, despair, danger, and hope. The two main young men who Yuki is torn between are suitability gorgeous and the general artwork is very attractive. The story is also a welcome change from the usual manga tales. It took me awhile to get used to the concept, however I found that it is actually more enjoyable on the second reading. Recommended to fans of MeruPuri, Fruit's Basket and, due to its gothic overtones, Angel Sanctuary.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2007
This story is one that you daydream about in bad traffic. It stays on your mind even when you should be thinking about something else.
I'd love to meet Zero, Kaname, and Yuki, as well as Aido and others. Wouldn't it be great if you could really know these guys personally? Beautiful, Powerful People! Intense and full of intrigue. If you pick it up, there's very little chance you're going to put it down whether you are a guy or a girl. This series is going to be dog-eared and worn for sure.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
There are two very different classes at the prestigious Cross Academy. The day time class, and the mysterious Night Class. The two classes never mix except when one group is leaving, the other is entering. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the two members of the school's disciplinary team and they alone among the Day Class know the dark secret that the Night Class is made up of vampires.
Headmaster Cross has opened the school up to both humans and vampires in hopes of uniting them in peace. The Night Class has worked to develop blood tablets to replace the need for fresh blood. Yuki is enamored with Kaname Kuran, the Night Class President. Ten years earlier, he saved her life when she was attacked by another vampire and brought her to the academy where Headmaster Cross adopted her as his daughter.
Zero isn't nearly as fond as the vampires as Yuki. His entire family was killed by vampires years ago and Zero wants revenge. The two groups work to co-exist as Yuki and Zero steer the daytime girls away from trouble and Kaname tries to keep his more bloodthirsty classmates in line. The book presents five distinct stories as opposed to one boot length tale, which is refreshing. They are all set against the backdrop of Cross Academy and despite the vampiric characters, the book is as much, if not more, a drama than a horror tale.
As you go on and reach each story in Vampire Knight, creator Matsuri Hino reveals more and more about each o the main characters and will eventually unveil the terrible secret that Zero holds that further explains his hate of all vampires. I enjoyed Hino's art quite a bit. There was a nice cinematic feel to his stories and he didn't try to do too much in the first volume. Hino also provides various margin notes about the book and its development. A well-done opening volume and I can't wait until number two!
Reviewed by Tim Janson
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Matsuri Hino, Vampire Knight, vol. 1 (ViZ, 2005)
An exclusive private school with a day class made up of humans and a night class made up of vampires, some of whom want to bridge the centuries-long gap that has caused vampires and humans to be constantly at war with one another, is the setting for Matsuri Hino's newest manga. The main character is Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of the (rather flighty) headmaster of the school. As we open, she is attacked by a rogue vampire, but saved by Kaname, the head of the night class. Fast-forward ten years and Yuki is now in the day class herself. She's one of the disciplinary committee, who exist to make sure the day and night classes don't intermix (the day class don't know the night class are vampires). The other disciplinary committee member is Zero Kiryu, the orphaned son of parents killed in a vampire attack four years previous. Kaname still holds Yuki's heart, but is it just gratitude? Are her growing feelings for Kiryu real? Not a bad beginning, looking forward to reading more of the series. ***
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2007
I got Volumes 1 & 2 yesterday, and finished them both. I love the characters! It was very good and I can't wait to read the 3rd one. There wasn't that much blood, which suprised me, and there is a hint of romance, well, not really a hint, but, a little bit of romance. Over all, I enjoyed every second of reading these.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Vampires, those fearsome denizens of the night, have long been a part of Western lore. But while all vampires share a thirst for blood, they've come to be interpreted in two very different ways. First, you have the traditional version: a hideous, undead creature who spends his nights stalking young virgins. Then you have the more modern version: the beautiful, brooding young man who takes the high road and fights his blood-lust. If you couldn't already guess, Matsuri Hino's "Vampire Knight" features the more sophisticated version.
To be fair, Hino actually works both versions into her story. The heroine, Yuki Cross, has mixed feelings about vampires. Her first memory is of being attacked by a scary vampire in the snow, only to be rescued by the beautiful Kaname Kuran. Ten years later, Yuki attends Cross Academy, the school owned by her adoptive father. The school was founded to promote peace between vampires and humans, and Yuki is a guardian. She helps keep the day class (humans) and night class (vampires) separated to prevent unnecessary temptation. But it's not such an easy job. The day class girls have no idea that the beautiful boys of the night class are vampires, and they practically stalk them.
Not that Yuki can't relate. She's still in love with Kaname, though her fascination is mixed with fear. Her fellow guardian, Zero, on the other hand, hates vampires with all his being. He is descended from a line of vampire hunters, those who hunt the hunters of the night, and his family was killed by a vampire. Still, there may be more going on with Zero than Yuki knows...
"Vampire Knight" has a compelling, original story. The sexy vampire is nothing new, but I like the rules Hino applies to her world. I can't reveal them all (don't want to spoil anything), but they're interesting, they make sense, and Hino doesn't break them. The boarding school setting is also an interesting idea. The story is pretty slow at first. It can be frustrating, but it's worth it to get to the good part. Everything becomes much more interesting when Yuki's forgotten past becomes prominent, and it gets better from there. It's full of mystery and suspense with a touch of humor, and it keeps you reading.
I have mixed feelings about the characters. Yuki isn't my favorite heroine ever. She's pretty average as far as shojo heroines go. She broods over her forbidden love and worries about Zero's problems. She does try to fight when she has to, but she usually just gets herself in trouble and has to be rescued. I think this is foolish rather than strong or brave, and it causes trouble for both Zero and Kaname. Also, Yuki is very dense. She is completely oblivious to Zero's feelings for her and often hurts him because of this. She does get much more interesting and independent after a certain point, but it takes a while to get there.
Then there's Zero. I liked him at first, but I got tired of his angst. It's understandable for his character, but it doesn't make him terribly interesting. Kaname is probably the best character of the three. He's mature and composed, and he has secrets. A lot of secrets. He's also conflicted over his desire for Yuki (you can't have a hot vampire who isn't conflicted over his lust for the heroine; it's a rule). The other night class members are interesting, too, and I'm glad that they hold a prominent place in the story. I also like Yuki's best friend, Yori, but I do wish she were in the story more.
The art is very well done. Even if the large eyes and longish hair of the characters don't appeal to you, Hino draws beautiful costumes and backgrounds. Everything is so detailed. The uniforms and buildings of the school are elegant and gothic, and everything lends a gothic feel to the work. The characters are beautiful, and there's lots of eye-candy for us girls. Hino puts her characters in interesting poses and has good layouts, too. She's really good at creating sexual tension between her characters, a must for a manga featuring blood-lust.
"Vampire Knight" is a must-read for shojo fans. The story starts off kind of slow and the characters take a while to get interesting, but it pays off to stick with it. The suspenseful story, dark, gothic atmosphere, and beautiful characters make it well worth your time.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2007
Currently being seiralized in Shojo Beat magazine this one manga to get in on. The illustrations are beautiful. It's a mostly male cast with a female man character. what man-lovin girl couldn't appreciate that?
oh and did i mention a love triangle between vampire and human? oh yes. this one is very dark. but it's my new favorite. It takes place at this school for vampires and people. but the people don't know there are vampires there. all very tricky. but that's not really what i care about. i'm crazy about love triangles and this one is good.
do yourself a favor and check it out!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2009
Cross Academy holds a dark secret. While the day class consists of normal students, they have no idea that the night class is made up of vampires! Both groups are pushing the boundaries of interaction, and it's only a matter of time before someone crosses a line.
Yuki Cross is the adopted daughter of the quirky headmaster at Cross Academy. As a prefect, it's her job to keep the students safe . . . from each other. Ten years ago, Yuki's family was attacked by a vampire, but she was rescued by a charismatic and kind pureblood named Kaname Kuran. It is her earliest memory. After that, Chairman Cross took her in and raised her as his own. Together with Kaname, Cross strives to teach peace between human and vampires through education at his school.
A few years after Yuki's adoption, Cross took in another child, named Zero Kiryu. He was only a year older than Yuki, and the only surviving son from a family of vampire hunters. For their first few years together, both Zero and Yuki cooperated to keep the peace at Cross Academy, being the only other human students to know the secrets of the night class.
But now Zero is starting to change. The vampire who slaughtered his family left him with a cruel and horrifying destiny to face: to become a vampire himself. However, when humans are turned into vampires instead of being born as one, they often fall into madness and must be destroyed. Yuki will do anything to slow the process and give Zero a chance to regain his humanity, but the path is dangerous and full of treachery.
The love triangle that forms between Yuki, Zero, and Kaname adds another layer to the story that most female readers will appreciate. Both Zero and Kaname have flaws and secrets that make them dangerous, but Yuki is a light that keeps their darker sides in check. There is a large cast of characters in Vampire Knight, and it would be nice to see Hino take us a little deeper into their personalities rather than simply let them serve as background. The secondary characters who do some things but never really get the spotlight deserve a little more.
The plot grows and thickens naturally, with a few twists and surprises thrown in, but it doesn't get too drawn out. The anime version of Vampire Knight really stretches everything and loses the compelling grip that the manga holds so well. The manga is concise and supplies information only as it becomes needed, leaving an air of mystique that serves the series well.
Even the artwork casts a haze over certain moments and acutely directs the eye to witness an event at a very specific angle to add cinematic drama. Hino's art style also lends so much beauty to this manga. Although the story would likely succeed without it, the shoujo style pushes the manga above and beyond most other gothic romance titles. Images flow well and there's something very sexy when it comes to the visual dynamic between Yuki and Zero. Just seeing their hands at certain times speaks volumes more than their faces would. On the other hand, Hino often falls victim to the "two faces" flaw, which can make it difficult to differentiate between characters because they're so similarly drawn.
-- Courtney Kraft
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful story and artwork. Serious in some parts, but light enough to read at any time. Matsuri Hino is an amazing mangaka.
on September 2, 2009
I was bored one night and I happened on to this manga series.
Yuki is a very special 15 year old girl. She has no memory of her life before the age of 5. She was found in the snow by a young vampire who saved her from a psychotic predatory vampire. The young vampire took her to Cross Academy, where she was raised by the headmaster of the school. Cross Academy is a unique private school because both humans and vampires attend. The humans are in the Day Class and the vampires are in the Night Class, but the human students have no idea that the Night Class is vampires.
Yuki and Zero Kiryu are made guardians of the school by the headmaster. They are the only students who know about the vampire class. Yuki and Zero are responsible for helping keep the vampire's secret and keeping the students safe. Yuki believes the vampires are good and should be able to fit into the human world, but Zero hates the vampires because they killed his family. Yuki has a close relationship with Kaname Kuran the President of the vampire class who also happens to be the vampire who saved her when she was a girl.
The love triangle between Kaname, Yuki, and Zero is just so explosive; it is hard to wait for the next book to come out. Matsuri Hino does an excellent job of creating a love triangle without ever putting it into words. The pictures in the manga show the emotion and the intensity of the relationships between Kaname, Yuki, and Zero.
I love this series; I can say it over and over and over. Once I watched all of the episodes on YouTube I had to read the mangas online. When I finished those I had to have the mangas in my personal library. I suggest these books to anyone who likes an innocent yet dangerous love story.