Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vampire Knight 01 and First Impressions

1st Night: Night of the Vampires
Get More Vampire Knight 01 Screencaps
The series opens with a flashback from Yuki Cross' earliest memories: that of being attacked by a vampire and saved by another. The vampire's name is Kuran Kaname.

The opening theme is called: Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi (Two Beats and Red Sins) by ON/OFF [Sample]. The title and the lyrics are fitting, I suppose, although the catchy melody probably does not match the more popular use of melancholic cello pieces in most vampire stories. The clip features pretty shots of the characters as well as a foreshadowing of the "great reveal" that the story is gearing for. The ending theme is called, still doll by Wakeshima Kanon [Sample]. It's a very interesting song with its ticking clock background and intriguing concept.
Present day -- The Cross Academy's student body is divided into two: the day class and night class. School prefects, like Yuki Cross and Kiryu Zero, try to keep the two apart, with good reason since the entire night class student body is composed of vampires.

Day class students are unaware of this. The vampires are a well-guarded secret of Cross Academy. Therefore, the stringent rule against co-mingling merely serves to heighten the interest that day class students have about their night class counterparts. As a result, Yuki's job is extremely trying. Add to that the fact that she has a past connection and inexplainable attraction towards the night class students' president, Kuran Kaname, her job is well near impossible.
Thankfully, Zero helps keep Yuki from messing up. Whenever Kaname, who seems to reciprocate Yuki's interest, makes familiar advances towards her, he is always there to stop it and remind Yuki that vampires are no more than beasts who take on human form.

But Zero has a far more serious problem, because the vampires he is now obliged to protect are the very same vampires he hates and swears to kill. Worse still, he himself has become a vampire, after having been bitten by the vampire that killed his entire family.
All is not well with the vampires themselves. While the night class students all appear to be loyal to Kaname, who is a pureblood and considered one of the most powerful vampires around, there are a few who sometimes break the rules.

Hanabusa, for instance, though outwardly appearing flirtatious and charming, has no compulsion against attacking Yuki to drink her blood. Not only him, but the rest of the vampires are starting to show their discontent.

The Cross Academy tries to stave off the vampires' hunger for blood by feeding them tablets that artificially mimic the compounds found in human blood. But for some vampires, this is not enough and sooner or later, things might go out of hand.


I've decided not to recap the entire episode event for event because there are so many back stories involved, the post would end up very long. Anyhoo, this episode looks good, but then again, all pilot episodes are. I am not totally sold on the idea. I don't particularly like vampire animes, with perhaps Blood: The Last Vampire as the only exception. I didn't even take to Blood+ all that well. This anime, so far, has not changed my impression of all vampire animes.

I kind of expected, after watching the preview, that it's going to be a Yuki x Zero pairing. But, after reading up on Vampire Knight, I discovered that it's not quite what I think.

I'm not even so fond of the comedy moments. I didn't find them so humorous although I can admit that there are some shots that would make funny icons.

I have a question: why is it that in almost every romance anime with a school setting I've seen, the guys are always portrayed as perfect and accomplished while the girl is always a bit of a slob? I guess this is why I don't watch that many animes with a school setting. There seems to be little room for originality.

That said, this anime looks typical. We'll see what happens after three or so episodes.


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