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Vampire Knight Guilty Vol. 1 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

June 1, 2011 by  



“Vampire Knight Guilty” Vol 1 offers returning fans more twist, turns, and insight in this ongoing vampire drama.

Image courtesy of ©2008 Masturi Hino, Hakusensha/Vampire Knight Project.  All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Vampire Knight Guilty Vol. 1

DURATION: Episodes 1-4 (100 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Stereo Bilingual, Japanese & English

COMPANY: Shojo Beat/Viz Media

RATED: T for Older Teen

Release Date: March 15, 2011

Originally Created by Matsuri Hino

Series Director: Kiyoko Sayama

Series Coordinator: Mari Okada

Animation Character Design by Asako Nishida

Art Director: Kazuhiro Ito

Chief Animation Director: Toshimitsu Kobayashi

Music by Takefumi Haketa

Anime Production by Studio Deen

Featuring the following voice talent:

Daisuke Kishio/Ethan Murray as Kaname Clan

Mamoru Miyano/Vic Mignona as Zero Kiryū

Yui Horie/Mela Lee as Yūki Cross

Eri Kitamura/Carrie Savage as Rima Tōya

Fumiko Orikasa/Wendee Lee as Shizuka Hiou

Hirofumi Nojima as Haruka Clan

Hiroki Yasumoto/Travis Willingham as Tooga Yagari

Hozumi Gôda/Christopher Smith as Kaien Cross

Jun Fukuyama/Karen Strassman as Hanabusa Aidou

Junichi Suwabe/Troy Baker as Akatsuki Kain

Junko Minagawa/Dorothy Elias-Fahn as Luca Sōen

Mamoru Miyano/Vic Mignona as Ichiru Kiryū

Mariko Kouda as Juri Clan

Souichiro Hoshi/Steve Stailey as Senri Shiki

Susumu Chiba/Spike Spencer as Takuma Ichijou

Tarusuke Shingaki/Patrick Seitz as Rido Clan

At prestigious Cross Academy, there are two sessions of classes, the Day Class and the Night Class. As the school’s Disciplinary Committee, Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu keep watch over the Day Class students, who are all infatuated with the beautiful, elite Night Class students. As Guardians, Yuki and Zero must also protect the secret of the Night Class: they are all vampires!

 

Vampire Knight is a shojo manga and anime series written by Matsuri Hino. The series premiered in the January 2005 issue of “LaLa” magazine and is still on-going. Chapters are collected and published in collected volumes by Hakusensha, with eleven volumes currently released in Japan.  The manga series is licensed in English by Viz Media, who have released eleven volumes so far.  The English adaptation of the manga series debuted back in the July 2006 issue of Viz’s Shojo’s Beat magazine, with the collected volumes being published on a quarterly basis.

Also, two drama CD’s  were created for the series, as well as a twenty-six episode anime adaptation. Produced by Studio Deen, the anime series’ first season aired in Japan on TV Tokyo between April 8, 2008 and July 1, 2008.

The second season, aired on the same station from October 7, 2008 and December 30, 2008. The anime uses many of the same voice actors as were used for the drama CDs. The anime adaptations were licensed for release in North America by Viz Media, the DVD released on July 20, 2010.

I am reviewing the latest volume “Vampire Knight Guilty Vol. 1” which continues where “Vampire Knight” DVD Volume 3 left off.

“Vampire Knight Guilty Vol. 1” is presented on one DVD. Here is a basic spoiler-less summary of each episode:

  • EPISODE 1: Burden of Sinners – Zero is back at Cross Academy. Yuki’s feelings toward Lord Kaname and Zero is becoming more complicated and intertwined. Lord Kaname appears to come to the aid of Zero.
  • EPISODE 2: The Eternal Promise – A mysterious vampire child lures Yuki to an old estate where Lord Kaname finds her unconscious. The estate she is lured to will host an important ball where humans and vampires attend in hopes to promote a peaceful future for vampires and humans.
  • EPISODE 3: The Azure Portrait – Senrei visits his mother. Yuki ponders how much she will do for Lord Kaname. Meanwhile Hanabusa of the Night Class is concerned about Lord Kaname and his decisions and his actions toward the Senate is explored.
  • EPISODE 4: Devil’s Awakening – Yuki’s memories of her past are surfacing more and more. So Zero and Yuki visit the Association records to uncover more of her past. Also an old enemy of Lord Kaname appears to be close to awakening.

VIDEO :

Picture quality is what you would expected from “Vampire Knight Guilty Vol. 1”, similar to the last series.

I refuse to describe the animation in “Vampire Knight Guilty Vol 1″as good or bad quality because I do not believe that to be Studio Deens’ main focus in animating “Vampire Knight Guilty”.

Studio Deen is a Japanese company that produces anime. This Japanese company was established 3 years after Sunrise by some of Sunrise’s members. Studio Deen has then been believed to help lend a hand on some of Sunrises projects such as “Cowboy Bebop”. Studio Deen has produced a few OVA’s and a slew of TV anime on its own, such as “Maison Ikkoku”, “Rave Master”, “Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?”, “DNA²”  and “Giant Killing” just to name a few.

I believe Studio Deens purpose was to take Asako Nishida character designs and  animate them with efficiency to be a part of a whole. The parts of the whole being: animation, voice acting, coloring, ending and opening theme and more. When these parts are combined I can see them as being standard quality.

But I can describe the animation itself. There are lots of static scenes where the characters are not moving. Most of animation that takes places is when they are talking; mouths move, eyes shimmer, heads turn, expressions change, so on and so forth.

The backgrounds are can be distinguished as a school, dorm room or classroom and add to the mood of each scene. I can neither praise or show disdain for Studio Deens work on this project. I suspect that the returning fans will enjoy what is presented and catch the eyes of those looking for a teenage vampire drama as well.

The eye catching portion of this anime is due in part to the character designs by Asako Nishida.

Asako does well in translating the detailed look of the manga to the anime. But Asako Nishida’s cup of tea seems to be more of an animator as she has had stints as a key animator in several anime, including “Card Capture Sakura the Movie”, “Eureka 7”, “Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny” and one of my favorites “Macross Plus”.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Vampire Knight Guilty Vol. 1” is presented in Stereo Bilingual (Japanese and English).

The Japanese voice acting in “Vampire Knight Guilty” Vol. 1 par for me. The Japanese voice actors were able give the characters life and put me in the middle of the emotional turmoil and escalating tension surrounding Night Class Students of Cross Academy, especially when Yuki Cross is on the scene.

I am more biased to original Japanese dialogue in my anime, but the English voice cast did a commendable job as well. The standouts in the voice acting department would have to be the voices of the main characters Zero and Yuki, Vic Mignona and Mela Lee.

Vic Mignona is a well seasoned voice actor who is well know for his role as Edward Elric in the hit anime series “Full Metal Alchemist” and “Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood”.  Mela Lee voice can not only be heard in anime but also in a few video games. Her most popular stint would be that of character Rachel Alucard in the hit 2D fighter “BlazBlue”.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Vampire Knight Guilty Vol. 1” comes with the following special features: Trailers and info on Viz Media products.

“Vampire Knight Guilty” Vol. 1 offers returning fans more twist, turns, and insight in this ongoing vampire drama.

The second season of “Vampire Knight” does everything it needs to do to tell the story without taking any risk or deviating from the beaten path. Vampire Knight started out as a manga and already has devoted following. “Vampire Knight Guilty” Vol. 1 is the sequel to the immensely popular Vampire Knight.

The “Vampire Knight Guilty” Vol. 1 episodes focus on three main characters: Yuki Cross who is on the disciplinary committee at Cross Academy.

She is searching for her lost memories while sorting out her emotions for her savior who is a Pureblood Vampire, Kaname Kuran .  Kaname Kuran is another main character in “Vampire Knight Guilty” Vol. 1.

He is a very rare Pureblood Vampire with deep deep ties to the girl he saved from death from a vampire, Yuki Cross.  Other main characters of “Vampire Knight Guilty” are Vampire Hunter Zero Kiryu, who also has his own set of circumstances, mainly the secrets that he shares with both Yuki and Kaname, his ongoing fight against his lapse into condition known to vampires Level E, and his increasing powers.

Throughout each episode on this DVD we also see supporting characters affirm their loyalties to either Zero Kiryu and Kaname Kuran. In part one of this DVD series, “Vampire Knight” Vol 1-3, a Pureblood was murdered which implicated Zero, and caused Kaname to take actions, seemingly on the behalf of Zero, that causes a stir in the Vampire Council.

These continuing story plots plus the ongoing search for the memories of  Yuki Cross which might reveal who she truly is, and unlock the connection she has to Kaname Kuran, provided enough pull and intrigue to keep me focused on most of the episodes.

Overall, this “Vampire Knight Guilty” Vol. 1 did a standard job of bringing the Vampire Knight manga to life.

However, I would only recommend “Vampire Knights Guilty” Vol. 1 to seasoned “Vampire Knights” fans, being that there are lots of plot lines and motivations for the characters that can only be made sense of if you are familiar with the manga and anime series.






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