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Vampire Knight: Volume 1 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

May 2, 2011 by  



“Vampire Knight” is a shojo series with vampires… what more could you ask for?”

Image courtesy of © Matsuri Hino, Hakusensha/Vampire Knight Project, Studio Deen, VIZ, All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Vampire Knight Volume 1

DURATION: 96 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 WIDESCREEN, JAPANESE & ENGLISH STEREO

COMPANY: VIZ

RATED: 16+

Release Date: July 20, 2010

Original Manga by Matsuri Hino

Directed by Kiyoko Sayama

Music by Takefumi Haketa

Art Direction by Kazuhiro Ito

Character Designs by Asako Nishida

Produced by Fukashi Azuma/Tomoko Takahashi/Yumiko Masushima

Featuring the following voice talent:

Yui Horie/Mela Lee as Yuki Cross

Mamoru Miyano/Vic Mignogna as Zero Kiryu

Daisuke Kishio/Ethan Murray as Kaname Kuran

Hozumi Goda/Christopher Corey as Kaien Cross

Junichi Suwabe/Troy Baker as Akatsuki Kain

Jun Fukuyama/Bryce Papenbrook as Hanabusa Aido

Junko Minagawa/Dorothy Elias-Fahn as Ruka Souen

Susumu Chiba/Spike Spencer as Takuma Ichijo

Souichiro Hoshi/Steve Staley as Senri Shiki

Eri Kitamura/Carrie Savage as Rima Touya

Risa Mizuno/Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Seiren

Kana Ueda/Stephanie Sheh as Sayori Wakaba

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’re all vampires!

“Vampire Knight Volume 1” contains the first four episodes of the popular manga and anime series, “Vampire Knight” by Matsuri Hino. The story revolves around Yuki Cross who attends Cross Academy. Cross Academy has a Day Class and Night Class, but unlike most schools, the Day and Night Classes are completely separated… because the members of the Night Class are all vampires. The members of the Day Class don’t know this fact, other than the members of the Disciplinary Committee, Yuki and Zero, who are in charge of keeping the Day and Night classes apart. The members of the Day Class only know that the members of the Night Class are all beautiful and alluring. Kaname Kuran is the leader of the Night Class and helped Yuki’s father, Kaien Cross to establish this school. Kaien Cross opened this school in hopes of there being peace among humans and vampires.

Yuki Cross’s earliest memory is of her about to be attacked by a vampire but then being saved by Kaname Kuran. Since then, she has very strong feelings toward Kaname. Meanwhile Zero, the other member of the Disciplinary Committee, has a strong hatred towards vampires because his parents were killed by a vampire four years prior. Despite Yuki and Zero clashing about how they feel about vampires, they do their job by keeping the Day Class away from the Night Class as much as possible. However it seems that Zero has a secret… one that Yuki, the person he’s closest to, doesn’t even know about…

“Vampire Knight Volume 1” focuses on the following main characters:

Yuki Cross – Yuki Cross is one of the main characters of the series. She is a member of the Day Class and is one of the members of the Disciplinary Committee in charge of keeping the Day and Night Classes separate. She is cute and clumsy despite being a member of the Disciplinary Committee. Yuki is the headmaster’s daughter and one of the only ones that knows the identity of the Night Class. Her earliest memory is of her about to be attacked by a vampire but being saved by Kaname Kuran. She has very strong feelings for Kaname Kuran but she also deeply cares about Zero, but more as a best friend.

Zero Kiryu – Zero is a member of the Day Class. He is also a member of the Disciplinary Committee with Yuki. The headmaster brought him in four years ago after his parents were killed by a vicious vampire. Because of that fact, he hates vampires and clashes with the members of the Night Class quite a bit. He is rather cool and sarcastic, but can manage to drop a few jokes with Yuki, who he’s rather close to. Despite how close they are, he seems to be keeping a very big secret…

Kaname Kuran – Kaname is a member of the Night Class. He is the leader and the most powerful out of the Night Class. He saved Yuki from a vampire when she was a child and is even still very protective towards her. He has very strong feelings for Yuki even though she’s rather oblivious to that fact. For the most part, he keeps the other vampires out of trouble and is the one who helped establish this school with Kaien Cross.

Kaien Cross – Kaien is Yuki’s father as well as Zero’s adoptive father. He is the headmaster of Cross Academy and a former vampire hunter. He opened Cross Academy in hopes to bring peace between humans and vampires. His personality for the most part is rather eccentric.

Akatsuki Kain – Akatsuki is a member of the Night Class. He is a pretty calm and loyal vampire who seems to always get in trouble only because he’s around his cousin, Hanabusa who causes trouble. He never loses his temper and seems to have insight on all of his friends and their feelings.

Hanabusa Aido – Hanabusa is a member of the Night Class. He is considered an idol (which is also a pun off of his name) by the girls of the Day Class. He is cute like a child but can be very jealous and throws tantrums just like a child would as well. He is very protective of Kaname and gets jealous of anyone that gets too close to him. He is Akatsuki’s cousin.

Ruka Souen – Ruka is a member of the Night Class. She is sophisticated and beautiful and she is the idol of males of the Day Class. She has very strong feelings for Kaname.

Takuma Ichijo – Takuma is a member of the Night Class. He is from an aristocratic family and is one of Kaname’s closest friends. He is rather cheerful and friendly unlike most other vampires.

Senri Shiki – Senri is a member of the Night Class. He rarely speaks and when he does, it’s usually a single sentence. He works as a model with Rima.

Rima Touya – Rima is a member of the Night Class. She is petite and pixie-like and works as a model with Senri. Also like Senri, she doesn’t speak very much and is not very energetic.

Seiren – Seiren is another member of the Night Class and Kaname’s unofficial bodyguard.

Sayori Wakaba – Sayori is a member of the Day Class as well as Yuki’s best friend and dorm-mate. She is kind and always worries about her best friend.

“Vampire Knight Volume 1” features a total of 4 episodes on one DVD. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:

Volume 1:

  • Episode 1- First Encounter – Yuki works hard to keep the Day and Night Classes apart and Zero has a dangerous secret.
  • Episode 2- Memories of Blood – It’s St. Xocolatl’s Day and the Day Class is anxious to give chocolates to the Night Class.
  • Episode 3- The Fang of Penitence – Yuki follows Zero out of the school grounds and lands into some trouble.
  • Episode 4- Trigger of Codemnation – After learning Zero’s secret, Yuki tries to help him.

VIDEO & AUDIO

“Vampire Knight Volume 1” is presented in 16:9 and audio options include both Japanese and English. The art in the series is pretty but the character designs are indeed shojo so that may attract or detract viewers. But overall, the art is great and the animation is smooth and backgrounds look great.

The Japanese cast as well as the American cast both do a great job. All of the voices seem fitting and don’t seem out of place. The Japanese cast includes big names like Yui Horie, Mamoru Miyano, Daisuke Kishio, Jun Fukuyama, and many others. The American cast is also full of big name voice actors including Mela Lee, Ethan Murray, Vic Mignogna, Troy Baker, Stephanie Sheh, and others.

Like Shojo manga/anime? Like vampires? Then you’ve found the perfect series for you. “Vampire Knight Volume 1” is full of bishounen vampires and eye candy for shojo manga fans… and it does offer more to other viewers as well.

This volume covers the first four episodes of the popular manga/anime series by Matsuri Hino. Despite there being only four episodes, by the fourth episode, a significant number of events have happened. The story revolves around Yuki Cross, a cute, clumsy girl that attends Cross Academy. Cross Academy is a rather interesting school that is split by two classes: the Day Class and the Night Class. Along with Zero Kiryu, they act as the Disciplinary Committee, making sure that the Day and Night Classes stay separated. Why? Because the Night Class consists of vampires and the Day Class consists of unknowing humans who are fascinated by the beautiful Night Class. Yuki’s earliest memory is of her about to be attacked by a vampire and being saved by Kaname Kuran, who also happens to be a vampire. Since then, she has very strong feelings for Kaname. Kaname is the leader of the Night Class and is the one who helped the headmaster Kaien Cross open this school. In contrast, Zero hates vampires since his parents were killed by vampires so he despises the Night Class. However, Zero also has a secret which comes to light by the end of the DVD and the secret will change the relationship between Yuki and Zero forever.

The first DVD pretty much acts as an introduction to all of the characters in the series and the main focus is on the relationship between Yuki and Kaname as well as Yuki and Zero, as well as Zero’s secret. There are quite a few characters, considering most of the Night Class are all pretty major characters, but after a few episodes it’s not hard to keep track of who is who.

I personally am a little tired of the current vampire trend (this may be indirectly connected but there are still pretty vampires in it…) but so far the series is interesting. There’s a good mix of cuteness, romantic tension, action, and humor. The main character is a common type of main character found in shojo series: cute and clumsy and offers some comic relief. The rest of the cast consists of mostly of bishounen characters (mostly vampires). There is already an obvious love triangle between Yuki, Kaname, and Zero and of course, Yuki is oblivious to it for the most part in this volume. Despite the cliches, the series is still interesting.

This series is undoubtedly shojo. Is that bad? Nah. For those who like shojo manga and anime, this series is already great: pretty boys, romance, humor, and great art. For those who don’t like shojo manga and anime: the humor is good, there’s a fair amount of action and the story is interesting. The characters in the series are rather strong part of what makes the series interesting. The situation that Zero is in probably is the most interesting part of the story in this volume, as it is a major conflict to what he thinks and will affect his relationship with the other main characters.

Despite how conflicted he is, even he manages to contribute to the humor so that can be fun at times. Yuki is a rather generic character found in shojo mangas as I mentioned earlier. Kaname Kuran is dark, handsome, and mysterious. He seems to want peace between humans and vampires, but he also seems to have another side to him, especially when it comes to Yuki.

Though they aren’t very big characters yet, out of the Night Class, I find the duo of Senri and Rima quite amusing. They both act indifferent to anything that happens and don’t talk much, yet can have some of the funniest moments in the series. I also like Akatsuki quite a bit as he contrasts with his rather annoying cousin, Hanabusa. Kaien Cross, the headmaster and Yuki’s father pretty much provides much of the humor in the series, but it is also obvious that he has another side to him.

I would say that the primary audience for this show would be female, and might also like “Twilight”. However as I mentioned above, the series has a bit more to offer than eye candy and vampires so it may be able to bring in a bigger audience. The story itself is rather dark with bits of humor, the cast is great both in the Japanese and English dubs, and the characters are interesting. Even though I’m not a very big shojo manga/anime fan, I’m interested to see what happens next and I believe other viewers will feel the same.







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