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Vampire Knight Volume 2 (A J!-Ent Anime DVD Review)

May 10, 2011 by  



“”Vampire Knight Volume 2″ is the exciting continuation of a shojo series filled with, love triangles, bishounen vampires, and maybe even a little angst.”

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

DVD TITLE: Vampire Knight Volume 2

DURATION: 96 Minutes

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

COMPANY: VIZ

RATED: 16+

Release Date: September 28, 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

Hiroki Yasumoto/Travis Willingham as Toga Yagari

Risa Mizuno/Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Seiren

Kana Ueda/Stephanie Sheh as Sayori Wakaba

Kouji Ishii/Jamieson Price as Asato Ichijo

A new teacher arrives at Cross Academy with a hidden identity and possibly deadly connection to Zero, whose suffering is driving him to desperation. Yuki’s feelings are torn between Zero and Kaname, and her determination to help Zero may lead her to betray the one she loves most.

“Vampire Knight Volume 2” contains episodes 5-8 of the popular manga and anime series, “Vampire Knight” by Matsuri Hino. Yuki finds out Zero’s biggest secret: he’s a vampire. Because he was bitten by the vampire that killed his family years ago, he had slowly been turning but had been doing everything he could to stop the process. Since Zero has turned into the thing he hates most, he has fallen into a terrible state of self-loathing. Even after being bitten, Yuki wants to do everything she can to help Zero, no matter how extreme her solution may be.

Meanwhile the Hunter Association sends in one of the best hunters, Toga Yagari, into the school as a teacher to make sure everything is running as it should be at Cross Academy. Given Zero’s present situation, that may lead to quite a bit of trouble. However it seems that the new teacher and Zero have a history coincidentally. In this volume we also get to see more into the pasts of Yuki, Kaname, and Zero. Will Zero’s secret lead to his end or will Yuki be able to save her friend?

“Vampire Knight Volume 2” 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. In Volume 2, Yuki’s affections may have shifted a little. She feels an even stronger connection with Zero and wants to do everything she can to help him out with his situation. Even if the solution she comes up with may be rather extreme…

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… In Volume 2, it is apparent that he was bitten by the vampire that killed his family and he can’t fight off the effects anymore. Because he’s becoming the thing that he hates more than anything, his feelings of self-loathing have gotten pretty bad. His feelings for Yuki get even stronger and even though he doesn’t want the help that she is giving him, he can’t seem to hold himself back.

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. In Volume 2, it becomes a little more apparent how strong he feels for Yuki. Despite seeing into his past a little more in this volume, he seems even more mysterious.

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.

Toga Yagari – Yagari is a renowned vampire hunter and is sent to Cross Academy by the Hunter Association to see if everything is running as it should be. He is also Zero’s mentor as a vampire hunter from when he was younger. He saved Zero from a Level E vampire (humans that were bitten by vampires who turned into violent monsters that thirst for blood) which resulted in him losing his right eye. Despite being ruthless in killing vampires and knowing about Zero’s situation, he still seems to have hope in him.

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.

Asato Ichijo -Asato, also known as “Ichio” among the vampires, is Takuma’s grandfather and a member of the Vampire Council. He holds a lot of power in the vampire community and he causes quite a stir in episode 8 when the Night Class finds out he’s planning on stopping by.

“Vampire Knight Volume 2” features a total of 4 episodes on one DVD. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:

Volume 2:

  • Episode 5- Moonlight Festivities – A new teacher comes to Cross Academy who apparently has some connection with Zero.
  • Episode 6- Their Choices – Yuki decides to help Zero with his ailment, no matter what the risks may be.
  • Episode 7- The Scarlet Maze – Much of Yuki, Kaname, and Zero’s pasts are revealed.
  • Episode 8- Gunshot of Sorrow – Ichijo’s grandfather comes to visit the vampires in the Night Class.

VIDEO & AUDIO

“Vampire Knight Volume 2” is presented in 16:9 and audio options include both Japanese and English. Just like in Volume 1, 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.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The only special features available on the disc are Viz Trailers and DVD Credits.

Volume 2 of “Vampire Knight” is a direct continuation in the storyline where Volume 1 left off. In this volume, we see a possible shift in Yuki’s feelings, which could be leaning toward Zero instead of Kaname. We get to see a little more into the pasts of Yuki, Zero, Kaname and Kaien and are also introduced to a new character: Toga Yagari. Yagari is a ruthless hunter sent from the Hunter Association to keep an eye on everything going on at Cross Academy. My feelings about the series haven’t really changed in this volume: I still think the shojo aspects of the series are rather cliche, however I think the series is worth watching because it does have an interesting story and memorable characters. The story and the characters are still the strongest part of the series.

The love triangle between Yuki, Zero and Kaname become even more obvious in this volume. One of the best things about this volume is the fac that we get to see a little more out of the Night Class members that didn’t really stand out in Volume 1 like Ichijo, Senri and Rima. Despite not being main characters and barely ever speaking, I think I may like Senri and Rima the most out of all the characters. Even with the revelation of much about the main characters’ pasts, Kaname still remains rather mysterious. Even though Yuki is the central character of the story, there is a lot more focus on Zero and his conflict in this volume. Yagari would be a strong addition to the cast of characters and quickly jumps up in ranks as one of the better characters in the series in my opinion. It was interesting to see the nature of his relationship with Zero considering who he is and considering Zero’s issue.

The episodes in “Vampire Knight” are not really stand alone, therefore I don’t recommend watching this volume without seeing the first four episodes. There are quite a few spoilers that happen in this volume that probably wouldn’t make much sense if watched before seeing the beginning of the series. There are quite a few characters in this series and by this volume the storyline has progressed quite a bit. Even though there are quite a few characters in this series, it’s not a distraction and it’s not hard to keep track of who is who. I really do believe that the great number of characters in this series acts as a strength since most of the characters are pretty interesting.

The target audience doesn’t change in this volume: it’s mostly for a female audience. However Yagari might be a character guys could like as well, considering he may be the most masculine character despite there being mostly guys in the cast of characters.

If you liked the first volume or are a fan of the series, this volume is definitely worth watching. Despite the many shojo manga/anime cliches, the story and characters are interesting enough to keep watching to see what happens next. As I mentioned above, I recommend this series for people who already know of the series or have seen Volume 1, but I do not recommend it if you haven’t seen the first volume. Too much has happened by this volume and there are too many characters to keep track of. Even if you are not a shojo manga/anime fan, I think there are some people (like me) who could at least enjoy the series for the story and the characters. Overall, an exciting continuation of the series.


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