Vampire Knight – 01
One snowy day many years ago, a young girl named Yuuki was attacked by a vampire in the woods, but she had been saved by another vampire named Kaname. Years passed, and Yuuki is now attending Cross Academy. One of her duties as a member of the school’s disciplinary committee is to make the Day Class go to their dorms when it’s time for the Night Class to show up, but on this particular day, the girls of the Day Class stick around long enough to catch a glimpse of the beautiful students of the Night Class. One of these Night Class students is Kaname, and he helps Yuuki back up after she gets knocked down during the rush of girls. However, one of the other members of the disciplinary committee, a boy named Zero, gets between the two of them to keep Kaname’s hands off Yuuki. The truth is that the entire Night Class is comprised of vampires, and it’s up to Yuuki and Zero to protect that secret from everyone else.
The man who calls himself Yuuki and Zero’s father, Kaien Cross, is actually the head of the school, and his dream is for peace between vampires and humans, but he knows that there are still bad vampires who attack humans. Despite this fact, Yuuki maintains the belief that there are good vampires like Kaname. She doesn’t have any memories from before she was five years old, and the night that Kaname had saved her, he had brought her to Kaien Cross – that’s who raised her all these years. Yuuki still views what happened ten years ago as her beginning. On the other hand, unlike Yuuki and her adoptive father, Zero does not believe that the vampires of the Night Class have agreed to pacifism. Yuuki can still remember how Kaien Cross had brought Zero home with him one day four years back and had told her that Zero’s family was killed by evil vampires. At the time, Yuuki saw hatred in Zero’s eyes.
On this particular night, Yuuki discovers two girls of the Day Class hanging in the woods outside the school building trying to take pictures of the Night Class. She tries to return them to their dorm, especially since one of the girls has an injured leg, but before she can, they are found by Night Class students Aidou and Kain. Aidou had smelt blood, but it’s not that of the injured girl – it the smell of Yuuki’s blood from when she bruised her hand getting to the two girls. When he starts sucking blood from her hand, the other two girls faint, and he then goes for Yuuki’s neck. Fortunately for her, Zero arrives with a gun and scares Aidou by firing it at a nearby tree. Kaname shows up shortly thereafter to defuse the situation by taking custody of Aidou and Kain, and he identifies Zero’s gun as the Bloody Rose. As for the two Day Class girls, Kaname has one of his subordinates change their memories of that night.
Kaname also apologizes to Yuuki for all this scaring her, but Zero drags her away before the two can talk much further because Zero dislikes the smell of blood that’s everywhere. What’s more, he views the fact that the vampires like the smell of blood as proof that they’re beasts. The smell is gone from Yuuki by the time morning rolls around while she and Zero are sharing use of a bathroom. As she blow-dries her hair, Yuuki suggests that according to legend, she could become a vampire since she was bitten, and she wonders if her blood really is delicious since there was that vampire that attacked her 10 years ago too. Unbeknownst to her, Zero is having an adverse reaction to something and bites his lip as he begins breathing heavily. What Yuuki thinks about instead is how vampires drink people’s lifeblood, how they’re beasts of prey in human form, and how people shouldn’t go near vampires.
ED: 「still doll」 by Mana
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2
I really didn’t find much to like about either the OP or ED. The opening song, performed by the twin brothers of ON/OFF, sounds like a very average pop song. The ending meanwhile succeeds at setting a creepy and dark mood but it’s for that very reason that it’s not the kind of song I’d listen to on a regular basis.
Vampire Knight turned out to be quite good. I would say it beat my expectations, but I had decently high expectations, and this more or less just met them. If there was one area that beat my expectations, it was probably the voice acting. Horie Yui fits Yuuki’s role a lot better than I thought she would, and all of the male cast members did a good job (hard to go wrong with the likes of Miyano Mamoru and Fukuyama Jun). The animation quality for the first episode was also fairly good, but there was relatively more cause for concern there. The style and the way it was drawn gave me a distinct feeling that the quality will dip considerably as the series progresses. Hopefully that’ll turn out to be not the case.
As I’ve mentioned before though, the main draw of this series for me is the story. I read the first couple of chapters of Vampire Knight to get a feel for the series, but I intentionally stopped because I didn’t want to spoil myself for the anime version. The story looked very promising with the triangle of Yuuki, Zero, and Kaname plus the vampire aspect. I get the feeling that everyone’s going to be a vampire eventually since we already know Kaname is one, there are hints that Zero is one (I don’t remember those being there so early in the manga), and the ED seems to imply that Yuuki could be one too. Regardless, I’m excited to see what happens and will likely be following this series regularly from now on.