1/31/11

Manga Review: Vampire Knight V1

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 1:58 PM

Vampire Knight
Volume 1
By Matsuri Hino
Rating: Older Teen
Published by: Viz Media/Shojo Beat
Appeared in July-November 2006 Issues of Shojo Beat

First off let's tackle the artwork.
I LOVE Matsuri Hino's drawing style and her characters are beautiful.  The page layouts are also uber easy to follow.  It is printed in the original Japanese format, which I prefer, with pages and manga being read from right to left, which for many who are used to manga that is switched to the American format can be a bit hard to grasp but this is a great manga to get used to the correct format with.  Her pages flow wonderfully.  I have read manga where it's so jumbled that it's difficult to tell whether I'm coming or going.  ^w~  Back to the characters, they're wonderfully drawn and her style is very precise and she does not glaze over details at all!

The Story:
Vampire Knight is about Yuki, a student at cross academy.  There are two classes at the academy: Day Class which are your normal students and Night Class, which is full of vampire students but the Day Class knows nothing about the Night Class other than the class is full of extremely beautiful students.  Queue Yuki & Zero, who are school guardians and work to keep the Day students from discovering the secret of the Night students.  Other key players are Kaname Kuran, the president of the Night Class and the eccentric headmaster of the school, Headmaster Cross.  There are of course other characters as well but I'll let you get to know them yourself.  ^w^

The characters are great.  Yuki is super cute and while she's a bit shy in certain cases, she's a strong female lead and you don't forget that this is centered around her.  Zero is also a strong character and quite opinionated (and completely unafraid to make his opinion known) but I hate to say too much as it may spoil this volume.  Kaname is a strong lead though as well and it's obvious from the start that it's time to start picking sides between him and Zero already.  Headmaster Cross is a riot and super cute when he's all mushy over things, like a present from Yuki, but also a very strong person and while you may not see a lot of him he stands his ground and cares for everyone, vampire and human, equally.  An admirable trait I think.

I've thoroughly enjoyed Volume 1, which contains chapters 1-5.  I have actually read this several times, though I hadn't bought the manga & had only read it online or through a manga reader I had on my blackberry so they were "scanlations" (scanned translations) so not everything was quite right and plus I prefer to support the mangaka if their work interests me and hmmm let's see... Vampires?  Yes please.  Yeah, I'm one of those people.  Deal.
This does NOT mean I love all things vampire but I do love a good vampire story if I can find one. ^w^
This manga is one that is hard to put down; it's easy to read as well as having an interesting storyline.  Plus Hino-sama begins divulging the ins and outs of vampire society in this first volume which I love.  Sometimes I feel like in manga the mystery is left for quite a while and it's easy to get annoyed waiting for it.  I definitely recommend it to anyone, even those who aren't really used to the right to left format or is new to manga altogether!  It's a new world in several ways but not so much that it's overwhelming.  ^w^

And last but not least, as this is a question I've gotten in my YT review before so I'll address it here.  As far as I'm concerned the rating is right on BUT if it's a concern for you then you should check it out before your kids do, plus bonding over manga is awesome! :D

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