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Vampire Knight #2
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Written by maehara   
Thursday, 31 July 2008 16:00
Vampire KnightTime for a quick look at the second volume of Vampire Knight, which is already taking a darker turn as the connection between Yuki and Zero becomes something altogether more serious, while the presence of a vampire hunter at the Academy spells trouble for some...

6 - Outside Cross Academy
Yuki and Zero have been allowed off school grounds to run an errand for the principal - something of a treat, as students aren't usually allowed out. It's risky, though - not all vampires are as well behaved as Kaname (as both Yuki and Zero already know from bitter experience), and when they're caught outside after dark, Yuki becomes the target of a hungry vampire...

7 - Night Party
Takum Ichijo and Senri Shiki: two members of the Night Class who saved Yuki from attack and killed the vampire involved. But why would they kill one of their own? Yuki hopes that a visit to the Moon Dorm may provide some answers - but on arrival, there's the small matter of Ichijo's birthday party to enjoy first. In the hierarchy of vampires, the one that attacked Yuki was at the bottom of the heap - Level E, a former human who had lost his grip on sanity and become a mindless killing machine. Not the sort of creature that true vampires could allow to live - and so orders to kill it were carried out. That Yuki was there was purely coincidence. But does the vampire that was killed give a glimpse of what the future holds for Zero..?

8 - The Forbidden Act
Toga Yagari: a Vampire Hunter, and Zero's former master - although now that Zero's become a vampire (and arguably close to Level E), he's here now in his role as executioner. Yuki's father intervenes to stop Toga from killing Zero outright, but there are issues they need to work through - and Yuki's not going to get a chance to take part in that. Zero is quarantined, both for his own safety and the safety of others - while the principal has a special job in mind for Togo: Ethics teacher for the Night Class. But Yuki's not prepared to accept Zero's quarantine, and pays him a visit...

9 - Choices Made
By offering her blood to Zero, Yuki's committing a forbidden act - the sin of keeping a vampire alive. The Hunter Society are already taking an interest in happenings at Cross Academy, and if this were to come to their attention the reaction would be unlikely to be good - but some things are impossible to keep secret. Both Kaname and Toga are quick to realise what Yuki's done, but while Kaname's prepared to overlook it thanks to his own feelings for Yuki, Toga isn't so forgiving...

Curiouser and curiouser. After volume one, I was expecting Vampire Knight to have a serious side - I just wasn't expecting it to be this serious. The turn in events that leaves Zero thoroughly dependent on Yuki, and Yuki engaging in severely taboo activities with him (read that how you will - we're not talking sex here, but the way the undercurrents of the story are flowing makes a fairly good comparison) kept me thoroughly engrossed in this volume. I can't remember the last time I saw a lead character so heavily in trouble so early in the series, and while I don't doubt that some way will be found around the problem, I'm liking the way the problem is being dealt with.

While Zero takes up a large chunk of the story, though, the other aspects haven't been forgotten, with some decent action pieces filling the story out, a few scenes with the other Vampires to give the ladies something to swoon over, and the arrival of Toga on the scene and the explanation of the hierarchy of Vampires help to flesh out the mythology of the world the story is set in a bit. The volume is rounded out the a set of bonus strips that are far more on the comedy side of things than the main story, and lighten the tone a little bit.

The more I read of Vampire Knight, the more I like it - it's not the most original of subjects, but the way the link between humans and vampires is being dealt with here is making for a really enjoyable story, with some good twists and turns along the way. A real page-turner, and highly recommended.

Rating - ****

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