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Vampire Knight #3 PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 00:00
Vampire KnightThere are a few new arrivals at the Moon Dorm for this volume of Vampire Knight, and it's safe to say that they don't spell good news for Kaname. But one of them in particular has a history with Zero, and having made his life hell once seems quite keen on continuing her work...

8 - Gunshot of Sorrow
There's a visitor due in the Moon Dorm: Asato Ichijo, member of the vampire Senate and one of the most high-ranking leaders they have. Which perhaps explains why Kaname has decided to hole up in his room for the time being. Ichijo's visit has certainly caught the attention of the other Night Class students, though, who are hoping - or perhaps even expecting - to see some fireworks between Senator Ichijo and Pureblood Kuran. They get what they want, too. But Ichijo also has a request: that his grandson be allowed to attend Cross Academy...

IchijoOn the hunt

9 - Crimson Gaze
The Night Class is due to get another new student - and this one appears to have a particular interest in both Zero and Yuki. Maria Kurenai is her name, and in public she's a shy, quiet girl with a weak constitution - not the picture of health when you see her. Put where only vampires can see her, though, she's a different matter - calm and quiet, still, but possessing a level of threat about her that should worry anyone she comes into contact with. Yuki, meanwhile, is beginning to worry about Zero's lack of enthusiasm for lesson, fearing it's the start of his slide to Level E...

MariaGlomp response

10 - The Princess of Darkness
It seems that Zero isn't the only student at the school who's worried by Maria's arrival - some of the vampires aren't exactly happy with her presences, either. Kaname doesn't feel he can act against her, though, and tasks Ichijo - one of the few people she seems to get on with - to keep an eye on her. The more she stays at the school, though, the more worried both Zero and Kaname become. Yuki, meanwhile, has noticed the concern that Maria is causing, and decides to do a little investigating of her own...

Lost in thoughtBrotherly love

With the last volume of Vampire Knight having kinda lost its way a little, I wasn't holding out too much hope for this one. Yuki seemed to have lost any sense of logic, at least as far as Zero was concerned, and the angst between the two of them was reaching dangerous levels. Warning, Will Robinson. Fortunately, while this volume continues with the Yuki / Zero issues, it's on a lower level, and it also throws a few other things into the mix that really made me sit up and take notice again.

Let's start with the angst, though. With Zero now reliant on Yuki (and more specifically, her blood) to keep himself going, there's a natural conflict of interest in him: he's a vampire, but also a vampire hunter (and the Hunter's Society is still sending him work, despite knowing of his "change in status" - go figure), and there's always going to be tension between those two aspects of him. Zero knows what he is, but because of his past he's focussing on being a hunter, and trying to keep himself on the straight-and-narrow. There's also an undercurrent now of his feelings towards Yuki, with hints dropped that he's maybe beginning to see her as more than a sibling. Both of these things, of course, bring him into potential conflict with Kaname - a future Level E degenerate who has feelings for Yuki, who Kaname sees very much as his own, is never going to be on his good side. All of this plays out predicatbly enough, but without ever getting too emotional or too angsty in the way that volume two was doing. Result.

There are two new aspects here, though: the beginning of a little inter-vampire rivalry that could see Kaname's position undercut, Pureblood or no, and the arrival of a new Pureblood on the scene who was intimately involved in the demise of Zero's family, and this is where this volume gets really good. Vampire Senate member Ichijo clearly has it in for Kaname (whilst being suitably respectful on the surface, of course, as a Pureblood would expect), and plants his grandson in the school to keep an eye on Kaname and wait for opportunities to present themselves. With a Pureblood's control supposed to be total, this was a little surprising - Ichijo and the Senate are a level below the Purebloods, and they're clearly pushing their luck, but the possibilities raised are certainly interesting.

But the highlight of the volume is the arrival on the scene of Maria. On the surface a little ditzy and flighty, she's soon revealed to be a Pureblood in disguise, a woman who went into hiding after being intimately involved in the deaths of Zero's family - and who, after having tracked Zero down, has come out of hiding, apparently to finish the job. And to rub some other side-effects of her attack on his family in Zero's face. I have to say, I love Maria as a character - she just the sort of batshit crazy that I find make for great entertainment, and between the history she has the Zero and the interest she's taken in Yuki I can't wait to see what she's going to do next. If you saw the recent simulcast of Fortune Arterial, I'd put her in the same category as Kaya, who sees those around her as simply her playthings and is going to have fun at there expense. Love her.

So a great improvement this time around, even if most of that improvement isn't coming from the core characters. The new vampires introduced this volume have made a good splash with their appearances and the possibilities around them are very good indeed - here's hoping the next volume continues the good work.

Rating - ****

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