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Vampire Knight #4 PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Thursday, 03 February 2011 00:00
Vampire KnightWith this volume we reach the half-way point of Vampire Knight (the second season, Vampire Knight Guilty, will be along before too long), and the stakes are getting rather high - and Shizuka seems to be holding all the cards...

11 - Consequence of Desire
Being reunited with the twin brother he thought was dead should be a joyous occasion for Zero - but Ichiru has been corrupted by Maria, turned into her servant pretty much for the sole purpose of heaping further pain on Zero. Ichiru no longer feels the connection to Zero that thay had when they were growing up, and is quite happy playing the dark twin - have been jealous of Zero's destiny of being a Hunter ever since they were kids, seeing Zero in the position he's in now is positively fun for Ichiru, even without Maria's dark influence on him. Under the circumstances, then, it seems inevitable that the two brothers will come to blows...


12 - Vow of the Pureblood
Yuki's made her decision: if Maria knows of a way to save Zero, she wants him to be saved, whatever price that Maria demands from her. But Maria is a capricious pureblood, and even having made the offer, getting her to follow through may not be easy. That's not the only potential problem, either: the "cure" is for Zero to drink Shizuka's blood, the blood of his master - doing so will stop him from degenerating to Level E, but by making him a true vampire - and that's something that he isn't going to be keen on...


13 - Crimson Chains
Shizkua may be dead, but in Maria she lives on - a concept that, while necessary, is taking a little while for Ichiru to get used to. While Maria has allowed him to drink her blood, in order to gain the power that comes from it, she's stopped short of turning him into a vampire, as she values his independent opinion. She also has past experience with turning humans which makes her reluctant to do the same to Ichiru. Zero, meanwhile, is suffering severe after-effects from his brush with Shizuka, and disappears for a while to sort himself out...


So, with last volume introducing the batshit crazy but totally adorable Maria (and her grown-up alter ego Shizuka), there are no prizes for guessing that her scheming takes centre stage this time around. It's also fair to say that things to not go according to plan. If there's one thing this series is showing, it's that vampire politics are a deadly thing, and while it seems that Shizuka and Kaname may ultimately be after the same thing, working together for a common goal is something that simply isn't going to happen - even if taboos need to be broken along the way.

Having "Shizuka" split into two people does confuse matters somewhat, though, especially after the events of episode 12: Maria may carry Shizuka's consciousness, but can she really be considered to be Shikuza? This isn't an academic thing, as Kaname's plans may well depend on him being unopposed - and with Maria still on the scene to carry on Shizuka's work, the possibilities are certainly curious.

The Maria / Shizuka / Kaname story, then, is the highlight of this disc - and of the series so far, at least for me. But Yuki and Zero aren't forgotten about, either, as all the maneuvering highlights just how important Yuki appears to be to both Kaname and Shizkua's plans, for reasons that we haven't yet been told. Between the way that Kaname in particular becomes all protective of her, and the way in which her blood really does seem to be in such demand, it really does make me think that there's something particularly special about her that's yet to be revealed. On the other hand, she seems so willing to let other people chow down on her that you do wonder about what she's thinking sometimes - she really doesn't seem to be the smartest kid on the block.

Likewise Zero, who when presented by Shizuka with a way of preventing his slide to Level E decides that killing her would be a far better idea - although to be fair, Shizuka's proposed course of action did have its unwelcome consequences. Zero is one of those characters who is so obsessed with his past and thoughts of revenge that he's become two-dimensional, and thoroughly unlikeable in the process. Can we just kill him and be done with it, please..?

For all that's wrong with Vampire Knight, though, I'm still finding myself enjoying it. While it's true that vampires aren't what they once were, with the teen romance brigade having thoroughly taken over the genre (an unfortunate side-effect of the success of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I reckon - although I loved that series myself), there's a lot to be said for good execution, and so far at least Vampire Knight is managing that side of things quite well. Roll on the second season.

Rating - ****

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