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Vampire Knight Guilty #1 PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Thursday, 10 March 2011 00:00
Vampire Knight GuiltyVampire Knight returns for a second season, with the usual large doses of teenage angst and inter-vampire political rivalry. Yuki's caught between the two men in her life, while Kaname's definitely planning something - and making very sure that no-one knows quite what he's up to...

1 - Burden of Sinners
While separating the Day Class students from the Night Class students to allow them to go to class, Yuki accidentally calls Zero "Kaname", which doesn't exactly please him. That evening, Maria awakens and tells Zero that Shizuka was seeking the pureblood vampire who changed the execution list of the Hunter's Association that resulted in the death of her lover. The matter of Shizuka's death isn't closed, either, as a team of assassing arrives at the school, planning to execute the person they believe to be responsible for her death: Zero...

Mr MoodyVampire vassals

2 - The Eternal Promise
Yuki and her friend Yori walk through the nearby town, and encounter a lost boy. Yuki offers to take him back to his parents, and the child takes her to an abandoned building, where he kisses her in gratitude - leaving Yuki unconscious. She awakens to find Kaname watching over her. He reveals that there is a gala for vampires in the building, and asks Yuki not to leave the room, for her own safety. But events ensure that Yuki doesn't follow his instructions, leading her into a potentially dangerous situation. Zero, meanwhil, has been assigned to oversee the party by the Hunter's Association..

Kiss of almost-deathCornered

3 - The Azure Portrait
It's holiday break time at Cross Academy, and while Rima, Ruka, Kaname, Akatsuki, and Takuma have headed to the Aido family residence, Hanabusa has opted to stay on campus while Shiki, having been summoned by his uncle, heads home. Yuki and Zero have also remained on campus, and with nothing else to do Hanabusa ends up spending some time with them in the Day Class dorms - during which time he witnesses Yuki and Zero doing things that are meant to be taboo. Hanabusa has also asked Akatsuki to investigate Kaname's family while he's staying at their home, and while having a snoop around Kaname's private study in the Moon Dorm realises that Kaname is up to something...

SneakingUntrusted

4 - Devil's Awakening
Shiki's uncle takes him to see a man immersed in a tub of blood, and claims that the man is Shiki's father. Shiki's father then awakens, and asks Shiki to lend him his power. On learning of this, Kaname returns to the Academy, aware that events are beginning to move out of his control. Yuki, meanwhile, has been having hallucinations, and on Zero's suggestion travels to the Hunter's Association headquarters to research her own past - a decision that uncovers some uncomfortable truths...

HallucinationComfort

Vampire Knight is very much the proverbial show of two halves. On the one side, you've got all the angst of Zero's decline towards Level E (at which point he becomes an obnoxious alien prince, I guess...), his struggle to come to terms with his vampiric nature, and Yuki's efforts to figure out what she's really feeling for Zero and Kaname; on the other there's the political manoeuvering that's going on between Kaname, the Vampire Senate and the forces that are working there, and the Hunter's Society. One side is interesting; the other... less so.

No prizes for guessing what. As much as I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it seems to have been responsible for intrducing an unhealthy does of emotion into vampire tales, and Vampire Knight has definitely caught the bug. Even when love & lust is included, though, there are good ways and bad ways to do it - and this show's habit of wrapping the whole thing in layers of doubt, uncertainty and the fear of broken tabboo makes it a chore to watch. Unless you're a teenage girl, anyway - that's the show's target audience, and I'll admit that the relationship side of the show will play much better to that audience. To someone like me who wants fangs and intrigue, though, it doesn't come off quite so well.

It's a good thing, then, that the fangs and intrigue aspect is there - and delivers quite well on its promise. Between Kaname, the Hunter's Society and the Senate, there's enough scheming going on to keep you occupied for a while trying to figure it all out, and the show remains stubbornly obstinate about explaining any of it for you - if there are any explanations to be give, we're going to have to wait for them. That can be a little annoying at times (for characters in the show as well as the viewers, it seems), but good conspiracies are more fun when you have to work them out yourself, and this one does keep the old grey matter ticking over. The only scene that could be considered an obvious hint is Yuki's trip into the Hunter's Society archives, that places a bloody great big question mark over what little is known of Yuki's own past and hints that there's something else going on there that may also explain why Kaname's as interested in her as he is. Watch this space.

Overall, then, disappointments (aaaangst, the Maria's shift from character of pure evil to walking plot point) pretty much balance out the good stuff (intrigue!). The result could definitely be better - the Maria / Shizuka story at the end of the first season is the show's high point so far, this is definitely not as entertaining - but there's still enough here to keep the interest up. It'll be interesting to see which angle the show emphasises as this season goes on, though.

Rating - ***

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