Vampire Knight Guilty #3 Print
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R2 DVD Reviews
Monday, 18 July 2011 00:00
Vampire Knight GuiltyThe revelations just keep coming in this volume of Vampire Knight Guilty, but rather than ramping up the expectation and the tension, it's all getting rather silly. And it had started so well...

8 - Spiralling Recollections
Kaname leaves with Yuki, who recalls that her father, Haruka Kuran, died fighting Rido; and that her mother, Juri Kuran, sacrificed herself to seal Yuki's memories and transform her into a human. Kaname meets Akatsuki and Hanabusa, and reveals that Yuki is his sister and his fiancée. Upon awakening, Yuki drinks Kaname's blood, and sees the scene that had tormented Zero after he had drank Kaname's blood. Later, Yuki decides that she needs to talk to Zero, despite Akatsuki's and Hanabusa's warnings that it would be best not to, and goes to the Day Class dorms. When she arrives at the door to Zero's room, though, she senses that Zero has pointed his weapon at her...

KanamePureblood

9 - Revival of the Mad Emperor
Zero claims that he can only sense an arrogant pureblood vampire on the other side of the door, and Yuki accepts this, revealing that the vampire side of her has "destroyed" the human before leaving the dorm. Meanwhile, Kaname goes to where Rido's original body is kept, and asks Ichiru to open his coffin. He claims that he is surprised to see Ichiru, as twins in vampire hunter families usually attempt to consume one another when they are in the womb - so why did both twins survive in this case? Kaname takes Ichiru's sword and stabs his hand to give Rido the necessary blood to revive. Elsewhere, Kaien and Yagari meet, and discuss with Zero what should be the path from here...

StabbityCue gore

10 - Prelude to the Battle
Yuki sees the sun for the first time as a vampire, and returns to her room with Hanabusa. With tension amongst the vampires reaching dangerous levels, Kaien and Yagari evacuate the Day Class students, who are at risk from Rido's vampire servants - who the Night Class are trying to contain. Yuki would very much like to help defend her friends, but Kaname refuses to allow it - he's spent ten years protecting her, and isn't about to put her in harm's way now. Later, Kaname visits Zero, claiming that Zero is the "knight" he has prepared to kill Rido. Strengthened by drinking the blood of three purebloods – Yuki, Kaname, and Shizuka – Zero should by now be more powerful than Rido...

SurroundedAwakening

I'm not quite sure what to make of Kaname and his 'relationship' with Yuki now, as it's all getting a little strange. He's her brother, her future husband, and by the sounds of it there's an age gap of at least hundreds of years - if, as claimed, he's the progenitor of their clan. To paraphrase a tweet a saw recently, "Dude, she's your sister - you don't tap that..." I suppose that Vampire Knight is, ultimately, a shoujo series, and the people who read or watch them do seem to love their forbidden relationships, but having built up the political side of the series so well in season one, Guilty's focus on forbidden relationships - relationships that feel like they've been pulled out of nowhere for the sake of dramatic effect rather than having been properly planned - feels like a huge wasted opportunity.

The politics is still there, I have to point out - just much further from the focus of the series than it used to be. Zero also hasn't been entirely abandoned, but the way he's treated brings me to the second of my grips about the series: its inconsistency. He's undeniably a vampire now, a fact that's accepted by all around him - so why is the Hunter's Society still keeping him on, instead of ostracising him or worse? There seems to be a distinct lack of repercussion for the situation he finds himself in, especially given his seemingly inevitable descent to Level E, that doesn't quite ring right.

Most damning, though, is that it's simply no longer fun to watch. Yuki has gone from being a fun, bubbly girl to a bundle of angst; Zero is being devoured by jealousy; and Kaname's fawning over Yuki with worrying levels of protectiveness. Put that all together, and Guilty ends up so far from the fun & political shenanigans of the first season that I really am wondering if there's any hope of it crawling back to some sort of sense towards the end of the season. With only three episode less, I'm far from convinced that it can.

And that's a real shame. I enjoyed Vampire Knight when I was first introduced to it, in both manga and anime forms, but each successive volume has been an exercise in heaping more disappointment on what's gone before - eventually bringing us to this low point. Shows that start bad and stay bad I can almost understand - shows that just lose their way, as this show has done, are far harder to live with. A real disappointment, and with very little chance left now to save itself.

Rating - **

Episode summaries are based on those found at Wikipedia, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


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