Vampire Knight (2008), vol.5 with story and artwork by Matsuri Hino, is an ongoing series that is syndicated in Shojo Beat magazine published by Viz Media in the US. Vo.5 collects Feb thru June 2008 issues.
This manga is available in paperback and is rated for older teens. The retail cost is $8.99 and story reads from right to left.
Vampire Knight serves up plenty of angst, drama, vampire politics and romance to make this one of my favorite series. Volume 5 does not disappoint.
To briefly recap, the Cross Academy is attended by two sets of students: The Night Class and the Day Class. The Night Class consists of vampires and are led by aristocrat pureblood, Kuname Kuran. The humans in the Day Class are unaware that they are attending school with vampires. Guardians Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are appointed to ensure that the humans remain oblivious and that two classes do not cross paths.
Pacifist Headmaster Cross thinks that humans and vampires can co-exist in peace if only they are given the opportunity to understand each other. His social experiment may be more than he bargained for since the peace within the vampire community seems tenuous. There are others who oppose the peace between vampires and humans.
Yuki, the adopted daughter of Headmaster Cross, is aware of what the Night Class is since she was randomly attacked but luckily saved from a rogue vampire ten years ago. Kuname was the vampire who saved her and since that day she has developed a special relationship with him even though she later finds him both “frightful and kind.”
Disciplinary committee member, Zero Kiryu came from a family of vampire hunters. His entire family was murdered leaving him the only survivor of a vampire attack. He is also taken in by Headmaster Cross and is given blood tablets to prevent his need for human blood. Alas, the blood tablets do not take and are not enough to suppress Zero’s true nature. Only Yuki, Headmaster Cross and Kuname know Zero’s secret.
The vampire that murdered Zero’s family was a pureblood who goes by the name of Shizuka Hio. The motivation behind the attack is addressed in this entry. It is a story that engenders the reader to feel somewhat sympathetic towards Shizuka.
Shizuka Hio and Zero do meet face to face. She possesses the body of Maria Kurenai and attends The Cross Academy as a transfer student. She even brings along his twin brother, Kiryu Ichiru, who Zero thought dead. Zero has sworn revenge against the vampire who made him what he despises. He gets his chance at revenge but the story produces a different outcome.
In vol.5, we learn that Zero is being held responsible for Shizuka’s death and that the Senate, composed of pureblood vampires, has ordered his execution. The Senate is the regulating body of law for vampires. Kuname being a pureblood, is moved to protect Zero and blocks the actions of the Senate but at what cost? Kuname seems preoccupied lately and his actions from the previous two entries promises to be the start of an interesting new development.
Purebloods are rare and powerful vampires. Lineage is very important as are the laws governing their society. Purebloods have unique powers in that they can seal human memories and possess the body of unsuspecting humans. Drinking the blood of a pureblood allows for the transfer of their powers. Also, to kill a pureblood is to sign your own death warrant.
As for the romance, well, Yuki knows Zero’s secret: that he’s a vampire. She also knows that he is barely controlling his bloodlust. However, she has chosen to protect him against others and most importantly, against himself. Yuki does a taboo thing in that she allows Zero to drink her blood in order to prevent him from turning into a Level E vampire (rogue vampire). Zero hates to do it but often times his need for blood overrides his best intentions.
Both Zero and Kuname each have feelings for Yuki. Often Yuki is caught in the middle of these two vampires and she is often used as a political pawn against both men. The dynamics of their relationship is ever evolving and in this entry, their relationship is further complicated.
There is plenty of angst, drama, romance and politics to enjoy in here. I think the characters are drawn even more clearly in this entry and the tension is amped up a notch and the story arc is moved further along. I can’t wait to read what happens next. Must mention that the ending is very touching and somewhat heartbreaking.
Again, this is one of my favorite series. I think romance fans would enjoy Vampire Knight and while each entry seesaws back and forth in complexity, vol.5 proves to be one of the better entries in this wonderful series. There is much that I left out so do pick up your copy soon.
My grade for Vampire Knight, vol.5 is a B+. There is a lot to enjoy in here. The artwork is awesome as are the men who are beautifully drawn. Do yourself a favor and check out this series. Vampire Knight gets a B+ from moi.