Series Review – Vampire Knight

While this will not become a regular thing and I will stick to my Sunday as much as I can, here’s an extra review to start off the week as a bit of a gift.

Written by Bananaowns

Images courtesy of Studio Deen

It’s been a long time since I watched something that I could only categorize as being awful.  I had to watch Vampire Knight as a part of a deal in order to convince a friend to watch an anime of my choosing.  I am a man of my word, but much like the proverbial vampire, my soul is damaged from having to watch this piece of garbage.  To put this into context, the manga of this series was released during the 2000’s around the same time as the Twilight craze and it shows.  Love triangles between characters that I can only describe as being Linkin Park enthusiasts that probably like to ring up their father’s credit card at the local Hot Topic.  That’s how edgy these characters are.  The characters from Akame Ga Kill do not have the same level of edge as these characters.  So just how bad was it?  I’m Bananaowns and this is an Otaku Youth anime review.

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Story and Characters

The story takes place at a high school.  It’s a bit shocking to see an anime finally break free of a typical setting, but I digress.  This is a special school that houses both the regular high school students and the children of the night as Bela Lugosi would put it.  If you don’t get that reference, then there’s no hope for you.  Anyways, the story prominently features Yuki Cross, a young woman assigned as a glorified hall monitor that cannot remember most of her past.  Her earliest memory involves her being saved from a rogue vampire by Kaname, the leader of the vampires at the school.  Kaname has a creepy attraction to her which is only made creepier due to his lack of ability to smile.  Yuki is accompanied by her adoptive brother, Zero, who was orphaned when vampires attacked his family.  Zero is a rampant edge lord, but more on that later.  If Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could have a super blind baby, then even this overtly blind baby could see the love triangle forming.  This hypothetical blind baby could also see just how creepily sexual this stupid show is as well.  Anyways, the basic plot focuses on the threats to the Cross Academy’s delicate balance of peace between the humans and the vampires.

It’s overtly dramatic, but it keeps you watching in the same way that it’s kind of cool to watch a train wreck.  There are enough twists and turns that keep the plot moving at a decent place, the issue mostly lies with the characters, specifically the Bella, Edward and Jacob of the series.  I affectionately refer to Yuki as Useless-kun.  She barely does anything of note in the entire 26 episode run of this series.  She is even the focus of a major plot point and is quickly tossed aside after having a brief moment of coolness.  Yuki is pretty much just there to serve as the damsel-in-distress and the main point of contention between Zero and Kaname.  She’s supposed to be trained and even has an anti-vampire weapon that’s literally a rod.  Every time she goes to fight, she’s immediately incapacitated and the vampires immediately start licking her neck in a seductive manner that I think seduced me to keep watching this piece of shit.

Next is Kaname, the pure blood vampire that is pretty much the head honcho of the vampires.  I passionately refer to him as Emo-sama.  This freaking character does not know how to smile.  He looks sad at all times even when he says he’s happy hanging out with Yuki.  Despite his emo exterior, he’s actually very powerful, but the viewer does not get to see this side too much.  Kaname is a creep, a weirdo.  He just creepily talks to Yuki and is actually pretty obsessive over her.  I’m getting flashbacks to Edward Cullen here, but I digress.

Zero is my favorite character of the bunch due to his rampant edginess which I only assume was created when he was also assigned to be a de facto hall monitor as well.  The vampire attack that killed his family also turned him into a vampire.  This is actually a solid story arc if it were not for his long winded monologues every god damn episode of this series.  Every episode features him whining about going crazy and losing control of himself.  Literally every episode has him doubting himself in some capacity, sometimes literally locking himself in his room like the world’s most edgy teenager.  I bet if we got a good look at his room, there would be My Chemical Romance posters on the wall, along with a line of Jack Skellington Funko Pops.  Zero is an edge lord that would make Uchiha Sasuke jealous.  I’m not joking here.  This is the edgiest character of all time to the point where it became funny to see just how far he would go to the edge.  Anyways, I’ve ranted about the story and the main cast too much.  The story and characters are awful, but it enters into the category of shows that are so bad that you have to watch it.

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Animation and Sound

This is some vintage Studio Deen here.  The animation of this show is atrocious.  It really should be better for a series made in 2008.  The motion of the characters is stiff and the facial expressions just look off at times.  People complain about the gigantic eyes in Clannad, but in that show they could actually emote.  Here, literally every female character’s face looks the same, showcasing the same dead expression I had when I found out that my friend didn’t like Fate/Zero.  So many scenes just look bad.  You would think the saving grace would be some cool vampire fights, but even those disappoint.  Most of the fights just in a single hit showcasing an absolute lack of choreography.  The backgrounds are just so bland as well.  They’re just dark in order to hide any semblance of detail.  This is one of the worst looking shows that I have had the displeasure to watch.

Surprisingly the sound design is decent.  Despite the awful script, the voice acting is solid.  I could believe the emo nature of Kaname and feel the edge of Zero.  I thought some of the many scenes of Zero lamenting his change into a vampire were actually acted pretty well.  The openings and endings though were mostly forgettable.  I really don’t have much to say about this aspect other than compared to the rest of the show, the sound design is a masterpiece.

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Final Thoughts

If you could not tell, this show is awful.  The only saving grace is that it’s so ridiculously awful that it approaches the level of being so bad that it’s entertaining.  That’s the only way I could recommend this show in any manner.  If you want to see a Useless-Kun try to fight, but then immediately fail and get into situation laced with sexual undertones, then this show is for you.  If you want to see Emo-Sama look sad all the time like he’s listening to Michael Buble and thinking about the girl he likes, then this is the show for you.  If you want to watch the Edgelord supreme lament his need for blood while also putting Useless-kun in surprisingly sexual situations as well, then this is the show for you.  As for me, I give this show my Don’t Watch rating.  I can only recommend it to a sadist that wants to get turned on to what is basically Twilight: The Anime.  If this all sounds appealing, then I can only assume you are E.L. James.  You know the author of the greatest piece of Twilight fan fiction that got turned into 50 Shades of Grey.  If that’s the case, then I can’t wait to see your Vampire Knight fan fiction get turned into tasteful hentai for the middle-aged housewife.  As for me, I’m going to cleanse my palette with a good tasteful show that the whole family could love called Monster Musume.  Anyways, thanks for checking this review out and I’ll be back next week for another one.

Don't Watch

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4 responses

  1. I will have to be honest. You know there is that one anime you are ashamed you like and usually don’t tell anyone. Well this is my anime. I don’t know why I liked this anime a lot. Maybe cause the men were hot. Especially Zero haha. I couldn’t stand yuuki though. She was annoying ugh

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  2. While I never much liked this, a friend of mine was a major fan and through watching it with her and reading the manga (because she insisted) I actually kind of grew to appreciate it for what it was. It’s still flawed and your point about Zero having his little breakdowns every other episode and complaining about going crazy (probably a justified reaction to what is happening but not compelling to watch) is well made. Still, there is entertainment to be found and some of the characters are quite fun when you think about their story individually.
    Thanks for sharing.

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