Manga-ka: Matsuri Hino
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: November 2012
Synopsis: “With Kaname missing, Yuki must now step in as acting head of her clan to maintain the fragile peace between the human and vampire societies. Will she be able to regain the trust of the vampire aristocrats, much less Aido?”
The majority of the Vampire Knight volumes set after the time jump have been very Kaname-centric. Some of his mystery is revealed while even more secrets appear. However, in this volume Kaname takes a step back and allows the focus to return to Yuki, as she takes the knowledge she has learned and puts it into practice.
A complaint raised frequently about this series is that Yuki is a fairly passive, and often not all that bright, character. This volume does a lot to to counteract that impression as Yuki has to deal with Kaname’s actions from the previous volume and his sudden disappearance (at least from her life, as the reader does get glimpses of him elsewhere, though they do little to dispel the continued mystery about what exactly his end goal is). This volume represents some big steps in Yuki’s journey to find a place in the vampire world and they are very welcome, especially as these steps involve bringing together most of the original supporting cast from the pre-timeskip days.
One of Vampire Knight‘s most interesting aspects has been the creation of a very unique and highly hierarchical vampire society and this volume continues to explore exactly how it works and brings about even more complex situations. Yuki is entering a world of mistrust, both from the vampires and the vampire hunters. It is actually the latter who have the most interesting scenes, particularly as Yuki comes face to face with Kaien Cross and Zero. The scenes were both filled with tension, particularly those involving Zero, who is always good at bringing the delicious melodrama.
The strength of this volume is in scenes like those, which draw on the complicated and well developed relationship between the regular cast. This is increased as Yuki turns to the former Night Class and starts to bring them together. The more characters start to return, the more its clear how much they were missed, as well as how underdeveloped the supporting characters introduced in the more recent volumes are. However, since events at the end of the volume make it clear that the returning characters are here to stay, this will hopefully become less of an issue.
There is a lot going on in this volume. Unfortunately, it is a bit too much at points and some scenes should have been paced out longer to give them more emotional impact. The volume does close with quite a powerful scene though. It’s definitely a moment that will stay in readers’ mind, making it so the next volume cannot come quick enough.
Vampire Knight still hasn’t quite found its feet again since the time skip happened but this volume looks as though it will probably be starting soon. Old faces and new are brought together and the old status quo gets an exciting re-imagining. Fans of the series, and particular fans of the Yuki and Zero relationship, should be pleased with this volume as it sets up for and promises many good things to come.
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Book purchased from Viz Media