We all have one.
Locked away in the deepest recesses of our hearts, we all have that one show that we’re embarrassed to admit we love. For me, that anime is Vampire Knight.
There is something about this show and I can’t put my finger on it…wait, I remember. Vampires. It has vampires.
As long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with vampires. Whether it was watching Fright Night on repeat back in the 80s, or Interview with a Vampire in the 90s, I have always loved vampires. Maybe it is their innate ability to seduce that draws me in. It is, after all, a quality that I have always admired. Maybe not seduction, per se, but definitely charisma. I admire people with charisma. When I played D&D back in high school, I always played an enchantress with the ability to seduce others to bend to my will. It’s thrilling and fun. But, I digress…
There is nothing flashy about Vampire Knight. The animation style is older, and I know many wouldn’t watch it based on this fact alone. To each their own. It isn’t exactly pleasing to the eye.
The storyline isn’t exactly compelling either. In fact, you could say it is downright insane. Arguably, you could say the insane storyline is what DOES make it compelling.
The world of Vampire Knight obviously has the existence of vampires. Our female protagonist is Yuki Cross, a student at Cross Academy. At this academy, there is a “day class” and “night class”. The “day class” is under the impression that the “night class” are idols, actors, and wealthy children that have to go to school at night. However, the real secret is the “night class” is composed of vampires that have vowed to lead a peaceful life with humans. They even take a pill that simulates blood for food.
Our male protagonist is Kaname Kuran. If you have ever delved into vampire-theme lore, there is usually a hierarchy of some sort, and this vampire-themed show is no different. Kaname is one of the progenitors of the vampire race and the head of one of seven pureblood families. His estimated age is over 10,000 years old.
Yuki’s first memories are of Kaname saving her from a ravaging vampire. Yuki is then “adopted” by Kaien Cross, former vampire hunter. Kaname would visit her growing up and, expectedly, Yuki falls in love with Kaname.
But, wait! There’s more!
Enter our other male protagonist, Zero. He is Yuki’s “adopted brother”. Zero’s family were vampire hunters and his entire family was killed in a vampire attack. Kaien saves Zero and “adopts” him, too. What we discover later is Zero was bitten during the attack and therefore turning into a vampire himself despite being a vampire hunter. Unfortunately for Zero, humans that are bitten slowly, and painfully, become a vampire. Once a vampire, they slowly devolve into a monster who can no longer control their urges to feed. They are often hunted and killed. The only way to escape this fate is to feed off of the vampire that created them.
Kaien opens Cross Academy, where he becomes headmaster, so that vampires and humans can live peacefully. As Zero, Yuki, and Kaname live out their high school lives, a love triangle forms. Yuki begins allowing Zero to feed from her. This creates a bond between the two and Yuki becomes confused about what she feels for Zero.
As the story progresses, we discover that Yuki is a vampire turned human by her mother to spare her life. Kaname is her “brother” that was promised her hand in marriage. We also learn that it is common among pureblood vampires to marry their siblings.
If that doesn’t throw you for a loop, I don’t know what will.
But, wait! There’s more!
We also learn that Zero’s brother lived, and in fact, had teamed up with the vampire that attacked their home and killed their family. You see, Ichiru was a weak child. He was sickly and unable to become a vampire hunter like the rest of his family. He had developed a hatred for his brother, Zero, because he always had to be protected by Zero.
Kaname awakens Yuki and she turns into a vampire choosing Kaname over Zero.
For whatever reason, when that opening theme song drops its beat, I can’t look away. I’ve watched Vampire Knight more times than I can count. Why am I embarrassed? You know? I really don’t know. I don’t think it is a show to be embarrassed about, really. But, it doesn’t change the fact that I am. Maybe it’s the cheesy love triangle. Maybe its because it has vampires. Either way, it is always in my rotation.
You can find Vampire Knight on Netflix.
Do you have a guilty pleasure? Let me know in the comments!
Sounds like a good time. I’ve been watching a few fanservice-oriented anime series (for example “Are You Lost?”) recently that might qualify. Though I can’t call them “guilty” pleasures exactly since I don’t feel guilty about them! Still wouldn’t show them to family or certain other people I know, though.
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