Built upon a sturdy foundation of shoujo clichés and pretty animation, Vampire Knight Guilty is a lot of fun without being particularly elegant. Moreover, as the second instalment in a successful dark shoujo series, it brings the story of mysterious vampires and tragic love to an agreeable conclusion.
For most, VKG’s main attraction will always be its contrivances, clichés, and ham-handed delivery of the romance. Consider the corniest scene involving vampires possible (OMG he licked her neck! *squeal*), then set it to repeat across several episodes. Throw in hints of homoeroticism for extra tang and some half-baked lore, and VKG gives the impression that it’s not so much animated as churned. Indeed, the series makes no claim to originality or wit, but it manages its cheese surprisingly well, and, on balance, turns out to be more interesting than irksome.
Nevertheless, buried amongst all the silly love triangle stuff, there’s still that core of well-executed mystery keeping the story afloat. Crucially, VKG knits together much of the political threads left hanging by the first season: after lurking in the shadows so long, the Vampire Council finally takes centre stage, as does a newly kick-arse Headmaster Cross, and Kaname’s true intentions become clear in a gasp-worthy twist.
One true disappointment, however, is that, despite wishing to portray a violent clash between the various factions, VKG’s battles look and feel anything but. The static sequences are usually over before they’ve begun, and attempts at spicing things up with flashy gimmicks just look forced. Even the finale can’t escape this flat-lining of tension as everything generally happens too fast and too easily.
As a final note, ardent fans of the manga should brace themselves for a slight but significant reinterpretation of Zero at the end. No doubt, it will send a few spitting in rage.
Like Vampire Knight, VKG looks very pretty, with lush colours and attractive character designs perfectly catered towards the shoujo lovers. Regrettably, it also adopts VK’s disregard for movement. While VK is predominantly drama-based, VKG relies on fighting sequences during some of its climactic moments; the insufficient number of frames, straightforward camera angles, and uninventive choreography, therefore, only lessen their impact.
The cheap pop opening and closing themes add nothing to VKG’s charm. The score, on the other hand, though mostly generic (aimless tinkering on a piano, queer string instrumentals, that kind of thing), still holds one or two surprises. The most useful additions include the sound effects subtly used to heighten the spooky ambience; for example, the sudden rush of cymbals during particularly tense exchanges goes a little way to enrich the viewing experience.
With fewer comedic scenes to add colour to Yuuki’s personality, the effects of her clueless vulnerability and passive nature leap from uninspiring to outright disgusting. Taking the initiative and driving the story on her own merits is certainly beyond her as she stutters and sighs her way through every conversation. Most irritatingly, she’s the kind of contradictory character who speaks of saving others whilst constantly needing protection herself.
As such, providing entertainment falls to Kaname and Zero. While Kaname wields his mysteriousness like an expert by throwing a dark and truly unexpected spanner in the works, Zero escalates his catalogue moping (seemingly, just because he can). Neither ventures from his archetypal pigeon hole, but both remain engaging, nonetheless, because of their anguished backgrounds.
The other good news is that Kaname’s previously nameless hangers-on get fleshed out and become more relevant to the plot. In particular, I find the exploration of Aidou’s friendship with Kaname to be an interesting addition to the character development.
VKG will prove the perfect fix for fans addicted to a sugary diet of bishies, immature angst, and romanticised horror themes; competent central mystery aside, those elements are its forte. For anyone looking for substance and/or action, however, the show will leave a distinct ‘Is that it?’ feeling as anticlimactic fight scenes and an insipid cast dog the plot. On the whole, VKG may not feel as fresh and exciting as its predecessor, but it remains at all times a fun and easy romp to follow.
I stalled out on this anime years ago at the third episode and decided to recently rewatch everything. The second season subdues the comedy for the love-triangle aspect of the anime. This might have been a bad idea.
Story: The story gets more convoluted with every episode. Someone saved all the plot twists and put a new one in just about every episode. Why? Because that was honestly the only way to keep this story going. There is only so much of Yuki stumbling between two hot guys one can take before it gets tedious. However, all of the plot twists just add more and more questions that ultimately don't get many answers. The pacing is also all over the place, which makes it even harder to follow all of the twists and turns the anime throws out. If the viewer hasn't read the manga, its pretty easy to get lost.
Animation: I'll grant this. It's pretty. Not arthouse pretty, but the bishoujos make up for everything. Every year when I attend conventions, there are at least 3 Yuki's. Why? Because the animation makes that uniform look amazing.
Picturesd: Uniforms that make this show decent.
Sound: Sappy Japanese pop songs, ahoy! Be prepared for both opening and closing themes to get partially stuck in your head for a few days. They aren't the greatest, but they do work for the anime. The mood music throughout the anime is well suited for each situation, as well.
Characters: When the main character is so completely oblivious that hitting her over the head with a frying pan sounds like a good idea, there isn't much hope for the rest of the cast. The Night Class has their expositions in the first season, and they don't get much more explanation in the second season. As for the Day Class, they are mindless groupies and so shall they stay for all eternity. Honestly, not a whole lot of character development in this season (except maybe Zero, but its hard to tell with all the brooding).
Overall: Pretty bishoujos, complicated love triangle plot, clueless female protagonist. It's the stuff of romance novels and its been selling for decades. It might not be my cup of tea, but don't let that stop you from watching the second season of Vampire Knight.
This has been a long time coming. Honestly, the reason I took so long is that I didn't really know how to approach this review. I decided that I'll just take a look at Vampire Knight as a whole. Guilty definitely far exceeds season one, but that makes sense since it's a direct continuation of the plot. As such, the plot is really backloaded. There's only one significant event that actually happens in the first season in retrospect. This series is really really good, so anyone who instantly avoids it because of the whole vampire cliché, I would say to at least give it a chance. Anyone who likes drama will love this series. All the way down to the message at the end of every episode, "I will show you a sweet dream next night." Now I'll start hammering down the mechanical aspects of the review. The characters are great, really polarizing. Only three are fully developed: Yuuki, Zero, and Kaname. And the reason I say only, is because many of the supplementary characters in their brief moments of significance are quite compelling, but you never really find out much about them. If the producers were to make an offshoot of the series that featured these characters instead (sort of how Please Twins follows Please Teacher, but not exactly), I think it would be quite successful. But having said that; Yuuki, Zero, and Kaname, are really terrific characters. Zero and Kaname are very cliché, but still incredibly enjoyable to watch. Yuuki is probably the best character so far as to say she goes through the most literal transformation. This is one of those series that you would kind of suspect a lot of symbolism, but really the plot's complexities are always described in great detail which in some ways is a downfall. It would have been nice if the series let you think things through first and then exposed the truth. Also, the pacing is a little weird. You expect and get for the most part the slow episodic drama, but there are always things going on in the background which are actually quite fast-paced. The story as it goes along is quite interesting and there are some twists (though honestly you see them coming several episodes ahead of time). And though I felt that the bit of vagueness in the ending was appropriate, I really thought the series could have used just a touch of tragedy to have left the viewer with more of a lasting image. So overall, Vampire Knight is a very good series that lacks the certain verve meriting elite statue, still 8.5 out of 10.
I loved this series even more than the first. With the many twists and turns that it had and the incredible ending, I must say that it was one of my favorites. There was a time where I almost watched it 5 hours straight. After watching the first one, and deciding to not start a different series before this one, I couldn't resist going late nights just to finish. I highly recommend this to anyone who loved the first one. And for those that haven't watched the first part, go watch it before you start this one.
I loved the series, I really did. But that was the most disappointing ending ever. I couldn't even finish the anime after I had found out. Just saying, you will either think it was awesome, or sucked ass. In my opinion it did. If you like zero and Yui together, or you like zero, then this ending will not be in your favor. Just saying.