Vampire Knight 9 by Matsuri Hino: C+

After the revelations in volume eight, the world of Vampire Knight goes—please pardon my indelicacy, but this is really the only way to put it—batshit crazy.

Pureblood vampire Rido Kuran (our villain) completes his resurrection and summons his followers to him. Said followers feel no compunction about snacking on the day class students of Cross Academy, so the noble vampires of the night class must protect them. Kaname challenges the vampire senate, Zero gains thorny super powers along with some self-control, Yuki squares off against Rido, and the Hunters Association arrives to exterminate the night class, but is held off by Headmaster Cross and his hunter pal, Toga.

This synopsis might make it seem as if the volume is action-packed, but “incoherent” is actually closer to the truth. I honestly have no idea why half of this stuff is going on. Perhaps it’s because it’s been three months since I read volume eight, but that just goes to show how little of this series is actually memorable beyond its main characters and its prettiness. Zero’s evolution is genuinely interesting, though, and makes for some cool moments near the end of the volume.

The art of this series is usually its best asset, but Hino’s style is far more suited for depicting pretty, angsty vampires than scenes of battle. Many times, I was left puzzled by what was happening—“‘Shunk?!’ What just went ‘Shunk?!’”—and kept confusing Rido and Toga, since they both have wavy shoulder-length black hair and an unruly forelock.

I am left to conclude that Vampire Knight is like a morsel of dark chocolate: its bittersweet taste lingers on your tongue while you’re consuming it, but its impact doesn’t last much beyond that moment.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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