Katt: If Steve is going to spam the blog with lolis while Minnie busy, then I am totally getting some vampires in! The problem with this is that I am currently not watching any vampire series. I have a few on my “gotta watch that” list, but I can’t get into them while I am catching up on a couple of other non-vampire series. I also have a few vampire novels sitting in my room, waiting to be read…I should get on that. Anyway! Point being that, because of this, I am going to address the rumoured possibility of a Twilight anime and the reasons I think it wouldn’t stand up against the current popular vampire romance series of the anime/manga world, Vampire Knight.
Among people who enjoy vampires in their romances, the question of which is better–Vampire Knight or Twilight? is asked pretty frequently. I just did a quick Google search on it and found quite a few comparisons of the two, some thinking Vampire Knight better while others preferring Twilight, and then of course those who just don’t like either one at all. While the nay-sayers are certainly justified, I am a fan of Vampire Knight because I like a romance series once in a while as long as it has some substance to it. Twilight’s substance? Kind of lacking. And, my friends, let me tell you exactly why it is that I think Vampire Knight is more appealing than Twilight. Oh, and you’d better be expecting spoilers for both series ahead!!
Love triangles: VK does it right
This. is. key. You don’t have to read far into Twilight to know damn well that Bella is going to end up with Edward; four books are totally not necessary to get the point of their love across. The Vampire Knight manga is now 49 chapters in and you still don’t know who Yuuki will end up with at the end. The odds that the two main boys have are ever-changing, each getting kisses and bites from Yuuki at different points. We are also only given limited access to Yuuki’s thoughts, which leaves us wondering what she thinks of the boys at various points. In Twilight, all we hear are Bella’s thoughts–kind of takes the suspense away, doesn’t it? I don’t mind a first-person narrative but when said narrator has a one-track mind like Bella, it gets redundant. You know that she loves Edward and that Jacob just doesn’t compare. Even when she realizes that she “loves him too”, there’s no question of whether or not she’ll actually act on that. It’s all about Edward. Yuuki, however, genuinely struggles between the boys. She loves them both in different ways and actually has to struggle to realize which of those ways is the ‘romantic’ that she wants.
There’s “pacifist” and there’s “pansy”
In both Vampire Knight and Twilight the main group of vampires seen are ‘pacifists’. In other words, these vampires do not drink the blood of other humans (or vampires), instead opting for animals in Twilight and blood tablets in Vampire Knight. This is one of the reasons that both of these groups of vampires have been criticized (that and being impervious to sunlight, but that’s another story for another day), but let me tell you something…the VK vampires trip up. A lot. In chapter one Aidou drinks from Yuuki, then soon after Zero regularly sucks Yuuki’s blood, and we learn that even the king of the pacifists Kaname has drank from Ruka when the temptation was too great. The animalistic side of these vampires is not always resisted and that makes them all the more interesting. Come on: everyone prefers an “I can’t resist any longer” to a “no no, I can’t, I mustn’t!”, right? And honestly, when the Vampire Knight vampires give into their vampiric nature–those are some of the best scenes in terms of plot development and romance. Everytime Zero bit Yuuki, his attachment to her grew and their sin worsened; when Kaname bit Yuuki, the course of the story completely altered. Sometimes vampires just have to drink blood and those in Vampire Knight do just that.
Plot exists here
Surprising, right? Plot can exist in series primarily revoling around romance! And by plot I mean that Vampire Knight shows a series of new characters and villains throughout its course while the Twilight series essentially has the same cast that’s introduced in the first book. Okay, first two books, but that’s it. Some of the most interesting elements of Vampire Knight show up later on. For instance, my favourite plot element of Vampire Knight: Guilty was the significance of Ichiru, Zero’s brother, and the pureblood Shizuka. Their interaction with each other and with other characters (Ichiru with Zero, Shizuka with Zero and Kaname…) helped to redeem this show’s second season for me. Shizuka as a villain was given a backstory and had a redeeming portion of herself shown through her bond with Ichiru. You were made to pity the villain while, in Twilight, you are just left wondering why Victoria is still alive three books in. More than just in the villains, the plotline of Vampire Knight weaves the main characters in as well. Zero has history with Shizuka and Ichiru, Kaname has fought Rido in the past, which is also connected to Yuuki…it all gets really complicated. This is a good part of what I mean by Vampire Knight having more substance to it than Twilight.
Significant secondary characters?!
They aren’t just sitting around waiting for those couple of pages when they get to tell their history; the secondary characters in Vampire Knight really matter in the story. Their development didn’t only occur in th past. Chairman Cross, for one, is a really complex character because of his background as a vampire hunter combined with his current reputation as a pacifist and the chairman of Cross Academy. He even got a whole chapter all to himself! The same goes for various members of the Night Class–Kain gets a chapter devoted to how his feelings for Ruka have developed through his life up until the present, Ruka undergoes a lot of development through her obsession with Kaname, Aidou gets a lot of screen- and page-time, Shiki is weaved into the Rido plotline via his family, Rima’s bond with Shiki is open for development in the future I hope, Ichijou has an important conflict with his grandfather… See? There is a lot going on in each of them and there is plenty of room for development in the story’s future, too, which makes them a very engaging group of secondary characters. And there are still plenty more important great secondaries like Yagari and Yori and the aforementioned villains and Ichiru. I hope my point is clear.
It’s called a ‘tragedy’
This is a personal preference but I would choose bittersweet over ridiculously romantic anyday. For this reason, I enjoy that Hino Matsuri has said that Vampire Knight will be ‘tragic’. We all know that Twilight ends with a happily ever after, but Vampire Knight has the potential to completely twist our expectations by the end. Already, the genre of tragedy has been seen in the unfortunate falling out of Yuuki and Zero, yet there is still potential for it to become even more tragic. One of the main boys could die, leaving us with the bittersweet ending that I have always somewhat been hoping for in which Yuuki gets together with the remaining boy even though he wasn’t her first choice. My point is that because Hino Matsuri has called VK a tragedy, I am anticipating seeing a heroine who is more conflicted, more torn by love, and more devastated than Bella ever was. And I don’t count Bella’s “there’s a hole in my chest” stage as devastated–that was just annoying. I want Yuuki to show emotions other than lovelorn and heartboken, and she has already done this, the perfect example being her parting with Zero. She loves Zero in one way or another, is totally broken after having to part ways with him, and yet shows some semblance of strength when she moves on with her life while continuing to have a part of herself that is miserable. That’s tragedy and I want to see more of it.
All of that being said, that’s why I think Vampire Knight is better than Twilight. I am sure that I can think of more reasons but I have already spent my morning writing this, so…I think that’s enough. I will always be anxiously awaiting a new chapter of Vampire Knight to be released while I still haven’t read Breaking Dawn and don’t particularly care to. It’s all about the suspense in regard to Vampire Knight; people can call shoujo series predictable all they want, but people’s thoughts on VK’s final pairing are always changing, which makes it a fabulous romance in my eyes. Until chapter 50, Vampire Knight fans!