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Knights of Bishonen Vampires

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“Yuki Cross has no memory of her past prior to the moment she was saved from a vampire attack 10 years ago. She was adopted by the headmaster of Cross Academy, and now works alongside Zero to guard the Academy’s secret. Yuki believes that vampires and humans can coexist peacefully, but her partner has different ideas…”

This is the synopsis printed on “Vampire Knight” volume one, released Jan. 2007, by Matsuri Hino. Now I know what you may be thinking, “Oh God, not more vampire stories. ‘Twilight’ ruined (or saved, depending on your opinion) the vampire genre!” However, Hino makes a good comeback with this bishonen ai Japanese comic.

“Vampire Knight” is a supernatural, dramatic, action-comedy-romance about Yuki Cross’s struggle to regain her repressed childhood memories. From the moment the vampire Kaname Kuran saved her life she has harbored a secret love for him. And through her friendship with him, she believes vampires and humans can peacefully coexist. However, Zero Kiryu, her best friend and Academy Guardian partner, loathes vampires. Because his family was murdered by vampires, he does not see the reasons how vampires and humans can live together in harmony. Together Zero and Yuki work day and night to hide the secret of the Night Class from the Day Class; and act as the Night Class’s security guards from the raving Day Class fangirls.

As the series progresses, the reader discovers that Kaname and Headmaster Cross are hiding their own secrets. In connection with their secrets, both men are constantly keeping tabs on Yuki and ensuring her safety and security. In addition to the headmaster and Kaname’s secrets, Zero harbors his own secrets from his dark past. In a complex paradigm, partially uncovered around volume eight, the men’s secrets are revealed to revolve around Yuki.

The remaining books reveal a two-fold hidden relationship, the struggles with a difficult love-triangle, the true identities of several characters- both good and evil, and the truth to coexistence.
The series consists of twelve books, with volume eleven being released on Dec. 7, 2010. There are also two light novels and an anime series, which follow the same plot.

If you are looking for a provocative plot, then Matsuri Hino provides such complexity. “Vampire Knight” may seem like a typical “vampire romance,” but conversely it speaks about the pains of loss, the hardships of recovery, and the torment of love. All of these elements are combined to create a fascinating world where adolescent innocence protects the heart and mind until the harsh truth of adulthood slams into the person.