On Wednesday I reviewed season 1 of Vampire Knight and now I’m finishing off the show with a review of season 2. Our characters pick up from where season ended with the death of a pure blood vampire and Zero is the one being blamed. The plot thickens however as more and more conspiracies are deeply held secrets are dragged into the light and Kaname’s plans finally come to fruition.
There will definitely be some spoilers below.
The main issue with season 1 is it is strictly background for the events that we will see unfold in season 2. As a result, there’s a lot of filler sequences and throw away moments as well as a lot of characters sitting around brooding and wondering what other characters are brooding about. What we see in Guilty is the result of all of these plans and intentions and what we realise is that most of these characters should have just walked away. I know that there are a lot of contrived reasons about how these characters are getting dragged along or getting the short stick because of destiny or fate, but really, most of the things that happen to them are the result of their own choices and not all of those choices have been great.
Zero continues to descend into madness as a level E vampire because he didn’t drink the blood of pure blood vampire. This leads me to question whether or not Kaname could have solved this issue much easier by just giving Zero his blood way back when it was first noted that the tablets weren’t working. Then Kaname wouldn’t have had to have gotten jealous over Yuki feeding Zero her blood or worried that Zero was actually going to hurt her. While Kaname might find Zero feeding off him personally repulsive, it would have solved a lot of other issues, and considering how dirty Kaname is happy to get his hands, feeding Zero really shouldn’t have been that much of an issue.
Zero on the other hand throws away any sympathy I had for him as a character. In season one he was the only character I actually felt sorry for because he really was dealt a crappy hand at life. In season two, he actively pushes Yuki aside and ultimately rejects her for being who she is. Zero, you are a fool. One of the things I was hoping when I read the manga was it would clarify why Zero would act so idiotically. No, it didn’t. In fact I’m pretty sure Zero is more stubborn and irritating in the manga than he appears here. So basically he’s going to be unhappy and it is by his own choice. Good for you Zero. Have fun with that. Okay, the stuff with his brother was kind of a low blow and hard for him to cope with but emotional trauma only lets you get away with so much before the audience expects the character to use some common sense.
Outside of the two boys both being idiotically stubborn and making the story messier than it needs to be we have Yuki who has decided to stop being bait for vampires and instead goes into mental break down land. Now we do get a decent enough back story as to what is going on here and it makes sense that Yuki is going through a lot, but it doesn’t make her character particularly interesting in this season. By the time she pulls it together to get proactive, the vast majority of the story has already played out and there is very little left for her to do.
Still, where the love triangle was the strength of season 1, it is the politics of the vampire world and the meddling of hunter association that take control of season 2 and the end result is a far more satisfying look at this dark world. The conflict playing out at the school has a fairly grand scale and while it seems unlikely that any student would ever return to the school again by the end, it makes for an impressive setting for the final act of this story.
Still, if you get to the end of Guilty and feel like the story is incomplete, you would be correct. It is one where the anime finished before the manga did so there is definitely more to the story. My personal recommendation is just to skip the anime altogether and read the manga. The anime isn’t impressive enough on its own and the unfinished story just leaves you with way too many questions.
That said, it isn’t unwatchable and it does bring us to the end of the immediate conflict as well as offers a solution of sorts to the love triangle. So without reading the manga you will get some closure and won’t just be left entirely hanging. The theme song to Guilty isn’t quite as good as season one, but is still pretty impressive, and the action is definitely better in season 2 given we actually get some decent action sequences. Also a fair sized body count by the end, somewhere along the lines this show got quite dark.
All and all, it isn’t a bad watch though there are certainly better shows out there. It really depends if you are up for a supernatural teen romance or not.
Thanks for reading.
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