A huge hit among the shojo demographic in the early 2000s, Vampire Knight is a romantic supernatural classic in both anime and manga form.
Vampires regularly show up in anime, especially those of a more romantic nature. One of the best examples of this is Vampire Knight. Combining the lore of bloodsuckers with shojo beauty, the franchise has little in way of actual horror, focusing much more on supernatural fantasy and gothic romance. This allowed it to transcend beyond usual horror enthusiasts, finding a fan base in the West especially that was ready to sink its teeth into a vampire reverse harem.
The popularity of Vampire Knight meant that it was O+ for a few different forms throughout various mediums. Transforming from manga to CD drama to anime, the series is essentially a classic of early 2000s nostalgia. At the same time, the manga went on for far longer than many realize, providing much more to the story than the show did. In fact, a new entry in the manga’s sequel is soon to come to the West. For those who’ve never checked the series out, here’s an explanation of its storyline, as well as where to fall in love with its two biggest forms.
Vampire Knight follows a young girl named Yuki who, in her childhood, was saved from a vampire… by a vampire. Her savior was a Pureblood bloodsucker named Kaname — one of a group of vampires who wish to live at peace with humanity. Adopted by the school’s headmaster, Yuki attends the Cross Academy, hoping to protect her beloved Kaname and other vampires who attend the school.
Unfortunately for them, humanity’s distrust of the vampire species may have its virtue. Questions about how much the race has changed are constant, with many humans not trusting the bloodsucking monsters. One of them is Zero, who lost everything to a vampire and now seems to want to destroy them. These fractured localities and relationships threaten to disrupt not only the life of Yuki but society as a whole.
Vampire Knight was created by Matsuri Hino, who began the franchise as a manga in 2004. Lasting far longer than the proceeding anime, the manga ran until 2013. This saw it compiled into 13 volumes, all of which were brought to the West by Viz Media. It was followed by Vampire Knight: Memories, which contains new stories that take place after the conclusion of the original series. The latest volume of this book is set to soon come out in English as well.
Given how popular the book was for Shojo Beat and among female fans in general back in the day, it’s no wonder that it’s still pretty easy to find. Vampire Knight and its sequel can be purchased physically on Amazon or digitally through Kindle and Comixology for a cheaper price. It’s also available through retailers like Walmart, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million, although earlier volumes may be out of stock.
The Vampire Knight anime was produced by Studio Deen, which was also behind shows such as the original Fruits Basket, the Hell Girl anime and The Seven Deadly Sins. The show has two seasons, both of which lasted for 13 episodes, scratching only the surface of the manga’s full story. Much like the manga, Viz Media brought the anime to the West, where it’s still very easy to stream.
Vampire Knight can be streamed through Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Peacock and Crunchyroll, as well as Funimation, so viewers with basically any streaming service can watch it. Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy and Right Stuf Anime also carry the Blu-ray collection, so enjoying this shojo vampire classic is easy through both physical and digital media.
Timothy Blake Donohoo is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he majored in Communication and minored in Creative Writing.
A professional freelance writer and marketing expert, he’s written marketing copy and retail listings for companies such as Viatek.
In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing video games, watching documentaries and catching up on the latest Vaporwave and Electro-Swing musical releases.