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Vampire Knight Guilty Vol. #01 Anime DVD Review

4 min read

Can the mysterious tangled web of vampires living among humans get any more intriguing?

What They Say:
At prestigious Cross Academy, there are two sessions of classes, the Day Class and the Night Class. As the school’s Disciplinary Committee, Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu keep watch over the Day Class students, who are all infatuated with the beautiful, elite Night Class students. As Guardians, Yuki and Zero must also protect the secret of the Night Class: they are all vampires!

Contains episodes 1-4.

The Review:
Audio:
For this viewing session, we listened to English dub. The English 5.1 track is solid with no distortions or dropouts.

Video:
Originally airing in 2008, Vampire Knight: Guilty is visually set to a darker color palette. While there are some brighter scenes, the show is set to a darker theme. We did not notice any major issues visually with the 4 episodes in this collection. Any aliasing found in the video is only minimally noticeable in the darker scenes.

Packaging:
The packaging for this single disc collection features Zero and his fated twin brother. The mystery surrounding the two brothers was one of the major themes in the first season and is appropriate as teaser for this second season collection. Both are dressed in winter garb as white snowflakes are falling around them. The white background is also applied to the back cover where there is a short summary about the four episodes along with some screen shots. Since we are dealing with vampires, it is only appropriate that the main title be set in red with a few blotches of blood artistically placed around the volume number, spine, and back cover.

Menu:
The main menu for this collection is simplistic with a static image of the main lecture hall at Cross Academy. The menu is centrally placed and is quick and easy to navigate. The sub-menus have a plain white background which could have been dressed up more. Some music from the series loops appropriately when accessing the main menu and sub menus.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
I am not one who picks up anime of this sort at a first glance, but thought that it would be a nice chance to at least give something new try. Mecha is my favorite, but I do like to check new things as I love anime. Starting at the second season just didn’t really appeal to me, so checked out the whole series. In fact, I had to go back and watch the first season! Needless to say, I became hooked. This tangled web of love, deception, and the paranormal piqued my interest.

Picking up from the first season, we find Zero has come back after he disappeared. Yuki finds herself relieved with Zero’s return, but she is left wondering about what happened between Zero and Kaname. Strange visions haunt Zero since he drank Kaname’s blood and it appears as if Kaname may have some control over him. Zero also struggles with a strong bloodlust as he teeters on the edge of becoming a Level E vampire.

Maria adds a new twist in the storyline as she reveals some cryptic clues about who might be the true enemy. How this will play out is anyone’s guess as she the host for Shizuka in the first season.

Another surprise for me was how Maria’s words played into the hand of the Hunter’s Association. This development will only prove to be more intriguing as the second season progresses. The shrouded mystery and slowly unwinding plot is what makes a series like this fun to watch.

As the fourth episode comes to a close, we witness a visit by Senri’s uncle who is from the Supreme Vampire Council. The council wishes to punish Zero with death for his sin of killing a pureblood. More unanswered questions pile up as Kaname steps in to prevent Zero from being punished. His purpose is unknown to everyone around him. Hopefully the next disc will provide some answers to all these queries.

Summary
Vampire Knight: Guilty is a guilty pleasure in mystery, love, and deception makes this feel somewhat akin to a Victorian era novel in dealing with the commoners like the humans and the aristocratic nature of the pure blood vampires. It’s hard to tell who the real enemy is at this point. Nevertheless, you bank on the fact that the tie the binds Kaname, Zero, and Yuki will get more twisted as the series progresses.

Features:
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English Subtitles

Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A

Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: March 15th, 2011
MSRP: $19.97
Running Time: 75 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

Review Equipment
Samsung UN46B6000VF 120Hz LED HDTV, Samsung HT-WS1R/XAA 2.1 Channel Soundbar Speaker System with Wireless Subwoofer, and Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p

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