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YMMV / Vampire Knight

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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • This line said by Zero to Yuuki in chapter 72: "If you don't like my behavior then force me into submission." Though one could question if it was really accidental.
    • Probably pushing it somewhat, but a lot of fans got a laugh out of chapter 60, where a random guard upon seeing Zero carrying a girl responded with the question "I take it you need a bed?"
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Rido. Pure evil, or did he actually use to be a decent guy when you consider that before his madness he'd spent about 3,000 years with Juri and Haruka, while they were a couple? Kind of makes it hard not to sympathize with him when he held out living with his unrequited love for such a ridiculous amount of time, vs both Kaname and Zero who couldn't help but treat each other like mortal enemies from the get-go.
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  • Angst? What Angst?: Yuuki never appears to give a second thought to her real brother who had been murdered by Rido while he was just a baby.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Rido. For all that build up, he's rather quickly beaten by Yuuki and Zero with not much apparent effort.
    • Sara.
  • Arc Fatigue: Sara's arc was rather lengthy as well as pretty unnecessary considering how little she achieved in the end.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Yuuki's blood somehow countering the effects of Sara's blood for no apparent reason, other than to make her "special".
    • Aido's father's sudden reveal of being alive with no explanation given.
    • At the end, the solution to coexistence between vampires and humans is to... create a cure that can transform vampires into humans. What?
    • The author apparently trying to justify Yuuki's Teen Pregnancy at the end by adding the fact that a vampire goes pregnant for 2-3 years, making her older by the time she had the baby.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • In the post-ending bonus chapter, Yuuki realizes she's pregnant with Kaname's child, causing her to disappear for four years apparently for not being able to face Zero. This was likely an attempt by Matsuri to highlight Yuuki's guilt for sleeping with the man who had killed Zero's family, when previously she'd given the impression that it hadn't even crossed her mind. Then again, later chapters would reveal that Yuuki did occasionally approach Zero during those four years to get blood from him (as pregnancy apparently causes massive hunger), and Zero was accepting of her predicament.
    • In 2015 and 2016, to make up for the main story having had to end abruptly, Matsuri has been releasing bonus chapters and even a short sequel titled "Memories" to expand on what happened with Kaname, Ren and Ai after the former's reawakening, how Yuuki and Zero's life together was like, and how some of the side characters fared.
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    • The final volume was criticized by many for turning Kaname into a full-blown Designated Hero (see below). Matsuri herself came out later and admitted to not being happy with how she portrayed him in the end.
    • Yuuki was criticized for not only losing her agency and becoming an a gloomy ineffectual heroine but also for becoming defined only by the love triangle. In Vampire Knight Memories, she takes on a much active role in the story and regains her happier traits.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Interestingly, Yuuki after she becomes a pureblood vampire despite the fact that as a human she was completely capable of protecting the school from the Night Class. This trope may go hand-in-hand with the Seasonal Rot mentioned below, since for a good portion of the second story arc, she's obeying her brother/lover Kaname like a good vampire princess and staying neatly in the vampire kitchen. Somewhat justified in that she can't use her anti-vampire weapon any more but unjustified in that she's allegedly one of the strongest vampires in existence - she should be able to figure out some way to fight and protect herself! It's also noticeable that there are moments when she loses control of her powers and seems dangerous, including the blood wings that appear, but nothing ever comes of these moments and she never grows into having a specific power that should be the same calibre as Kaname's.
      • Her amount of agency in the story too. In the first arc she's frequently frustrated because she feels Kaname is keeping secrets from her and is keeping her ignorant to protect her. However, after becoming a vampire he still keeps secrets from her, she's still chasing to catch up and Aido tells her that she's a 'baby vampire' who shouldn't try and handle situations like an adult. This ends up giving the feeling that she's on a journey that never reaches anywhere, and by the time she cuts her hair and returns to the Night Class it's too late in the story for it to have any real impact and she's then upstaged by Sara at the school.
    • Kaname and Zero suffered from this as well. Kaname starts out as a dark, mysterious and worldly vampire, always knowing everything and seemingly having a plan for everything, fittingly earning him the status as one of the oldest purebloods. Eventually however, all his actions and plans seem to be wishy-washy and poorly planned, sending him into Motive Decay and/or the reasoning that everything is "for Yuuki", which, while romantic to some fans, comes off as weak and pathetic to others who had expected alot more from him. Zero by the end of the second arc may have been an emotional wreck from The Reveal, but he also renewed his pride and refusal to let anyone push him around anymore, making him a badass stoic whom one would have to earn the right to get close to. Towards the end of the story however he's completely willing to be under Yuuki's thumb again, immediately forgives her for having erased his memories and gone back to Kaname following so, and ultimately begs her to say she'll be with him.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Zero and Kaname, though especially Kaname, who's either the devil incarnate or Jesus 2.0, depending who you ask.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Yuuki's out of nowhere giant butterfly wings popping out her back in chapter 68. (Though the butterfly motif does later return to show its symbolic purposes considering her character.)
    • For the anime; the addition of Zero biting Kaname a second time. Completely unnecessary and irrevelant to the (original) plot (the whole point of Zero biting Kaname the first time was so he would stall his fall to a level E significantly), obviously making it a pure Fanservice addition. And considering the not-quite top notch animation it wasn't even really good for that.
    • A minor example, but Yagari recently revealing that the level E nurse from Zero's childhood was his fiancee could count. A revelation that came right out of nowhere, and was left as an issue as quickly as it was brought up.
  • Broken Base:
    • Kaname/Yuuki is viewed as either the most romantic pairing in the world, or the most repulsive (not necessarily based on the incest). There doesn't seem to be a middle ground, which is more easier to find with Zero/Yuuki.
    • Opinions are torn over whether Zero's speech to Kaname in the penultimate chapter about how the latter should stay alive for Yuuki sake rather than killing himself was a touching example of his Character Development, or a complete destruction of his character, cementing him as an Extreme Doormat.
  • Complete Monster: Rido Kuran is a 3,000 year old pureblood vampire, and while the original manga version died pitiably with his motives revealed to wanting his crush Juri to love him back, the anime did away with such qualities, turning him into a sadistic monster killing everyone in his path for power or pleasure, including Juri. Rido's reputation as a black stain in the Kuran family goes way back when he kidnapped the first child of Haruka and Juri and killed him to gain his power. He attempts to do the same thing to their daughter Yuki, with them dying to protect her and leaving only her brother Kaname to interfere and destroy Rido's body, resulting in his soul wandering off. Years later his soul has possessed the bodies of a child and his own son Senri, while using the latter's body to suck the blood of female Cross Academy students until they die nearly killing Sheik's friend Rima, and is implied to have killed off the child. Once his body has been revived for him to return, he summons his vampire minion to round up academy students for him to devourm and has no problems consuming his own vampires. Finally having Yuki at his clutches, he sucks her blood and comments on how Yuki's screams remind him of her mother's scream when he was sucking her blood. It is humanity's beliefs that vampires are nothing more than beasts in human skin, and Rido Kuran's action in this series only emphasizes on that belief.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Kaname towards the ending, full stop. The man reveals himself to have caused Zero's family massacre, mass-murders apparently peaceful purebloods, hides behind another pureblood's body to be injured instead of him, treats hunters like ragdolls, badly wounds Ruka (by a stab that was also meant for Zero) and abandons his servant to the hunters, all the while not showing an ounce of remorse or acknowledgment of doing anything bad. And yet, because he didn't really kill Aido's father, he suddenly gets the treatment of being "innocent" and noble for his intention of becoming the next furnace, while the purebloods he hunted are presented as antagonistic and petty for wanting revenge on him.
    • For a more thorough analysis, see here [1].
  • Die for Our Ship: Zero/Yuuki fans vs Kaname/Yuuki fans are probably up there with the worst examples you can imagine. Partly the author's own fault as she has Yuuki consistently appearing to love both men and never making a clear, official choice.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Kaname. While he has seemingly good intentions in everything he does and genuinely loves Yuuki, he still has a cruel way of treating people, good or bad, by manipulation and even murder with no apparent remorse. Some fans still sees him as a saintly character who's only "misunderstood", or whom has the right to treat people how he likes, it still doesn't give him antagonistic qualities.
    • In-universe as well, with Yuuki's perception of him.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Do not compare Vampire Knight to Twilight. Just don't, unless you want to be attacked by a mob of angry fangirls. There seems to be a strong dislike against Meyer's sparkly vampires within the VK fandom.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Fans in general had been growing weary with the Seasonal Rot for quite some time, but the rushed cop-out ending only served as the last straw as it was considered badly written by most, butchering all three main characters into sappy, Badass Decay protagonists, repeating the much hated Love Triangle to its last breath and pulling a ridiculously drawn and executed vampires vs. hunters battle hardly anyone could take seriously. While the series was forced to conclude earlier than Hino intended and resulted in a rushed ending, many fans to agree that the second arc should never have happened, and that the story should have ended at volume 9 while the art and storytelling was at its strongest.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Zero and Yuuki, by a long shot.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Kaname x Zero (rather popular amongst others. You don't just let ANYONE drink your blood). They do, however, come off as No Yay to some.
    • Shizuka x Yuuki
    • Zero x Ichiru
    • Sara Shirabuki x Takuma
    • Rido x Yuuki (since he calls her Juri, may double as No Yay...)
    • Zero and Shizuka
    • Zero and Sara
    • Does Yuuki and Zero in the second arc count?
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: For a shoujo manga, it's pretty damn popular in America. But it's a given since it's about vampires, so...
  • Ho Yay
    • Yuuki and Maria/Shizuka.
    • Zero x Kaname
    • ''Zero x Ichiru''
    • Aidou x Kaname
    • Zero x Kaito
    • Any scene with Sara and her all girls harem.
    • There's also a one-off Yay scene between Shiki and Ichijou at the latter's birthday party, complete with blood.
    • Also in a bonus manga in volume 4 Shiki is sleeping on Ichijou's shoulder Matsuri Hino said in a side panel that she should have had him leaning on Rima instead and that "it's difficult to develop love relationships in this manga" (Instead of
    • Ai x Ren
  • It Was His Sled: Considering how popular the series is, most readers enter it with the knowledge that Yuuki is a vampire.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kaname.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many fans only read the story because of either Kaname or Zero, with a dose of Best Known for the Fanservice.
  • Love to Hate: Rido.
  • Memetic Mutation: To some fans, the "Chapter 89 Logic":
    "My way of loving makes you unhappy, Imma should have given you to Zero."
    "Lets have sex, hoe."
  • Misaimed Fandom: It's a shoujo targeted towards a young teenage audience, yet its narrative, especially the Love Triangle's, is alot more complicated, dark and subtle than you'd expect a teenage mind would grasp, or simply care about. It's likely due to this that Kaname/Yuuki, while their relationship does have romantic aspects, are first and foremost meant to represent a dark, unhealthy and self-destructive pairing (second arc) where Kaname emphasizes it by pointing out twice towards the ending that he doesn't make her happy, while Zero ultimately is portrayed as the "light" pulling Yuuki out of her and Kaname's "deep, dark forest". Even so there's plenty of their fans who will claim Kaname/Yuuki to be the epitome of true love, and that even though she ended up with Zero, he couldn't have made her as happy as Kaname would have. That or, apparently, happiness isn't important in a relationship.
  • Moe: Yuuki and Maria.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Ichiru, whom Zero caught smiling at the deaths of their parents.
  • Narm:
    • A lot of this in the anime thanks to the quality of the animation.
    • Since when did the vampires become zombies?
    • The "big" battle between hunters and vampires in the final chapters which is hardly drawn out and mostly consists of stick people drawings randomly scattered across panels to apparently present a dramatic and suspenseful fight. Good one.
  • One True Threesome:
    • The fandom is mostly divided between Kaname fans, who ship Kaname and Yuuki, and Zero fans, who ship Zero and Yuuki. Then there are the ones who say this whole problem could be conceivably solved with a large enough bed...
    • The final chapter presents this as a canon example, because while it cements Yuuki and Zero as the Official Couple, it equally demonstrates Yuuki and Kaname's devotion for each other.
    • Namely, Kaname encourages Yuuki and Zero to be together, telling them they "have been shining so radiantly that I've been squinting my eyes at the brightness", however, only a few pages are dedicated to their happy ending. In contrast, Kaname sacrifices himself for Yuuki's happiness and tells her that he wasn't unhappy with her, and also that nothing of what he did was her fault, amidst Yuuki's tears over not being able to help him and begging him not to leave. Therefore, while Zero and Yuuki marry and spend many happy years together, Yuuki also loves Kaname enough to the extent that she gives up her life so that he can live happily as a human, which again can be seen as her way of repaying him the happiness he allowed her in being with Zero.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • Zeki (Zero/Yuuki)
    • Yume/Kanaki (Kaname/Yuuki)
    • Zename (Kaname/Zero)
    • Shima (Shiki/Rima)
    • Rukain (Kain/Ruka)
    • Ichishizu or Shizuru (Ichiru/Shizuka)
    • Zechiru (Zero/Ichiru)
    • Zeria (Zero/Maria)
    • Ichimari (Ichiru/Maria)
    • Aidori (Aidou/Yori)
    • Aiki (Aidou/Yuuki)
    • Zori (Zero/Yori)
    • Kayori (Kaito/Yori)
    • Ichira (Ichijou/Sara)
    • Aika(?) (Aidou/Fuuka)
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Yuuki, thanks to Vampire Knight Memories fleshing out her feelings and actions regarding the ending and definitively making a choice to love and live with Zero. The fact she's actively involved with Vampire Society/Human politics, displays more of her likable traits from the first arc, and has a loving relationship with Ai helps a lot.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Both Zero and Kaname can be subject to this. Kaname, while he certainly has highly questionable morals and falls more or less into Anti-Villain category, has a few redeeming qualities and can be genuinely kind when he wants to, yet are still regarded by some fans to be devil himself. Zero is often accused of being a "hateful racist who abuses his powers, beats Yuuki and whines about being a vampire" while Kaname is accused as a misogynistic predator who forces Yuuki to Stay in the Kitchen and sees her as a possession.
    • Yuuki is also treated as such, often accused of being a slutty and self-absorbed girl who toys with the "totally innocent" guys.
  • Seasonal Rot: The second arc suffered from a regression in quality and storytelling, causing the story's popularity to drop to the point Hino Matsuri were forced to shorten it by the magazine it was published in. To put it in an example; the very last volume sold less than half than what the 9th volume (halfway through the story) had done within the same time frame!
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Let's just say, pick your pairing and God have mercy on your soul.
  • Stoic Woobie: Kaname and Zero both.
  • Squick:
    • The fact that incest is a large part of Pureblood romantic culture. Not only did this lead to divisive reactions to Yuuki being okay with continuing a romantic relationship with Kaname after learning he's her brother and then later learning he's not her brother, but her great, great-something grandfather, but also to the possibility of shipping Kaname with Ai or even Ren and Ai together.
    • The fact that Ai has feelings for Zero. Though Ai isn't related to Zero by blood, the fact he helped raise her and later hooks up with Yuuki and has a child with Yuuki is seen as pseudo-incest.
  • The Scrappy: Yuuki, during the second half. While Yuuki was liked in the first half for her personality and her determination to protect others, many fans feel she gets hit by a combination of Badass Decay, lack of agency, and an inability to choose between the two guys. This earned her a lot of hatred from sides of the fandom, with one side accusing her of two-timing Kaname, another accusing her of screwing with Zero's feelings, and a third lamenting her as being reduced to an ineffectual heroine at best and a prize to be won at worst. Chapter 89 did not help with this, as many viewed her reactions to removing Zero's memories as Unintentionally Unsympathetic and she's so unsure of her feelings that she sleeps with Kaname so he can "teach [her]" who she really loves.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A lot of people are unhappy with how the anime differentiates from the manga, with mediocre art, random order of events, and the characters' personalities being somewhat messed up. Apparently the author herself wasn't pleased with the ending result. Though it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar enough with Studio Deen...
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • In lines with the Badass Decay above, Kaname is set up to be a Byronic Hero who commits morally dubious acts for sympathetic reasons. However, not only does his motivations and plans come across as vague or unnecessary but many of his darker actions are swept under the rug. Instead of fully exploring the implications behind him being the mastermind behind Zero's family's death and massacring pure bloods, the main characters treat him as noble or innocent while characters who want revenge are treated as petty antagonists, removing nuance from his character. Some fans even feel that if the narrative had committed to Kaname as an antagonist, it would've made him much more compelling figure.
    • Zero was stated to be the most powerful vampire hunter and chosen to become the next hunters' President. However, some fans felt his role as a Hunter was underused, and even go as far as to say he exists only to pine after Yuuki and fuel the love triangle, especially after Yuuki picks Kaname in the first half. Instead of moving on or developing independently, much of his character arc is anchored to his relationship with Yuuki.
    • Yuuki herself is hit with this hard. Part one ends with a Wham Episode of her finding out she's a vampire and her choosing to leave Cross Academy to live with Kaname as a vampire princess in vampire society. However, she spends a large chunk of the second half moping around in the mansion on Kaname's wishes and acting wishy-washy about her choices. Though she eventually cuts her hair and decides to chase after Kaname to stop his plans, she constantly fails her goals, her new abilities are never fully realized, and she goes back and forth between Kaname and Zero.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • You have a story of vampires vs. vampire hunters, leading to a lot of possibilities of focusing on the battles, politics and development between the two sides, which is pretty much put under a bus most of the time to focus on a whiny heroine and what choice she'll make between two hotties, resulting in a massive Romantic Plot Tumor.
    • The entire epilogue compresses decades of development in a few pages. Aidou creates a cure for vampirism, human/vampire relations change, various characters hook up, Yuuki and Zero finally hook up raise kids together, and after Zero passes Yuuki sacrifices herself to resurrect Kaname as a human. Fortunately, Vampire Knight: Memories exists to fill in the gaps.
  • The Un-Twist: Kaname is killing purebloods to make a safe world for Yuuki and humans... something most fans had guessed since he first set out on his mission, regardless what side of the fandom they belonged to.
  • The Woobie:
    • Considering the increasingly horrible things Zero gets subjected to, yet somehow doesn't go comatose from a despair overdose, he fits pretty well into this trope. Could also fit into Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, at least where vampires are concerned.
    • As of the second arc, he could fit into the Iron Woobie section as well. For witnessing his parents being killed, his twin brother betraying him and later having to kill that brother, watching the girl he's in love with be in love with someone else, being turned into what he hates the most, discovering said girl he loves is what he hates the most, and then letting that girl go to the guy he hates, he has not shed a single tear or complained about how pitiful his situation is even once (unless you're gonna be a Jerkass and say his lash outs at the pureblood who killed his family, or his fits from the pain the transformation and hunger caused him weren't necessary on his part and qualifies him as a wangster.) ...what?
    • Fuuka from Vampire Knight: Ice Blue no Tsumi. After all, she does end up becoming a Level E vampire and is killed at her personal request.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • In lines with his Designated Hero status above, the entire final volume makes Kaname out to be a massive Woobie who had good intentions all along and thus everyone should pity him, which may have worked out better had the guy actually shown any remorse at all over his actions. Instead, he's clearly shown grinning over one of his victims at one point, and in the end states that he has "no regrets", whether it's towards his unexplained genocide mission, cruel treatment of Zero or his emotional abuse of Yuuki. Yet, the narrative writes him out like a great person who everyone (even Zero) will revere and remember... because he gave his heart to the hunters' furnace after having chased the former source away for no good reason. What.
    • Zero gets this too, to an extent, for the fans who feel that some of, or most of his suffering is "self-inflicted."
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • In the manga, many fans assumed the President of the Hunters Association was a woman, until they watched the anime that is...
    • At the end, many fans were confused over whether Yuuki's child with Zero is a boy or girl. This continued well into Vampire Knight Memories until it was confirmed Ren is female.
  • Wangst: Yuuki sometimes fall into this in the second arc, frequently complaining over whether or not she's worthy of Kaname or Zero, or that everything bad that happens is ultimately her fault. While she's meant to be a Tragic Heroine, her attitude all too often falls more into being tragic than heroic.

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