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Vampire Knight Guilty

Thursday 19th May 2011

There is something of the night about Andrew Osmond, as he takes on 007 and Vampire Knight Guilty…

Vampire Knight Guilty Previously on this site, we conclusively “proved” that Vampire Knight was better than the Twilight franchise. But as the anime enters its second half, with the new title of Vampire Knight Guilty, it’s time to consider another way the series advances the vampire myth.

Roald Dahl, writer of grotesqueries for adults and children, once described how he was hired to script You Only Live Twice – not a vampire film, but James Bond’s Japanese adventure. Dahl was told there were two things he couldn’t mess with. One was Bond’s character; the other was the “girl formula.” Dahl asked what the girl formula was. “There’s nothing to it,” he was told. “You use three different girls, and Bond has them all.”

“Separately,” Dahl asked, “or en masse?”

If you think the sexual politics are a little… dated, remember You Only Live Twice has the memorable line: “In Japan, men come first, women come second.”

Christopher Lee DraculaBut Dahl’s story could equally apply to a traditional vampire film, such as many Hammer romps with Christopher Lee. Dracula, of course, is expected to devour girls with impunity. Even when Francis Ford Coppola turned him into a romantic heart-throb in the revisionist 1992 film, crossing oceans of time like a moustachioed diCaprio, no-one questions why Dracula gobbles up his true love’s best friend (Lucy) before turning to the main course, Winona Ryder.

Which leads us to Vampire Knight. One of the most interesting things about the show’s development is the brazen (by anime standards) conduct of the heroine, Yuki. Yes, she’s a demure and vulnerable lass in romantic shojo fashion, but she’s also extremely adept at getting the best of both worlds – or rather the best of two vampire pretty boys. In one scene, she can be offering herself as an all-you-can-drink bloodbank for Zero; but soon afterwards, she’s in an intimate clinch with Zero’s rival Kaname, and thinking about getting herself vampirised!

Some viewers may see Yuki as a heartless hussy, but there’s something rather refreshing about her two-timing. It brings the viewer up short to realise how pedestrian it would have been if Vampire Knight were instead about a boy and two vampire girls. For men, promiscuity is the norm in vampire tales; it doesn’t even matter if you have long teeth or short. Remember how lucky Jonathan Harker got sandwiched in a sexy female foursome in Dracula.

True, Buffy scandalously played around with Spike in later episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, subverting the Angel stuff from earlier; while the Twilight films at least pretend that Bella has a choice between her favourite vamp and a hairier hunk (“I am hotter than you,” indeed!). But Vampire Knight’s take is blithely fresh… not that vampire fantasies are ever cosily PC. Ian Fleming once stupidly suggested in The Spy Who Loved Me that all women secretly wanted to be “semi-raped”. When it comes to women, Bond’s on the side of Dracula....

Vampire Knight Guilty 2 is out now on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.


Death Note Complete Series And Ova Collectors Edition

was £59.99
On Blu-ray for the first time! Collected across 6 discs containing all 37 episodes of the hit anime series plus the bonus Death Note: Relight OVAs.

Light Yagami is a genius high school student who is about to learn about life through a book of death. When a bored shinigami, God of Death, named Ryuk drops a black notepad called a Death Note, Light receives power over life and death with the stroke of a pen. Determined to use this dark gift for the best, Light sets out to rid the world of evil... namely the people he believes to be evil.
Should anyone hold such power?
The consequences of Light’s actions will set the world ablaze.

Contains episodes 1-37 plus Death Note Relight OVAs on a bonus Blu-ray disc
Also features exclusive collectors edition rigid box packaging
Languages: English, Japanese and English Subtitles



Code Geass vs Death Note

If you liked that, you might like this
At heart, Death Note and Code Geass tell the same story. A teenage Tokyo schoolboy with a towering intellect, railing against the world, is given fantastic powers by a supernatural agency. He finds he can manipulate people like puppets and kill with ease. His power is bound by rules and restrictions, yet still seems godlike.


Kite: the Movie

A live-action remake of the anime classic
Right, hands up those of you who have been betting on which 1990s anime would get a Western live-action remake first. Ok, who had Ghost in the Shell? Evangelion? Cowboy Bebop? But Yasuomi Umetsu’s notorious sexed-up actioner Kite (1998) has beaten them all to the screen, starring anime fan Samuel L. Jackson.

Harlock Music: Tetsuya Takahashi

Tom Smith on the man behind the music
Shinji Aramaki’s digital reimaging of Japan’s classic sci-fi adventure Space Pirate Captain Harlock is serious business. Not only is it ranked amongst Toei Animation’s most expensive productions to date, weighing in with a mighty £20+ million budget, its staff is also a who’s-who of the Japanese animation industry.

The Impact of Ghost in the Shell

Andrew Osmond remembers the early reactions to Oshii’s classic
“What makes this such a cut above the rest is a set of senses-assaulting production values that equals anything Hollywood produces… Just make sure you see it on a big screen.” - Empire.

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (Trailer)

The first Dragon Ball movie in 17 years...
Released in the UK by Manga Entertainment.

Garm Wars: The Last Druid

Mamoru Oshii's latest film, fresh from its Tokyo premiere
In his live introduction to the premiere of Garm Wars The Last Druid at the Tokyo International Film Festival, Mamoru Oshii called his film a "a precise recreation of the delusions in my mind." While the truth of that statement is only known to Oshii, Garm Wars is certainly embedded in Oshii-land, ticking off the staple themes and existential worries in his work, while finding a new kind of gorgeousness.
Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 24th.

Eureka Seven Ao Part Two

Spoilers for part one ahead, as Andrew Osmond gets timey-wimey
The show’s finale is squarely in anime traditions, combining heartfelt child-parent reunions, a boy’s resolution to ‘lift the curse’ of his origins, and an orgasmically explosive deus ex machina that lets a character write the end he wants – one that happens to have shades of another Gainax anime classic, Gunbuster. There’s fanservice for you!

A Brief History of Manga

Jasper Sharp reviews Helen McCarthy’s intro to Japanese comics
For curious dabblers and those wishing a glimpse of the bigger picture of how Japanese comics began and their key development points, the sheer size and diversity of the field can seem pretty daunting.
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