Hi all! Finally catching a moment to ramble a bit about the latest chapters. :) Below are the links where I read them. I tend to read them on mangareader.net simply because they are easy to find and to click through. I'm not terribly active in the fan community right now so I don't know if there are better scans or translations elsewhere, if so please feel free to post links to them in the comments.
Vampire Knight Chapter 79
Vampire Knight Chapter 80
Okay, so! Taking them in order, starting with 79...
Wow, so much angst for everyone in this chapter! For our main trio of course - Yuki, Kaname and Zero, but also for everyone else, including Aido and Kain, and Takuma.
We finally find out what it is Kaname did that has been hinted at the past few chapters. From a writer's perspective, Ms. Hino did a pretty good job coming up with that I think. Kaname having been the one who released Shizuka from her cage is something I can see happening. It's dark enough that you can see why Zero is (and has a right to be) upset about it and yet it's also in its own way benign and hands-off enough that it's not out of character for Kaname. What I mean is, what Shizuka chose to do, that was her
choice. She was free, she could have done anything. IMO, the blame for what she did to Zero's family still rests with her. She had free will, nobody made
her do anything. Yet at the same time, of course, we realize that Kaname being the chess player he is knew the odds when it came to what she would do if she were freed, and banked on them. You have to take some responsibility for what happens when you set something like that in motion, especially if it was intentional. I will say that I don't think he necessarily counted on what happened with Ichiru and Zero. He obviously wanted the twins to hate purebloods for killing their parents, but the fact is that Ichiru ended up feeling quite the opposite and it's because of Ichiru that Shizuka turned Zero, so I think their messed up family dynamic possibly added it's own wrinkle to events.
I'm sure everyone will have very different opinions on this subject. For me, I obviously disapprove of what Kaname did, and I feel bad for Zero, but at the same time I don't hate Kaname for it. It's a sign of how well written his character has been that one can get to this point and still feel so bad for him. For me at least, I think it's because we have seen enough over the past 80 or so chapters to know that his true heart is gentle, kind and lonely, but the path he has chosen means he has done many things that brings pain, harm and death to others. He knows it too. It explains the sadness that has been with him since the beginning. His underlying nature is at odds with the life he feels he must live which is why he sees himself as a monster, why he does not expect, nor know how to accept anyone's love. I think it's why he pushes everyone away and lets them think the worst of him, because he feels it's true.
His loneliness and the revilement of others is the punishment he inflicts on himself for what he's done. He didn't have to tell Zero and Yuki the truth of why he set Shizuka free. He could have lied. Zero may not have bought it, but I think if he'd said he hadn't intended what happened, Yuki would have believed him. But he doesn't want her to. He wants her to know what he is and what he's done. I think the fact that he won't hide from the hatred he expects in others is how he shows remorse, because any other indication would be weakness he cannot allow. He doesn't lie to them to paint himself in a nice light like Sara does.
Rido and Sara enjoyed other people's suffering, manipulate others for their own gain and desires and not caring about the pain they caused. Not so with Kaname. I think he is fully capable of doing just as much damage, but it is not something he enjoys or does for his own benefit. I think that's why I feel so bad for him. I don't fully understand why he feels he must do what he's doing, but whatever the reason be it ultimately right or wrong, he
believes it must be done and that it's more important than his own wishes or happiness. I think that's why he keeps saying Yuki is a hinderence... because she made him want something else. Made him think for a little while that maybe he could let go and hide from what he seems to consider his destiny. I think every time he sees her, he feels that way and it hurts and makes it hard to continue. Again, in my opinion anyway.
I find it sweet in a sad, angsty way that Kaname actually seems rather determined to push Zero and Yuki together now. He is intentionally trying to push Yuki away and relieve her of her feelings for him. There's no other reason for him to have just popped in long enough to drop that bit of damning information on the two of them before disappearing again. Yes, he obviously still wants Zero to hate purebloods, but Zero kinda already did, lol. I could be wrong of course, but I kind of think Kaname knows how conflicted Yuki has been about her feelings for the two of them and he's trying to make it easy for her.
Should she actually
get in the way of his plans, as there is a chance she might, it will be interesting to see what happens. Naturally, that would be the most angst-ridden showdown of all and I have no idea what would happen. I wonder if Ms. Hino will go there? Hm, guess we'll have to wait and see.
I also found it quite sweet that Zero sort of more or less admitted he'd expected Kaname and Yuki to end up together, and that he wanted her to be happy, even when he obviously wasn't acting like it. It's nice when we get a little glimpse into him like that. You totally felt for his pain through that whole exchange, it's kind of sad and bittersweet that you can tell that even feeling about Kaname like he already did, part of Zero didn't actually want to believe it that he'd done it to them intentionally. He already knew, but some part of him didn't seem to want to believe
until he heard it from Kaname directly, and that just makes me want to hug him tightly. The fact that his anger was mostly on Ichiru's behalf also gave me the same urge.
Moving on to another trio you get to feel kind of bad for this chapter... Aido, Kain and Ruka. Perhaps because we've been having so much angst all along between the main trio, I found the brief confrontation between our two favorite cousins to be almost the most striking bit of the chapter. I never really expected to see Kain and Aido turn their powers against each other even just in passing. Since I have a feeling that everything may hopefully work out okay for them in the end, I have to admit I rather enjoy the angsty drama of it. ;) And there is of course, the irony that when things finally go down, it's Kain on Kaname's side and not Aido. Although of course Kain is actually just on Ruka's side and Ruka's
on Kaname's, but yeah, we all know that.
And off to yet another brief angsty instance - when Takuma gets between Kaname and Sara - I find it bittersweet that Takuma is trying to use the messed up situation he's in to help Kaname in his own way, or at least wishing it would. Like hoping that maybe if Sara was trying to kill all the purebloods anyway, it would be enough and Kaname could just disappear with Yuki and not have to follow this destiny that is destroying him. It can't be of course, but it's sweet and sad that Takuma wishes it could.
And speaking of Takuma naturally leads me right into rambling about Chapter 80
Okay, to be honest, I have a few mixed feelings about this chapter. A lot of very interesting and very emotional information, but what with hopping back and forth in time and between different people's perspectives and memories it wasn't the easiest chapter to follow.
The first bit with Ruka's memories was really interesting and sad. The way Kaname was holding Yuki so tightly and protectively even as he was obviously making the decision that he had to leave her and return to the course that made her a hindrance for him made me sad, especially as seen through Ruka's eyes. You really have to like Ruka there, like in the other flashback some time ago when she kept Kaname from drinking from Yuki before he really wanted to. It's sweet that she was able to be happy if she could think that Kaname would be happy with Yuki, and how it distressed her when that didn't work out.
I also like that she was the one trying to tell Kain to wait, wanting to explain what they were doing to Aido and get him on board. :) AND I like that she got ticked at Kain for being over protective. LOL even though I don't blame Kain one bit. It was cute that that one boy actually remembered her despite his memory wipe and her reaction was sweet.
So, moving back to Takuma whom IMO you feel the most for this chapter. Oh. Man. That poor, poor guy. He is so totally messed up by all the purebloods in his life, lol. The way he is clinging so desperately to the idea that in some twisted way Sara loves him just makes me ache for him. Especially since... okay, I am possibly reading too much into this, but given some of the imagery and the words used it is very
easy to kind of assume that Sara has been using him sexually. It may not be the effect Ms. Hino intended, but it is possibly the closest thing to semi-non-con or at least dub-con we'll see in this series. I mean, Sara is touching Takuma pretty familiarly in a lot of the scenes and it could
have just been representational of her beauty and power, but ya know... she looked a wee bit impressionistically naked
in that one panel where her hair is all around her. She said she always wanted him, and one can take that any way they want to, but the fact that he's trying to turn it into a kind of love confession in his own mind sort of suggests to me that he needs a reason to feel that he's not just completely being used. Of course, the fact that she was watching him like that since he was a kid
is a wee bit creepy. ;) As is the fact that you also get the feeling she is capable of being quite abusive, especially when made jealous.
That's not to say that he's completely off base either, I wouldn't say love
but probably the words Sara herself used are the most apt, she certainly does seem to want
him, more than as a passing fancy. It's kind of ironic and bittersweet that part of it seems to be the way he interacted so casually and without fear with Kaname. I think in way, she wanted that from someone too, which would make me feel a little sorry for her too if I could stop disliking her for 5 minutes. Someday I might. Today is not that day. ;)
I cannot decide to myself if Takuma actually likes Sara for herself and that hint of loneliness that is in her that he always seems attracted to in people, or if when he says that among purebloods, one belongs only to him
... you are sort of getting the hint that there was a different pureblood he wanted who never could belong to him. Of course, as was also clearly stated, a big part of it is the whole draw of the pureblood thing. I have to say that after having written a lot about the unwanted attraction and confusion created by vampire physiology and having myself liked the whole moth to the flame
analogy, I was actually quite amused and tickled to see it used here to describe Takuma's situation.
And of course, we have that lovely panel with Kaname and Takuma facing each other over the sword (and Kaname's hand - ouch! Guess that's what usually happens when Vampires have to touch anti-vampire weapons). They both do the whole I don't want to be here doing this and I don't want to hurt you but I cannot stop and you are in my way
resignation with such painful loveliness.
They always have, since they always seem to end up somewhat at odds.
Then right about there is where the flow gets kind of choppy for me and I feel like I don't have a totally firm grip on what is going on, but maybe that's the intended effect? I had to read it a couple times and then I think I mostly got it sorted out.
Looks as if Yuki and Zero have kind of come up with their own plan, so we'll see how that turns out. It was a nice moment when she told him she wasn't worried about him anymore which also implies she trusts him. No way to know if I'm reading it right, but if I am, I kind of like the idea that Zero may actually be the one sort of manipulating Sara now, letting her think
that she's swayed him while he is actually following along with Yuki's idea. :)
I don't want the series to end and I have a feeling that tragedy of some sort will wait for us there (although, I hold out hope there will be some happiness too), but at the same time I kind of hope that things continue to build and come to a head over the next few chapters. The past couple chapters feel like we're getting fairly close to a final shakeout of events, it would be kind of annoying if things settle down again too much. We'll see what happens I guess!
Labels: vampire knight chapter 79, vampire knight chapter 80