Last year I incoherently touched up on the subject of Vampire Knight and rabbled some fangirling thoughts. Despite the ending, Vampire Knight hits home as one of my favorite mangas of all time (that list includes Tokyo Crazy Paradise, XxxHolic, Gokinjo Monogatari and other completed mangas that I will gladly review if you request it in the comment box). When I really like a manga, I read it a million times and if it's that good, you know I'm the person to come to make a review on it.
Despite my enthusiasm for the manga, according to mangaupdates (a database for manga readers worldwide), out of 2589 votes, only 35% of readers would give Vampire Knight a 10/10. Majority of reader vote at a slightly lower range. Its rating dropped to 7.89 when the manga ended (formerly 8.53 at the manga's peak). This makes Vampire Knight the second to lowest rated manga in my favorite (completed) reads and at the time of conclusion it was the lowest rated manga in my current reads (which is compiled of Naruto, Fairy Tail, Dengeki Daisy, Kaichou wa Maid-Sama etc).
My own personal rating of the manga would be an 8/10.00
Vampire Knight had a strong beginning. It began publication towards the end of Merupuri's serialization (another manga by the author). Merupuri was a strong story (averagely rated at 8.46, a considerably high rating for mangas) which also had a strong fanbase. That fanbase followed over to Vampire Knight expecting another compelling and charming story. The author in turn, tried to step away from the cute and charming world of Merupuri and give a dark edge to those readers. We fell for it.
Vampire Knight begins actually slow with the first few chapters, repetitive and the art wasn't too charming. I will admit it: The manga was flat. However it showed promise so I and thousands of fans worldwide read more. The author quickly changed things up. The art improved, the storyline became less "typical shoujo" and more detailed. By Chapter 3, majority of that charming and cute crap was cut out and evolved into sinister plot with the only thing with even a reminder to Matsuri Hino's usual writing is simply the heroine. Her heroines tend to be outspoken, dense in matters of love, somewhat submissive, rash... Rather typical shoujo writing in my head.
Most of the fanbase are more interested in how sexy every male character is drawn. I look at the actual writing and art. Vampire Knight storyline kept a really nice fast tempo at first. It constantly gave plot twister which was nice for the average reader. However as Miss AP, I had to delve a little further. Those twisters may satify the average reader but not me. Otherwise this manga would only rate a 6 or 7.Matsuri-sensei incorporated many literary device into the manga. It's so hard to find a literary device in a manga besides a flashback these days. Vampire Knight adeptly uses symbolism, foreshadowing, red herring, and even poetic justice.
But what stops this story from being a 9 or a 10?
To be honest, mangas rarely ever score a 9 or higher. The best ratings tend to be in range of 8.80. Vampire Knight remained strong as a a manga for long ride. As the plot focuses on Zero (one of the protagonists) it has a filling that keeps readers loving the story. However a major plot twist makes the story reach its climax and it took about 30 to 40 chapters for the manga to complete. The manga was drawn out for too long. The pace drastically slowed and no longer had the zest the readers wanted. Everyone was simply anticipating the end. Towards the end Matsuri successfully revive's everyones interest in the story but several chapters too late. It could of been a resurgence, the story could've went places. Instead she lamely ends the series with a very pathetic and confusing chapter. The intention may of been to leave a cliffhanger but instead we are left with confusion and un-fulfillment.
Overall the story is great. The addition of literary devices, dark imagery, solid plotline, and generous amount of bishies makes the story such a win. I will re-read it a hundred times and I will hope that you guys might be persuaded to read the manga as well. So leave your opinions in the comments. I will definitely being give my commentary of Say I Love You soon and tell me what else you want to hear from me.