By Dustin Cabeal
I’ve never shied away from the Shojo Beat material. I rather like the variety of stories and that fact that female characters have a stronger role in the story. I could go either way on all the bubbles and such that are an artistic trope of the genre, but otherwise, Shojo stories can often be refreshing in the world of manga. However, that is not the case of Vampire Knight Memories.
To say I dragged my feet through this book would be inaccurate. I’m fairly certain that I passed out and animal instincts took over to race me to the end. My appreciation of the art stopped after the first chapter, and I rarely glanced at it again. Mostly because it did absolutely nothing to tell the story or even support the dialogue and narration that was there. They may have well been two different books.
The biggest problem with Vampire Knight Memories is that something tells me that this isn’t where I’m supposed to start reading this story. The entire volume feels like fill in stories for a larger story that I’m not being told. Or and this is a big or, it’s just the most poorly constructed story of shorts that I have ever read in my life.
There is seemingly no rhyme or rhythm to the structure and I shit you not the first segment goes through an entire character’s life, and none of it was interesting, worth reading or made a lick of sense. Now, if there’s say a series called Vampire Knight and these “Memories” are just little stories to treat the audience of that book; then it is still an utter failure because at the very least it should give better effort of revealing where within the story it fits and perhaps recapping a little of the story. It does do some recaps, but they are such huge details to the story that you’re left wanting to know more about that than when it flashes forward to scene you’re reading which has only the slightest connection to the information the reader just learned.
Some of you will be like, “You should look it up instead of just complaining about it.” Perhaps if I liked it, I would, but imagine if you were just a happy go lucky manga reader and picked this book up and read this… would you yell at them to research their purchase more? Probably, but then you’d be a monster. I take every review from the perspective of someone just picking up the book because so often in my line I’m just sent stuff to review. I don’t always get a say in what’s sent, and while I don’t have to review everything, I often do. To offer another perspective that differs from the person that knows too much about the property and would blindly defend it.
If there’s a “1” on the cover, it should mean anyone can pick it up and enjoy it. If the reader can’t then the author hasn’t succeeded in creating something worth reading. I finished this volume so I could read it, but never once did I enjoy it. There’s no character development, no real story. It’s just a collection of events that define these characters without any context to make that definition mean anything. Save your time and money.
Vampire Knight Memories vol. 1
Story and Art: Matsuri Hino
Publisher: Viz Media/Shojo Beat