Note: Another entry for Manga Monday. Written before I figured out what I was doing.
WARNING: Spoilers below.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When we last left the story, Zero had asked Yuuki to kill him if he went insane (even though she has a bracelet that should stop him), Kaname makes it clear Zero owes her for attacking his precious girl, and Yuuki, though still kind, is more than little bewildered.
Overall, this volume is Zero’s. Kaname has very little presence except as a means of conveying information and, except for her offer, Yuuki doesn’t come across well at all. This volume continues exploring Zero’s self-hatred as well as his increasingly apparent need for Yuuki (in more ways than one).
After an encounter with a white horse that only Zero seems able to tame (and hints at use later in the story) he and Yuuki go to town for supplies and a bit of relaxation. There’s a cute interchange between the two that does a good job of showing their friendship in a less dramatic setting. We even get a rare smile from Zero. This interaction calms Yuuki a bit who decides that even though he’s a vampire, he’s still Zero. It also helps us see (without use of a flashback) what their relationship was like before the attack.
This doesn’t last long. Between fangirls who are convinced Zero is a member of the Night Class (because he looks just like them), a crazed, former, human vampire they have to fight…in fact, let me warn a potential reader of this. Action scenes are not Hino’s strength. In this case, Yuuki freezes. It gets a little tiring since it makes me wonder why she’s a guardian in the first place if she can’t manage to get the upper hand against vampires. Zero and two members of the Night Class end up saving her. The NC members also invite her to a party where they’ll explain why they were there.
It turns out the party only exists to explain a little more about the world of vampires and give Zero a reason to go crazy for blood. It also turns out that even though he started taking blood tablets after attacking Yuuki, he can’t hold them down. The scene where he admits this to Yuuki really endeared me to him because it was obvious he’d been struggling to keep control ever since he attacked her in vol. 1. However, it made me wonder what Yuuki thought of the bracelet she’d been given since she didn’t use it to control him. She just dunked him in the pool.
The highlight of this volume is her decision to become Zero’s food. It’s actually well thought out and introduced in a way that not only makes you accept it, but makes you care more about the characters by the end. In fact, I think it’s one of the best-written and drawn scenes in the first arc. It’s also one of the most powerful emotionally.
By the end of the volume, Zero discovers his reason for living (we have no idea what that is but the implication is that it’s Yuuki). We’ve also learned more about Hunters (makes little sense to me if the vampires take out their own) and we’ve learned SHE is still alive (more on that in my review of vol. 3).