After Twilight made it's presence known, I wasn't really entirely sold on trying out a vampire series again...or at least for a while. The whole 'sparkling vampire' thing sort of tainted vampires for me.
However, I stumbled across Vampire Knight whilst looking for some girly manga's to read (I had previously read Marmalade Boy and wanted more in the same vein). I received the first four volumes for my birthday, the first of which I had just finished. Luckily for me, there were no sparkly vampires in sight, and I actually really enjoyed it.
Written by Matsuri Hino, Vampire Knight is set at Cross Academy, a school attended by two groups of students-the day class and the night class. At twilight when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class who are just about to start their session at school. However, the school is protecting the Day Class from a huge secret-the Night Class are comprised entirely of vampires!
To stop the secret from leaking out and to keep the peace between the humans and vampires, guards are hired to work throughout the night. These guards are day students Yuki and Zero. Whilst Yuki believes that vampires and humans can co-exist (she was saved by one as a child), Zero has different ideas.
Vampire Knight centres mainly on Yuki, who is consistently falling asleep in class due to her guard duties at night. Like many girl manga's, Vampire Knight has romance (fellow guard Zero and vampire Kaname being set up as the two battling for Yuki's affections), with plenty of light-hearted, humourous moments. Hino not only provides an easy to follow but rather gripping story, but also cute, accessible and well drawn artwork.
Turning up constantly in manga readers top Shojo Manga lists, I am looking forward to reading the next volumes. Don't be put off by the vampire and high school setting, this was a great read.