Vampire Knight 19 brings the series to a close with a poignant and bittersweet ending. I have to applaud Matsuri Hino for giving such an appropriate finale that ties up all the loose ends but doesn’t devolve into a cheesy shoujo manga happily ever after with flowers and kisses.
Story: Kaname Kuran has made the final decision to become the new forge – his heart will be removed and placed in the fires in order to create the mindless weapons to fight the vampires: the bloody rose. It means the end of Kuran, an eventuality Yuki cannot bear to see to fruition. Together with Kiryuu, who is constantly fighting memories trying to resurface, the three will be forced into a final confrontation with the vampires; the humans paying the ultimate price if the vampires succeed in killing Kaname before he can place his heart in the new forge.
I was surprised that most of the final novel is about Kaname and Yuki – with Kiryuu playing a very distant thrid. For me, the series had always been about Kiryuu and Yuki’s relationship. But I get the feeling that somewhere along the way, Matsuri Hino feel in love with Kaname and his role was changed from mysterious benefactor to man who has always sacrificed himself. The ending is thus a lovely and clever way to allow both him and Yuki to sacrifice and yet live.
I know many didn’t understand the ending but perhaps a few rereads would make it more clear. It’s actually a beautiful ending and not depressing or sad in any way. I don’t want to go into too much due to spoilers but really, it was a great way to resolve the storyline.
I really enjoyed this series and treasure both the great Viz translation and my hard copies. I really look forward to Matsuri Hino’s next title.
Reviewed from an ARC.