Vampire Knight is a series that was adapted from a manga, and both the manga and the anime series are absolutely gorgeous. That's one of the reasons the series is a pleasure to watch.
The story follows three main teen-age characters, a young woman named Cross Yuuki, and two young men, Kuran (Clan) Kaname and Kiryuu Zero. All three attend Cross Academy, at which the student population is divided into two classes, the Day Class, which includes Yuuki and Zero, and the Night Class, which includes Kaname. What quickly becomes apparent is that the Night Class is comprised of vampires, all of whom worship Kaname and are led by him.
Yuuki and Zero are Day Class regulators. They know about the vampires and make sure that there are no adverse interactions between the two groups. Vampires and humans lead mostly separate lives, and the reason for them both to be attending a single academy doesn’t come out until much later. Pureblood vampires are becoming increasingly rare, although Kaname is one, and vampires can turn humans into low level (Level E) vampires, by biting but not draining them. Level E vampires must have vampire blood to maintain their sanity. Without it, they become insane killers of humans for their human blood. Level E vampires are hunted by human vampire hunters, who also hunt pureblood vampires who overstep their bounds, like creating too many Level E vampires.
That’s the background, and this is where the story starts out, with Yuuki ostensibly the daughter of the Director of Cross Academy and Zero his adopted son. Yuuki doesn’t remember her childhood before being rescued from an evil vampire by Kaname as a small child, but it’s also apparent that there’s more of a connection between Yuuki and Kaname than just that rescue. Zero’s back story is relatively straight forward. He had a twin brother and they were part of a vampire hunter family that was destroyed by the vampires.
This is a love triangle story, so of course Zero and Kaname dislike each other, while needing each other. Kaname needs Zero to help protect Yuuki during the day, and Zero needs Kaname, because Zero is turning into a Level E vampire from being bitten as a child when his family was destroyed. Kaname’s blood can keep him alive and sane.
The story underneath everything that comes out in the course of the series is this: Yuuki is actually a pureblood vampire princess who is being hidden as a human at the Academy to protect her. Kaname is one of the original founders of the vampire race who was brought back into existence by a pureblood vampire named Lido, using the blood and death of Yuuki’s actual brother. Lido did this hoping to control Kaname and reign over the vampires. Kaname defeated him at that time, but Lido still wants to rule by destroying Kaname and Yuuki. Kaname is actually both Yuuki’s ancestor and her betrothed and he protects her. Zero hates the vampires since they destroyed his family, but he loves Yuuki and needs Kaname, so there you are.
As usual there are a lot of interactions with the other characters and much more story line going on than this basic plot review. In the interest of time and space I’ve left it all out, however the series is worth watching for more than just the basic plot line. The side stories are also interesting. Add to that how gorgeous the series is, and a really great soundtrack, and it’s a series that you shouldn’t miss. Actually it’s two seasons, the first 13 episode season, called Vampire Knight and the second 13 episode season called Vampire Knight Guilty. Watch them both.