Hi there! I really love your analyses of VK, and was wondering if you could explain Kaname's motivations? I've always found it hard to understand who he was and why he was doing things, from killing purebloods as an ancestor, to deciding to protect Yuuki, then back to trying to eliminate the purebloods? It doesn't have to be anything long (of course unless you want it to be!!) Thanks!
Aww well thank you! I can certainly try. In my opinion, Kaname is a lot like Yuuki. In the first arc, everyone painted her as this bright light of their life, a selfless person who would do anything for the people she loved, and while this wasn’t entirely untrue, Yuuki eventually revealed to Zero that she had ulterior motives for getting close to him - she wanted to become the person he was dependent on, so that she wouldn’t be alone. She does the same thing with Kaname in the second arc, when she wonders if it’s wrong to want someone by her side so she doesn’t have to spend eternity alone.
The reason I bring this up in relation to Kaname is because I believe he was guilty of the same thing. A lot of his fans would say that Kaname loves and cares about humans and wanting to protect them, because he only took a little of their blood in the village while he was the ancestor, because he was researching a way to kill purebloods, because he wanted to become the parent metal and later finally did. But, like Yuuki’s caring for Zero, Kaname’s concern for the humans was mostly a front for his real motive which I believe was to end his own eternal life because of his inability to accept who he was. That’s not to say he didn’t also have concern for the humans during this period, just like Yuuki obviously did still care for Zero. But he had ulterior motives. Kaname’s research on how to kill purebloods came before the purebloods got really bad, which is why the Ancestress interrupts him and says that she doesn’t believe his research will be necessary. Specifically, Kaname was using himself as the guinea pig and figuring out that only a pureblood could kill another pureblood. This is how he came upon the idea to become the parent metal, which would require his life.
I mentioned Kaname’s inability to accept who he was and I think his Ancestor days are really what highlight this. Rather than joining the other progenitors, Kaname chooses to live among the humans, hiding who he really is, sneakily taking their blood in the middle of the night with syringes rather than using his fangs. When they discover what he did and call him a monster, he doesn’t deny this claim, and it is this view of him standing alone as they force him out that reminds Yuuki of Zero. I think it is because she recognizes the self-loathing that comes from being a vampire when you’d much rather be human. Later, the Ancestress questions him on not taking a blood slave yet, and says something to him about forgetting how to use his fangs, the exact same phrasing Kaname uses with Yuuki during the period where she refused to accept her vampire self. Again, a parallel is made between Kaname and a character who struggled with vampirism.
Chapter 64 shows Kaname’s past through his own perspective, and there are three things he highlights. His research into killing purebloods which would require his own life, the Ancestress using her own instead which I believe created resentment in Kaname’s heart, and Kaname’s memory of the humans perception of him as a monster and the question that I think was a continuation of the Ancestress’ words to him, which is how many times he asked himself why he was born this way.
Kaname did not want to be a vampire. He did not want to be a pureblood. He romanticizes the idea of being human and pictures it as a life full of sunlight and happiness, in comparison to Yuuki’s view, which is that being human allowed her to experience happiness but she was also weak and powerless and a burden to those who cared for her.
(More behind the cut.)