I was just wondering if you could explain to me why Yuki was crying in chapter 9 page 8/9 of VKM? Is it because of her feelings for Kaname?
Firstly, I would like to thank you for your patience! Despite your question being straightforward, I think there are several aspects which are worth discussing in relation to page 8/9 in Chapter 9.
To present my thoughts in the clearest way possible, I will structure my analysis under appropriate sub-headings.
Just as a side note, I have also broken some areas into bullet points. The post is lengthy already and I may as well try and be succinct then blab too much. Though a little too late! Apologies in advance for any spelling/ punctuation errors.
1) The reason behind Yuuki’s tears?
From following the plot of Vampire Knight, as well as Yuuki’s recent development in VKM, its clear that Kaname is the reason behind her tears. With Zero acting as Yuuki’s confidant, providing her with the moral support and blood she needs, this is equally apparent to him. This is explicitly confirmed by Zero himself where he states: ‘I know fully well who these tears are aimed at’. After watching Yuuki stand by Kaname’s ice coffin for two months, and be constantly reminded that the simple gesture of holding his hands reminds her of Kaname, those scenes speak for themselves.
Despite Kaname’s ‘dormancy’ so to speak, the characters of VKM such as Ai, Zero and Ruka – and most obviously Yuuki - continue to remember and speak of him. In this sense, Kaname continues to have a presence within the plot - even if to a minimal extent. In Yuuki’s case, despite time passing, she continues to mourn over her loss of Kaname. The extent of her grief and desire to be with – or rather ‘part of him’ is undeniably confirmed in Chapter 9 where she stated her ‘wish’ – ‘these strange things’ that won’t ‘fade away from [her] mind’. She admitted that she wanted to ‘revive that person, to have my life swallowed up by that person – let’s return inside that person’. As highlighted from previous chapters, such as Chapter 66, the concept of consuming your significant other is an instinctive vampire trait. Yuuki’s inner conscious even tempted her with the idea that she ‘can eat all of him’ and that failing to ‘devour what you desire’ will drive her insane. Yuuki even then expressed that her hunger for Kaname was so ‘pure’ that it could not be hidden. Furthermore, in Chapter 7, it is revealed that Yuuki had neglected her personal wellbeing. She did not sleep. She did not eat. During that period, she was completely detached from time and reality, as well as those around her. She isolated herself from everything. Strange as it seems, she treated herself as though she had entered into a deep slumber and was encased within an ice coffin of her own. It was like a part of her died with Kaname.
Collating these and other factors together, Yuuki is crying because of Kaname. Hino makes this dead plain from the text.
2) Secondary factors
Having established that, it is now necessary to examine the crux of your question: was it because of Yuuki’s feelings for Kaname? My answer to this is yes – yes, it is the predominant reason, but I believe there are also secondary factors too. I will go through each one accordingly. This includes 1) her experiences and emotions in experiencing motherhood as a single parent; 2) Yuuki’s increasing responsibility as the head of the Kuran family and leader of the vampire society.
3) Motherhood I: Kaname’s absence
In Chapter 9, Yuuki states the following: ‘The treasure that person left me with, till now I managed to bring it here without harm’.
By referring to ‘treasure’, Yuuki is clearly talking about Ai. Ai symbolises the light that brought Yuuki out of her depressed state and back onto her feet. Ai reminded and continues to remind Yuuki that ‘there is a light at the end of this journey’. Her existence not only acts as a firm confirmation of Kaname’s last words, but also his love and determination to protect Yuuki to the very end. As their child, Ai represents Kaname in several ways – some of which Yuuki has commented on - from the softness of her hair, her smell to her intellect. Their beloved ‘treasure’ demonstrates Kaname’s selflessness. Not once did he care for his own wellbeing. If you refer to the panels in Chapter 93 – when Kaname throws his heart into the furnace there is no ounce of hesitation. He lived and breathed for Yuuki. With that said, Ai returned the light to Yuuki’s eyes – she gave her mother a purpose to continue living. Ai was Kaname’s last gift to Yuuki before throwing his heart into the furnace. Like Kaname who saved Yuuki on that wintry night, it is through their child that Yuuki was saved once more. Looking at this from a different perspective, you could say that Kaname was also trying to fulfil the one promise that he was not able to commit to Yuuki. The promise that they would live together.
Having therefore received the most precious and final gift from her most dearest person, I can only imagine that Yuuki made a silent promise to herself to protect their daughter – the last remains of Kaname’s existence. However, in making this silence promise, Yuuki must have also spent time reflecting on what life would have been like had Kaname stayed. With recollection comes regrets, ‘what ifs’ and wishful thinking. In Chapter 9, I think this represents one of many occasions where Yuuki has shed a tear and reflected.Perhaps the following:
- To see Kaname be a father and raise their child together. For instance, Yuuki’s strong desire to see Kaname hold their new-born is illustrated by the fact that she dreamt about it. As a general basis, dreams reflect our inner conscience and desires. In Chapter 93.1, Yuuki tells Zero that she had a dream about ‘that person’ holding the baby. Upon hearing this, Zero returned a knowing smile. He very well knew who she was talking about - just like Chapter 9 in VKM. From this, it can be implied that Yuuki has dreamt about Kaname (perhaps with baby Ai) on previous occasions.
- To see Kaname interact, play and make memories with Ai as she grows up. In Chapter 5 of VKM, Kaname is visited by Yuuki and baby Ai – I assume one of many. Yuuki says the following: To Ai - ‘You wish that you could talk to him to huh?’ To Kaname- ‘Aren’t you jealous that I have her all to myself’. Despite knowing that Kaname cannot not hear, see or respond, Yuuki is determined for Ai to know her father, to know what he was like, and keep her in contact with Kaname.
- Just further assumptions on my part– his absence during her pregnancy and Ai’s birth.
Thinking these things through, this must have brought up a turbulence of emotions for Yuuki.
4) Motherhood II: Raising Ai
As a single parent, Yuuki had to play the role of both mother and father. In Kaname’s absence, it is likely that Yuuki was adamant in ensuring that Ai received the same amount of love that any child would have received with both parents being present. With Zero’s constant presence, he clearly assumed the role of an adoptive father (despite the awkward period of being Ai’s crush). In several chapters, Ai calls Zero her father and this is reflected by her actions in constantly seeking his support and comfort. But even then, Zero’s role cannot replace the fact that Kaname is her biological father. In my opinion, even if Zero gave Ai the most happiest childhood, the amount of love received cannot replace or be enough to fulfil the love a child may yearn, seek or receive from their biological father. This evident with Ai too. In Chapter 93.3, Kaname pulls Ai into her father’s arms. Embracing his daughter, we see tears in Ai’s eyes. Just before this scene, Hino refers to Zero’s conversation with Aidou where he was patted on the head by Yuuki: ‘hugged tightly and coaxed like a child’.
Can you imagine how Ai must have felt at that time? After hearing so many stories about her father. After seeing her father trapped in ice for thousands of years. To be able to embrace him and hear his voice must have awoken so many emotions within her since a child.
Another aspect worth discussing is where Yuuki states ‘without harm’. This most likely refers to the early stages of Yuuki’s motherhood. This may include Yuuki’s pregnancy which lasted for several years, as well as Ai’s birth and upbringing. Throughout this entire time, despite the help provided (predominantly from Ruka and Kain from what is implied), Yuuki may have been anxious and understandably scared. She may have also lacked confidence in her ability of being a first-time mother. Can you imagine how these concerns may have been exacerbated in Kaname’s absence? For anyone in her position, her concerns may have been endless. Her queries may have been endless. To add an extra dash of complexity, Yuuki had to deal with Ai’s physical and emotional development as a vampire. In Chapter 9, we see Yuuki comforting Ai with regards to her hunger. For the safety of Ai and others, she decides to exclude the opposite sex, including those of their household, from their home. In my opinion, this is similar to when Yuuki was kept inside by Kaname in order to stabilize her hunger. Despite the opinion others hold, Kaname had done this for the purpose of teaching her to use her fangs and to accept her instincts. After several years of dormancy, her physical and emotional state was incredibly unstable and in complete disorder. To allow Yuuki to wonder off into the nearest public area in her unstable state would be asking for trouble. In Chapter 93, after neglecting her hunger for three months, Yuuki made an attempt to attack Yori. Fortunately, Zero was there to prevent that. To say that Yuuki’s time within the Kuran mansion was a form of imprisonment is completely overlooking the matter. Yuuki was clearly aware of this. She is taking her previous experiences as a form of guidance. She is using this and taking a similar stance in order for Ai to go through a smooth transition.
Overall, the early periods of Yuuki’s motherhood was likely a difficult process – not to mention physically and emotionally exhausting. The fact that Yuuki managed to pull through on her own presents her as an outstanding mother. It shows her determination to make things work for her little family – to show Kaname that she’s alright – that she managed to bring their ‘treasure’ into the world, and raise her to the best of her ability in a safe and loving envrionment ‘without harm’.
5) Yuuki’s increasing responsibility: Head of the Kuran family and vampire society
To further my point in 3) and 4), Yuuki’s experience of motherhood (not to mention being a single parent) has been further complicated by the responsibilities that come with being the Head of the Kuran family. As VKM progresses, we see her workload increase as Yuuki takes on a more active role. Upon leaving Yori’s funeral in Chapter 93.1, Yuuki is requested to attend an ‘important annual meeting’. In another chapter, we see Yuuki vote on a matter concerning the execution of an aristocrat who sold weapon deflecting technology. After Ai returns from her errands, she sees her mother reviewing documents in her study. Overall, in Chapter 5, Yuuki apologies to Ai saying that ‘mother is going to be a bit busy from now on’. Even as a small child we see Ruka tell a very young Ai that she will be staying in Cross Academy.
All in all, despite the revelations that come her way, Yuuki has demonstrated her determination to care and love the treasure she had received from her most beloved person.
6) Concluding thoughts
If anything, the infamous bench in VK is not only the place where Zero and Yuuki meet. It represents the only real time that Yuuki is able to detach herself from her obligations and duties. It is a place where she can simply sit, rest and reflect. It is where she can simply appreciate that despite being a pureblood, she too has a humane side where its okay to cry despite the notion that it is a sin for purebloods to show their emotions/vulnerability. But it is also during these rare occasions that Yuuk’s restrained and underlying emotions come to the surface. They consume her. Specifically, her love, sadness and loss for Kaname – her lover and father of their daughter who is their ‘precious treasure’ and light.
After seeking to keep herself busy by preoccupying herself with work, there is nothing to stop the constant and lingering questions at the back of her mind from coming into play:
I miss you - I wish you were here – I want you here - I wish we experienced this together – Don’t worry - I’m okay - Are you proud of me? Are you lonely? Are you sad? Can you see me now? What are you thinking of right now? Did I do everything right? What would you do? Am I a good mother? Should I have done things differently? Should I have chosen this instead? Do you see Ai? What do you think of her? Are you proud of her? I hope you are – and so on.
Respect to Zero, he stated the very thing that Yuuki yearned to hear from Kaname during the thousands of years he slept in his ice coffin. It was simply to receive his praise. To know that she ‘did a good job’ – that she confidently succeeded as a mother as well as an independent woman in managing to raise and protect their daughter on her own – that she succeeded in bringing a sense of order and reform to the vampire society in his absence – that throughout everything she had endured, she had managed to find her own happiness and peace.
Despite the tragic reality that Yuuki had never managed to hear these very words from Kaname himself, upon seeing this:
1) Kaname’s instinctive embrace to a tearful Ai
2) Kaname’s loving expression and reaction to his daughter’s concern for his wellbeing - and tendency to wander off!
3) His tender smiles upon seeing Ai and Ren bicker in the kitchen
4) The fact that he watches over his sleeping daughter and Ren, caressing their heads
There is no doubt within my mind that Kaname would reply with a resounding yes.
NB: Although his vampire instinct and (most) memories of Yuuki are sealed away this is open to question in light of three previous examples where characters of VK regained their memories due to their ‘strong feelings for another. For instance, Yuuki, Zero and the School President.
With recent chapters showing Yuuki and Kaname looking up to a bright, starry sky, there is a strong sense that Hino is confirming Yume’s eternal love – that it is irreplaceable – limitless - timeless – ageless- that they will always remain connected – that they hold an indestructible bond that withstands time itself.
With everything discussed, Yuuki’s tears for Kaname hold a mixture of meanings. Joy. Happiness. Love. Relief. Sadness. Grief. They reflect everything Yuuki has experienced and overcome from the day Kaname threw his heart into the furnace.
Those very tears are worth a thousand words - a thousand words that Yuuki wished that she could convey to Kaname.
This is my take on Chapter 9.
Thank you for your question thecity-ofhatr3d!