This is an important lesson for Matsuri Hino to learn, since she clearly skipped Character Archetypes 101 at mangaka school.
I like to think most readers are intelligent and won’t buy it when you try to pass off an evil, manipulative villain - who destroyed the life of the innocent hero - as some kind of lonely, tragic, good guy love interest.
To put this into context, imagine if JK Rowling had attempted something similar in the Harry Potter series:
Ginny Weasley (a freaking Mary Sue) runs back and forth between the hero, Harry, and Voldemort, the villain who murdered Harry’s parents, never quite giving her heart fully to either guy. She kisses Harry and confesses her love to him, then soon after goes to bed with Voldemort, quite possibly losing her virginity to him.
Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it?
You would probably want to chuck your book out the window and demand a refund if Rowling had written something so preposterous, wouldn’t you?
Yet, people can somehow accept essentially the same scenario when it comes to Kaname.
Wanna know why?
Ultimately, it boils down to this one simple fact:
KANAME IS A BISHOUNEN, VOLDEMORT ISN’T.
Incredibly shallow, isn’t it?
Yeah, pretty faces can get away with anything, even murder, in Hino’s warped world.
Unlike Kouki Kashizawa in the example above (from Nishimori Hiroyuki’s fantastic Ocha Nigosu series, scanlated by Project Bite Me!), Hino’s villain Kaname Kuran never had any such epiphany and continued to act with impunity until he died, and even after.
By that I mean Kaname never truly acknowledged the scope of all the evil acts he’d committed. At the end he was like, “I have some things I need to atone for so Ima sacrifice myself now ok bye.”
What, not even an apology to Zero, the person whose parents were murdered as a direct result of your actions?
This despicable character Kaname was so important to Hino that she resurrected him and gave him not just a second shot at life, but a third (like wtf!) while not even deigning to let us know what became of Zero, the eponymous Vampire Knight. Who knows how the hell he died; Hino apparently didn’t find it worth her time to draw it, since it all happened off screen. I guess we’re just supposed to be all oh well okay nevermind lols.
Kaname’s “sacrifice” was ultimately pointless and meaningless, and he, the villain, was even rewarded with not only a normal human life (something he denied the hero) but the hero’s two children as well!
Sigh. I just don’t know anymore. Back to school, Hino-sensei. Like, seriously.