Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: Matsuri Hino Presents LAST NIGHT - Vampire Knight Illustrations


CARTOONIST: Matsuri Hino
TRANSLATION: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
EDITOR: Nancy Thislethwaite
ISBN: 978-1-4215-7605-3; hardback (October 2014); Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
44pp, B&W, $15.99 U.S., $18.99 CAN, £9.99 UK (for graphic novel and art book set)

Vampire Knight is a shojo manga series written and drawn by manga creator, Matsuri Hino.  VIZ Media recently published the final graphic novel collection of the series with the release of Vampire Knight Volume 19, on October 14, 2014.  Vol. 19 was released in a regular edition graphic novel and also a “Limited Edition” with an alternate cover.  The Limited Edition is actually a two-book collection that includes a hardcover mini art book entitled, Matsuri Hino Presents Last Night: Vampire Knight Illustrations.  [The Vampire Knight “Night Class” Manga Box Set 2, to be released November 4, 2014, will also include a copy of Last Night.]

Last Night contains over 40 full-color illustrations drawn and colored by Hino.  Most of these illustrations appeared in LaLa, the Japanese manga magazine in which Vampire Knight was originally serialized.  Many of the series' characters appear in these illustrations, but the characters which are most depicted are, of course, Vampire Knight's (un)holy trinity of and love triangle:  Yuki Cross, Zero Kiryu, and Kaname Kuran.

Is the packaging price of Vampire Knight Limited Edition 19 money well spent?  Well, my generous VIZ Media rep gave me both the single-volume regular edition and Limited Edition set.  The Limited Edition costs $6 more than the regular edition, and Last Night is worth the extra six bucks, especially if you, dear reader, are a fan of Matsuri Hino's illustrations.

Hino's moody, pouting, and contemplative vampires are gorgeous.  Other than their school uniforms, little of the characters' clothing could be “off the rack,” unless the clothes are off a rack found in an acclaimed fashion designer's personal work place.  These are fashion icon vampires.  As we leave the world of Vampire Knight, Last Night is the kind of neato item we might grab before we turn off the lights on our way out.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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