Hino Matsuri, author and illustrator of the popular shoujo manga Vampire Knight, released her first art book on July 5th titled Hino Matsuri Illustrations Vampire Knight. Like with most manga illustrations, many of the art works were initially seen only in issues of LaLa magazine and usually heavily covered in text.
This collection is 94-pages and A4 in size, though width-wise it is a little wider than your average art book. Hino Matsuri Illustrations Vampire Knight solidly packs in illustrations with many two-page spreads and several full page illustrations. Though some illustrations do share a page, they are mostly illustrations that were meant to be presented small, like the small end of chapter illustrations on the manga volumes.
Most of the illustrations are of the main trio; Zero, Yuki and Kaname. But even with in that, there are a lot of pairing pictures, mostly Zero x Yuki or Kaname x Yuki. Those really do tend to be some of the best ones though, as Hino Matsuri always has a really 'dramatic' take on her coupling illustrations.
Even still, there are more side-character illustrations than one might expect. It's really quite a complete collection of published art work for Vampire Knight so far.
Like with most manga-based art books, the print quality is very high. Illustrations finished with traditional media instead of digitally really print well in art books. Kiyo Kyujyo Illustrations Trinity Blood ~Rubor~, D. Gray-man Illustrations NOCHE, To Love-Ru Illustrations Love Color are all great examples of the high quality results of traditional media to print.
Again, I don't know if it's just my copy, but several of the pages are inwardly glued to each other, as it appears to have seeped from the spine of the book. It's accidental, as I can easily pull them apart, but not without some damage to the color on the pages. You can see it in the image above; that's as far apart as those pages go.
All the manga covers are included, up to the most recently released volume 12. I don't buy LaLa magazines, so there are a lot of smaller, non-cover illustrations that ran in the magazine I'd never seen before.
As there's no text anywhere on the illustration pages, all of Hino Matsuri's comments are in the index, along with a three page narrative of how she illustrated the cover illustration (and extra-long fold-out poster inside). The cover/fold-out poster is the only new finished illustration for the book. Aside from the glue issue, I thought Hino Matsuri Illustrations Vampire Knight was really good value for money, being priced at an affordable ￥1,890. Definitely a must-have art book for any Vampire Knight fan!
- Title: Hino Matsuri Illustrations Vampire Knight
- タイトル: 樋野まつりイラストレーションズ―ヴァンパイア騎士
- Pages: 94
- Release date: 07/05/2010
- Buy: Amazon Japan