Manga Review: Vampire Knight Volume 19 (Limited Edition)

Vampire Knight Volume 19 is a manga by Matsuri Hino, and it has been released in North America by VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in October 2014 as both a regular edition and as a limited edition with the Last Night: Vampire Knight Illustrations art book. This review is for the limited edition version of the volume.

Vampire Knight Volume 19 (Limited Edition)
Written by: Matsuri Hino
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 14, 2014

Cross Academy serves as the setting of the series, which is a school that has a Day Class and a Night Class. The Night Class has a secret that is unknown to the Day Class: the Night Class students are vampires.

Two of the Day Class students are the “Disciplinary Committee”: Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu. 10 years before the start of the series, Yuki was saved from being attacked by a vampire. Her rescuer was another vampire named Kaname Kuran, and he is a Night School student. Yuki has no memory of her past prior to being rescued by Kaname and being taken in by the headmaster of Cross Academy. Yuki also seems to have a crush on Kaname.

Zero Kiryu and his family had been attacked by vampires, and Zero was the only survivor. The headmaster of Cross Academy also took him in. However, Zero has a secret that only the headmaster and Kaname know. Back in Volume One, it appeared that Zero had a crush on Yuki.

Prior to reading Volume 19, I had only ever read the first volume of Vampire Knight. As I read this volume, I felt rather lost, so I went online and visited a Vampire Knight wiki in order to have some idea of what happened between the end of Volume One and the beginning of Volume 19.

So it appears that Yuki regained her memory and learned that she was actually a Pureblood Princess vampire named Yuki Kuran and she awakens to her vampiric abilities. It also turns out that she and Kaname were close back before she was turned into a human.

Volume 19 opens with Yuki erasing Zero’s memories as part of her plan to turn Kaname into a human. But Kaname has plans of his own. As the remaining progenitor, he wants to become the origin metal and bequeath weapons with the power to slaughter vampires. At this point in the story, Cross Academy has teamed up with the Hunter Society to combat the remaining pureblood vampires, and the purebloods are intent on taking down Cross Academy. But the main focus of the volume is on what happens between Yuki, Kaname, and Zero.

This volume is both action-packed and emotional. Even though I came into this point in the story after only reading one volume, I could still feel the tension and drama that permeated the panels through the action and dialogue. I’m sure that for readers who have followed Vampire Knight throughout its entire run, they will be emotionally invested in what happens in Volume 19, and I expect that they won’t be disappointed by what they see. While reading this volume was a whirlwind and was rather confusing since I skipped over most of the story, I expect that long-time fans of the series will be able to get so much more out of this than what I was able to. From what I know of Vampire Knight, this appears to be a rather solid ending.

The Last Night: Vampire Knight Illustrations art book that comes with the limited edition pressing of Volume 19 is a hardcover book with 44 pages of color art. The art included in this book are illustrations from LaLa covers, chapter title pages from LaLa, “coming next issue” illustrations that appeared in LaLa, images from playing cards, an image from an announcement, covers for some of the tankobon releases, an image from a LaLa Slide-in Calendar, an image from a Star Portrait Set, images from the Grand Finale Event, images from New Year’s cards, and the cover illustration for Vampire Knight: Frail no Yume. This is a well-done art book, and the illustrations included in it are breathtaking. I think some very good image choices were made when deciding what art to include in the book. I believe this art book will be a real treat for fans of Vampire Knight.

Volume 19 left a significant impression on me after I read it. Between reading both Volume One and Volume 19, I now want to read Volumes 2-18 so I can better understand the series.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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