Book Reviews

Reviews — Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice and Les Miserables

 

Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice adapted by Stacy King, illustrated by Po Tse
&
Manga Classics: Les Miserables adapted by Crystal Silvermoon, script by Stacy King, illustrated by SunNeko Lee


Book title: Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice
Author: adapted by Stacy King, illustrated by Po Tse
Series: Manga Classics
Publisher: UDON Entertainment (Morpheus Publishing Limited)
Release date: August 2014
Format: Paperback, 268 pages
Source: Library.

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Synopsis:

Beloved by millions the world over, Pride & Prejudice is delightfully transformed in this bold, new manga adaptation. All of the joy, heartache, and romance of Jane Austen’s original, perfectly illuminated by the sumptuous art of manga-ka Po Tse, and faithfully adapted by Stacy E. King.


Banner - The Review

Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice was my first ever manga that I read all the way through! I’ve read a bits and pieces of a few manga books at Barnes and Noble when I was in middle school, but for the longest time I just wasn’t very big into the manga thing, and reading from “back to front” and right to left. But since I’m now a big graphic novel fan, I decided, why not finally see what manga is all about? Or, at least introduce myself to the genre.

Manga Pride and Prejudice is Pride and Prejudice told through the manga art medium, as is rather obvious. Stacy King adapted the famous story by Jane Austen and Po Tse illustrated the book. The artwork is in black and white, and is absolutely beautiful and detailed. All the characters, especially the girls, have gigantic eyes, and the dashing male love interests have cheekbones and jaws sharp as knives. Elizabeth Bennet felt a little watered-down compared to her original novel and and even 2005 film adaptation equivalents. And I actually liked Jane the most of all the sisters, but that’s probably because I kept imagining Rosamund Pike, who is one of the most beautiful women on the planet. (And I just have to mention: I think Emily Browning is the most beautiful woman on the planet. Okay, moving on.) Speaking of the incredibly amazing and faithful 2005 film, it was like I was reading the storyboards for it, only manga style! This was not a bad thing at all. It’s been many years since I read Pride and Prejudice, so it was nice being able to instantly recognize all the scenes and know what was coming next. The manga does add a sort of epilogue that entails Lizzie’s wedding, which obviously is not in the book or the film, but I do understand why it was placed in this manga adaptation.

Overall, I am very happy with my first foray into manga. This was was a great introduction to the medium. Mrs. Bennet was hilarious in here, much like how she was portrayed in the 2005 film, and she was probably my favorite character in this manga. Although… nobody can beat Mr. Darcy. Where I can find my own Mr. Darcy? Because in this manga, he’s a hunk. (But I’ll take Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen any day.) ♦


Book title: Les Miserables
Author: adapted by Crystal Silvermoon, script by Stacy King, illustrated by SunNeko Lee
Series: Manga Classics
Publisher: UDON Entertainment (Morpheus Publishing Limited)
Release date: August 2014
Format: Paperback, 329 pages
Source: Library.

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Synopsis:

Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo’s classic novel of love and tragedy set in 19th century France is reborn in this fantastic new manga edition!

Gorgeous and expressive art brigns to life the unforgettable stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and the tragic Fantine in this epic adaptation of Les Misérables!


Banner - The Review

Right after reading Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice, I picked up Manga Classics: Les Miserables. I am very familiar with the stage musical, 1998 film, and 2012 movie musical, although I haven’t read that beast of a book by Victor Hugo, and I really don’t foresee myself ever reading it. Les Miserables takes place before and during the French Revolution, and follows Jean Valjean, a convict who creates a new life for himself but is constantly being pursued by Inspector Javert.

Manga Les Mis, like Manga Pride and Prejudice, seems to closely follow the classic novel’s well-known film adaptation almost scene-by-scene. I did mash together actors from both the 1998 and 2012 films, picturing Valjean as Liam Neeson, Javert as Geoffrey Rush, Marius as Eddie Redmayne, and Eponine as Samantha Barks. Now, you may be thinking, But manga books are basically graphic novels, just in the manga art style! Why aren’t you picturing all the characters as they’re drawn by the artist? Well, I dunno, I guess I’m weird. There were some characters in the manga I didn’t attach any actor to, like this book’s Fantine and Cosette, for instance (um, maybe because I don’t like Anne Hathaway or Amanda Seyfried that much?). My brain was just imagining things a bit differently than when I read Manga Pride and Prejudice and I really don’t know why.

The black and white artwork by SunNeko Lee is very pretty, and from what I can tell, there aren’t any notable additions or cuts from the main story. I’m very impressed by these great manga adaptations of classic literature, and I will be running out to read the next installments in this manga series. (Also, I’m still not entirely used to reading from right to left, and when I then read a regular graphic novel after reading a manga, I was so thrown off and confused as to what order to read the panels in, haha.) ♦


Banner - So Tell Me

Have you read Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice?
How about Manga Classics: Les Miserables?
If you haven’t, would you be interested to?
And have you read any manga?
Have you read the original P&P or Les Mis?
Comment below letting me know!
And, as always, happy reading!

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2 thoughts on “Reviews — Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice and Les Miserables

  1. Yes to all the questions!
    I started reading manga in high school, & kept up (sporadically) with a few favorites. I actually love reading right to left ( but I sometimes do it on accident while reading American grapic novels!)
    The manga classics series sounds like a good way to introduce manga format and style, as well as classic lit. You should check out some of the Manga Shakespeare series – which are pretty cool.
    I have read both P&P and Les Mis (two of my all time favorite novels!!). P&P is even better as a book (though the movies are good), & I’ve read it a few times. Les Mis . . . is epic but not easy. Reading it is a labor of love, but a rewarding one!! The movies capture the themes (& the stage musical does it best!), but there is a ton of story that never made it in.

    Like

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