Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Review: 'Pride & Prejudice' from MangaClassics

21433253My last manga review didn't go down too well, not because of the format but because it was an adaptation of Les Miserables, which is simply not a book for me. I am happy to announce that I enjoyed this Manga Classics product a lot more. I received a copy of this manga in exchange for an honest review.
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
I am a massive Jane Austen fan and Pride & Prejudice is, probably, my favourite Jane Austen novel. It is a classic and is a novel that I know is read by thousands, if not millions, of people. As such, I am excited every time I see it being adapted in different ways. Mangas are read by a lot of different people and before I get into the details of the review, I want to go on record saying that seeing different cultures come together, even if it is as obvious as Jane Austen being adapted into a Japanese comic-style, it warms my heart. Literature is one of the key ways in which a culture expresses itself, no matter in which form, may it be oral, visual or literary. If people can meet on this level they may actually get to know one another.

Now, let's put the emotions to the side and get to business. Something I really enjoyed was the way that Stacy E. King adapted Jane Austen's use of language. One of the best things about Pride & Prejudice is the way in which characters are formed by the way in which they speak. I was really worried that the reader would somehow miss out on the language in this Manga Classics edition, since I know it is largely a visual medium. However, King managed to both adapt Austen's words into something new and fresh while maintaining some of the novel's key phrases. There were moments while reading that I just perked up, recognizing a turn of phrase etc., and it just made the whole reading experience really fun for someone who has read Pride & Prejudice repeatedly.

The artist, or manga-ka, for this Manga Classics was Po Tse, who did a great job. Somehow the manga style really fitted Austen's story. Although at times I wished for Austen's acerbic wit, I thought the drawings were stunning. The pure drama which is added through the illustrations rather than just the words is something which I really enjoyed. At times I had to stop myself from flying over the page too quickly and actually take the time to look at each panel and consider it. Although perhaps the romance at time overwhelmed Austen's words, Po Tse and Stacy King worked together very well and here present a great adaptation of a classic.

I give this manga...

4 Universes!

I enjoyed this manga a lot! I was really looking forward to seeing how different story lines would be interpreted by the writer and the artist. The ability to adapt a story as classic as Pride & Prejudice in a way that is fresh and new is quite impressive. I would recommend this to fans of Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice, but also to those well-seasoned manga readers amongst you who want to try something new.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really curious about what kind of adaptation this is. I'm not familiar with "Manga Classics".