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Review ・ Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice Book Cover Pride and Prejudice
Manga Classics
Jane Austen, Adapted by Stacy King and illustrated by Po Tse
Manga
Udon Entertainment
August 19, 2014
Paperback
376

Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice comes to life in manga form.

Like many others I know, I grew up engrossed in Jane Austen’s delightful tales or romance and clever wit. I never liked most TV and movie adaptationsーthe exception being the BBC’s 1995 seriesーas they were either too stuffy, or completely unconvincing and unengaging. Which, given how well the novels have held up over the past 200 years, is a bit disappointing. So it was with mixed hope and dread I took on the manga version of the classic Pride and Prejudice, adapted by Stacy King and illustrated by Po Tse.

I was pleasantly surprised! I finished the book in just a matter of hours (and would have been finished sooner if I wasn’t interrupted by comparatively trivial things such as work and YJ… Just kidding, he’s an excellent distraction!) and really enjoyed it. At 376 pages of graphics and text, it can’t contain every single detail and some parts are not entirely true to the bookーthen again, neither were the TV or film adaptations. Having said that, Stacy King’s choice of original lines combined with modernized text and Po Tse’s sumptuous illustrations really brings the story to life. The duo picked the most important story elements and create an engaging and humorous adaptation worthy of the original. One example: Mrs. Bennet’s wild and ridiculous outbursts were emphasized by her changing into chibi form, making it all the more hilarious. In fact, I think I liked this Mrs. Bennet much moreーI could laugh at her silliness without feeling frustration over her exaggerated tirades that caused her older daughters so much angst.

As for the main characters Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, they are the epitome of a shojo manga couple. Eyes the size of soup dishes, but with the sass and intelligence due our heroine, Elizabeth is convincingーif a little bit too beautiful. Darcy is… Pretty much as you expect him to be, with the added visual of a rather spectacular six pack towards the end. Phwooar! (Colin Firth could only dream of those abs!)

All in all, I think it’s a great adaptation of a much loved novel and will appeal to Austen fans looking to rediscover the classic tale in a new form. I’d also recommend it as a way to ease into the classics for those unfamiliar with Austen’s worksーor even those looking to learn English. I know some of my Japanese friends would find this a more manageable text to read than the original.

Do you read manga or graphic novels? Would you consider reading a classic novel in manga format?



7 responses to “Review ・ Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice”

  1. Great article!
    Love to reading review about some other manga likes:
    One Piece, Naruto….

  2. Baca Manga says:

    Love this manga so much.
    Very interesting..

  3. Ria says:

    There is a manga of P&P?? Want!
    I’m guessing it’s in English?

    • Ri says:

      Yes! It’s in English and positively wonderful! REally enjoyed it. 🙂 There are plenty more great titles coming out too!

  4. Thanks! I haven’t really reviewed what I wrote this week yet (which was a lot – 12,0000 words) but at least the structure and the ideas are organized and put on paper.

    Hope your weekend is off to a fantastic start!
    Constance – Foreign Sanctuary recently posted…The Toughest Moment to Relive: Sharing the First Excerpt from My Book

  5. It is nice to see your blog taking a different angle by doing book reviews. The illustrated version sounds like a good take on a classic.

    I honestly haven’t been doing much reading these days. Besides reading blog posts, most of my time has been spent writing a book. Today I did the unthinkable and wrote 4000 (!!!) words. I just got in a writing groove and wrote and wrote and wrote some more.

    Happy Monday!! Hope it is nice and sunny in Japan like it is in Taiwan.
    Constance – Foreign Sanctuary recently posted…Taking Taiwan By Storm: 1600 Paper Pandas and 200 Paper Formosan Black Bears

    • Ri says:

      Yes, I’ve been meaning to get into book reviews since I started the blog but…ermm… sameーno reading! One of my resolutions is to read more though, so these should be a good motivator to continue! (I’ve already got a huge backlog, eek!)

      4000 in one day? Fantastic! That is really amazing! I’m glad it’s progressing so well. 🙂 Have you set a deadline for it yet?

      Happy Tuesday! (because I’m a bit late, whoops!) Weather is and was wonderful, loving it! (It was even better because I was in my beloved Osaka <3 ) Have a great week! 😀

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