Ah, manga. The prettification and over-exaggeration of human anatomy. The over-emphasis of character emotions and actions. The effing BIG, super-expressive eyes. To be utilized as an art form for a classic like Pride and Prejudice…now that. That is an epic–and yet unsurprising–undertaking.
MANGA CLASSICS: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Adapted by Stacy King, Illustrated by Po Tse
Udon Entertainment, August 2014
Regency romance, graphic novel
provided by NetGalley
Goodreads: 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 don’t often gush about the classics, but I will unabashedly say that I am one of the Austenites populating the interwebs. There is something about Jane Austen’s bonnet and bustle Regency romances that still make me all mushy inside, and maybe Colin Firth had something to do with it, but Fitzwilliam Darcy is certainly one of those swoon-worthy romantic interests that I will eternally consider my book boyfriend.
Now that that introduction is out of the way, when I found out that Netgalley was sending out review copies of a MANGA based on one of my favorite Austen novels ever, my reaction was definitely to request it.
I actually did not find the manga-fication too much of a stretch, because some of Austen’s characters are often exaggerated to a point of being comical. The best renditions, I thought, were Lady Catherine de Bourgh (whose lean, hawkish features matched her austere and snobbish manner) and–hands down–Mrs. Bennet (who was on point and even more hilarious in the manga than in my favorite Firth-Ehle adaptation).
Stacy King did quite a great job editing the major portions into the manga, though I thought it was a bit rushed in some of the details–especially the matter with Caroline Bingley and Jane, and Caroline Bingley and Darcy. It’s understandable to take out random scenes, but I suppose that little awkward “Darcy watches Caroline and Elizabeth walking across the room” might not add much to the situation. Still, it was easier to make out Darcy’s gradual attraction to Liz in Austen’s original. This adaptation was a little bit more abrupt, like Darcy suddenly had some heaven-and-earth revelation brought on when Liz became flustered and inadvertently batted her pretty lashes.
That all said: the illustrations. My gosh. I thought Mr. Bennet was well done, for one. Collins was weird (but I wasn’t really expecting much of him, considering). I so wanted Liz’s hair–though I thought it was left too loose most of the time, which I don’t exactly imagine happens often in the time period. And my gosh. Darcy’s cape. Darcy’s hair. Darcy’s frelling cravat. So overly snort-worthy giggly that I couldn’t help but love it. That’s just me, though.
Though to be honest, my Darcy looks closer to these men than anything else. Hem hem. Anyway, where was I?
Oh yeah. Thanks much, Netgalley, for indulging me a bit with this manga.
4 out of 5 Goodreads stars!