Review: Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, Stacy King, and Po Tse

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Published: 19 August 2014

Publisher: Udon Entertainment

Category: Sequential Art/Manga/Classics

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.

Rating: 4 Stars

Pride & Prejudice is probably Jane Austen’s most well-known book and as I like both that story and the art form of manga, I thought the opportunity to read a manga adaptation of such a classic story would be a good time.

Stacy King did a very good job in adapting the novel into a manga. Since there is limited space in which to describe things, her working with the artist Po Tse needed to be flawless so that action, dialogue, and environment could come together in picture form rather than words. For the most part I think that they succeeded. There were moments when I think that characters were plumped up a bit in the adaptation, though that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Lydia, for example, the errant younger sister of Elizabeth Bennett, has many annoying and selfish qualities which were intensified in certain scenes, particularly after the militia men removed themselves from Meryton.

Art

Po Tse, the manga-ka that tackled the project of bringing Jane Austen’s classic to life, did a fabulous job in many ways. The details, such as hairstyles and clothing, were very well done and intricate. Buildings were streamlined in the correct places and in others had the angles that gave them the grandeur that one envisions when picturing Netherfield or Pemberley. Breaking this up were some panels where characters like Mrs. Bennett became chibis (smaller caricatures of themselves) that added some levity that was funny.

What I did not like after a bit, because it became a tiresome wear on the eyes, was the overuse of a glamour style on the primary female characters Elizabeth and Jane. I know we’re meant to understand that they’re beautiful enough to outshine the others in their towns and attract the attention of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, but the style of their eyes in particular felt overly heavy handed after a few pages.

Summary

This adaptation had all of the classic scenes that one might expect to see: the proposals, the scene between Darcy and Elizabeth in the rain, the balls, and more. It was easy to see that the people working on this book, from script adapter King to artist Po Tse, were dedicated to making sure that Austen’s work made the transition to this art form successfully.

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.
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2 thoughts on “Review: Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, Stacy King, and Po Tse

  1. This seems like an interesting adaptation. But something that I’d be considering as an adaptation rather than reading as a straightforward story. It seems like the art is really calling attention to itself and I’m not sure I’d be able to stop wondering why certain artistic choices were made.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were certain parts where I can assume why choices were made, such as when Mrs. Bennett was acting out and she’s be portrayed as a chibi character (i.e. her looking ridiculous for the moment). Using that art style for the humorous points was used well, at least.

      It’s definitely interesting to read as an adaptation. I wouldn’t say it’s a replacement for reading the novel, but it might be good if someone’s not into novels. A manga format might interest them in the classics, like this, Les Miserables, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

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