Pride and Prejudice is a novel that’s very close to my heart, as I’m sure it is with a lot of other readers. It was one of my earliest introductions to sharp wit (alongside Oscar Wilde’s work) and also one of the first drama stories I ever read. It was one of my first classic reads and it gave me my first crush on a fictional character – Mr Collins was everything a girl could ever hope for! JUST KIDDING! How could it possibly be anyone other than Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy?
So when I found out that Udon Entertainment had released an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice in manga form I knew I had to read it! A beautiful story accompanied by beautiful pictures should be a treat for the senses!
I’m so glad I wasn’t wrong! This gorgeous edition was adapted by Stacy King and beautifully illustrated by the incredibly talented Po-Tse. The artwork might take newcomers to manga a little while to get used to, as it’s done in traditional Japanese manga style – everything is hyper-beautiful and hyper-stylised. Humans also seem to be very leggy too! But don’t worry; I’m sure you’ll get used to it! Another thing you might also have to get used to is that the adaptation reads like a traditional Japanese manga –from back to front and right to left.
The stunning illustrations help to really bring the emotions of the characters to life, as well as helping readers who aren’t used to classics to visualise other key scenes – such as the absolute absurdity that is Mr Collins.
The language is a simplified version of the source material, but it has to be to accommodate the page count and audience. With that being said, not all of the wit and romance that Austen so skilfully crafted has been lost in translation and it’s helps make this adaptation accessible to both fans and new readers alike.
There are a few changes and deviations from the original book but I believe this was done to help with the pacing. Some characters act a little out of character, for example there are some scenes where Elizabeth acts a little bit like Lydia, but this is manga – everything is overly melodramatic. Even Darcy has his moments!
The writing is weaker than the art work, but that is not a knock – Austen is a hard act to follow and a difficult author to adapt and do justice to!
I do think that younger readers will enjoy this more, but it’s also perfect for those who like drama and cutesy things. For most fans I think this will provide an enjoyable foray into the familiar and give them a new way to love a treasured story. But I do think that this would annoy any ‘purist’ fans, so if you’re incredibly protective over Pride and Prejudice then maybe give this a miss.
The original source material of Pride and Prejudice can be quite daunting for a lot of people due to language issues, and there are so many good screen adaptations that some people might not find it necessary to bother reading the original. I think that this manga adaptation (and please remember that this is an adaptation) is a great ‘meeting half-way’ method for an introduction to a classic story that’ll be enjoyable to existing fans and new readers alike.
[PLEASE NOTE]: I was given a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my review in a positive or negative way – all the opinions are honest and my own.