Review: Pride and Prejudice (Manga Classics)

Manga Classics: Pride & PrejudiceManga Classics: Pride & Prejudice
by Stacy King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

MANGA CLASSICS: Pride and Prejudice / B01LW0JIK6

I love a lot of Jane Austen, but I've always been the odd one out in English major circles for not caring much for Pride and Prejudice. I liked the plot just fine, but I never could get around not liking Darcy. At all. Even a little bit.

No, no, come back! The thing is, despite the fact that he's very proud and reserved and shy and such, it did feel like he spent so much of the novel being rude to Elizabeth that it was hard for me to stomach the turnaround later. This manga adaptation of P&P does an excellent job of overcoming that barrier for me by adding that most powerful tool in the actor's toolbox: facial expressions. We're able to see Darcy's embarrassment, chagrin, and regret as actions unfold and I find I like him so much better when his cutting remarks are accompanied by a wincing expression as he reflects on what he's just said.

Overall, I feel this is an excellent adaption of the source material and I stayed up late reading until the end, which is quite a feat given that I already knew the ending! The art is gorgeous, especially for Elizabeth and Jane, and I feel that the supporting characters and side panels are well-depicted in ways that better foreshadow Darcy's concerns (which make his actions easier to stomach, understand, and forgive). I will add that there are some cutesy "chibi-style" panels where Mrs Bennet is a little tiny doll waving her arms around; nothing manga fans won't be used to.

The only thing I did not like is that Mr Collins is drawn in a very strange style and he stands out against the more realistic characters; I realize we aren't supposed to like him but his cartoonish appearance in contrast to the others made his arc difficult to enjoy. It was just very jarring. I considered taking a star off for that, but the rest of the book is so good that I think it overcomes that fault. I'll say 4.5 stars, rounded up.

NOTE: This review is based on a free electronic Advance Review Copy of this book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

~ Ana Mardoll


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