Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Released: May 12th 2015
I received a copy of Manga Classics: Emma from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I can’t say enough positive things about Manga Classics. I adore the idea of taking the classics and putting them into new and potentially more approachable mediums. With any luck this will help get more kids (and adults!) to read the classics, which is a worthy goal if I’ve ever seen one. I’m still not-so-secretly hoping for a Secret Garden version, or perhaps a Little Women one; though honestly at this point I’ll take anything that is offered to me.
I have to confess, even though I’m a huge Jane Austin fan, I’ve never been able to get through Emma. I’m not sure if it just wasn’t keeping my attention, or something else. I’ve tried the book multiple times, and even the audio book version. No luck. Even the movie failed the hold my attention (though admittedly I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to movie adaptations for novels). When I saw the manga version I knew I had to at least give it a try.
Reading Emma in manga form…it changed everything for me. Suddenly I found myself enthralled, and ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting. I am so grateful for Stacy King and Crystal S. Chan to have made this for us. It really proved that the concept does work – sometimes a change of medium is all you need to add a whole new level of appreciation to a work.
From my multiple attempts at reading Emma, I have a pretty decent understanding of Emma’s character (which I suspect is the reason I ended up giving up so many times). I believe that her slightly silly and shallow manger was portrayed perfectly here, as were the rest of the characters.
Despite the fact that there’s a rather large cast in Emma, the artist managed to make all of them distinct and easy to recognize (for which I’m very grateful for). Second to the character designs were the clothing designs, which were perfect. The dressed were simple or exquisite, depending on what was called for, and status was easily identified based on the clothing style and type.
While I don’t think I enjoyed Emma quite as much as Pride & Prejudice, there’s no doubt in my mind that it was due to the original story, as opposed to anything else. I’m so happy I finally managed to get all the way through a version of Emma. I can’t wait to start reading the next Manga Classics book!