Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Released: April 1st 2017
I received a copy of Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
When I saw that Manga Classics had done a version of the Count of Monte Cristo, I knew right away I had to read it. The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite classic novels, so I was very curious to see how well it would handle being adapted into a manga version. I’ve read classics that have been converted into manga by Crystal S. Chan before, so I had no worries about her competence in this case. Though I’ll admit when I was reading her notes on the back I was incredibly impressed (and a little jealous) to see that she had actually done research on location in some cases.
I love the amount of research and effort that is put into the manga classics. There are little details that were included that I also greatly appreciated – such as the family tree of characters at the back, which neatly explained whom was connected to whom and why.
The Count of Monte Cristo is by no means a small novel, coming in at nine hundred and twenty-eight pages (depending on which print version you buy, of course). It must have been no small feat to condense it into a mere four hundred pages. It is understandable that after cutting out five hundred-odd pages from the novel that the pace would change dramatically. Traditionally the Count of Monte Cristo is a slow building story, with actions that don’t fully make sense until the reasoning is revealed towards the end. In the manga version the pace is sped up a bit, so the reasoning is explained in more rapid succession. I still greatly enjoyed reading the manga version – just be aware that it is a different experience to be had.
The artwork for the Count of Monte Cristo is phenomenal. There are so many characters to have to create designs for, and to then have them all be distinct and immediately identifiable. I’m sure it was a challenge, but one that Nokman Poon met with great success. I actually believe that this cover may be my favorite out of all of them – if a print of it was available I can assure you I’d be tempted to buy it and hang it up someplace (again, Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite novels).