This was my first manga, and I honestly didn’t really know what I should expect. Would it be confusing to read a book backwards? Would it be too cartoony? I had no idea, but I was really interested in finding out. I saw this at the library — they have a whole section of manga based on classic novels, and I plan on reading as many of these classics as I can at some point.
Pride & Prejudice was actually the perfect entry point for me to take into the world of manga. I know the story inside and out, so I knew it would make things easier for me when I slowly tried to figure out how to read from right to left. (This shouldn’t have even been a concern for me, as I made an almost instantaneous adjustment to this style.)
Also, so many of the characters in P & P — Mrs Bennett, Mr Collins, Lydia, Bingley — are already pretty much cartoonish. The manga drawing style really brings out their ridiculousness. I mean, come on. Look at Mrs. Bennett here:
I don’t think the style worked 100% of the time. Lizzy comes off as a bit more flighty and as silly as her younger sisters — the big eyes and the modernized sarcasm are a bit much. Darcy is drawn so that we immediately know he’s a villain, and we never really see his softer side. There isn’t a turning point for him here, where the reader says, “Ah-ha! Darcy’s not a bad guy at all!”. We just simply take Elizabeth’s word for it. Yes, he still helps Lydia with the whole Wickham situation, but we don’t see his smoldering puppy dog face that tells Lizzy, yes, I did this all for you. He still stands there awkwardly with his impossibly long legs, wild hair, and bad-guy eyes.
Minor complaints, really. This was still a fun, quick read. I think I’ll try The Scarlet Letter next. 3 1/2 stars.