Manga Classics – Pride and Prejudice was an adaptation I didn’t know I needed. As a fan of both Jane Austen and manga this was a perfect fit for me. It had an adaptation of the story I love paired with the nuances unique to manga. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the many caricatured faces of Mrs. Bennett in her pursuit to marry of her five daughters.
For those unfamiliar with the story Mrs. Bennett and her husband have five eligible daughters out in society: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia. Due to the custom at the time the estate of Mr. Bennett is entitled to a distant cousin, Mr. Collins, since he has no direct male heir of his own. When a rich gentlemen, Mr. Bingley, arrives and meets their eldest daughter, Jane, Mrs. Bennett takes no time in scheming in hopes of a marriage proposal to save her daughters from destitution.
Narrated from the perspective of Elizabeth we see the societal constrains between classes, the ups and downs of those whom she loves most and her inevitable matching with the prideful Mr. Darcy. Often attempted but never reproduced this story is timeless and beloved across the globe.
Writer Stacy King adapted Austen for it’s newest medium. She kept the general tone of Austen but modernized the language to keep in step with it’s new style. Harder yet was that it was told in traditional manga style which is from right to left starting from what is considered the back of the book in America. Because of this it’s worth noting that this adaptation may not be for everyone.
I don’t have an extensive background in manga but I have a respect for the genre and a slight collection of anime. Because of this I was able to relate to scenes from Sailor Moon, Revolutionary Girl Utena and Peach Girl just to name a few. You don’t often find our main characters reflect in a sea of roses when sharing their innermost thoughts or when being complimented in the previous panel. It was this, however, that made it special to me and kept me entranced until I finished it.
Be brave, fair readers, and give Manga Classics a chance. You can pick up your copy here. Les Miserables and The Scarlet letter are also available.