Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Review: Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility

About the Book

Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility by Stacy King, Po Tse, and Jane Austen
Published on August 9, 2016 by Udon Entertainment

GoodReads Description

Impulsive Marianne Dashwood and cautious Elinor are as different as two sisters could be, yet both are shattered by their father's sudden Death. Elinor's attachment to the reserved Edward Ferrars is torn asunder by family opposition and his own dark secret, while Marianne's brilliant romance with the dashing John Willoughby comes to a tumultuous end in a devastating public betrayal. Can the two sisters overcome these trials to find true, lasting happiness?

Jane Austen's beloved first novel, filled with romance, redemption and social critique, is brought to life for a modern audience in this gorgeous manga-style adaptation!


My Thoughts

Sometimes, it's really easy to be an English teacher.  The students can be interested in the literature or in the creative writing.  Most of the time, it's a struggle.  The kids typically don't see the intrigue or the entertainment in reading classic literature.  Most of the kids will say that they think it's boring or dry because they simply don't want to admit that the archaic language tends to make these stories rather inaccessible.  Many of my students struggle with reading pieces at their reading level, let alone anything that could challenge them.  I mention this not to make my students sound unintelligent, but to emphasize the usefulness of graphic novels in the classroom.

Cue in Udon Entertainment's Manga Classic Series.

Unfortunately, I have not had the pleasure to teach with this series.  I would jump at the chance.  

I found their rendition of Sense and Sensibility absolutely delightful!  They did a terrific job in a tremendous number of ways.  In the interest of brevity, I will only discuss two here.

First, I loved the illustrations.  I have read graphic novels in the past that made it difficult to differentiate between settings and characters.  There was no confusion in this one.  It was so easy to tell which house the action was happening in and who the different characters were.  And, as an added bonus, if there was EVER any question, King and Tse made sure to clearly and artistically label it so that confusion was swiftly blasted away.

Second, the abridgment of the novel was done rather well.  The story was told so well that I believe the most complex details could be easily understood by students.  The language was kept rather similar to Austen's original writing, which would make for an easy transition from the graphic novel to the original should a person seek a more challenging or more "authentic" experience.

The biggest issue that I found, however, was that the digital copy that I received started at the wrong end of the book.  I hated having to click through to the last page and click on the wrong side of the page to turn it.  This definitely took away some of my reading enjoyment.  I understand, and appreciate, the authenticity of the manga style.  I just think that this particular formatting was rather annoying.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book and am excited to read others in the series.

My Rating