(Note: This was originally published on 10/12/2015)
I got this copy of Manga Classics: Emma by Stacy King through NetGalley. I’ve read a couple of manga stories, so I’m familiar with the motifs and exaggerated emotions. I don’t think purists will like this interpretation because of that, but I do think younger readers will like it.
The manga opens at the Weston’s wedding, and we meet Emma and her father. Soon we see Emma in action, trying, unsuccessfully, to be town matchmaker.
The costumes were sometimes Regency-esque, but Emma’s hair was long and down most of the time, which looked like a standard manga illustration, but would irk those of us familiar with Austen and more strict on their historical fashion preferences. (Personally, I’m a fan of playing with costuming.)
I will say that I appreciate that Knightley was highly attractive. I had never imagined him with a goatee, but somehow it works (and makes me feel a little weak in the knees). I think he didn’t come off as so much older than Emma, which a lot of movies do, and therefore less creepy.
I won’t spoil too much about how the other characters are portrayed, but I do like that Frank Churchill was drawn as a dandy. Which works for that London haircut trip.
There were times I didn’t like the exaggerated reactions, but that’s just because I feel really loyal to the original version and couldn’t imagine Emma freaking out to that degree.
The story was very abridged, but I will say it touched on the highlights of the novel and captured the overall feel of the original. Plus it’s a super quick read.
Who should read this?
Young Janeites-in-training. I think this is actually great for getting people into Jane Austen, but not good for people who are boring ass “purists.”
What to drink with this
I suggest a sweet, milky rose tea.
If you would like to submit a book for me to consider for review, please email Biancahknight @ gmail.com
Note: Does this blog seem familiar? In 2015 I wrote this for the now defunct Drunk Austen. I decided to revise and republish MY content on my own site.
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