Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice

Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice is graphic version of P&P, plus with gorgeous hairstyles, spastic Mrs. Bennett, and — most importantly — Darcy’s shirt just can’t stay on.  The sisters of Longborne are beautiful in the typical fantasy-manga style of ringlets, roses, and tiered skirts, in direct contrast poor, plain Charlotte, and the hilariously exaggerated Mr. Collins. Mrs. Bennett is sometimes a typical matron, but then gets overexcited thinking about weddings or Jane’s beauty or money or lovely Jane marrying Bingley’s money, and becomes comically exaggerated, sometimes even superdeformed, which is pretty much her character if you think about it.

The major change from the novel made Sir Lucas a ridiculous character. In the novel, Sir Lucas is slightly new money, having earned his wealth in trade and purchased his title, rather than honorably inheriting money and title. In the manga, though, his tackiness knows no bounds, and he’s almost a male Mrs. Bennet in his nosiness. It’s not as subtle as the novel, but I’m not sure how well snarky references to the Bennett sisters having an uncle in trade and having a neighbor who purchased his title would translate visually. At any rate, a ridiculous Sir Lucas  makes Charlotte’s marriage to Mr. Collins more believable: After many years with her father, her new husband won’t be much strain.

Giddy and self-centered Lydia translated perfectly. She was constantly self-absorbed, except when she was absorbed in handsome officers in smart uniforms.

shirtless darcy

Mr. Darcy, composing a heartfelt letter with his shirt open. Because why not?

Although I enjoyed the art and liked the concept of a graphic novel P&P, it took me a depressingly long time to adjust to the “backwards” manga layout.  Fortunately, I’m pretty familiar with the story (understatement) and the dialogue makes it clear when you’re reading panels in the wrong order.

I’m always interested in a reinvention of  P&P, but I particularly enjoyed the  ball at Netherfield for the contrast between the elaborate formal-wear and hairstyles of the doe-eyed Bennett sisters and the gauche  comments from superdeformed Mrs. Bennett.

I have a lot of feelings about Pride And Prejudice spinoffs:

More Janeites:

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