Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Pub Date 11 Mar 2015 | Archive Date Not set
Udon Entertainment, UDON Entertainment
is a great sense of drama conveyed by the illustrations. They are
masterfully crafted to portray the emotions invoked by the situations
Hester and other characters are in." --San Francisco Book Review
Be sure to look for Manga Classics at the 2017 National Council of Teachers of English annual conference (Publisher Spotlight Booth #536) in St. Louis, the 2017 American Association of School Librarians in Phoenix (Booth 918), the Association of Middle Level Educators (Publisher Spotlight Booth #328), ALA 2018 Winter Meetings in Denver and the Texas Library Association's annual convention in Dallas.
Each title in the Manga Classics world is created with lesson plans and teacher’s guides-all available for free downloads on our website!
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 521 members
Another Manga Classics of another amazing classic novel! After reading Pride and Prejudice, I just needed to read other adaptations that this series included. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a tragic novel and I was curious to see how it would work out. As it turned out, there wasn't any reason for me to worry, as the manga did justice to this touching story.
Hester Prynne is disgraced publicly after having an affair and an illegitimate child with a man that she refuses to reveal his name. For this reason she's put in prison and is forced to wear the scarlet letter A, to mark her as a sinner. In the meantime, Hester's husband comes to town and upon learning what his wife has done, he hides his identity and wants to seek vengeance from the mysterious man. Many years pass, the child grows up, Hester lives a life more virtuous than the most respectable of her neighbours, her husband finds the man responsible and makes his life a living hell. The story is well-known and really sad. One of the most touching scenes is when Pearl asks her mother what the letter A means and how she got it. Hester at this points lives quietly and even the town's counselor is thinking about letting her put the letter away, but she has to lie to her daughter, she can't let her know that this marks her as a sinner.
The adaptation of this novel was as good as the one in Pride and Prejudice. Every important scene was included, giving us the chance to witness not only the progression of the story, but the changes in the characters as well. Sometimes the dialogues felt less heavy than in the actual novel, but this fact made it easier to get through, so I wouldn't say that it bothered me. I also thought that some of the dialogue was transformed in a way that would be easier for the modern reader to digest. So, even if someone hasn't read the original novel would be drawn to the story. Of course, if you are a purist you may find this disturbing.
Judging only from the cover I suspected that the illustration would be beautiful. And I was absolutely right! The faces of the protagonists were so expressive that even without reading the dialogue I could guess what they were thinking. The expression Hester had on her face when she was holding baby Pearl, during her public shaming, was astounding. The angry and defensive face transformed into a tender one, just by looking at her baby. The change on Arthur's face, the husband of Hesther, from the beginning of the novel, also showed what he felt and how his need for vengeance transformed him into a different and malicious man, a fiend as he called himself. Baby Pearl was just so cute, and even a little older she was cute as well, with those big innocent eyes and the bright smile. Another aspect that I really loved about the illustration was the letter A. Most of the the manga are black and white, but in this one the A was always painted red. This not only underlined the letter that gave its name to the novel, but also stood as a constant reminder of the significance it had on the lives of the protagonists.
The Scarlet Letter confirmed what I thought about Manga Classics and now I seriously need to find and read any other adaptations there are in the series. If you are an old fan of the classic novel, or a new reader, I believe you will enjoy greatly this version. It's a different take on the story, but without losing any of it's essence.
Manga Classics are very popular and highly coveted by the Students that go to my library. I had been asked about this specific title by a student a few months back. Manga Classics is making classics accessible to a new generation.
Graphic novels are all the rage in the book community right now, and I decided to test out the genre for myself with this manga edition of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I'll be completely honest here. I was assigned The Scarlet Letter during my junior year of high school, and never finished it. I remember the writing being a bit complex at the time, and I also pitied Dimmesdale when my classmates (and teachers!) completely bashed him. I put the book down and haven't looked back.
The idea of the Manga Classics series is thus very intriguing. I was able to finally find out how The Scarlet Letter ends, and I saw the story depicted in pictures to help me visualize it even better. While I cannot say how accurate this adaptation is to the original novel, I can say that it made me want to pick up The Scarlet Letter and actually give it a second chance. This manga was a super quick read, but one that was emotional and intriguing. I couldn't put it down until I was done!
I am no art critic, but I did find the art very interesting in this book. The artwork is done completely in black and white with the exception of the scarlet letter, which is shown in red throughout the book. I thought that was a very smart decision – it really makes the 'A' stand out on Hester's chest, and draws the reader's eye towards it in every scene. I did find that some of the imagery didn't fit in with the story's tone or time period, but overall it was very well done and certainly added a lot to the reading experience.
I also thought it was great that this book included a guide on reading manga at the beginning for newbies like me. It did take a few pages for me to get used to reading right to left, but I soon got the hang of it. I also liked how the book concludes with some passages about the original novel, and how the authors made choices in this adaptation based on The Scarlet Letter's history. Unfortunately, I couldn't read these passages on the eARC version of the book (the print was small and blurry), but they look like a solid addition from what I could see.
All in all, I really enjoyed Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. I think it would make a great companion to anyone studying The Scarlet Letter in school, or to anyone who is interested in reading classic literature but has a difficult time understanding it. I am definitely interested in picking up the original novel now, and want to check out more Manga Classics in the future. I highly recommend checking out this series!
This was an amazing adaptation of The Scarlet Letter. I feel that it kept so much of what has made the book a classic. This is a version of the story that can be enjoyed by all kinds of readers, from the experienced to the reluctant. I'd love to see this become a staple in English classes. It emphasizes the points Nathaniel Hawthorne tried to make and the summary at the end was spot on. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series!
I've never read the original Hawthorne novel - it's always looked a bit heavy and intimidating to me - so when I found the option to read it in manga form, I jumped at the chance. I'm completely new to manga, so I found the instructions at the beginning invaluable. You read from the back of the book, and from right to left. It hurt my brain at first, but you soon get into the swing of things!
The story basically follows a young woman called Hester Prynne, who is found guilty of adultery and is the mother of an illegitimate child. The punishment at that time for such a sin was a term of imprisonment, and the perpetrator was forced to where a badge bearing the letter 'A' in red, marking her out as a sinful woman.
Having never read the original novel, I obviously can't comment on how closely this adaptation sticks to it. I was, however, so impressed by the richness of the characters, and by how much life the beautiful art breathed into the story. Obviously the pictures aren't drawn to be true-to-life depictions of human beings, but in that freedom there was no less truth. Does that make sense? This story is told by cartoons, but it's the most complex and moving thing I've read in a while.
I'm coming to realise that I'm probably the worst person to review this: I have no idea whether the dialogue was especially sharp (I thought it was great), or whether the page design was anything special (I loved it), or even if the length was normal (I gobbled it up in one sitting - figuratively). I am, however, really glad that this was my introduction to manga. I thought it was tight, well-crafted, and a really beautiful adaptation of a novel that I'm sure I'll get round to reading...some time. I think it will inspire a lot of people to give the chunkier version a chance.
I’ve been looking for something like this all my life yet didn’t know it until I picked up Manga Classics! In high school, The Scarlet Letter was required reading and although I found the plot interesting enough, the writing style was far too dry and antiquated for me, making it a pain to read.
However, I grew up reading manga by the boatload, so the combination of classic literature with familiar bubbly illustrations sucked me in right away. This book is structured in the traditional manga format, in which the pages are read from right to left. In addition, like most comics, the inside illustrations are black and white, not full color (with the exception of Hester’s scarlet A, which was a fitting choice). The art style is lovely and engrossing. In addition, each character’s appearance is distinctive and conveys their inner personality traits.
As for the content, the manga remains faithful to the original story with a few carefully chosen artistic embellishments that serve to deepen the story’s themes (such as the depiction of Roger Chillingworth with snakes behind him, an image inspired by a description from the book). It also contains the typical manga dramatization of emotional reactions as well as the occasional exposition-filled dialogue, but overall the authors did an excellent job condensing the main scenes, and I can tell they tried to retain some of the text’s subtlety.
There’s also a highly informative authors’ note section at the end that explains how they went about adapting the original text and discusses the metaphors within the original story as well as how the authors’ artistic choices attempt to reflect those themes. As the creators state, the manga version is meant as a supplement to the original text rather than a substitute, and it serves its purpose well.
After reading this version of the story, I now have a renewed appreciation for the depth and uniqueness of Hawthorne’s original novel. My thanks go out to NetGalley, the publishers, and the authors for providing a free digital copy in exchange for my honest review. I look forward to reading more Manga Classics in the near future!
Makes The Scarlet Letter so approachable. Definitely my favorite of the series so far.
I quite enjoy reading these. This series of Manga Classics are just the best. I showed it to a couple of friends who also enjoyed reading the original literature and commented on how creative the artists were to recreate the book and bring the characters to life. Thank you for the opportunity to read The Scarlet Letter in an alternative format. I think teens would be delighted to read this book, especially teens that have a distaste for reading.
The first thing that caught my eye about this ARC was that I had to read last page to first page! Yes you read that right. Manga follows the custom of being read from right to left, so what may appear to us as the last page in fact is the first page.
With that being said, the portrayal of the characters was convincing. Arthur Dimmesdale is shown characteristically with an air of melancholy about him and his speeches brimmed with pathos. Furthermore, Rev. Dimmesdale kept clutching his robes where it had closest proximity to his heart. This characterized him rightfully to show that something was amiss and troubling his heart.
Dr. Chillingworth on the other hand was shown with shrewd-narrow eyes and a snake aura. In Christian symbolism I believe snakes denote Satan himself. The manga artists choice of rendition seems to indicate that Chillingworth had succumbed to his darker side in his path of vengeance.
Hester Prynn is shown as a beautiful and determined woman. The scarlet letter or "A" that she wears owing to her adultery... soon symbolizes her "ableness" as a seamstress, and later on after she assists her fellow townsfolk the A transforms into "Angelic" as testified by Arthur Dimmesdale himself. Her decision to settle at the edge of town can possibly indicate that while she wants nothing to do with society, she doesn't want to forsake it altogether as well.
Then there's Pearl, with her wild nature, and elfish appearance. In the original Pearl had elements of magic in her, which was an anti-thesis to the cold hard and rigid life that the puritans had come to lead.
As for the Puritan townsfolk, they appeared to be a bigoted group of reactionaries who treated sin like it was the last vestiges of bubonic plague. Their biggest failing was that they did not use the context to pass judgement but instead generalized their dealings with sinners. In Hester's case, she had been married off to a scholar old enough to be her grandfather and someone who was said to have died at sea with no one reporting him to be alive for 2 years. If she fell in love with someone else during that time then that is not in itself a sin.
The manga's version just like the original novel questions whether or not Hester was the true sinner or of it was Dr. Roger Chillingworth for failing to understand the circumstances that led to Hester's folly and forgiving her, and if Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale was to blame for letting Hester Prynne take all of the blame and be a bulls eye for social stigma for several years.
Keeping all of this in mind, the manga takes a classic and turns it into a format which can be picked up and finished in a matter of hours (1 hr 15 mins in my case) and it does this without losing the sophistication of the original. I hope to see more from the manga classics series in due time and process.
The Scarlet Letter is a classic tale by Nathaniel Hawthorne; Although I remember hearing about this book throughout my High School Career, I didn't know hardly anything about the story. All I knew was there was a woman wearing a red letter A, For a student who disliked following the curriculum list...it was definitely on my 'Avoid at all Costs List'. However since reading Udon Entertainment's 'Les Miserables'...I've come to find that Classics aren't always as frustrating or boring to read as I once thought.
It is in this Tale that we are introduced to Hester Prynne, A woman living during the puritan days of New England. Hester is a woman forced to bear the mark of her Adulterous Sin via wearing a stitched Red Patch of the Letter A upon her chest. A mark for which she is disliked and shunned by the community and those who recognize the meaning of the mark.
It is upon this starting point that we delve a bit deeper into many issues and struggles with overcoming obstacles and moral standing. It begs the question of can one move forward despite past transgressions? Or will the sins of your past overwhelm and haunt you?
The answers are of course up to interpretation and is seen by a myriad of perspectives throughout the story. Which leads to all of the characters that we as readers are introduced to...For example it seems as if Hester Prynne accepts her fate and moves on to do better in her life while other characters allow their feelings of guilt to consume them, corrupt them or even torment them.
The artwork certainly does a marvelous job of capturing the essence of the characters, from their expressions to the minute details of each scene. The backdrops and backgrounds add another level of this element and even helps to foreshadow many of the on-going emotions and feelings of the characters. It encapsulates the full meaning behind the prose and metaphoric sentences, that some may find difficult to breakdown on it's own. The added visuals help guide the reader to understand the feeling behind the words, thus allowing those younger or less experienced readers be able to navigate through the story without much hindrance. I also loved the juxtaposition of the Red inked Letter A against the Black and White print and Art. It drove home just how in a world of black and white, Of right and wrong...Just how attention-grabbing that would have been to see a Scarlet symbol embroidered on your clothes at the time and how it would feel like to be labeled as your sin.
All in all, it is an emotional tale worth reading.
Again, another job well done to Udon Entertainment, Crystal Chan, SunNeko Lee and the rest of the team who worked on this production. I highly enjoyed it and recommend this book to anyone wanting to read this story. I also recommend it to those who are more visual learners who are having a difficult time understanding the original novel, I highly suggest to use this as an added tool in comprehending the original source.
I want to Thank Udon Entertainment For sending me the book to review along with Netgalley for introducing me to this series of books.
What happens when a woman breaks the foundational rules of the Puritan beliefs? As a part of the Puritan community, she is forced to wear the letter “A” in scarlet on her chest at all times, to represent the adultery she committed. She refuses to expose both the child’s father and her own husband, despite the township’s demands. But secrets run deep and even the best in the community may yet be revealed as hypocrites to the faith they so strongly uphold.
Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter is a classic rewritten. It takes the renowned The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and illustrates it with gorgeous manga. This version of the tale keeps to the original as much as it is able, including the most important scenes, characters, and plot. The tone of the story and the characters from the classic version are upheld well, showing the impishness of little Pearl and the stoic bitterness of her mother. The dense, descriptive prose that nearly defines Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter could not be communicated in this Manga version, however. Manga is known more for its illustrations and plot, making the descriptive prose nearly impossible to communicate. The speech of the characters was also written in a more modern style to accommodate the younger readers the creators hoped to draw with the Manga adaption.
Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter is a beautifully crafted Manga perfect for readers who wish to experience a classic without wading through the dense prose. But I would still recommend reading the original to get the full effect of the story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions shared are expressly my own.
Teachers and parents of teens, I have a treat for you! I recently joined NetGalley and fell down the incredible rabbit hole of free books. Free books just to read and review! I got a little overly excited, which I have since learned is common for a NetGalley newbie. But, I wanted to read them all! Give me all the books!
Imagine my silly delight when I stumbled across a Manga Classics version of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s class, The Scarlet Letter. As a huge fan of this novel (as a reader and a former teacher), I could not pass this opportunity up. Now, now. I know there are always the purists, but I think the purists need to chill out. Kids need to see the classics in a form they can appreciate. And, for many students, this form is manga.
Am I saying this manga edition is a replacement for The Scarlet Letter? Absolutely not. The problem with manga editions or graphic novel editions of any classic works are that the beauty of the language is simply not there. The reason Hawthorne and Dickens and Austen stand the test of time is because of the words they used to tell their stories. A manga is not made to incorporate lengthy sentences or sophisticated vocabulary.
However, the benefit of adding this manga edition of the classic work to your library is that it is a great supplemental tool for teaching the plot, characters and symbolism. Even with most of the words stripped away, the plot is still clear. The characters are illustrated well. And symbolism is expressed with art. I could see using this material for an additional resource while I was teaching high school easily.
Will students be able to write an essay or pass a test by reading this edition? No. Will they possibly enjoy the story more by reading it alongside the assigned text. Yes. Give it a try!
An excellent manga adaptation of The Scarlet Letter, that remains true to the original while bringing the refreshing medium of art to the classic.
Manga is usually presented in black and white, and so it was ingenious and effective to colour the letter ‘A’ red/scarlet, insofar as it emphasises Hester’s taint and alienation from the puritan community she lives among. The art really heightens the emotions and features of the characters. Hester appears confident, and stubborn at times, making her seem less passive than in Hawthorne’s original. The manga makes good use of its panels: Chillingworth, for example, is often given an entire page, or a large panel, helping accentuate him as a menacing figure that is constantly present. (The snake imagery really helps with this, too.) The art encapsulates the isolation of characters, primarily Hester Prynne and Pearl, through the images and limited dialogue. Moreover, the manga preserves the ambiguities present in the original, like whether Dimmesdale had the scarlet letter ‘A’ engraved on his chest. Had the writer/artist made the letter visible on his chest, it would have undermined the manga by diminishing the story’s ambiguity and the reader’s imagination.
I would highly recommend this manga adaptation, and think it is exceptional in its own right. It should not be read instead of the original—not just because the original is brilliant, but also because this is an adaptation not a replacement. I am unsure whether the narrative may confuse those who have not read the original, but it serves the purpose of introducing them to the story.
Words cannot describe how amazing this book was! I've never read "The Scarlet Letter" before, but I definitely intend to know. Beautiful manga art paired with a fantastic story, this book is absolutely amazing! I love this manga classics approach, it made reading more enjoyable as well as inspiring me to read the original book. Recommended for ages 12 & up and for anyone who loves manga.
This is a manga comic version of the classical book- The scarlet letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The artwork is by Sun Me Ko Lee and adaptation by Crystal Chan.
This book has 10 chapters and is read from the right to the left as in any manga book.
The story takes place in 19th century, Massachusetts. A customs officer is seen cleaning out his papers, when he comes across a particular bundle of papers with the paper on the top displaying a prominent red "A". The officer is curious and further delves into these papers. He comes across a fascinating tale that took place in Boston, back in the 17th century.
Boston, in those days, was home to people who had come from England and setelled there. They are described to be very religious, orthodox puritans with rigid rules and disciplines.
We come across a woman sitting forlornly with an infant in her lap. She seems to be in a cell or some sort of confinement. She is paraded out on a stage in front of the people, like a common criminal. The people point accusatory fingers on the red "A" prominently emblazoned on her clothes. The "A" signifies that she has done something bad and it all points to the fact that she had the child out of wedlock. The woman's name is Hester Prynne. The elders of the town and the reverend urge her to reveal the other guilty person responsible for her plight but Hester remains silent. At this time we are struck by the behavior of the reverend. He seems to be young and keeps clutching at his clothes near his chest all the time.
Hester , meanwhile, is ordered to go out and fend for herself. She chooses to stay in an abandoned cottage on the outskirts of town. She remembers her happy childhood and also the fact that she got married while she was very young. Her husband was very peculiar, invovlved with books and study until he finally asks her leave. She goes away to Boston and never hears from him again. However, Hester, recognizes her husband among the crowd of accusers. He however asks her to tell no one about him. But seems very interested to find out who is responsible for her predicament.
Hester starts to earn her livelihood by doing embroidery, which she is skilled at. However most of the villagers still shun her. She names her daughter - Pearl , who is quite the wild child. Pearl is fascinated by the red "A" on her mother's chest.
We keep meeting the reverend and he is always depicted as sorrowful and clutching his clothes near his chest. There seems to be some kind of connection between him and Hester. He is so troubled by his guilty conscience that his health detoriates. At this times, Heather's husband, grabs the opportunity and takes up the job to look after him. He realizes the truth underneath the reverend's suffering and torments him to suffer more.
The reverend is unable to accept his sin publicly, so Hester decides to book passage for him, herself and her child to England. But finally the reverend is unable to bear his gulit and acknowleges it by embracing Hester and her child. He dies shortly thereafter. Heather's husband also passes away, as his thirst for revenge is unfulfilled.
Hester goes away to England with Pearl. Pearl settles there but Hester comes back to Boston. Hester spends the rest of her days in Boston, still wearing her red "A" and becomes a trusted to many of the people.
We return back to the officer reading the story. He is aghast at the rigid attitudes and judgmental behavior of his ancestors. He resolves to make the story known to all. Finally the symbol "A" is looked upon as a symbol of awe or respect instead of shame.
I think this comic has brought out most of the different and conflicting emotions in this story in a very clear way. It was simple and easy to understand why this book is a prominent one that is recommended worldwide.
I received a copy of Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I know I’ve said this before; but I seriously love the concept of Manga Classics. I can now safely attest to the fact that they make the classics more approachable and less intimidating. Not only have I been able to read classics I love in a new medium (Pride & Prejudice) but I have finally been able to read some classics from beginning to end, where I had been unable to beforehand (Emma, The Scarlet Letter).
If you had asked me previously if I would ever sit down and read the Scarlet Letter in one sitting, I would have laughed at the thought. But thanks to Manga Classics, that’s exactly what I did. There were so many subtleties of the story that were perfectly supported by the artwork. It created this complete and cohesive understanding of what was going on. I’m not sure if the writer and artist work together throughout, but based on the coordination I’m seeing I can only assume that they do.
I tried reading the Scarlet Letter once, years ago. I’ll admit that I was unable to finish it (there was a list of reasons as to why, but mainly it just didn’t hold my attention). I am very pleased to say that I loved the Manga version of the Scarlet Letter. Crystal Chan flawlessly adapted it from the original to the point where I felt I wasn’t missing out on anything at all. That combined with the beautiful artwork of SunNeko Lee and I was utterly enthralled.
Thanks again to Udon Entertainment and Netgalley that I am able to read this great work!
I am addicted. I can’t stop reading these because of the illustrations! They are so amazing. The characters are drawn so beautifully.
If you are into classics and art, I urge you to get your hands on these Mangas!
I read this 7am in the morning. I was so sleepy but I can’t stop opening this up to read!
Look at this cover! How can you not get drawn into it?
The story though? It had confused me. I think I will need to read the book itself to get more of an idea of what is going on.
I love the Classics but it just takes up too much time to read the whole book. By reading this, it has really peaked my interest in wanting to get to know more about Hester Prynne and her daughter, Pearl.
I love Hester. She is such a strong woman. Even though, she was scorned and ostracised, she kept her head high. She brought up Pearl on her own. Pearl was a bit scary. That’s why I’m wanting to read the book to get to know more.
They mentioned a lot about The Black Man in the woods. (Who? What?)The manga made Chillingworth looked seriously creepy. More and more questions formed in my head after reading this.
I am going to need to read more classics soon.
"The Scarlet Letter" is the second "Manga Classics" I've read and I'm finding them very well done!
Before reading this volume, I had never approached the Hawthorne's most famous story, so I didn't know what to expect, though having a vague knowledge of the plot. The story seemed well-adapted to me (although, this time, I can't confirm this with certainty), the drawings were soft and delicate and part of the language was "old-fashioned" as I would expect from the original novel.
The book's main protagonist is a young lady, Hester Prynne who conceives a daughter through an affair outside of marriage. Obstinate not to reveal the father's identity, she attemps to rebuild a dignified life through honorable actions and penitentiary attitudes, wearing a scarlet, embroidered "A" on her dress for the rest of her life (the "A" stands for "Adulteress").
Without revealing more of the plot, Hawthorne's novel is a story about public and private humiliation, sin (that results in expulsion), shame (that results in suffering) and guilt (that leads to repentance and, ultimately, to the acceptance of one's own fault), in addition to being a social denunciation to the extreme legalism of the Puritans.
Unfortunately, I cannot make comparisons with the novel: I don't know what points have been better adapted or not, but, speaking of this specific volume, I have to say I really enjoyed it and, surely, one day I will also read the original work.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
**I've received a copy of this manga from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.**
In the classic story of The Scarlet Letter, Puritan woman, Hester Prynne, is punished for committing adultery. The townsfolk set her on a scaffold with the child born from the sin to be mocked, then forced to live the rest of her days bearing a scarlet "A" on her chest to remind her and everyone else of her wickedness. Regardless what the religion and ideologies of the town state, Hester is of a true heart, and refuses to name her companion in sin to be tormented as well. Though to her dismay, she spots her long lost husband in the crowd as she stands on the scaffolding. It turns out he doesn't share the same opinion in keeping this identity a secret.
The Scarlet Letter is one of the most beautiful and deeply symbolic classics I've ever read. That being said, the language is not going to appeal to everyone. The book could quickly feel daunting or exhausting to some readers who do not enjoy deeply interpreting their reading in order to comprehend it all. That's where the beauty of this manga edition lies. It stays completely true to the story, and showcases the beautiful symbolism and character dynamics to the extent they deserve. This edition is extremely easy to follow and with such stunning artwork, it's hard not to devour it all in one sitting. I strongly recommend this book to fans of The Scarlet Letter, and those who don't typically enjoy classics alike. It's a fantastic experience and a truly great read!
Thanks to NetGalley and UDON Entertainment for the opportunity to read and review Manga Classics! Manga Classics include Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which is true to the original classic with added cliffhangers to keep manga readers interested and eye-catching illustrations. After the story ends, the details of adaptation from classic literature to manga lets us see into the transformation. Each story in this collection follows these same guidelines! Impressive artwork and transformation!
Manga Classics also include The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (the only color is the scarlet letter A, which makes striking illustrations!), Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven. The Cask of Amontillado, The Masque of the Red death and The Fall of the House of Usher; Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and many more!
5 stars for books that make classics accessible and understandable to every reader!
I was pleasantly surprised at how well this spanned the original story. I really liked the art and the color schemes used. I will buy it for the library where I work.
In high school, The Scarlet Letter was one of my favorite novels we read. It was the book that kept me hooked on American Literature. I was a little scared that the Manga Classic would take away from the story, but I feel like it added a whole new depth that I didn't know was missing. I think everyone should read The Scarlet Letter, but they should also read this manga as well. They pair so well together that I think it would give students a wonderful in depth look at this story that they may not get from reading just the book or just the manga.
This manga version did an excellent job in translating the classic novel that some may have a hard time getting into. Of course, I can’t compare it to the novel as I haven’t read it yet, but upon reading this version, I became curious and maybe one day will decide to pick it up. The artworks are beautiful which made the somewhat serious plot interesting and enjoyable to read. Because of the format, the story is much easier to understand not to mention reading it is a breeze. It is surely a great way to get kids and adults alike into reading classics. Despite the length, though, the manga version still managed to capture the essence of the story, if a little too dramatic, which is definitely a plus. The symbolism is nicely interpreted which goes to show how much depth the story has. Overall, a good read and a satisfying adaptation.
Very good touching and inspiring manga. This manga was about the original story of the scarlet letter with a manga twist to it. I really enjoyed reading this and I feel that others would too. The story follows Hester and her daughter Pearl and everything Hester did after she committed an ultimate sin. She took that sin upon herself and herself alone instead of making the other person suffer with her. Hester has to keep many secrets and be subjected to the heckles of the townspeople all while trying to be a wonderful mother to her daughter and not let her daughter know what the letter on her chest means. The story was wonderfully written and the pictures were drawn beautifully. Great manga,
In my continuing quest to read more classics (and by 'read more classics' I mean 'read more manga classics because time is finite') I requested a review copy of The Scarlet Letter from Netgalley. I previously read (and reviewed!) their edition of Jane Eyre. Because this is a remake of a classic book (not an original story) my review is not going to focus on the plot itself.
Just like with Jane Eyre, I was more than impressed by the art style (manga is adorable, okay?) and although I'm not terribly familiar with The Scarlet Letter, it seemed to stay true to what I know of the story (tl;dr Puritans suck). The fact that the red "A" that she is forced to wear is the only splash of color in an otherwise black and white book only furthered the impact that it had on me as a reader and it's an amazing artistic decision. This was a fairly quick read, as most Manga is, but that doesn't mean that they skimped on the storytelling.
Manga Classics have versions of tons of famous books, from Shakespeare to Mark Twain (I absolutely have to get my hands on their version of The Count of Monte Cristo, which is one of my favorite books of all time).
This is a great book for people who want to read more classics, (like myself), but who just can't find the time or energy to wade through all of them. The art style is simple and charming (black and white, as is the case with most manga), and really brings to light the characters. I'm definitely planning on reading more of their work in the future (I already have Sense and Sensibility downloaded, thanks to Netgalley!) and I hope I enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this one!!!
Having read the SL multiple times in my school career, it was refreshing to see a different approach to this classic novel. The art, as in the other manga adaptations of classical literature, added life to the characters, particularly Hester. I never thought I'd ever see a manga version of this book, and it actually made the book much more enjoyable. The more modern English text used also helped, yet it did still keep with the spirit of being from the past. Definitely will use this version of the book to get my future high school students into classic American literature!
The illustrations are just lovely. This is a first for me, reading a manga version of a classic, but I do absolutely believe the story was done just in everyday by the artwork and Retelling . My favorite character was precocious little Pearl who seems to come to life more than ever in this version. The emotions are believable and touching. It really is a great adaption ,
If you're searching for alternate ways to read classic literature, you may wish to try Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter in graphic novel format.
There are many things I appreciate about this manga interpretation of this tragic story. The beginning includes a guide on the traditional manga format, in which the pages are read from right to left.
I love the way the story is condensed and yet remains faithful to the original. There's an informative authors’ note at the end that explains the adaptation and discusses the metaphors within the original story as artistic choices.
The backgrounds and backdrops displayed are well done and each image is vivid. The story is rendered in black and white with a bold pop of red for the Scarlet A and the fonts are easy to read.
The pages are engrossing because of the depth of detail in creating the scenes and expressions. I especially like how faces are enlarged in the frame so the expression pops out more at viewers.
You can envision their shame and see there was no inner solitude for those tormented by those advocating a greater purity. You can also see how the crowd's mentality was frightening and may have influenced behavior, especially during that era of Puritan America.
SUCH A GREAT IDEA!
I didn't read the original classic! Shame on me... I know!
But I liked the idea of reading manga classics. It's super easy to read. I loved the graphics, they are literally gorgeous :)
But I think I need to read the original book because there are some scenes I want to get more explanations for. Yeah, this manga made me eager to read the original classic!
I was pretty sleepy when I started this one and just intended to read 20 or so pages or a designated single chapter and put it aside. Turned out I was enthralled enough to finish the whole thing in one sitting.
In order to express why I loved this one so much, it would probably be beneficial to reveal some of my subjective and very favorite components of fiction, all of which this story and adaptation happens to have in spades.
- A dark, thick atmosphere.
- Characters who are harshly challenged by the plot in some way.
- Psychologically complex and puzzling characters.
- A brisk, focused, and consistent pace.
- A sinister yet thought-provoking tone. Not just grim for the sake of it.
- Messaging that is critical of injustices.
There are a lot more things I like but that is just a short list of what is very present in The Scarlet Letter and extraordinarily well adapted here. One thing of note though, forbidden romance is mentioned in the synopsis. I really did not sense any romance whatsoever here, nor affection between the main couple. The whole matter of them even getting together seemed mysteriously inexplicable. Just in case anyone may be expecting a touch of romance, that’s not the aim of the story or characterization here.
The main thing I focus on with Manga Classics is the art style and adaptation qualities.
The art is by SunNeko Lee who was also responsible for the art in Les Miserables, which I’d heaped considerable praise on for its art. The Scarlet Letter is one year newer and noticeably even better when it comes to finely detailed art style.
There is a lot more shading, characters are of a slightly more realistic proportion, and their expressiveness (both facial and the overall vibe of each character) is more distinctive. There are few characters though so that was probably easy to accomplish. The backdrops have lovely little details.
I was most impressed with the marked strength and dignity of Hester and how this was expressed both in text and in her facial expressions. Her child, Pearl, is the cutest thing imaginable but also has an eerie, pixie-like quality. It’s mentioned in the end notes that the artist strived to make her eyes unique to embody how the text mentions her eyes looking different from ordinary people. Long story short, I love the art, it’s carefully thought out and nice to look at.
Now the final thing I want to cover and perhaps the most important- the original novel, The Scarlet Letter. I've heard several times before that it's a pretty boring read that is styled in a way that's not flowing or easy to read.
I’ve read multiple reviews before (perhaps more than five, from varying sources) that bring up (paraphrasing) how it’s unfortunate for this book to be taught in high schools as there are so many more appealing and readable classics that could be chosen. By comparison, The Scarlet Letter could dissuade young people from reading.
I haven’t read The Scarlet Letter myself, but just from all I’ve heard, it’s amazing how appealing this adaptation is. Perhaps simplifying the core of the storyline and characterization may have played a big role in that, but I do have a bit of an interest in seeking out the classical novel now after reading this.
Why You Should Try It – A darkly atmospheric tale with odd and distinctive characters. Without familiarity of the original novel, there were several tense moments where I wasn’t sure what to expect. The art is lovely and went far in getting me to feel for the cast, especially the adorable and precocious Pearl. The original book has a wide reputation for being one of the less exciting classics, so the fact that I was glued to the pages of this adaptation is really special.
Why You Might Not Like It – That aforementioned dark atmosphere lends a grim sadness to the overall tone of the story. Some of the behavior of the characters can be hard to fathom without a larger understanding of the setting and cultural norms of the time. The art style is not for everyone.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Udon Entertainment for providing this e-Arc to me for the purpose of review.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's dark novel, The Scarlet Letter, a single sinful act ruins the lives of three people. None more so than Hester Prynne, a young, beautiful, and dignified woman, who conceived a child out of wedlock and receives the public punishment of having to always wear a scarlet "A" on her clothing.
She refuses to reveal the father of her child, which could lighten her sentence. Her husband, the aptly-named Roger Chillingworth, who Hester thought had died in a shipwreck but was actually being held captive by Native Americans, arrives at the exact moment of her deepest public shaming and vows to get revenge. Her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, remains safely unidentified, but is wracked with guilt.
This was an amazing adaptation of The Scarlet Letter. I feel that it kept so much of what has made the book a classic. This is a version of the story that can be enjoyed by all kinds of readers, from the experienced to the reluctant. Highly recommended.
I am a huge fan of Hawthorne's classic book, The Scarlet Letter. The writing is beautiful, quiet and nuanced. The story is smart. But what really sets it apart is the strength, hope and resilience found in Hester Prynne. So, finding this Manga comic was an intriguing thing for me. It could be wonderful, or it could detract from a book I already love.
The artwork is sweet, intricate and lovely. I really like the baby/girl Pearl. I find her features to be childlike and pretty. She looks sweet and innocent. And the costuming is spot on, with each of the characters dressed in puritan clothing. My only complaint is that the Manga style of drawing hair and facial features looks a bit too modern for the time of the book.
These books are a unique and wonderful way to introduce young (or new) readers to the classic stories in literature. This is the third one I have read and reviewed and I have enjoyed all of them.
Thank you to Netgalley, UDON publishers and Stacy King for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter by Crystal S. Chan, 308 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL
Udon Entertainment, 2015. $20.
Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG
BUYING ADVISORY: HS - ADVISALBE
AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH
As punishment for committing adultery, Hester must now wear a red “A” for the rest of her life. With her poor treatment from the townspeople for her sin and her lover staying hidden, Hester’s daughter is all that she has left -- but will they ever have a happily ever after?
I was intrigued by the idea of a manga version of this classic book, but I was also hesitant to pick it up because I hated this book in high school. However, as I read this adaptation, I discovered that I was engaged by the story and that I love Hester’s character, the epitome of strength. Being able to actually understand the story in a way that I didn’t when reading Hawthorne’s original planted the desire to go back and read the full classic again. I want to know the details that had to be left out, and I want to gain greater insights into the characters I have been reintroduced to. Hawthorne’s story deserved redemption from the poor first impression it left on me, and anyone who struggles with the original -- and even those who loved the original -- will find that Chan’s adaptation is a great supplement to the classic.
Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen
Manga Classics is an incredible way to explain and explore classics in a new way. This manga classic took a difficult (for me) classical tale written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and made it absorb-able. Once I started reading the manga I could have finished it in one sitting. The artwork made this tragic tale come to life. There were scenes that seem to delve into human alienation and its effect on the soul, that the combination of the words and artwork made it unforgettable.
The Scarlet Letter is about a single sinful act that ruins the lives of three people. None more so than Hester Prynne, a young and dignified woman, who conceived a child out of wedlock and receives the public punishment of having to always wear a scarlet "A" on her clothing. The Scarlet Letter is set in a Puritan community during the Colonial American period. This retelling dealt with the main subjects of the tale beautifully.
I haven't read Scarlet Letter since I was in High School, but the imagery in this book adds such another layer to the story. In the book the only color used is the A and it is red. I love that attention to detail and I think this book would be a lot of fun to look at in class. I am normally not a fan of the classics, but I really enjoyed reading this one.
Manga classics: The Scarlett letter beautifully captures the spirit of the original story. A shunned mother raises her eccentric child while those in town grow from judging her to depending on her.
The art within the manga wonderfully conveys both action and emotion without dampening the tone of the story. They way pearl I. Particular was depicted is absolutely perfect.
I do think the experience of reading this piece suffers somewhat from the digital format I read it in and will be seeking to purchase a physical copy.
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