Cover Image: Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet

Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet

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Member Reviews

This book is to be featured on both of my book blogs (young adult and adult fiction) next week. I've had trouble downloading it, but have read previews online and will promote instead of review.
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I read Shakespeare's original tale when I was about 18 and I fell in love without even understanding some of the terms used by the archaisms of the language. I am passionate about the adaptations of Manga Classics and when I saw that they were going to launch this work in manga, I freaked out. I needed to read it .... A masterpiece of the masterpiece!
Capulet and Montague are enemy and rival families whose members need no reason to start a fight with one another. After a fight in which they manage to leave the small village in total disorder and fear, the prince demands a truce and whoever was found dueling would be banished.
Romeo is the only son of the patriarch Montague, a young romantic dreamer who does not want to fight and prefers to ramble on his love for a young maiden of the region. Trying to cheer him up his friend Mercutio  decides to enter uninvited at a party sponsored by Capulet to celebrate Juliet engagement to Count Paris. Handsome, intelligent, and sensitive,though impulsive , Romeu is truly a prince.
Juliet is a girl who does not want to marry so early but everything changes when she meets Romeo at her party and is charmed by the gallant and poetic way of the boy. Even knowing that he is the son of the enemy of his father, she surrenders to this youthful love and ends up marrying Romeo in secret.
At the insistence of his father to marry another man and after Romeo ends up in a fight to avenge his friend Mercutio, the couple will live moments of distress.
One of the most beautiful and dramatic love stories of mankind perfectly adapted to the manga format. Full of symbolism and references, the play succeeds in conveying all the emotional and dramatic burden of Shakespeare's tale beyond all the atmosphere of rivalry, hatred and passion of the characters.
I loved several scenes such as the scene of Romeu's anguish in his love at the beginning of the plot and then the anthological and enthralling scene of the balcony in which Romeo and Juliet spill their love for one another.
The manga has remained faithful to both the language and the text of the original  and is perfect for anyone who wants to know a classic in a simpler and clearer way. It is magical to follow the musicality, rhyme and rhythm of Shakepeare´s tragedy with such beautiful and strong images.
The characterization of each character was also perfect and the cover then ... OH MY GOD ... was more-than-beautiful.
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While Romeo & Juliet has always been a favorite Shakespeare of mine, I still struggle with it. As far as the story goes in this manga, I still struggled. I understand the basic concept of this love story, but the language is so foreign. In that sense, the manga helped bridge the gap for me, making this a more accessible story. I loved the artwork. It was beautiful and really tied in with the story well, helping to narrate it better for people like me, who just don't have a grasp of Shakespeare. This is the first of the Manga Classics series that I have read and I absolutely loved it. I will be reading the rest very shortly. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Udon Entertainment for the chance to read this beautiful classic.
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As you'd expect, this is the classic story, in manga form, so everyone at any opportunity gets knives out amidst a welter of sound FX, every female has a mountain of hair to let down to the ground and beyond, the Nurse looks like an alien/pumpkin hybrid, and so on.  What you might not expect is the fact the full play text has been used, unaltered.  What this evokes is a lot of weird and very literal imagery (a bloke with a fishy side to his nature in the very first scene), but what this leaves us with at times is a monologue enlivened on the page but with tailless speech bubbles that leave most of the text uncredited – or certainly too much to achieve the stated aim of making everything accessible and understandable.  The style is almost appropriate when considering the major sappy beats, and the direction is alright – I'm just not enough of a fan of the original to love this presentation.
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Manga Classics
Publication date: May 25, 2018

Description:
I donʻt think anyone needs a description. This is the standard 9th grade Shakespeare read in high schools across the United States and has been for the 23 years that I have been teaching English. The cover with the sword between them is meant to be a metaphor and not a spoiler. After all, this is not how they die. This is not a murder suicide domestic abuse story. I mean, this is a tragedy after all. Like all Shakespeare tragedies, the hero along with a multitude of other characters dies, but usually after a series of poorly timed misunderstandings (by the hero).

My thoughts:
Comics doing classics is not new. I think the first classic canonical literature piece that I read as a comic (graphic novel) was Mary Shelley's Frankenstein followed by Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I went on to read one in its prose form (Frankenstein) and not the other. I tell that story because I think as a reader of graphic novels (GN) and as an English teacher, I think the power of the GN for students is to give them enough of the story and its appeals to then make the reader more comfortable to read the original novel. I read Frankenstein because what was evident in the GN was that the "monster" was the most humane character. He was the moral center and I wanted to learn more. That GN led me to Shelley's novel but it also led me to Paradise Lost which was Shelley's influence for her Frankenstein. 

For struggling readers, I feel like the GN or manga classic is an even more crucial opportunity to bring readers to the original text. What this one did well in that arena is to use the over exaggerated manga faces to emote shame, fury, sorrow, ridicule. As I read the notes at the back of the book, I can confirm that I saw the illustrators really trying to capture the text and the metaphor in manga style. I disagree with the hooded metaphor since the writer describes a hooded eagle when the metaphor is a falconry metaphor, but that is a minor point and perhaps a faux pas lost in translation. 

What it does exceptionally well is that this manga captures the comic nurse character in all of her jest like qualities. It does not pull off the puns or "pun y ness" of the original text like the back and forth with Juliet and the nurse or the way she goes o and onn in Act I with Lady Capulet until the Lady has had enough. However, I found the comic relief well timed.

I think what will stop struggling readers is that there is just too much of the text. While it is good to grab texts from Shakespeare, at 400 pages, it's daunting for non readers. Maybe if it was whittled down to 125 I would be able to put this in the hands of struggling readers to just get enough of the story to feel more confident in the full text rather than having the full text as interpreted by the artists and illustrators. 

This advanced digital copy provided by Net Galley and the publisher for an honest review.
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4 ⭐️

People often forget how young and stupid the main characters in Romeo & Juliet are. They mistake it for the "greatest love story of all time" when it's just a childish first love taken out of proportions, and kids overreacting.

This manga version reminds you of why Shakespeare is great. Not because he writes amazing love stories - in fact, most of his plays have deeply flawed characters and unbelievable love stories - but because his dialogs are incredibly funny. You laugh at his characters on many occasions and you smirk at the simplistic solutions they find for elaborate problems (which usually end in someone's death).

As with all Manga Classics, I wish these were widely available in schools. Imagine how much more interested in the stories the students would be if they were to read Shakespeare (or any other classic author) in manga format.

I highly recommend this version of the play, as it is much clearer and funnier than the usual writing only ones (and there's the literal use of the eggplant emoji!!!!!)
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“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” 

Shakespeare’s words are the best part of his plays.  However, I look to Manga Classics to shorten classic literature to manageable lengths. By including the entire play using Shakespeare’s original words, this book is just as difficult to read as the original.

Recommended for students who have to read the original anyway and would prefer to do it with really beautiful pictures. If you are a cheater like me, look to the Cliff Notes version. 3 stars!

Thanks to Udon Entertainment and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
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I am not a manga lover. Ok, let me rephrase that. I have NEVER read a manga book in my life. That being said, it is quite possible that I've been converted.

I had to get myself a copy of this classic. I have had a love of Shakespeare since high school and I still vividly remember Romeo and Juliet as being one of my favorites. I had read or watched several different variations of this amazing play and have to say that other than the original play this version is my new favorite!
I loved how, even though the dialogue was the only part of the play used, the integrity was still there. I didn't feel like I was reading a dumbed down, cartoon version of one of my favorite stories, and yes that was one of my concerns going into this. 

What I think I loved most about this adaptation though, was how stunning the artwork was and how well it brought to life these characters and their tragic story. The nurse has always been one of my favorite characters and she was portrayed perfectly in my opinion! I was also very impressed with how well Romeo's drama queen-ness was captured. I have never seen it so well done.

My only real criticism, and maybe it's just from my lack of experience toward this type of book, is that I was not a fan of the layout. Now maybe if I would have paid closer attention to the "instructions" at the beginning I would have found myself a bit less confused when I first started reading (seriously, I got about 20 pages in and was about to stop reading before cluing in that something was wrong) but that's on me. Maybe the layout is typical Manga style and I just wasn't familiar enough but I wasn't a huge fan. 

All that being said, I thought this classic was very well done, beautifully illustrated and impressively adapted. This might have been my first, but it will not be my last. I look forward to many more classic adaptations! I think I might start buying some for my children. This might just be the key to getting them to read more classic literature and plays!

 Thanks  to NetGalley and Udon Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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4-*/4=*
As soon as I saw the Manga Classics version of "Romeo and Juliet", I immediately thought that it should have been mine: "Romeo and Juliet" was my first Shakespeare when I was a very young girl and, for this reason, I am particularly bound to this book.
To date, this is my third 'Manga Classics' and also the least favourite one - I think, not for the story (of course) or the dialogues, but for the drawing style. While loving the Shakespearean opera, the drawings didn't win me over, although some of them are pretty nice, but in general they gave me a feeling of "sketching", the outline of an idea that could have been better improved.
Nevertheless, this adaptation is still cute and enjoyable and Shakespeare is always Shakespeare ♥. 
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I am a huge fan of  Manga books! I have found these adaptations to be highly addicting, and now I want to read them all. I  love the artwork and the graphic novel format. I also have to admit, I enjoy reading the books backwards;  that just adds to the fun. 

Romeo and Juliet  is a book almost everyone is familiar with. While I’ve heard of the story, and watched numerous bits and pieces from plays inserted into television shows, I’ve never read the actual book, so when the Manga edition became available, I jumped at the chance to see what they would do with it. As always, they did a spectacular job, and I am thrilled to say that this another classic they did well, and I thoroughly enjoyed.


I can’t wait for the next one!
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Possibly Shakespeare’s best known play and always a both hit and miss for me – a hit for linguistic pleasure and a miss for story (yes I know it’s a sort of fable *sigh*) Anyway of all adaptations of this classic romantic tragedy I’ve seen in any form of media, I think this may well be the best. 5 stars, Manga and please keep it up.
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I got this manga for NetGalley because I promise give them the honest review for this manga and it wasn't the disappointment. If you have never read manga, it is good way to start it and if you are like me, who is read manga like half of her life, it is nice way to read some literature classics. I can't wait if there will be more manga classics like this, for examples like Hamlet or other like Othello etc.  It is quite easy way to learn read manga and the style was quite interesting. But of course some will like other styles and to someone will not like the story even thought Romeo and Juliet is quite popular Classic by William Shakespeare.
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This Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, is a Manga Graphic novel of the well-beloved story. It includes the original Shakespeare language along with plenty of artwork. It follows the story faithfully and keeps its spirit well intact.
Unfortunately, this book didn't work for me. The artwork was fine, and typically I read through these types of books quickly. It was the language used that slowed the story. I'm not fluent in the old English, so I had to reread the narratives in order to understand the meanings. Of course those with a good Shakespeare background likely won't have any trouble, but for me I had to work through this story, which took away the reading pleasure.
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So on the off chance you haven’t heard me say this, and thus aren’t totally sick of me repeating myself, I’m going to say it again: I absolutely love the concept of Manga Classics. I love them for many reasons. It’s always fun to reread a classic, but even more so it’s very refreshing to read them in a new medium, such as this. Manga Classics condenses the larger classics into something less intimidating, which makes it great for both rereads and first time reading. I also believe that Manga Classics make the classics more approachable, which is something I greatly appreciate.
	I’ve read Romeo and Juliet a time or two, not to mention I’ve seen the play itself and a couple of movie adaptations (which you’re welcome to pretend don’t exist if you’d like, I won’t judge you there) so it was really interesting for me to see the play in this form. The artwork was lovely, and I have to say I’m really impressed that they were able to make such a large cast of characters all look unique (though of course all main characters got an extra level of attention that makes them stand out). Not once did I find myself struggling to tell two characters apart. I’m really awful with names, but I’m decent with faces, so this was actually pretty fun for me. I feel like I got more out of this read because of it; I picked up on more details occurring in the backgrounds of scenes that I’ve likely overlooked in the past, simply because I had forgotten who so and so was or something like that.
	Like any adaptation there’s a little bit of alterations that must be made, such as condensing some scenes, in the case of manga opting to let some scenes be shown instead of told. I don’t feel like we lost anything in the translation here, and I am very happy for it. I’ve read manga adaptations by Crystal S. Chan before, and she has never once let me down. I loved Julien Choy’s artwork, as you’ve already seen me gush about a little bit up above. I’m curious to see what will be adapted next. Part of me hopes they’ll do the twin to Romeo and Juliet and give us an adaptation of Midsummer’s Night Dream. That would be fantastic! But regardless, I’ll happily take whatever I am given.
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A wonderful version of this classic! Love how this was done! Art was awesome too! Such a favorite...
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Another excellent reincarnation of a classic that my teens enjoyed. If you have children who are slow readers or nonreaders these books are an excellent way to expose them to classic tales in a format that it is easy to understand and will hold their attention.
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I never really into Romeo & Juliet but this manga is a brilliant adaptation of William Shakespeare's work of genius. The artwork is gorgeous and fits seamlessly in with Shakespeare's original text to form a breathtaking view of Romeo and Juliet.
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What I like about this manga adaptation is the way the characters are drawn. The characters in this compared to the other manga's I've read from them feel more from Manga's. The gestures and the characters act and behave feel in the same as other Manga's I've read in the past. I am probably not explaining it correctly but the style of the characters feel familiar. In a good way.
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Beautiful artwork for a beloved classic story. The panelling and artwork fit seamlessly into each other. There was a nice flow amongst the story and the drawings. I would recommend this for anyone who loved the original story and wanted a graphic version of it.
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I thought the illustrations were very well done, especially Romeo and Juliet. Their passion and feelings were beautifully shown.
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