Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet

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Member Reviews

UDON Entertainment and NetGalley have provided me with an electronic copy of Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

The most striking part of this adaptation is the cover art, as it conveys the story in a clear and concise manner.  The book itself is not without challenges, as Shakespeare's words can be dense and difficult to follow.  Because Manga is a highly visual art, I was hopeful that the depictions of the action in the book would be easier to understand.  In their zeal to tell the whole story, many of the pages simply get bogged down in the details.  I found this version of Romeo and Juliet hard to follow and did not feel that the artwork did enough to tell the story.

I have read several of Crystal Chan's adaptations of classics and Romeo and Juliet is the least successful thus far.  Usually, the artwork helps the reader to visualize the original literature, but I was not impressed by the level of creativity throughout the book.  The last few pages were well drawn and represented the story well, but most of the book contains Shakespeare's dialogue with little visual reference.  Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet is a missed opportunity to tell the classic love affair in a way that many would understand, but it may spark some interest in Shakespeare for readers who normally would not enjoy his works.
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4 stars
I’ve read several of the Manga Classics and have always found them to be well done.  This one is no different.  The artwork is lovely.  Original text as written. 
Thank you NetGalley and publisher, Udon Publishing, for the opportunity to read this ARC.
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I’ve been reading the Manga Classics since the beginning and I really like how they bring classics to life in a new way. Especially some stories have been told so many times in so many different ways that it is difficult to bring something new to the stage (see what I did there?), and now they have branched into a new field: Shakespeare. Shakespeare has been turned into manga before (at least I believe I saw some lying in The Globe shop last year, but I haven’t read those (yet)).

They start with Romeo and Juliet, probably a logical choice but also one of my least favourite Shakespeare plays. All the original text is included, and the drawings help with understanding some of the more difficult metaphors if needed. Manga really lends itself into exaggerating personalities into caricatures (especially with characters like the nurse which already have these tendencies).

Nice artwork make a nice adaptation, but I would be looking forward to other plays which are said to come soon!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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So, honestly, I didn't actually read this. I skimmed it. I have read Romeo and Juliet previously. So I knew exactly what happened. 

It was well done, in my opinion. The art was done well, not really my style but done well. 

The only thing I would have changed is that it was written in old English. I would have liked it to be modern and I feel more people would enjoy it better if it was written in more modern English. But overall, it was well done and it was enjoyable to see the manga version of a story I know and love.
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4 stars

So this is the fourth Manga Classic I've read and needless to say I'm officially a fan. My method with this series is to review the adaption more than the story because really you can't review it as a story since its based off another book (that I've likely read and therefore reviewed).

Since I have not actually read Romeo and Juliet I can't exactly do that but I happen to know this book is taken word for word from the OG so I don't actually think it matters and - unpopular opinion coming your way - I genuinely think this could be a good alternative to reading the original. HEAR ME OUT.

Shakespeare never intended his plays to actually be read, he intended them to be seen and experienced. Reading Shakespeare is hard and sometimes dull for leisure purposes. I mean sure, you can get the gist of the language after some practice but I found this method of enjoying it so much better. I have read a few of the Bard's plays and I honestly don't find them even remotely fun to do so. I love watching the plays, every actor interprets and presents the character differently and it's so good to watch and the acting and context makes understanding second nature. But, plays don't come along that often, least of all really good ones, and manga is a perfect graphic substitute because the style is so expressive and hyperbolic - like good actors in a Shakespeare play should be.

I really enjoyed this book, the art was beautiful. I mean, stunning really. Of course, I knew what was coming the whole time because it's Romeo and Juliet but still loved it all the same. The only nitpick I'd have is maybe more clearly labeling characters as it can be tricky to keep track of them all.

If you enjoy Shakespeare anyway or want to get into it but are hesitant because of the language - read this, it's great.
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If there's one thing this book has proven, it's that I'm not cut out for Shakespeare. 

That is not the fault of this book. This book is kind of awesome. Manga artwork is always stylized and (in my opinion) really beautiful, but both Romeo and Juliet are stunning. And Tybalt, my lord. The first shot of him is kind of amazing. 

But the language. Ohhhhh, that Shakespearian language. We are not friends. I had hopes that the dialogue plus art would make the story easy to follow, but if anything, it made it worse. Things got a little too Manga for me, and I just ended up confused and not a little annoyed. 

If you like Shakespeare, I think you'll definitely get a kick out of this. If you're like me and thou wants to kick him a bit, you might not enjoy it.
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A wonderful reimagining of a classic tale in a new format. The art is gorgeous and gives a new life to a story that everyone knows.
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I thought this was a book that I should actually compare with the original one, due to it being a play. And I’m actually really happy I did!

Romeo and Juliet has been on my TBR for quite a while, but I was always afraid of not understanding the language. Well, I’m incredibly happy this manga exists because it’s almost exactly the same as the book. There are very tiny things missing so it’s like you are actually reading the original (without reading that someone enters or exits the scene because you are seeing it). It’s a mix between reading and seeing the play.

In terms of story, it’s incredibly accurate and I loved seeing it in manga format. I think it adds a lot to see the characters’ reactions and emotions, although sometimes they might not be entirely accurate, for what I can tell, sometimes they might confuse a bit… Anyway, manga has normally more extreme reactions/emotions in the characters’ faces and acts than any other, so that might just be the reason. It’s just a different style, and at any rate, a pleasant and fun one.

The manga design was really good and very detailed like always. And I believe that this one might have the most detailed characters so far. There’s a lot of characters in here and they were all pretty easy to recognize. Also, Juliet is supposed to be 13, and I believe she does look rather teenager-y. I really liked how she was designed, she looks sweet and delicate.

I can’t say this is my favorite story, but it’s for sure a good manga. It might be helpful for someone that hasn’t read the classic to get some annotations on the language tho. At least for me, it did help.

Overall I really liked reading this and it made me finally read the original classic, which is always a plus. I liked it more than I thought  I would, and it had a lot less romance than I thought too. It has a lot more to it than just Romeo and Juliet, which was actually for me, not the best part of it in terms of story but the best part in terms of drawings – they were just so beautiful! But storywise, I mostly loved the hate between the Capulet family and the Montague family.

Definitely recommend it, either if you already like Romeo and Juliet or if you are new to it like I was. It’s a pleasant manga to read and the perfect way to get acquainted with a classic (especially if you are a fan of manga like I am).

*Also, that cover is so incredibly beautiful!! I love both the colors and the design!
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I thoroughly enjoyed this reimagining of Romeo and Juliet. The imagery in the manga was amazing in that it helped to show the meanings of the dialogue, which understandably can be hard to decipher given Shakespeare's text. I feel this makes this play more accessible to an audience which may not have had access or the desire to read it. The art style captures the different characters and their manners perfectly, which further allows the reader to understand who these people are and their roles in the story.
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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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Good retelling of this classic. Loved the art style. I'll be buying this book for my kids who will be studying Shakespeare next year and this will give them a good introduction to the play.
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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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