Member Reviews

Lovely illustrations, stays true to the original Shakespearean tale while encapsulating the reader in the world of Macbeth

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I’ve always wanted to try Manga so I thought these Manga versions of Shakespeare would be the perfect place to start. I really enjoyed reading this. I love a good graphic novel and I adore Shakespeare so this is was great. It took some getting used to reading “backwards” but after a few pages you get a good flow. I need to check out more of these classics

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I really enjoyed it! This was a classic brought back to life with illustration. When starting I was sure this wouldn't be as great as it was. Part of me feels as though this was a perfect book to introduce me to Manga.

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I DID IT. I FINALLY DID IT. I started reading the manga version of Macbeth around a year ago but I couldn't get past half of it hence I DNF'd the book. It had to do less with the plot and more with the illustrations. I feel in the manga version the illustrator took too much liberty and ended up making a dark theme into vodoo stuff. And that was very uncomfortable to read tbh. I read the play this time (without illustrations) in order to complete it at least and I won't lie I kinda ended up liking it. To compliment it I also watched the 2015 adaptation of Macbeth and woah I ended up liking it A LOT. I really wish I felt the same way about the manga as well. While the rest of the art was amazing it was just the illustrations of dark magic that put me off the edge.
Trigger Warning: Death, War, Murder

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Manga Classic: Macbeth by William Shakespeare adapted by Crystal S. Chan and illustrated by Julien Choy, is a graphic novel experience I didn’t expect. Foolishly, I was unaware of what “Manga” was, if I had of known I probably wouldn’t have requested it – but it’s good to try new things.

Okay, for the uninitiated – Manga is a type of comic originating from Japan and it encompasses a certain style which most of us have probably seen. I was just unaware it had a name. This style isn’t a modern phenomenon, in fact, it’s been around since the 1600’s.

This series of graphic novels covers a good number of the classics, and Macbeth is one of them. I thought I would try this out as it’s always good to see interesting variations of well-known literature. But I must say, I just found it all too much. The graphics for me were highly distracting and in my view not appropriate for the story – it was too light, too Rockstar and way too busy. These guys have hair like Duran Duran!!

It also wasn’t ‘moody enough’.

These books seem to be popular with the younger generation, and to my mind would be an excellent and very digestible introduction to fine literature.

Just not for this old fuddy-duddy.

2 Stars

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The versions of the classic manga have become my favorites, in my case I have not read the work of Macbeth, with this manga I have entered the story and the complement of the illustrations has helped me understand the work, it is a Brilliant edition of a classic, which undoubtedly addresses raw human emotions including ambition, greed, repentance and loyalty.
One of the classics that is a little difficult to understand but with this manga you will certainly understand it, and the appreciation of the strokes and the text takes you into its history.

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If it weren't for the imagery, I would have no idea what was going on in this book.

This book really is a classic adaptation to read in a class room setting, where you can dissect each and every line so you understand the story better. I wouldn't read this as a casual classic read as the Old English is intense. The grammar is completely different and I mostly understood what was happening on the pages through the imagery. So kudos to the artwork, great stuff, but the original material is where I'm just left with a meh feeling. If I had read this as a classroom assignment to really analyze I probably would have loved it but I didn't.

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I thought this was an interesting take on the classic Shakespearian story. The artwork was cool and the story was well packaged! I thought it was a nice take on the classic.

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As a fan of Macbeth, I found this adaptation into Manga to be spot on and thorough. It kept my attention whilst reading, but a lot of the metaphors that are present in the original story just did not translate in this adaptation. I think the translation of Elizabeth English to more contemporary phrases and moments has its appeal, and I understand why that choice was made.

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The author of this adaptation brilliantly merged Shakespear's classic prose with the stunning visual art to tell this tale of magic, murder, madness, and betrayal faithfully in a medium more friendly to the casual (or younger) reader. Most dialog comes directly from the original play, and the few changes blend seamlessly into the whole.

I love this entire line of Classic Manga adaptations by Udon Comics. As a teen librarian with a soft spot for literary classics, this series has been gloriously successful in introducing a new generation of readers to books that have stood the test of time.

*Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me an eARC in return for my honest review*

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Overall, I really enjoyed this. Adding visuals to Shakespeare is something that really works once you get in a stride. Macbeth can be a challenging play to visualize, so I appreciate this edition of Manga Classics. I do think that the language is hard to match with the visuals because manga has a modern vibe and Shakespeare is definitely not modern. Though I do wish this existed when I was in high school. It would have made eleventh grade English so much easier!

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I actually tried to pick up the original play by William Shakespeare when I was a little younger and struggled with it. However, I cam across this Manga Classic and knew I had to read it and boy did it help. The art is well done and the story seems well transposed for the most part (I'll have to read the actual play to give better critique). Still, I really enjoyed this!

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I have always loved the tale of Shakespeare's Macbeth but seeing it in a comic form had me a little skeptical. However, this was pulled off beautifully. It was super easy to read and comprehend. The art was beautiful and honestly added another layer to the storytelling, one that is not so achievable by TV or theater. There is an undeniable beauty in the emotions that are conveyed through animations/art, this was like a beautifully done animation of the dark tale but in paper form. I had so much fun reading this and can't wait to get my hand on more Manga Classics.

-- 5 stars --

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The manga classics continue to be something I really enjoy. This one lived up to that. The illustrations were beautiful, and the story was easy to follow along and stayed true to the original source.

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Fresh take on an old classic. Guaranteed to engage students and help them find an interest in Shakespeare!

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It’s very accurate to the original play and the art is absolutely beautiful. The writing is also accurate and representative to the original, which is a bit of a downer because I couldn’t understand the flowery language in the play and I can’t understand it now, though I do respect the dedication to staying true to the original work.

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I am going into all of these manga adaptations with this one particular question in mind: is it going to get someone who would never read the source material, to engage with the source material in a meaningful or substantial way?

Yes. Teen readers will engage with this novel in a substantial way. Probably more so than the actual book of the play. However, I do usually recommend reluctant readers to also give the movie adaptations as try since these works are meant to be SEEN acted rather than read. But this adaptation does a good job of making the difficult word choices more clear in their contextual meaning. It also does a good job of differentiating all the similar male characters.

I can freely admit-- Macbeth is one of my least favourite Shakespeare plays, but this definitely a good adaptation for young teen or reluctant readers.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

This was a great rendition of a Shakespearean classic. As someone who's never read Macbeth, this was the perfect format for me to maximize my understanding. As far as I could tell, the text in the manga was true to the original piece of work, aside from scene descriptions, which were part of the artwork. Although this can't replace the original work. this is an amazing supplementary resource with great artwork to better understand the story.

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Macbeth is one of my favorite pieces from Shakespeare. When I found that someone created a manga version, I was all over that. When I read it, I wished I was back in high school for a spit second. When we were reading the play and watching the theatrical remakes of Macbeth, this would have been another great option to help teach the material. This Manga classic combines both the Shakespeare’s written words with literature styles many tween, teens, and emerging adults are used to. The language becomes easier to process because we can recognize the facial expressions, reactions, and actions used in each panel. Just reading the words or watching recordings alone can be hard because the words don’t make sense or the movie is going to fast – sometimes you have to go over pages many times. In this manga classic, Macbeth seems to flow easier.
There are only two downsides from what I can see. One is that the book itself is thick, which may be daunting for some students. This means, though, the artists took their time and paced the action for readers. The second downside I noticed was the numbering. Normally in plays you see line numbering or indicators, which is what teachers use to mark or teach the material. However, the only markings they included in this book are the scene switches. I understand it would have been difficult to number the lines in a manga, but that is something to consider if you plan to use this book traditionally. Be aware, though, that the publisher gives readers a lesson plan and teaching guide, so this may be a non-issue.
Overall, I would recommend this book and the rest of the series.

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Truly amazing artistry was put into this book and in trance with a beautiful story that did not sway away from originality, this book is real good.

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