Series : Manga Classics by Udon Entertainment / Official Site
Illustrated by : Po Tse
Adapted by : Stacey King
Original Author : Jane Austen
Year Published : 2016
Genre : Manga, Classics, Romance, Family, Regency
Edition : Digital (also available in Paperback, Hardcover, and Kindle eBook)
# of Pages : 308 pages
Impulsive Marianne Dashwood and cautious Elinor are as different as two sisters could be, yet both are shattered by their father’s sudden Death. Elinor’s attachment to the reserved Edward Ferrars is torn asunder by family opposition and his own dark secret, while Marianne’s brilliant romance with the dashing John Willoughby comes to a tumultuous end in a devastating public betrayal. Can the two sisters overcome these trials to find true, lasting happiness?
Jane Austen’s beloved first novel, filled with romance, redemption and social critique, is brought to life for a modern audience in this gorgeous manga-style adaptation!
This is my third time reading and reviewing a Manga Classics work. The other two were The Count of Monte Cristo (which remains my favorite, highly recommended) and Macbeth (good for fans of Shakespeare and more action and intrigue-oriented manga)
Sense and Sensibility is a huge shift to something different in terms of art style, content, and overall mood. I’m impressed so far with how this company employs a unique art style and approach with each volume I’ve tried thus far.
First of all, the art. It’s pretty, girlish, and flowery. Very suited to the subject matter- a warm storyline about sisters and and first romances. The characters are all easily differentiated and have their own unique characteristics. I was most fond of the approach to Elinor and Marianne, as Elinor appears more upright and down-to-earth whereas Marianne is vivacious and dreamy. Their character designs and expressions reflect the stark contrast.
To be honest, it took me a while to become fully enchanted with the art. I grew to like it more going forward and believe that the quality of nitty gritty line work also improved as the book proceeded. Important, pivotal scenes are given an extra splash of detail, with carefully drawn faces, expressions, and backdrops.
I have not yet fully read the original novel, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Last year I made it to about the 30% mark and put it aside for other books, part of the reason being that I had difficulty gleaning finer details due to the classical prose.
One of the great advantages of Manga Classics is in taking the valuable elements of stories and making them easier to digest, and in an appealing way for people who enjoy manga. I am now far more eager to eventually read Sense and Sensibility and more interested in the storyline and characters after gaining an increased familiarity with them.
From what I remember of the 30% of the original novel I did read, it seems this adaptation did indeed take the best parts of various conversations and prominently feature them. There are many beautiful lines in this story that are thoughtfully decorated and/or illustrated befittingly. I found it very easy to follow along and fully gain from the conversations between the characters. The level of clarity in this adaptation is very good.
I hadn’t known venturing into it that Sense and Sensibility was such a bittersweet story of romance under complicated social mores and class divisions. As a story about sisters, it is also touching and endearing. The length was perfect, 300 pages is a lot for a single volume of manga that remains within a reasonable price range. But the time spent reading it is also just a bit longer than a movie and offers that seem feeling of experiencing a brisk adaptation.
*Many thanks to Netgalley and Udon Entertainment for providing me an electronic advanced reading copy of this volume for review purposes.*
Overall Rating – 8/10
Why You Should Try It – If you enjoy or have an interest in reading Austen novels AND adore manga. If you want to read a warm-hearted, bittersweet (and positive!) classical romance that doubles as a heartfelt storyline about sisters. Manga Classics editions also have hardcovers which is awesome and a rarity in manga publications.
Why You Might Not Like It – If you’re an avid consumer of very modern shoujo (girls) manga from 2015-2019, the art style employed here can seem old-school. It took me a little while to get comfortable with it. There are other Manga Classics entries that have art I enjoyed more (Les Miserables and The Count Of Monte Cristo come to mind.)Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility (Amazon Link)
Have you read any titles from the Manga Classics line from Udon Entertainment, or do you want to? Are you a Jane Austen fan? Feel free to comment, I appreciate your likes and comments.