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Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter

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A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne's tragic saga of Puritan Ameri A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne's tragic saga of Puritan America. Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.


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A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne's tragic saga of Puritan Ameri A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne's tragic saga of Puritan America. Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.

30 review for Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    Having not read the original classic, I had no expectations whatsoever regarding the story or any element related to it. I did, however, wish, as I do whenever I start reading a manga, for the graphics to be beautiful and for them to make us clearly understand the actions of the characters. In this case, those two conditions were fulfilled, so I did enjoy my reading of this novel. Still, perhaps it would have been better for me to read the original classic novel before starting this m Having not read the original classic, I had no expectations whatsoever regarding the story or any element related to it. I did, however, wish, as I do whenever I start reading a manga, for the graphics to be beautiful and for them to make us clearly understand the actions of the characters. In this case, those two conditions were fulfilled, so I did enjoy my reading of this novel. Still, perhaps it would have been better for me to read the original classic novel before starting this manga, for I had trouble here and there understanding the characters. I felt like they were barely presented and some of their actions out of their personality or simply unjustified. For example, there was this scene in which Pearl, Hester’s daughter, turned evil-like and seemed to not even recognize her mother, and that only because this latter took her ‘‘A’’ letter off her chest. That was just…weird. It’s like every character, except for Hester, had this double personality, which I thought was thought-provoking but so poorly explained or given detail on that I mostly got confused when trying to make links and ‘‘get it’’. Period. Other than that, the story felt rushed, very rushed. A fast-pacing is most certainly a good thing when reading a story including action, adventure but, since this aimed a focus on the psychological aspect of characters, I don’t think it was such a great idea. It was like the author started a subject and then BAM, a new scene was inserted. Manga’s fault or not, it should have been slower. Funny how the romance left me emotionless. I had no idea how him (to not spoil you) fell in love, why they loved each other ‘‘so much’’ as for Hester to keep the name of her lover hidden from everyone and, especially, how she could have concealed her feelings for him from everyone for so long. Basically, I just wasn’t convinced. They did not look unconditionally in love. Lack of dept characterization-wise, realism in the romance, adequate pacing and detail for the story aside, as a whole this was enjoyable and pretty captivating despite all its flaws. Plus, let’s not forget the beautiful drawings! I wouldn’t recommend actually buying this book if, like me, you have not read The Scarlet Letter as a novel before, because, in my opinion, the story told in this manga format was incomplete. I felt like so much was missing. Maybe I’m being generous with my rating, but everything that I appreciated, I did so too much to think of this book as ‘‘okay’’ only.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aneela ♒the_mystique_reader♒

    I had great expectations for this Manga Classic. The description of this Manga Classic sounded promising. Not having read the original work, I can't say whether it was the original story or the manga adaptation that ruined it for me. What is it about? Hester Prynne had a few months old baby while her husband left her 2 years ago. For this sin, she suffered public shaming and was out casted. She was also confined to the prison for her sin. The scarlet letter "A" for Adulterous was pinned on her chest. I had great expectations for this Manga Classic. The description of this Manga Classic sounded promising. Not having read the original work, I can't say whether it was the original story or the manga adaptation that ruined it for me. What is it about? Hester Prynne had a few months old baby while her husband left her 2 years ago. For this sin, she suffered public shaming and was out casted. She was also confined to the prison for her sin. The scarlet letter "A" for Adulterous was pinned on her chest. Despite all this suffering she kept her lips sealed and did not disclose the name of the kid's father. Then her husband came back and suspected the sinner and wanted to punish her through him. When Hester was set free, instead of leaving the town she chose to live there in a small house. She earned her living by her beautiful needlework. Even those who hated her, public shamed her, would come to her door to adorn their clothes with her needlework. Why I liked it: 1. How shameless and dual-faced are people? The original story was written in 19th century but to even this day, this practice is common. The townspeople out casted her, called her a sinner and wouldn't allow her to touch a white bridal veil because it is symbolic to purity and being a sinner she can't touch it but they wouldn't mind their own dresses, gloves, minister's robes and bows to be embroidered by her. 2. The story shows another dark side of the society (still prevailing today) i.e., labelling people by their sins and forget that they are only human and should leave judgement to God. 3. I liked how, with patience, kindness and compassion, Hester changed the perspective of others towards her. 4. The artwork is awesome like other Manga Classics I have read. What I disliked: 1. The way the minister acted by always clutching his chest. It was too obvious that there was something wrong with him and yet nobody inquired or suspected him except for Pearl and Hester's husband that too after 7 years of doing so. 2. In the end, the minister started acting like a crazy and a perverted person. 3. Why didn't Hester show no emotions towards the minister? How could she be so indifferent towards him? It would be better if the reader was shown what she is feeling and thinking. 5. The story took time to develop but was wrapped up so quickly and abruptly. An eARC of this comic was provided by Udon Entertainment via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    UPDATE: I've received a lengthy, considerate reply from the publisher explaining more about the manga format and how they're attempting to make literature more accessible for all readers. I'll add some of it at the bottom of my review. I love finding ways to help struggling readers, and if this works, great! - - - - - 3.5★ I’m sure there are manga readers who will find this a great way to be introduced to classic stories. It’s the first manga I’ve read, so reading right to l UPDATE: I've received a lengthy, considerate reply from the publisher explaining more about the manga format and how they're attempting to make literature more accessible for all readers. I'll add some of it at the bottom of my review. I love finding ways to help struggling readers, and if this works, great! - - - - - 3.5★ I’m sure there are manga readers who will find this a great way to be introduced to classic stories. It’s the first manga I’ve read, so reading right to left (back to front for me) took some getting used to, but that’s just my problem, not the author’s or publisher’s. The issue for me is the illustrations themselves. Again, my problem, I guess, since I found it unsettling to see so many of the Puritans of North America depicted in the child-like manga format. The round faces and huge eyes will appeal to lovers of the form, I'm sure, but anyone not supposed to be fairly aged, looked about 12. It was also a preview PDF copy and was only black and white (except for the colourful cover and a bright red A), which probably detracted from it as well. I grew up with a Classics Illustrated subscription at home, and I read them many times over, so maybe I’m just prejudiced against an unfamiliar style. Who knows? As much as I remember of the original book (high school!), this was a faithful rendition with very simple dialogue, always written in capital letters. We see this Adulterous (the A) woman with her new baby (not her husband’s) shunned by her neighbours and told to save herself. “ 'SPEAK OUT THE NAME! YOUR CHILD NEEDS A FATHER!' [Hester Prynne] 'I WILL NOT SPEAK. MY CHILD MUST SEEK A HEAVENLY FATHER, FOR SHE SHALL NEVER KNOW AN EARTHLY ONE.” She’s sent to prison, where she is so distressed they fear she may harm her child and suggest taking it away. She manages to keep the child with her but lives alone, refusing to tell anyone about the father or even about who her real husband is. The locals think the child is wild, possibly magic, which allows for some fanciful illustrations, too. This will no doubt help students who would struggle with Hawthorne's writing but who could take away the message of the story and the illustration of what life was like then for playing around outside of marriage. People today have a hard time understanding how dangerous life was if you didn't conform and toe the line. As an aside, this was one of the books that had a great number of the unusual words our English teacher made us find in literature. I don't recall which were in this book, but they were words like 'clandestine' and 'contumely'. Sure, you use them every day, don't you? :) Thanks to NetGalley and Udon Entertainment for a preview copy to review. I’m sure there will be fans out there who eat this stuff up. Here are a few Classics Illustrated books. There were hundreds, as I recall, probably all expensive collector's items now. https://www.goodreads.com/author/list... - - - - - Excerpts from the reply from Udon's V.P. of Sales: " Your observations are fairly standard for anyone who is just now beginning to read a story in the manga format. Traditionally, manga are printed in black and white. This is mostly because it began as the most cost effective way to produce books that run into the 300-400 page count. With our adaptation of The Scarlet Letter we opted to use spot coloring only on the letter A which ensures the reader knows how visible it was to everyone around Hester. The upper case lettering is something that all comics publishers default to. I personally tend to argue that we need to move to upper and lower case fonts. We are getting closer to making that change. The art style used for the physical appearances is also a standard trope for the manga world. Big eyes, round faces...except where the character is perceived as evil or basically shady all date back to the earliest developments in Japanese comics publishing. Ironically enough, this began as a tribute to the earliest animation features created by Walt Disney. I think, one of the more interesting trends to follow is the revelation by so many reviewers, is they did not read the original work-opting instead, for the cliff notes version. OK, so this probably went on a bit longer than you had anticipated. I just figured it would help to add some context to your manga reading experience. I'm also glad you entered the manga world via one of our adaptations. Manga is a real challenge if you don't have any sort of reference point from which to begin. It's visually noisy but it also forces you to process the words and dialogue more as the images provide context for the words. I hope you are willing to try the rest of our books as we post them to NetGalley. I discovered myself that it's easier to read in all caps, too, incidentally. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/artic...

  4. 4 out of 5

    [Shai] Bibliophage

    How odd that they keep on mentioning the Man in Black and how peculiar Pearl's personality is; not to mention that Chillingworth is really creepy. I still haven't read the novel of Scarlet Letter, and thanks to this graphic novel, I became aware that there's a sect or religion of Puritan that practices purity and simplicity. I gave this 5 stars because while reading the story - particularly the characterization - I was able to guess that there is some kind of magic or witchcraft going on; and I How odd that they keep on mentioning the Man in Black and how peculiar Pearl's personality is; not to mention that Chillingworth is really creepy. I still haven't read the novel of Scarlet Letter, and thanks to this graphic novel, I became aware that there's a sect or religion of Puritan that practices purity and simplicity. I gave this 5 stars because while reading the story - particularly the characterization - I was able to guess that there is some kind of magic or witchcraft going on; and I even suspect that Illuminati or the New World Order is involved. Moreover, the bittersweet conclusion to the love story of Arthur and Hester is a little heart-wrenching. Lastly, it also shows us some moral lessons such as no one's perfect, being honest, practice empathy, and always be forgiving.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tammie

    The Scarlet Letter: Manga Classics was a solid 5 stars. Even as an older adult, I can honestly state that I’m really enjoying these Manga Classics. I remember reading The Scarlet Letter way back in my teen years, so this was a great “refresher” of sorts. The story centers around Hester Prynne, a married woman living in a Puritan settlement. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet “A” after committing adultery, which also resulted in the birth of her daughter Pearl. While I enjoyed the story, the artw The Scarlet Letter: Manga Classics was a solid 5 stars. Even as an older adult, I can honestly state that I’m really enjoying these Manga Classics. I remember reading The Scarlet Letter way back in my teen years, so this was a great “refresher” of sorts. The story centers around Hester Prynne, a married woman living in a Puritan settlement. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet “A” after committing adultery, which also resulted in the birth of her daughter Pearl. While I enjoyed the story, the artwork was very well done and certainly added to the story. I’d recommend The Scarlet Letter: Manga Classic to anyone that enjoys classics, manga and graphic novels. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aya Hamza

    SUCH A GREAT IDEA! I didn't read the original classic! It's a crying shame! 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 explanations for. Yeah, this manga made me eager to read the original classic! "An Advanced Review Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    I am now a Manga Ninja! Okay, not really. In fact, this book was my (covers mouth and mumbles) first. I recently told a coworker I wanted to read “Sailor Moon” and I still feel the sting of her laughter. Obviously I missed several decades of Manga, but better late than never, right? So how do I review this? I need to split it into two parts, but most of this will review the medium and story-boarding of the graphic novel. Hawthorne. That name came back to me as I read. I I am now a Manga Ninja! Okay, not really. In fact, this book was my (covers mouth and mumbles) first. I recently told a coworker I wanted to read “Sailor Moon” and I still feel the sting of her laughter. Obviously I missed several decades of Manga, but better late than never, right? So how do I review this? I need to split it into two parts, but most of this will review the medium and story-boarding of the graphic novel. Hawthorne. That name came back to me as I read. I remembered reading another story by him, about devils in the woods, and witchcraft, surely not him, but yes, he wrote, “Young Goodman Brown,” a story I’m convinced Joe Hill and Stephen King admire. I read this story in high school but didn’t remember the details. The story unfolds with literary power and stamina. I plan to follow up with the original novel. Amazing. I appreciate the story-boarding, and the cutting of scenes into multiple drawings. The authors and artists create symbolic imagery and set out pictures insinuating ideas Hawthorne manifests in his literary text. An example: the victim, the husband, an old, withered man out for vengeance in the name of Monte Cristo. He fails, becomes a bitter evil hag, and the artists draw elaborate serpents around him. The important ladies have perfect bodies and large breasts. I’m not sure if people think that good or bad. I liked it. I think that’s a Manga thing. I’m happy with the artwork also, the people have big, Japanese eyes, and that baby, man! so cute! When the little girl grows up, so cute! especially since she acts out under all the condemnation she has been born into. The minister, the guy with all the black clothes on, not "the man in black," (as they call the Devil in the wood) but – or is he? – looks like a Japanese version of Elvis, a real stud-muffin with flowing black hair, like Kylo Ren gave his heart to Jesus and became a Priest or something. I highly recommend this book, especially to new readers, or young readers who get bored with the classics. I like the idea of putting these important stories into Manga, preserving specimens of historical art in bottles of glittering media. (NetGalley, and the publishers working with them, gave me this in exchange for a review. I’m grateful. Well worth the time. So thank you.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Arybo ✨

    3.75 This manga was as good as the other titles in the Udon Manga Classics series. I loved the drawings and the characters’ descriptions. I read the original book years ago and this manga reminded me about the story and the spiritual journey of the main character very well. As always, art style is really good, the plot lines are also very well chosen and I enjoyed the reading experience a lot. I want to spend some words about this phenomenal idea of re-made classics: I appreciate all 3.75 This manga was as good as the other titles in the Udon Manga Classics series. I loved the drawings and the characters’ descriptions. I read the original book years ago and this manga reminded me about the story and the spiritual journey of the main character very well. As always, art style is really good, the plot lines are also very well chosen and I enjoyed the reading experience a lot. I want to spend some words about this phenomenal idea of re-made classics: I appreciate all the work and all the passion the writers and the artists show in this volumes. This format can help people not interest in Classics to enjoy them in different ways. And this is very helpful, if you are a student and you need to learn about a giant group of old books. 😅 *I received a free digital copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review *

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    While by no means will you be able to read Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter and get away with it for your big book report, or does it truly master all of the complexity of the original work. The Manga Classics version could be read and understood without ever having read the original, and it's true, you would be able to understand the basic jist of the original. But, Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter adds something of its own to the original story. This version is more centered on the theme of hope and of Hester While by no means will you be able to read Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter and get away with it for your big book report, or does it truly master all of the complexity of the original work. The Manga Classics version could be read and understood without ever having read the original, and it's true, you would be able to understand the basic jist of the original. But, Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter adds something of its own to the original story. This version is more centered on the theme of hope and of Hester Prynne's true innocence and eventual climb into being one of the best people in the town. The graphics were a nice add to the story, and I enjoyed how the whole story was in black and white, except for the "A" (which was obviously in red). Even though the original version is beautifully written, this version played more to its own strengths and used the bare minimum of words, and instead using pictures that sometimes covered an entire page with their complexity. Overall, do I think you can skip out on reading the classic: The Scarlett Letter ? No. I personally think the classic is considered a classic for a reason and should not be skipped. But, Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter is a nice add for anyone who is considering reading the classic, or who wants to have some side material to further enjoy their reading experience.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Flor

    I honestly love this whole concept, the art is beautiful as always, this is the the third manga classic I’ve read and it won’t be the last. I review this adaptation as someone who hasn’t read the original artwork but who’s really glad to have read this one first. The Scarlet Letter is a complex and difficult tale to fully understand, in basic, it’s the story of a woman who committed adultery and now has to carry an “A” on her chest for the rest of her days. But it’s so much I honestly love this whole concept, the art is beautiful as always, this is the the third manga classic I’ve read and it won’t be the last. I review this adaptation as someone who hasn’t read the original artwork but who’s really glad to have read this one first. The Scarlet Letter is a complex and difficult tale to fully understand, in basic, it’s the story of a woman who committed adultery and now has to carry an “A” on her chest for the rest of her days. But it’s so much more, the thing that hit me the most was the marriage aspect itself, everything started because there was no love between them. I feel terrible for everyone back there and even nowadays who doesn’t have a word in that important aspect in their lives. And this story is just a hard reminder of all that pain, but even so our protagonist never let them win, she carried her “A” with honor and changed its meaning for good. I think stories like this one are needed today, I certainly got a lot of thoughts within few pages and that’s all because of the novel and the wonderful way it was told in this volume, my applause goes to the brilliant minds who created this manga. Please keep doing them cause I’ll be more than happy to keep on reading.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kailey (BooksforMKs)

    I am so impressed with this graphic novel! The artwork is beautiful and each panel shows a clear story. The classic story of the Scarlet Letter is condensed but retains its integrity, and the characters are powerfully depicted. The tension and emotion of the story really comes through in the art and dialogue. Even small changes in the coloring or lighting show a change in mood or scene, and as the characters develop and change through the story, their appearance slightly changes to reflect that I am so impressed with this graphic novel! The artwork is beautiful and each panel shows a clear story. The classic story of the Scarlet Letter is condensed but retains its integrity, and the characters are powerfully depicted. The tension and emotion of the story really comes through in the art and dialogue. Even small changes in the coloring or lighting show a change in mood or scene, and as the characters develop and change through the story, their appearance slightly changes to reflect that as well. I was especially delighted in the way little Pearl was drawn. She looks like an imp straight from fairyland. Her wildness and sweetness are perfectly balanced in the art and in her dialogue. You can see her anger and her love, her free nature and her curiosity all so clearly! Beautifully done! The tension, both romantic and fearful, between Hester and the men in her life is palpable as it comes through each panel. It's such a big part of the emotional landscape of the story. I was glad to see that a lot of the symbolism of the original classic is highlighted in this manga. The serpent around Chillingsworth, showing his mania and darkness, and the emphasis on sunlight and shadows, and how the letter A on Hester's bosom is almost a character by itself... all wonderfully done! I can't wait to read more of the Manga Classics! It's such a unique and lovely way to experience these classic stories. Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. The opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gill

    'Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter' 3.5 stars/ 7 out of 10 I was interested in reading this book, because I have read some discussions about it; and also some information and explanations from the publisher concerning manga in general, and this book in particular. I have read the original 'The Scarlet Letter' but this is my first manga book. I enjoyed reading (is that the right term?) this book. It took me a bit of time to get used to the direction of 'Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter' 3.5 stars/ 7 out of 10 I was interested in reading this book, because I have read some discussions about it; and also some information and explanations from the publisher concerning manga in general, and this book in particular. I have read the original 'The Scarlet Letter' but this is my first manga book. I enjoyed reading (is that the right term?) this book. It took me a bit of time to get used to the direction of the story in terms of pages, and on each page. I was surprised how quickly I adapted to this though.mI thought the use of black and white in general for the illustrations, with only the scarlet A in colour, was very effective. I liked that. There are some interesting pages at the end about how the manga version was developed from the original story. I know the general story from previously, so found the storyline easy to follow. I can't comment on how easy that would be for someone who doesn't already know the plot. I can imagine that this Manga Classic would serve as a very good introduction to the original novel for many young people, and would make the original novel easier for them to understand. At some stage I will choose another manga book; probably one of a story I do not already know, so that I can experience how well that works for me. Thank you to Udon Entertainment and to NetGalley for an ARC.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kitty Marie

    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 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. In closing, 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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adela Cacovean

    The Scarlet Letter is the third Manga Classic I read and I must say this is getting rather addictive. I seem to be making a habit of reading this kind of adaptations to sample classics that have been on my to be read pile for quite some time. For this one, I remember seing the movie when I was little, but just the ending, and I actually own an ebook copy just waiting for me on my Kindle. I must say, this manga adaptation made me want to move it higher on my TBR list. The story, for th The Scarlet Letter is the third Manga Classic I read and I must say this is getting rather addictive. I seem to be making a habit of reading this kind of adaptations to sample classics that have been on my to be read pile for quite some time. For this one, I remember seing the movie when I was little, but just the ending, and I actually own an ebook copy just waiting for me on my Kindle. I must say, this manga adaptation made me want to move it higher on my TBR list. The story, for those unfamiliar, is about a young woman who gives birth to a perfectly healthy girl. The problem, you are wondering? Well, it's just that she is not married to the man she conceived her with, and because of this, she is forced to wear a red letter "A" on her chest, which stands for Adultery. It is meant as a form of punishment and everyone in the village despises her and shows her to their children as a bad moral example. The identity of the father is kept secret by the poor mother, but it soon becomes very clear to the reader who he is. The illustrations are beautiful as expected from the Manga Classics series and as far as I've seen in other people's reviews, the story remains true to the original. As always, I recommend this to fans of the original novel, those who are thinking of reading it or anyone who loves manga in general. It is a fast read, an engaging, emotional story and a great way to relax after a bad day or when trying to get over a reading slump. If anyone involved in the making of this series of amazing manga adaptions of classic novels is reading this review, please add Jane Eyre to your collection and I will be the most grateful person in the whole wide world. It is my favourite classic of all time. Scratch that. It's my favourite book ever and that's all.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Curie

    "Was it simply that her scarlett letter sat bold upon her breast, while the sins of others were hidden in their own hearts?" The idea of classics told in form of manga was so abstruse to me, that I just had to give it a try. The author, Stacy King, made it her mission to find the right balance between preserving the depth of the original piece while keeping up with the "taste of the younger generation". I have not read the original book by Nathaniel Hawthorne yet, so I can't make comparisons as to how "Was it simply that her scarlett letter sat bold upon her breast, while the sins of others were hidden in their own hearts?" The idea of classics told in form of manga was so abstruse to me, that I just had to give it a try. The author, Stacy King, made it her mission to find the right balance between preserving the depth of the original piece while keeping up with the "taste of the younger generation". I have not read the original book by Nathaniel Hawthorne yet, so I can't make comparisons as to how similar this version of the story is to the novel its based upon. Still, the story felt condensed and rushed. Not in a gripping fast-paced way, but it made me feel like I was on a speedy escalator watching the story pass me by. At some points understanding why something was happening didn't come naturally and some actions and scenes left me confused, as if I were missing information. This wasn't terrible and it's a noble cause King is on: making classics more accessible to people who are cautious when it comes to 19th century language and dwellings. There's an afterword in which she explains how she tried to convey certain themes and aspects of the novel and it becomes apparent that she cares about these books and treats her material with care and thought. I suppose if you just want to dip your toe in the water of classics, this could be a nice starting point or even alternative. I'd say it did little for me, but now I do want to read The Scarlett Letter more than before, so I guess in a way, this was a success.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Umaiya ❄️Ramblings of a Scattered Mind❄️

    I don't like classics. I just have a real hard time falling into the story but I've always been curious about the hype. Why do people like them so much, what is it exactly that is so interesting? So if you're someone like me, getting this manga is a great idea to catch up. You don't have to imagine anything, it's all depicted in front of your eyes, no long and boring descriptions, only and only the essential story. Ever since I watched Emma Stone's Special A, I'd wanted I don't like classics. I just have a real hard time falling into the story but I've always been curious about the hype. Why do people like them so much, what is it exactly that is so interesting? So if you're someone like me, getting this manga is a great idea to catch up. You don't have to imagine anything, it's all depicted in front of your eyes, no long and boring descriptions, only and only the essential story. Ever since I watched Emma Stone's Special A, I'd wanted to read The Scarlet Letter, so this here manga was God sent cause now I know what the story is. It's not something I'll be reading again, the story was kinda just ridiculous but I guess that is how things were back then. I guess I don't really have anything, good or bad, to say about the book, I just didn't like it. And I'd probably give it like a 1.5stars but I liked the art so that's another 1.5 stars. Turning it into a manga, once again is a commendable effort that just might get me to read more classics. ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    I am truly grateful to get this from Net Galley as an exchange for honest review. I would highlight that Classic is not really my genre, it's a bit hard for me to understand the sentences as English is not my first language too. Therefore, when I thought that it would be made into manga, I was thrilled, hoping it would help me to understand the story better . The Scarlet Letter told a story of a sin acted by Hester Prynne. In this world, it's adultery or cheating, I suppose it's called. I am truly grateful to get this from Net Galley as an exchange for honest review. I would highlight that Classic is not really my genre, it's a bit hard for me to understand the sentences as English is not my first language too. Therefore, when I thought that it would be made into manga, I was thrilled, hoping it would help me to understand the story better . The Scarlet Letter told a story of a sin acted by Hester Prynne. In this world, it's adultery or cheating, I suppose it's called. In that time, 17th century, if I recalled, Hester was deemed to be punished because of this sin and was asked to tell her partner, but refused to do so. I would start with what I liked about this manga, I love the drawing especially for Hester and the little Pearl, Hester's daughter. It's the typical manga drawing that you would find interesting and I love it. It also captured well of the hypocrisy of the villagers who deemed her guilty, that made me just wanted to shut them off for being so. Another one is the way Hester's character was portrayed there. Instead of feeling sad, she's shown to be determined and strong, making her a like-able character. However, I have to admit that time passes and as much as this is a manga, it would be logical to make her character growing older. If anyone, Hester's so-called husband was the only one who seemed to be lost in time. Hester still looked so young and lovable. I know it's a manga, but I believe that even in real world and that time, a stay young beauty product hasn't been introduced yet, or maybe it does? Oh well. Secondly, the way the minister keeps holding his hand is quite obvious, like I know he's hiding something, especially since the beginning. I do not understand why. In addition, there is not much explanation about Pearls' bizarre behavior. She seemed quite peculiar, to be honest. And lastly, I believe this story was supposed to be told by another character who suddenly found about The Scarlet Letter, but then there was not much about him that made me feel like he's supposed to be the one who was supposed to be telling it. Usually I love a POV like that, when a present person told an old story with some hidden mysteries. But I would love his story to be developed a bit more. Alas, I still enjoy this story and I believe the manga still delivers it purposes about the Novel. Oh, just an advice! Make sure to read it from right to left, this is a manga after all....

  18. 5 out of 5

    thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)

    I loved this adaptation of the scarlet letter, the art work is beautiful and this version brought the story up to date and really interesting. I love manga so was really interested to read this version in their manga classics range and wasn't disappointed. This graphic novel is a great introduction to both manga and classic literature. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion

  19. 4 out of 5

    Josephine

    I'm auto-approved by Udon Entertainment on Netgalley, where I got this, so thank you thank you! 3.5 stars. My first read since January! I love these manga classics so much 😍 Okay, so this isn't my favourite story, mostly because not much really happens, and I would definitely never have made it through the original classic, so I'm grateful that these manga versions make reading the classics so much easier and more entertaining. I can't speak for how accura/>3.5 I'm auto-approved by Udon Entertainment on Netgalley, where I got this, so thank you thank you! 3.5 stars. My first read since January! I love these manga classics so much 😍 Okay, so this isn't my favourite story, mostly because not much really happens, and I would definitely never have made it through the original classic, so I'm grateful that these manga versions make reading the classics so much easier and more entertaining. I can't speak for how accurate/true to the original this version is as I haven't read it, but I didn't feel like I was lacking anything important. Hester is a very strong woman, and I admire her a lot for how she tackled what she went through. This was definitely enjoyable and the art was amazing, as always. Again, I just wish a bit more happened, but that's just my own personal preference. I've got no complaints when it comes to this though, it just isn't a favourite.

  20. 5 out of 5

    ~Geektastic~

    (I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review) Manga Classics has tackled several works of Western literature, including Pride and Prejudice, Les Miserables, A Tale of Two Cities, and most recently Emma (which I’m currently reading. Short take: it’s nuts), but The Scarlet Letter seems to be the first work of American fiction the series has tackled. It’s an odd choice. Not because Letter isn’t a classic or impossible to adapt, but because manga tropes operate in al (I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review) Manga Classics has tackled several works of Western literature, including Pride and Prejudice, Les Miserables, A Tale of Two Cities, and most recently Emma (which I’m currently reading. Short take: it’s nuts), but The Scarlet Letter seems to be the first work of American fiction the series has tackled. It’s an odd choice. Not because Letter isn’t a classic or impossible to adapt, but because manga tropes operate in almost total opposition to the intentionally repressed, historical tone of the original. Hawthorne used a deliberate style to convey the time period and the Puritan mindset, and manga is by nature (or at least by tradition) pretty much the opposite, even when being serious. I don’t want to generalize too much—there are a lot of different genres hanging out under the manga umbrella—but a decade and a half of experience with the form gives me some confidence in this opinion (though I am nowhere near being an expert). The story itself should be pretty well known at this point: In 17th century Puritan Boston, Hester Prynne is forced to wear a big letter A on her chest as punishment for having a child out of wedlock with an unnamed father. Her much older husband, who has been missing for a couple of years, conveniently arrives in town the day Hester and her baby are displayed on the stocks in front of the village and Hester refuses to name the father. Her husband vows to root out the baby daddy and make his life miserable. He assumes a new name, Roger Chillingworth (subtle, right?), insinuates his way into Reverend Dimmesdale’s life (the aforementioned baby daddy) and pretty much drives him to his death. Meanwhile, Hester, who is about one million times tougher than Dimmesdale and Chillingworth, proves that all the Puritans are a bunch of hoity-toity, hypocritical jerks and raises her weird daughter Pearl all on her own while being a charitable lady of kindness. (I’m making a poor attempt at being glib; there's a lot more to it, but let’s move on). This adaptation does forgo a lot of manga tropes for a more straightforward storytelling style; there are no random sweat drops, bishie sparkles, or chibi effects (though there might be one or two instances of hidden eyes). However, it does feature some moments of exaggerated melodrama and hyperbolic visual cues. For example, there are several scenes where Chillingworth is drawn surrounded by the coils of a giant snake- just in case you didn’t get the message that he is the bad guy. Also, he’s an alchemist, I guess? He holds fire in his hands, which I’m pretty sure is not a Hawthorne thing. I’m assuming it’s another visual metaphor like the snake, but literal and figurative blur quite a bit. There is also a lot of shouting. Something that really pulled me out of the story at first (and made me giggle) is the character design for Reverend Dimmesdale. He is pretty hardcore bishounen. In fact, it looks like he hasn’t even hit puberty yet, which honestly undermines the whole I-can’t-confess-because-I’m-a-leader thing that is supposed to be at the root of all of his problems. The townspeople have to talk about how wonderful he is all the time, just to drive home that he is 1) actually an adult, and 2) the best preacher ever, apparently. There is a lot of internal and external exposition going on, which is par for the course in most comic forms, Japanese or otherwise, but it seems like Dimmesdale requires it to be taken seriously at all. Hester is generically anime-pretty, and Pearl is revoltingly cute, but Dimmesdale is a walking distraction. The adaptation itself—the translation of the story into this visual medium and into the framework of another culture—is not terrible. It is certainly a gekiga manga, a “serious” story, and appears to be geared towards middle-school age and above as a way to experience classic literature in a more palatable way. The Scarlet Letter is one of those books that seems to take more than its fair share of abuse from students required to read it in high school, so perhaps the manga treatment is the best way to translate something so definitively American (the manga’s attempts to define Puritanism are laughably simplistic, but get the job done) into something more understandable for Japanese student readers. I guess the irony is that we then re-translate the manga version into English for the otaku who prefer their American literature Japanese-style.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm Everett

    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 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!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    It's a been a bit since I read the actual book, but this seemed like a fine adaptation. I'm sure it's missing some of the nuance of the original book, but the core story is nicely done, from my memory. The art is manga standard, but that won't be jarring to the sort of person who's likely to read a manga adaptation of a classic novel.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jody McGrath

    A great classic novel brought back to life in a graphic novel. It makes reading more challenging books so much easier for younger audiences. I look forward to reading more of these. I hear there is a very good representation of Pride and Prejudice! * I read an ARC of this book and have written an honest review *

  24. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    This is actually really well done.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lara Mi

    The Scarlet Letter is the first of the Manga Classics adaptations where I know close to nothing of its original - I've never read it nor do I intend on doing so! Some stories only work for me through specific mediums. I always thought I would not enjoy this novel and have thus stayed clear from it. Reading this manga adaptation has strengthened my belief in not liking its original source material - but it seems to work relatively well in this manga format. The story revolves around Hester and her illegitimate The Scarlet Letter is the first of the Manga Classics adaptations where I know close to nothing of its original - I've never read it nor do I intend on doing so! Some stories only work for me through specific mediums. I always thought I would not enjoy this novel and have thus stayed clear from it. Reading this manga adaptation has strengthened my belief in not liking its original source material - but it seems to work relatively well in this manga format. The story revolves around Hester and her illegitimate child Pearl. For her sin, she is forced to wear the scarlet letter A on her chest to let everyone know about her adultery. Although often asked, Hester refuses to name the father of her child. Hester is a remarkably strong character and very likeable with her constant will to support others. Were it not for her, I am not sure where this story would have led me to. While the art is stunning - I am not too fond of most characters nor the story and setting. All the Puritan and sinners business is really not for me. I understand that that is just how it was during the day, but I feel there's a lot going to the extreme and I can't help but shake my head. The fact that this is drawn out as a manga 'softens' the tone. Thanks to the pretty art and occasional comical expression on characters' faces, it does not come across as dreary as I imagine the book to be. Nonetheless, the way Hester is treated throughout the book and her own conviction of being a sinner just did not sit right with me and prevented me from fully enjoying this work. But regardless, this is a rather special manga in its own right: although following the traditional black and white, Hester's A is printed in red and underlines its significance. The plot is left quite vague as to whether or not there is anything super natural at hand - but whether there is or not, the manga style works well for displaying the potential demonic forces. Despite some of my dislike of the general subject, this is not a Manga Classics adaptation to be skipped!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Nathaniel Hawthorne's tragic saga of Puritan America, "The Scarlet Letter" has always been intriguing tale in which for some people the book is outright boring and for others is a masterpiece. While the Magna edition faithfully adapted the story, the illustrations (though very beautiful) made most of the characters look very young. I was provided a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Clark

    This was another good adaptation from this series. The character designs are all very cute, and they do a pretty goo job of staying true to the original book. Some side plots do get shortchanged, but the most important things do stay in, and some things are easier to see and understand in this format. I would recommend this to manga fans, or fans of classics who are looking for good visual representations, or reluctant readers of classics. This may spark their interest.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sparkleypenguin

    This graphic novel was an interesting take on the Scarlett letter. I enjoyed it very much. I liked the art style although Dimmsdales's long hair put me off a bit to his character (which is just a matter of opinion). I would recommend this to others if they had to read this for class and they were struggling with basic plot points because this book pretty much covers everything. 3.25/5 stars

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fabiola

    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 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.

  30. 4 out of 5

    luna ☾

    "God gave me this child! She is recompense for all you have taken from me! She is my happiness and my torture! Don't you see? She's the scarlet letter!!" 4/5 This review can also be found on my blog! Wow. Did I love this. For someone who's not much of a classics-reader, I'm glad I came across Manga Classics. Not only are they much faster, but if executed well, they can be pretty entertaining. Like this one. Adapted from the original The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, this classic unfolds in the merciless setting of the Puritan era, where a woman has an ioriginal The "God gave me this child! She is recompense for all you have taken from me! She is my happiness and my torture! Don't you see? She's the scarlet letter!!" 4/5 This review can also be found on my blog! Wow. Did I love this. For someone who's not much of a classics-reader, I'm glad I came across Manga Classics. Not only are they much faster, but if executed well, they can be pretty entertaining. Like this one. Adapted from the original The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, this classic unfolds in the merciless setting of the Puritan era, where a woman has an illegitimate birth after committing adultery. Thus begins the trials and tribulations of outcast Hester Prynne, with her daughter, Pearl, under the merciless glares and relentless berating of an unforgiving society. Now, if you've read my previous review on Les Misérables , then you'll know that the main issue I had with the adaptation was the fast pacing. I noticed no trace of that in this manga at all! It's probably largely due to the fact that the original The Scarlet Letter is only 238 pages, as opposed to 1200-something...but, yeah, I'm glad I didn't feel rushed while reading this. The art is, as usual, beautiful, and I loved the portrayal of Hester Prynne. Her determination and strong-will, even under all the oppression around her, amazed me. She wears the scarlet letter bold and proud, and her love for Pearl is touching. Another portrayal I loved? Hester's husband. Oh God, was it excellently presented. He starts off looking like this old, slightly-strange man, and then, as his motives unravel, and his deeds become worse by the day, his features slowly turn sharper, and suddenly you're not looking at a human anymore-but a demon. Brilliant way of showcasing his malevolence. Spoilers start from here! The plot plays out pretty well, although over here, some things are confusing. I can see that some essential character development was left out. For example, how did Hester and Arthur end up loving each other so much? How come she was willing to go to such lengths for him? And if she really loved him, why did she seem so neutral around him? They didn't have a proper conversation until seven years after Hester gave birth! And that was when she found him freaking out in a forest! I think there could have been room for more scenes that would have familiarised us more with the characters. I was definitely more interested in Pearl's seemingly-demonic nature. I actually thought something was different about her, in a supernatural way. I feel like this is heavily-implied without providing proper explanations. Also, uh...how come no one notices that Arthur is seriously unwell? He walks around clutching his chest for practically the whole book, and the only ones who notice are Hester, her daughter, and her husband, Roger Chillingworth. And everyone loved this guy. It's important to note that not everything is wrapped up in this book; there are more than a few unsolved mysteries. I definitely wanted to know more about Mistress Hibbins, and the whole "meeting" at the forest that she mentions on multiple occasions. We're never really told what the whole deal with her is, and that makes her part in the plot feel incomplete. If you look at the manga alone, it seems like the sole reason she's even put in there is because she adds to the whole "dark" and "ominous" vibe. And yet, even with all that, I still feel like this manga deserves four stars. I enjoyed it a whole lot, and the fact that the entire book is in monochrome, save for that one scarlet letter on Hester Prynne's chest, makes it all the more powerful. (Thanks to NetGalley and UDON Entertainment for providing me with an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.)

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