Review: Battle Angel Alita Vol. 1

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Title: Battle Angel Alita Vol. 1
Author: Yukito Kishiro
Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Kondasha
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In a dump in the lawless settlement of Scrapyard, far beneath the mysterious space city of Zalem, disgraced cyber-doctor Daisuke Ido makes a strange find: the detached head of a cyborg woman who has lost all her memories. He names her Alita and equips her with a powerful new body, the Berserker. While Alita remembers no details of her former life, a moment of desperation reawakens in her nerves the legendary school of martial arts known as Panzer Kunst. In a place where there is no justice but what people make for themselves, Alita decides to become a hunter-killer, tracking down and taking out those who prey on the weak. But can she hold onto her humanity as she begins to revel in her own bloodlust?

Review:

I chose this graphic novel on NetGalley because I saw a preview of the upcoming movie adaptation. I was curious about the story, because it looked unique.

The story was good. I liked that Alita was a strong fighter. Depending on the body she is given, she has different abilities. But she was always strong. The villain, Makuka, was so creepy and gross. He was often just a head that rolled around, but the face was disturbing.

Some of the pages in my copy were in colour. I loved the art on these pages. The other pages were just black and white, so it was sometimes hard to tell what was happening. There were a lot of elaborate fight scenes, which were enhanced by the colours, but difficult to decipher when in black and white.

I liked this story, so I’ll have to check out the movie when it comes out.

Review: Les Miserables (Manga Classics)

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Title: Les Miserables
Author: Victor Hugo, Stacy King, SunNeko Lee, Crystal S. Chan
Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga
Publisher: UDON Entertainment
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: September 17, 2014
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo’s classic novel of love and tragedy set in 19th century France is reborn in this fantastic new manga edition!

Gorgeous and expressive art brigns to life the unforgettable stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and the tragic Fantine in this epic adaptation of Les Misérables!

Review:

I have never read the original Les Miserables or watched the movie, so this was the first time I heard the story. I really liked it.

There was lots of tension in the story that I wasn’t expecting. There were also some mature themes, such as child abuse and prostitution. I always thought it was just a sad story, but the tense twists were very good.

I liked the art in this graphic novel too. It follows the same design of the other Manga Classics. Each of the characters were distinctly drawn. I loved the way Cosette looked. She was so adorable!

I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Now I want to read the original book!

The Scarlet Letter (Manga Classics)


Title: The Scarlet Letter (Manga Classics)
Author: Stacy King, Sun Neko Lee, Crystal S. Chan, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Publisher: UDON Entertainment
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: March 18, 2015
Rating: 

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

Review:

The Scarlet Letter was one of the first 19th Century novels I read, and I loved it. This manga was just as awesome!

One of my favourite things about this novel is how the scarlet letter stood out on Hester’s chest. All the illustrations are black and white but the letter “A” was in red. It made it stand out so much. This is different from the other Manga Classics that I’ve read, because they were completely in black and white.

Hester’s daughter, Pearl, was a very cute girl, but she was also very creepy. On the back cover of the book, there is a colour drawing of Pearl in a red dress. I wish the whole thing could be coloured, because the red of her dress and Hester’s “A” was so vibrant, that it would have contrasted very well with the dull colours of the puritan town.

This is one of my favourite books in the Manga Classics series. I highly recommend it for fans of the original book and new readers.

Jane Eyre (Manga Classics)


Title: Jane Eyre (Manga Classics) 
Author: Charlotte Bronte, Stacy King
Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga
Publisher: UDON Entertainment
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Jane Eyre was orphaned at a young age. She was sent to live with her aunt and cousins, but they never treated her well. After an incident with her cousin, Jane’s aunt, Mrs. Reed, send Jane to a school. The conditions weren’t good at the school, with the girls being underfed and underclothed. Eventually the school got better, and Jane taught there for a few years when she finished her own schooling. Then, she put out an ad to be a governess. Mrs. Fairfax asked Jane to come to teach Adele, Mr. Rochester’s charge. Soon after Jane arrives, strange things happen. She thinks the house is haunted. 

Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books. It has just enough mystery in it to make it suspenseful. 

This graphic novel is great! It tells the story very well. 

I liked the way that Jane looked very evil as a child. She had dark hair and eyes, and she was always yelling at people. It made her very spooky and set the tone for what will happen later in the story. 

Each of the characters looked very distinct, so I could distinguish between them. Sometimes, if the characters are drawn in the same style, they can blend together and become confused. But the characters all had a separate style of clothes and looks in this story. 

This is my favourite book in the Manga Classics series! 

Beauty and The Beast: The Beast’s Tale


Title: Beauty and The Beast: The Beast’s Tale
Author: Mallory Reaves
Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

The Prince had everything he could ever want. But he was not kind. When a beggar woman came to the castle, he turned her away. She cursed him and his castle, turning him into a beast and his employees into furniture. They would stay like that until the final petal falls on his rose. Then, they would all be doomed. Everything changed when Belle came along. She went to the castle to rescue her father, who the Beast had imprisoned for trying to steal a rose. Belle took her father’s place and stayed at the castle. The furniture immediately fell in love with her. They knew that if anyone could save their Prince, it would be her. 

I loved this graphic novel. It gives a fresh perspective on the Beauty and the Beast tale, since it only focuses on the Beast. Though his story is told in the movie, this manga focuses only on his side, so it is unique. 

I liked the way that the Beast’s emotions were demonstrated through the art. When the Beast was angry, sharp lines were used for shading. A few times, the Beast’s frame took up two pages, making him seem huge and intimidating. 

One thing that bothered me while reading this book was the order of the text on the page. In a manga, it is supposed to be read from right to left. But sometimes this one read from left to right, if the text was higher on the left. This was confusing at first. 

This is a really great graphic novel. It goes along with Belle’s Tale. My review for Belle’s Tale can be found here

The Jungle Book (Manga Classics)


Title: The Jungle Book
Author: Crystal S. Chan
Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Release Date: April 28, 2017
Rating: ★★

The Jungle Book has 7 different stories in it. The first is “Mowgli’s Brothers,” which is about Mowgli, who grew up with wolves. The next is “Kaa’s Hunting,” and it is about how Mowgli used what he learned from Baloo and Bagheera to defeat the snake, Kaa. In “Tiger! Tiger!” Mowgli moves to a human village and he has to kill Shere Khan, the tiger, to prove his worth. The next 4 stories aren’t about Mowgli. “The White Seal” is about a unique white seal who looks for a safe island for the seals, away from human hunters. “Rikki-Tikki-Ravi” is about a mongoose who saves his human family repeatedly from cobras. “Toomai of the Elephants” is a boy who has a deep connection with elephants. “Her Majesty’s Servants” is about animals in a military camp who question why they fight with each other. 

I have never read the original Jungle Book, so I didn’t know what to expect from this graphic novel. I watched the Disney version when I was little, but I don’t remember all the details. 

I was confused when the story drifted away from Mowgli. I thought he would be more prominent in the story. The final four stories which were about different animals were a little disjointed. They didn’t relate to each other or the previous stories about Mowgli. 

The one common theme that I found throughout the stories was animals versus humans. In some of the stories the animals worked with humans and sometimes they were against them. It was an interesting relationship that changed over time. 

I was disappointed in this story. The pictures were good, but the stories just weren’t for me. 

Beauty And The Beast: Belle’s Tale 

Title: Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Tale
Author: Mallory Reaves
Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Belle lives in the French town of Villeneuve with her father. Belle is considered an outsider to the other villagers because she is always reading and inventing things to make her life easier. When her father goes on a trip to the market, she asks him to bring back a rose. But when his horse returns without him, Belle knows he’s in trouble. The horse leads Belle to a castle where her father is being held prisoner by the Beast. Belle tricks her father into trading places with her so she will stay at the castle and her father can return to his home. The Beast lets Belle out of the cell, and gives her a bedroom, where she meets the personified household furniture. Belle soon learns that the Beast is just a misunderstood man who has been cursed to live as a beast.
Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney movie. I was so excited about the new movie and these manga adaptations

The pictures of the characters are very true to the new movie. Though the drawings of furniture are exactly like the movie, Belle still has a manga look to her. She has big eyes, but she looks like Emma Watson in the movie.

One thing that bothered me was the position of the dialogue in some frames. Since it’s a manga, it has to be read from right to left, but some frames had the order of the text going from left to right. This was a little confusing and it slowed down my reading.

There is also a sequel to this manga that tells the Beast’s side of the story!