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The Count of Monte Cristo's Manga Makeover

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Udon's Manga Classics line brings us a manga-style take on Alexandre Dumas' masterpiece, The Count of Monte Cristo. It stays closer to the original than the movie with Jim Caviezel, but I'm still mulling over how successful it was--as both an adaptation and a story.

This e-book was provided through NetGalley for review.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Story adapted by Crystal S. Chan, Art by Nokman Poon
Series: n/a
Genres: Action/adventure, Graphic novel, Manga, Classic
Published on April 1, 2017
Published by Udon Entertainment
Final Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis:
A Conspiracy and a miscarriage of justice turn the gentle Edmond Dant├Ęs into an implacable agent of fate: The Count of Monte Cristo . Obsessed by vengeance and empowered by providence, the Count avenges himself on whose who have wronged him - but is this justice, or is this hubris? In the end, does even the Count know?

Alexandre Dumas' skillful narrative combines intrigue, betrayal, and triumphant revenge into a powerful conflict between good and evil. Now this exciting saga, rich and diverse, takes on an entirely new life in this Manga Classics adaptation!

Review:
I LOVE the source material, The Count of Monte Cristo. It's the ultimate tale of revenge (with a little redemption thrown in), and it's one of my all-time favorite novels.

As an adaptation, the manga does a very good job of staying close to the original plot. Pretty much all the main characters (and even some side ones) are present and accounted for, as are all the key elements of the Count's revenge schemes against Mondego, Danglars and Villefort. If you're that person who would rather watch the movie than read the book, but wants to get all the right info (you know, for Jeopardy, smartypants conversations, *whispers* school assignments), this is not a bad way to go.

As a manga on its own, I think this book could have been better. The artwork is nice, but the narrative tries to cram in so much. There are character nameplates everywhere for the first third of the book, half of which we probably didn't need, and there were a number of places where I wished for, ironically, more showing and less telling.

My biggest issue is that the story rushes through Edmond's time in prison and doesn't show any of his journey to get the treasure. I don't think you needed all of it, but the point where Edmond finds the treasure, has the world at his feet, and chooses revenge...that's a big moment! They tried to create that moment later, but I think the story and the Count's character arc were poorer without the original.

I think the manga would have flowed better if it took the movie's route and combined or omitted parts of the original, but that wasn't the manga's goal. It is supposed to be a faithful adaptation of Dumas' novel, and it does that pretty well.

2 comments :

  1. I've been really curious about these manga versions of classics. Seems like a great way to celebrate a book you loved!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    Replies
    1. It was! And I'm definitely thinking about picking up some of the others for classics I'm less likely to read right now (looking at you, Charles Dickens).

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