Tagged: Emma

Manga and the Emmas

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Two different Emmas–Photo by Deb Watley

At the beginning of the year I wrote about my “discovery” of manga because I found a book ┬átitled Emma, which I wrongly thought was a version of Jane Austen’s story.

The Emma I had found is a delightful historical fiction series set in Britain around 1900, created by Kaoru Mori. I read book one in the series, where the title character is a maid who loves a man above her station in life.

But, guess what? I recently discovered there is a manga version of Jane Austen’s Emma! This is an adaption illustrated by Po Tse and published in Udon Entertainment’s Manga Classics series.

I think manga is a wonderful way to introduce well-loved stories to readers who wouldn’t normally read classics.

Have you read any classics or old favorites in an unusual format?

Stretching My Reading Habits: Manga

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Photos by Deb Watley–Emma by Kaoru Mori

A couple of my sons enjoy reading manga and watching anime. So before Christmas I was in the manga/graphic novel aisle of a local bookstore helping one son find a present for the other.

I also found a book for me.

I’ve read comics and graphic novels before, but never manga. I was under the impression that all manga was Japanese action/adventure stories like ones my sons follow.

I was wrong.

Emma caught my eye. I suppose partly because of the soft colors. Partly because it was a hardback book surrounded by paperbacks. But, it was the name, Emma, that made me pull it off the shelf for a closer look. I think I expected it to be a graphic novel version of Jane Austen’s Emma.

Wrong again.

Emma is an original story by Kaoru Mori, a Japanese mangaka–a manga artist. It’s the story, set in England in the late 1800s, of a maid and a wealthy man who fall in love but are separated by their socio-economic classes.

So, you ask, what is manga? According to my son, manga is a Japanese graphic novel. Although anime includes any animated tv show or movie, it’s generally known as Japanese animation.

Manga, like graphic novels, is a very broad category. It’s written for young kids, teens (young adult/YA), and adults. It consists of all the literary genres: adventure, sci fi/fantasy, mystery, romance, historical fiction, contemporary, etc.

Emma is a YA historical fiction romance.

Something else that separates manga from other graphic novels? It’s read from right to left–the pages, the illustration windows, and even the speech bubbles.

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Manga stories are read from right to left, and all page turns come from the left.

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A glimpse inside

I requested and received the book for Christmas, and I read it one day last week. In fact, I stayed up late to finish it.

It was fun to read, though sometimes I had to remind myself to read from right to left. What a fun way to read historical fiction, and a good way to stretch my reading habits!

For more info:

About manga and anime

Do you read different categories or genres to stretch yourself? What was your most recent read outside of your comfort zone?