Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter by Crystal S. Chan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Scarlet Letter is a classic tale by Nathaniel Hawthorne; Although I remember hearing about this book throughout my High School Career, I didn’t know hardly anything about the story. All I knew was there was a woman wearing a red letter A, For a student who disliked following the curriculum list…it was definitely on my ‘Avoid at all Costs List’. However since reading Udon Entertainment’s ‘Les Miserables’…I’ve come to find that Classics aren’t always as frustrating or boring to read as I once thought.
It is in this Tale that we are introduced to Hester Prynne, A woman living during the puritan days of New England. Hester is a woman forced to bear the mark of her Adulterous Sin via wearing a stitched Red Patch of the Letter A upon her chest. A mark for which she is disliked and shunned by the community and those who recognize the meaning of the mark.
It is upon this starting point that we delve a bit deeper into many issues and struggles with overcoming obstacles and moral standing. It begs the question of can one move forward despite past transgressions? Or will the sins of your past overwhelm and haunt you?
The answers are of course up to interpretation and is seen by a myriad of perspectives throughout the story. Which leads to all of the characters that we as readers are introduced to…For example it seems as if Hester Prynne accepts her fate and moves on to do better in her life while other characters allow their feelings of guilt to consume them, corrupt them or even torment them.
The artwork certainly does a marvelous job of capturing the essence of the characters, from their expressions to the minute details of each scene. The backdrops and backgrounds add another level of this element and even helps to foreshadow many of the on-going emotions and feelings of the characters. It encapsulates the full meaning behind the prose and metaphoric sentences, that some may find difficult to breakdown on it’s own. The added visuals help guide the reader to understand the feeling behind the words, thus allowing those younger or less experienced readers be able to navigate through the story without much hindrance. I also loved the juxtaposition of the Red inked Letter A against the Black and White print and Art. It drove home just how in a world of black and white, Of right and wrong…Just how attention-grabbing that would have been to see a Scarlet symbol embroidered on your clothes at the time and how it would feel like to be labeled as your sin.
All in all, it is an emotional tale worth reading.
Again, another job well done to Udon Entertainment, Crystal Chan, SunNeko Lee and the rest of the team who worked on this production. I highly enjoyed it and recommend this book to anyone wanting to read this story. I also recommend it to those who are more visual learners who are having a difficult time understanding the original novel, I highly suggest to use this as an added tool in comprehending the original source.
I want to Thank Udon Entertainment For sending me the book to review along with Netgalley for introducing me to this series of books.