Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet by Crystal S. Chan – Book Review

Chan, C. S - Manga Classics Romeo and JulietI received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


So this is the fourth Manga Classic I’ve read and needless to say I’m officially a fan. My method with this series is to review the adaption more than the story because really you can’t review it as a story since its based off another book (that I’ve likely read and therefore reviewed).

Since I have not actually read Romeo and Juliet I can’t exactly do that but I happen to know this book is taken word for word from the OG so I don’t actually think it matters and – unpopular opinion coming your way – I genuinely think this could be a good alternative to reading the original. HEAR ME OUT.

Shakespeare never intended his plays to actually be read, he intended them to be seen and experienced. Reading Shakespeare is hard and sometimes dull for leisure purposes. I mean sure, you can get the gist of the language after some practice but I found this method of enjoying it so much better. I have read a few of the Bard’s plays and I honestly don’t find them even remotely fun to do so. I love watching the plays, every actor interprets and presents the character differently and it’s so good to watch and the acting and context makes understanding second nature. But, plays don’t come along that often, least of all really good ones, and manga is a perfect graphic substitute because the style is so expressive and hyperbolic – like good actors in a Shakespeare play should be.

really enjoyed this book, the art was beautiful. I mean, stunning really. Of course, I knew what was coming the whole time because it’s Romeo and Juliet but still loved it all the same. The only nitpick I’d have is maybe more clearly labeling characters as it can be tricky to keep track of them all.

If you enjoy Shakespeare anyway or want to get into it but are hesitant because of the language – read this, it’s great.

5 thoughts on “Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet by Crystal S. Chan – Book Review

  1. As a former English teacher (and thus an English major), I am overly familiar with Shakespeare’s works. In fact, I’ll offer a quick bit of heresy: I never really thought that he was that big of a deal (and now we all know why I don’t teach English anymore!!!). I loved the richly drawn and colored anime version (Funimation, 2010) of this tale much more than the original, flying steeds and all! But it speaks to the power of this particular work that it has endured so well and continues to find new audiences.

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    • I took Lit at A-Level and (if I’d stuck with full-time education) would probably have ended up doing it at Uni as I did love the subject, but I could never be a teacher. They are brave souls all of them, children are evil. I prefer to see Shakespeare than read it but I agree it’s an achievement it’s continuing on, I personally think any new way of getting people to experience classic literature is a good thing else it will eventually be lost and forgotten.

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      • Agreed, although Hamlet will always be for me Shakespeare’s crowning achievement. If he truly contributed anything to the legacy of poetry, it is the character of sweet, fated Ophelia, Heaven’s own lost swan. . .

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        • See I studied Hamlet at school, but I think my favourite is Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick & Beatrice are brilliant and I love how they just completely steal the show from whatsherface and thatguy who just moon around the place.


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