Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo by Stacy King, Crystal S. Chan – #eARC #GraphicNovelReview

Goodreads: Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo
Publish date: 11 April 2017
Publisher: UDON Entertainment
Genre: Graphic Novel, Classic Literature
Panda Rating:

A Conspiracy and a miscarriage of justice turn the gentle Edmond Dantès 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!

The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic that I’ve been meaning to read but have always been too intimidated to actually pick up, so when I saw this manga I immediately jumped on it! Surprisingly I realised I knew very little of the story when I started reading it and since I haven’t read the novel I also can’t attest to how well the manga actually adopts the classic. I do however know that it’s a fairly chunky text and I have no doubt that it has some very complex plot lines and in-depth character studies. Based on that, I think that the adaptors did an amazing job in condensing everything into a more simplified text. It took me a couple of hours to read this 400 page manga while I’m sure it’d probably take me one month+ to finish the original!

The story was perfectly illustrated! Sometimes I wish that manga was done in color because I would’ve loved to see what type of colour palette the artists would choose for the story. I definitely felt a darker more gothic tone to the story and I think the illustrations would’ve been made even more amazing with rich and dark reds.

I’m sure that there are probably big sections of the original story that were left out but I thought the story still flowed very well from the start. There were parts that initially confused me, especially where there were big time lapses between sections that introduced new characters, but my confusion didn’t last long as everything was quickly explained. For the most part, I really couldn’t stand many of the main characters in the story, especially the Count’s enemies, but I think the story of revenge more than made up for it! I loved the Count of Monte Cristo’s character. Even in manga form you can tell that he’s such a complex character that has a lot of different layers to his personality and I continuously wanted more scenes with him (that’s not to say he’s not in many scenes because he’s actually in 95% of them lol). I do enjoy a good morally grey character and the Count really delivered on that front. Watching the Count’s plot for revenge come together was surprisingly satisfying!

One character that I wished we got to see more of was Haydée. The manga only shows glimpses of her, mostly about her past, but based on what happens with her character in the manga, I can tell that she must play a bigger role in the original text. Although she was a ‘slave’, she seemed like a strong and courageous character and I wished we got more of that from the women in the story. However, because we didn’t see much of her character, I just couldn’t get on board with the romance that ends the story. The Count’s sudden turn around in his feelings for Haydée felt forced because in my opinion the build up on their connection was missing.

Overall, I’m so glad that this book was adapted into a manga. I now feel like if I ever decide to read the full text of The Count of Monte Cristo I won’t end up being as confused or intimidated. I’m definitely keen to check out more Manga Classics (I see they have Les Mis!) because this was such a fun and simple read! I would highly recommend checking out these mangas if you’re intimidated by classics or would simply like to have a more fun way to consume them!

Thanks to NetGalley and Udon Entertainment for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read the Manga Classic of The Count of Monte Cristo or is it on your TBR?

17 thoughts on “Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo by Stacy King, Crystal S. Chan – #eARC #GraphicNovelReview

    1. You should definitely check it out! Although obviously not all the elements of the original were included, I thought it was really well adapted! I couldn’t find it on ComiXology (Amazon) and I think it said the physical copies were sold out but if I’m not mistaken, it’s still available to request on NetGalley! 😃

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    1. I mean, I haven’t read the original but considering it’s over 1,500 pages long (I think lol) they did an amazing job condensing it into a 400 page manga that makes a lot of sense and is easy to follow 🙂 Way less intimidating to read too! Haha

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  1. God I need to read this book already. Original not manga. I don’t think I’m a manga graphic novel type of person. But I adore the film adaptation with Jim Caviezel (probably butchered the spelling of his name……) If you haven’t seen it Dini then you need to remedy that! Sooo good plus it’s got a very young Henry Cavill looking mightily scrumptious 😉😂

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    1. YOUNG HENRY CAVILL was all you had to say, Emer!!! I actually haven’t heard of the adaptation at all but I will definitely check it out as soon as I’m back from my work travels! How can I resist a scrumptious young Henry?! Haha (wow I sound way OTT creepy!) 😂😂😂 I’m really looking forward to reading the original of this too after reading the manga!

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      1. I really liked Les Miserables. Had basically zero interest in the giant classic tome until reading that adaptation and now I’m super interested in the story. Romeo and Juliet is also a perfect lift of the original text of the play put in comic/manga form. Definitely going to read more in the future too. 😀

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        1. Ooh, goodie! That’s what I was thinking of picking up next! I have the OG chunkster on my shelf and it’s been sitting there for AGES but I’ve just been way too intimidated by it lol I’ll definitely be sure to check out R&J in this format! 😃 Thanks for the recs, Kitty Marie!

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  2. Dini, I loved your review of the Chan/Poon Manga Classics adaptation of “The Count of Monte Cristo”! It’s spot-on! There are two different manga versions, one by the Crystal Chan/Nokman Poon team, and the other by Ena Moriyama (also from 2017), and I feel the Chan/Poon one is the superior one. It cuts out less, and stays closer to the original novel. The characters still have philosophical discussions, and the 400+ pages allow us to get to know them, their inner thoughts and their motivations.

    Moriyama’s manga version subtracts more of the story, but adds additional (non-canon) aspects to Haydee’s character.

    If you are interested in reading an abridged (text) version of the original book, I’d recommend the Lowell Bair translation/abridgement. It’s only 531 pages, less than half the size of the unabridged version, but all of the major characters and plot points are there. It has much less meandering and cuts out the characters talking for pages about inconsequential things. It still has the wit and snappy dialogue of the original, but at a much faster pace. And it’s in modern English, so the clunky sentence structure and now-obsolete words have been updated.

    (There are other abridged editions that aren’t as good.)

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