A Manga Take on Jane Eyre

A company called UDON Entertainment released a manga (Japanese-style comic) version of Jane Eyre in 2016 as part of its Manga Classics series. I ordered it [from Amazon] to judge it on its merits and to compare it to Jane Eyre - the Graphic Novel.

If you haven't read manga before, they take some getting used to. For one thing, the panels go in right-to-left order. This book includes a two-page guide on how to navigate pages with various layouts.

Jane Eyre manga illustration 1

Another odd feature of manga (especially of this book, perhaps) is the art style. Many characters are portrayed with oversized eyes, perhaps to show their feelings more expressively. At times, though, background characters lack some or all facial features. In addition, characters appear quite young. The adult Jane looks about 12 years old (with a tiny snub nose that sometimes doesn't appear at all), and Rochester comes off as a "bro" in his early 20's. When the throng of high-society guests visit Thornfield, they resemble a crew of middle schoolers.

Jane Eyre manga illustration 2

Other than the cover, this book is black and white (with some shades of gray). The graphic novel version's coloring made it more lively.

However, I must give credit to the person (Crystal S. Chan) who adapted the book and produced the manga version's dialogue. It is simplified from the original, but not entirely; the basic plot is followed well throughout the book's 300+ pages, and enough snippets of Brontë's rich language are included to give it a reasonably authentic feel.

Production values are pretty good. I found only two text errors: "imprudence" when it should have said "impudence," and the misspelling "publically."

Overall, while I wouldn't recommend this manga version to literati, a casual reader could do worse than get an easily readable introduction to Jane Eyre this way.