Manga Shakespeare: Twelfth Night

Overview

A comedy of mistaken identity and thwarted love, Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's most beloved plays and is frequently performed and studied across the country. When Viola finds herself shipwrecked, she pretends to be a male servant and falls in love with Duke Orsino. The Manga Shakespeare interpretation, which incorporates fresh ideas and thoughtful settings, will introduce the classic play to a new audience of Shakespeare fans.

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Overview

A comedy of mistaken identity and thwarted love, Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's most beloved plays and is frequently performed and studied across the country. When Viola finds herself shipwrecked, she pretends to be a male servant and falls in love with Duke Orsino. The Manga Shakespeare interpretation, which incorporates fresh ideas and thoughtful settings, will introduce the classic play to a new audience of Shakespeare fans.

Praise for Twelfth Night
“This manga adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy is as enjoyable as the Bard intended. Li’s sweet shojo art style fits the story perfectly, and the pseudohistorical setting is fun. Her deft touch with facial expressions, comic inserts, and chibis (cute little cartoon characters) will help readers understand the Elizabethan dialogue. This solid entry in the Manga Shakespeare series will make a useful addition to class studies, especially for teachers reluctant to use adaptations with simplified language.” –Booklist

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—These books follow a similar format: initial pages are in color and introduce the characters with a portrait and quote from the play, thus revealing their personalities. An introductory color page contains an image of the setting. Manga is in black and white. Beginning at the front, texts read from left to right. The drama is revealed through brief snippets of actual dialogue, with images supplying the additional information needed to appreciate the story. This format allows the play to unfold as a "performance" rather than relying on explanatory text to convey meaning. Both artists use careful panel placement and point of view, enhancing the pacing and drama. They also rely on the use of chibi to underscore emotions. Imaginative imagery reinforces the unique Shakespearean turns of phrase. Yong's illustrations set The Merchant of Venice in a fairie world with fanciful creatures such as flying dragons. Faces are drawn with sharp-pointed noses and ears resembling Star Trek Vulcans. Readers familiar with Vulcan insistence on logic will appreciate this contrast with the logic used in the courtroom scene. Twelfth Night offers a more traditional manga style. The twins are drawn with large eyes. Emotions are conveyed through tears, sweat drops, reaction "close-up" shots, and other traditional manga techniques. This drama sports considerably more action, complemented by sound effects. The abrupt scene changes, with no advance visual cues, sometimes makes following the plot difficult. Back matter includes a plot summary and brief Shakespeare biography. Additional purchases.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
VOYA - Michelle Young
Since this is Shakespeare, readers will likely be familiar with the story of shipwrecked, nearly-identical twins, Viola and Sebastian, who arrive in Illyria each thinking the other drowned. Viola, disguised as a man called Cesario, applies to serve Duke Orsino (with whom she secretly falls in love). Orsino assigns Cesario the task of wooing the melancholy Countess Olivia, who rejects the suit on Orsino's behalf but begs the ambassador to offer his own. This love triangle is further complicated when Sebastian arrives, causing much confusion—especially when the smitten countess marries him almost immediately, invoking the wrath of the seemingly betrayed duke. Several features of this book serve as helpful orientation and reference for new readers: full-color pages featuring the characters and their roles in the story, a plot summary and a brief biography of William Shakespeare. The adapted text features essential snippets from the original play, so readers can enjoy the beauty and wit of Shakespeare's language. These selections convey the essence of the story, while the illustrations capture its humor, and make the poetic language less intimidating. It seems trendy to adapt the classics in graphic format without much thought as to whether this conversion is appropriate; however, for this comedy, the playful exaggeration and ambiguously-gendered characters typical of manga illustration work purposefully to complement the story. This is a fun introduction to the Bard's work which may entice readers to seek the original. (Manga Shakespeare) Reviewer: Michelle Young
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—These books follow a similar format: initial pages are in color and introduce the characters with a portrait and quote from the play, thus revealing their personalities. An introductory color page contains an image of the setting. Manga is in black and white. Beginning at the front, texts read from left to right. The drama is revealed through brief snippets of actual dialogue, with images supplying the additional information needed to appreciate the story. This format allows the play to unfold as a "performance" rather than relying on explanatory text to convey meaning. Both artists use careful panel placement and point of view, enhancing the pacing and drama. They also rely on the use of chibi to underscore emotions. Imaginative imagery reinforces the unique Shakespearean turns of phrase. Yong's illustrations set The Merchant of Venice in a fairie world with fanciful creatures such as flying dragons. Faces are drawn with sharp-pointed noses and ears resembling Star Trek Vulcans. Readers familiar with Vulcan insistence on logic will appreciate this contrast with the logic used in the courtroom scene. Twelfth Night offers a more traditional manga style. The twins are drawn with large eyes. Emotions are conveyed through tears, sweat drops, reaction "close-up" shots, and other traditional manga techniques. This drama sports considerably more action, complemented by sound effects. The abrupt scene changes, with no advance visual cues, sometimes makes following the plot difficult. Back matter includes a plot summary and brief Shakespeare biography. Additional purchases.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810997189
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: Manga Shakespeare Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 187,269
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Nana Li's prime source of inspiration has always been manga or manga-influenced art, although she also loves games, movies, fashion, culture, concept, and classical art.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 15, 2012

    Well.

    Although some of the interpretations were >>interesting<< (to say the least) and Orsino hardly ever wears a shirt (oh wait... he NEVER wears a shirt) it's very good. The play is probably one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, so I had high expectations and they weren't disappointed. Watch out for the cleavage though. It might stick you in the eye or something.

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