Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: The Scarlet Letter (Manga Classics) by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter.
Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne's tragic saga of Puritan America.
Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions.
Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.

Prior to reading this book, all I know about The Scarlet Letter was what I read secondhand from books and movies that referenced it.

In The Scarlet Letter, Hester has a child with a man who isn't her husband. Hester has not seen her husband in two years and is surprised to see him in the crowd when she is paraded in front of the townspeople while wearing a badge with the letter A on her chest. She refuses to tell anyone who her child's father is, but her husband vows to find out and exact revenge.

As I expected, this was a mostly sad story with a bittersweet ending. The townspeople were quite hypocritical and superstitious and they really got on my nerves at times. Obviously, this hypocrisy of people is a theme of the story, but so is guilt and how we deal with it and how people can manipulate it. I haven't read the book so I can't say if it's entirely due to the masterful writing of the novel, but this manga was able to convey well the themes of the story and the emotions of the characters. My favorite panel was one wherein Pearl hugged Hester and Hester just looked bewildered.

I found the art lovely, and definitely what I've come to expect from well-drawn and well-written manga. It's been awhile since I've read manga, so there was some initial confusion as to how to read the panels on each page. However, once I got into the groove, everything flowed quite easily. Hester was very pretty, and Pearl was cute, especially when she threw a tantrum or was angry at other children. There were times, though, when she creeped me out a little.

If you're curious about this novel but don't have the patience or inclination to read the actual book, you should definitely consider giving this manga a try.

Thanks to NetGalley and Udon Entertainment for the e-ARC.


  1. The drawings are pretty.
  2. It's easy to see and feel the characters' emotions.
  3. You get the gist and message of the novel easily. 


  1. It would have been even better if it were in full color. 


  1. You've always wanted to read the novel.
  2. You want to know what happens in the story but you don't want to commit to reading a long novel.
  3. You need a refresher on what happens in the novel. 




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