Sirk TV Manga Review: GREAT EXPECTATIONS [Udon/Manga Classics]

Introducing younger readers to classics like the Charles Dickens novel is not small feat but it is the texture in adaptation especially with so much establishing material that can get in the way. Adapting “Great Expectations” [Editor: Stacy King/Udon/304pgs] is no small task since the very aspect of movement can dictate character development within the story. The intention of Pip’s journey is one of conflicting emotions since the character has always been pulled between what he thinks he wants and what is right in front of his face. The artists/editors do a good job of representing this by establishing the different aspects of his life between the benefactors that help him and the dexterity of those that raise him. Like most people, he only understands his loss and error after the fact. MIss Havisham, as with most spurned by love, is the puppet master who is at edge of most of Pip’s problems. However it is his assumptions that always lead him awry. Pip has a good heart but the wrong instincts. His ambition is bigger than his heart which can cause issues. There are, like in the book, places where the audience can fill in their own perception. However with the manga, which is considered unusual, Pip narrates his own story. So the life he leads and the decisions that he makes are only from his point of view. The panels do their best to represent this though sometimes Pip’s thoughts become too repetitive in terms of what his actions dictate. One specific scene where his benefactor and the man’s nemesis duke it out in the midst of large seas and a boat offers an archetypal structure that can be visualized here and would be more difficult to do in say a film. The 1994 film with Ethan Hawke (which is more this reader’s reference to its visual storytelling) does mirror the grasp of beautiful loneliness with a sense of dread that permeates the entire manga leading the reader to feel a love forlorn but also an opportunity missed.


By Tim Wassberg

Posted on October 22, 2018, in Other Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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