Marsha's Reviews > Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet by Richard Appignanesi
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's review
Mar 28, 12

bookshelves: manga, classic, plays-screenplays-scripts, series-entry, owned-books
Read in September, 2011

This famous play of doomed romance is very much like Jell-O. It’s practically foolproof, nearly impossible to flub and can withstand a variety of treatments. Thus Manga Shakespeare has given it two very different interpretations. One went the traditional route, with settings and costumes of 16th-century Italy. This version is set in modern-day Tokyo, with the two lovers offsprings of warring Yakuza families. A handy color guide to the characters is set in front, so the reader knows who is who. So the illustrator Sonia Leong has re-imagined Romeo as a moody rock star and Juliet a defiant Shibuya girl who wears revealing clothes and drives a Vespa. There are cellphones, Internet, elevators and motorcycles. Her characters are distinct, the lines elegant without being fussy and there are the usual manga attributes at play: chibi characters, animal ears, abstract backgrounds of flowers, etc. Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is ever new and this version more than does it justice.

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