Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Manga Classics Othello by Stacey King

Othello by Stacy King (adapted into manga format from Shakespeare with full original text)
Verdict: AMAZING as always from Manga Classics!

Recommended: YES!!
For fans of the original, for classes looking for an accessible yet faithful adaptation, for a really dope story and art that enhances it so much
Expected Release Date: April 20, 2021


A brilliant general in the service of Venice, Othello is also the new husband of the adoring – and young – Desdemona, whose innocent hero worship has blossomed into love. But can a beautiful girl, so much younger than her husband, truly be faithful? Othello’s trusted ensign Iago seems to think not. Can Othello trust him? Can Othello trust anyone? Manga Classics presents Shakespeare’s classic story of love, hate, vengeance, and betrayal, in its full, original glory! (This volume features the complete, unabridged text from the Shakespeare Play.)


OH MAN. I have been so in love with the Manga Classics line since I started in on it, and when I heard Othello was happening, I was pumped. It absolutely did not disappoint! It’s the original full text, so none of the brilliance of the language is lost. Iago is always and forever my favorite villain, with his shameless, remorseless lying. He delights in it so frequently throughout the story, and so embraces his lawful evil selfishness.

Othello is fascinating to watch as a character. His clear, self-sabotaging slide into jealous insanity is drawn to life by the art within. There’s one scene, where he and Iago are discussing Desdemona’s apparent betrayal — it’s the scene where Othello officially crosses the line — and as I was reading, I was marveling at the detail and the clever integration of light and shadow to convey Othello’s state of mind. Then in the notes at the end of the book, the adaptor and artist specifically call that scene out as one they were proud of. With good reason! The book is filled with excellent portrayals of the emotion and action that can be difficult to read when relying only on the text of the play.

I don’t know if it’s just Othello or what, but there are a TON of metaphors and similes and otherwise lengthy comparisons and allegories. The visual medium helps connect the dots between what the characters are saying, and what they’re really saying. Iago is a huge fan of euphemisms to drive Othello insane. It’s fabulous for any reader, but I can see it being especially helpful for students and those unfamiliar with the language style.

In short, amazing adaptation of one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, topped only by the Manga Classics adaptation of Macbeth that I now read at least yearly to savor it all over again.

Thanks to Manga Classics and Edelweiss for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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