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View Full Version : William Shakespeare is rolling in his grave


sraymonds
07-09-2008, 07:42 AM
MANGA SHAKESPEARE: MACBETH

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y205/lsrsera/MangaMacbeth.jpg

“ALL HAIL, MACBETH, THAT SHALT BE KING HEREAFTER!” With that misleading prophecy, three witches plant the seed of criminal ambition in the warlord Macbeth. Spurred on by Lady Macbeth, his wife, he embarks on a killing spree of former friends and rivals, until a final confrontation when he realizes too late that the witches have deceived him. In this version of Shakespeare’s tale of murder and the supernatural, Samurai warriors have reclaimed a future post-nuclear world of mutants.
:(

Elfir
07-09-2008, 07:48 AM
Wow. Just... wow.

sraymonds
07-09-2008, 07:50 AM
HOLY CHRIST

There's more on their website (http://www.mangashakespeare.com/titles/romeo_and_juliet.html)!

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y205/lsrsera/rj_cover.jpg

Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's most famous love story, unfurls in a dramatic manga setting, in which Verona becomes a street in the highly fashionable Shibuya district of Tokyo. The star-crossed lovers, touching in their youth and innocence, are caught up in a bitter feud between two Yakuza families (Japan's 'mafia') whose rivalry erupts into violence and killing on the streets. Romeo, a rock star, is a Montague who falls in love with Juliet, a Capulet. They defy their parents and consummate their passion in secret. This is a story of love, revenge, violence and tragedy.

TheSL
07-09-2008, 07:51 AM
I never realized that Macbeth took place in Japan and starred a samurai. Are they just using the name to draw attention to it? It seems like it would have been a "better" fit for it if it had just been a homage instead of just using the same name.

Imagine the classroom where a kid had picked up this version instead of the olde English original- "But teacher, when are we going to get to the discussion about the battles against the mutant population and how they made Macbeth a stronger leader and swordsman?"

Zef
07-09-2008, 07:51 AM
The second looks like Deviantart stuff from an anime fanboy, but in what way is the first one "manga"? It looks like stock-standard comic book art to me.

Edit: The story also sounds stock-standard mid '90s fare for Image comics.

Secret Punch
07-09-2008, 07:52 AM
That's pretty amazingly terrible.

I've actually always thought it would be cool to do a fairly straight "production" of some of the major Shakespeare stuff, particularly Hamlet or King Lear (which I like) in comics form. But not like this!

Not like this.

TheSL
07-09-2008, 07:53 AM
Romeo, a rock star, is a Montague who falls in love with Juliet, a Capulet.

The least they could do if they were going to needlessly set it in Japan and have Yakuza feuds is freaking change their family names to something remotely Japanese.

openedsource
07-09-2008, 07:54 AM
HOLY CHRIST

There's more on their website (http://www.mangashakespeare.com/titles/romeo_and_juliet.html)!

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y205/lsrsera/rj_cover.jpg

This is a story of love, revenge, violence and tragedy.

Well, it's certainly a tragedy. I'm not so sure about the veracity of the rest of their claims.

Phat
07-09-2008, 07:56 AM
That's total bullshit. This is what Shakespeare always wanted, the Elizabethans just wouldn't have understood him.

Oh my god. You guys are elitists, aren't you?

Elfir
07-09-2008, 07:57 AM
In this manga, Hamlet is set in a dramatic futuristic world. The year is 2017. Global climate change has devastated the Earth. This is now a cyberworld in constant dread of war. The state of Denmark has grown prosperous and defended itself successfully against neighbouring states. But could it be that its greatest threat comes not from without, but from within the state itself?

It is in this cyberworld that we find the young Hamlet. His grief over his father's recent death turns to something far darker when the ghost of his father appears to him. Hamlet is very soon to discover that something is rotten in the state of Denmark...

*stab stab stab*

Zef
07-09-2008, 07:57 AM
The least they could do if they were going to needlessly set it in Japan and have Yakuza feuds is freaking change their family names to something remotely Japanese.

Roumio, a J-rock star, is a Montaagu who falls in love with Yurietto, a Kyapuretto.

...augh, sorry, the "fix" caused me physical pain too.

Sven
07-09-2008, 07:58 AM
After the Ethan Hawke Hamlet-as-NY-college-student movie, that version of Macbeth isn't exactly out there.

Although I like the BBC's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ShakespeaRe-Told) re-tellings more than any other. Particularly Macbeth, which includes a great gag tying in both the cursed nature of the play and Gordon Ramsay.

dangerhelvetica
07-09-2008, 08:01 AM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n9/n49704.jpg

Bard's Blood #1 The classic tales of William Shakespeare are often as packed with gore and corpses as the scariest slasher flick -- and can spawn equally gruesome sequels.... Football star Cameron Dean is genuine campus royalty at Globe University, but his life is more of a nightmare than a dream. Not only was his dad murdered under mysterious circumstances, but Cameron suspects that his mom and aunt may have had something to do with it! When he unexpectedly inherits a creepy old castle in Denmark, Cameron tries to put his worries behind him, inviting his girlfriend and college buddies along on an overseas trip to check out the gloomy fortress. The plan is to get some serious partying done. Too bad nobody counted on the ghost of a drowned girl rising from her watery grave with vengeance on her mind! Now the only question is: to die or not to die?

Patrick
07-09-2008, 08:04 AM
When I worked at the Chicago Shakespeare theater, we used to sell these at our bookstall. I don't really see why they're a bad thing, They're adaptations of some of the best stories of all time, in a format that kids will actually read. It's not like kids are going to stop reading manga, might as well lay the groundwork for a love of Shakespeare in the meantime.

Also, I don't really get why people treat Shakespeare's works like some sacred scripture. It's full of sex, violence, piss and shit jokes and really cheesy one liners. They're not even books, they are plays, which are meant to be messed around with. Hell, most contemporary productions of Shakespeare mess around with the history and setting at least as much as this.

Zef
07-09-2008, 08:05 AM
Set in medieval times, this version of Richard III combines classic Shakespeare with manga visuals to reveal the power of the ‘dark side’.

*stab stab stab*

Excitemike
07-09-2008, 08:11 AM
You mean kids aren't just reading Shakespeare on their own? They need to be introduced to it first!? Ignorant bastards.

I learned about Hamlet from a couple of Canadians and I turned out OK.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d25/eye_robot/misc%20t/hamlet-study-aid.gif

Sven
07-09-2008, 08:19 AM
Heck, the only time I've been able to tolerate anything associated with Jane Austen is when it featured Alicia Silverstone in really tight clothes. Wacky adaptations are just part of fiction.

Makkara
07-09-2008, 08:29 AM
I never realized that Macbeth took place in Japan and starred a samurai.

I've known that for years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throne_of_Blood).

TheSL
07-09-2008, 08:31 AM
I've known that for years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throne_of_Blood).

It is regarded as one of Kurosawa's best films, and by many critics as one of the best film adaptations of Macbeth, despite having almost none of the play's script.

That really says something about either the quality of Macbeth or Kurosawa's films. My vote is on the former because Kurosawa is awesome.

Patrick
07-09-2008, 08:33 AM
That really says something about either the quality of Macbeth or Kurosawa's films. My vote is on the former because Kurosawa is awesome.

Or something about the nature of adaptations.

Sven
07-09-2008, 08:33 AM
Or something about the nature of adaptations.

Or about Shakespeare's ability to hit on universal themes that work well no matter what you do to the plot, setting or dialogue.

Dizzy
07-09-2008, 08:37 AM
This is old news, but with manga interpretations of Marvel comics and stuff, it's not surprising.

Manga/anime is hot stuff -- kid's love 'em.

tungwene
07-09-2008, 08:40 AM
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y205/lsrsera/rj_cover.jpgDidn't this win a Harvey Award?

taidan
07-09-2008, 08:46 AM
And here I was just hoping schools would make students read unabridged versions.

Elfir
07-09-2008, 08:47 AM
And here I was just hoping schools would make students read unabridged versions.

I've seen direct adaptations of the plays in manga form.. This stuff is very different. @_@

sraymonds
07-09-2008, 08:47 AM
Didn't this win a Harvey Award?

It looks like it was nominated for a BEST AMERICAN EDITION OF FOREIGN MATERIAL award, but the voting isn't over yet. And just because something gets nominated or wins an award doesn't mean that it's worth a crap.

Excitemike
07-09-2008, 08:49 AM
Didn't this win a Harvey Award?

It was nominated for this year, they haven't announced the winners yet.

And here I was just hoping schools would make students read unabridged versions.

They do! In high school. These are for younger kids.

nunix
07-09-2008, 08:55 AM
Man, you shouldn't be READING the plays anyway. They were meant to be seen/heard.

tungwene
07-09-2008, 09:00 AM
It looks like it was nominated for a BEST AMERICAN EDITION OF FOREIGN MATERIAL award, but the voting isn't over yet. And just because something gets nominated or wins an award doesn't mean that it's worth a crap.I don't really follow up awards news so I wasn't sure if it were over or not. But, yes, it was mainly to point out how little I thought of the Harveys.

Dizzy
07-09-2008, 09:01 AM
Man, you shouldn't be READING the plays anyway. They were meant to be seen/heard.

QFT

Paul le Fou
07-09-2008, 10:05 AM
Man I just saw one of these at the library yesterday and was gonna post about it but then I forgot.

Yeah, put me down in "wtf" camp.

taidan
07-09-2008, 10:21 AM
It was nominated for this year, they haven't announced the winners yet.



They do! In high school. These are for younger kids.

Younger than HS? That's good.

Though sadly in my HS experience, unabridged was advanced lit only.

Sven
07-09-2008, 10:36 AM
I know Grade 8s in Ontario still read something like As You Like It (although as an intro to Shakespeare, that wasn't a lot of fun - Julius Caesar is much better in that role).

nunix
07-09-2008, 10:45 AM
Also, this was already done. It was called Gargoyles, and he was a badass old man with an electric mace, body armor, and a tonne of bat-toys. ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES.

Sprite
07-09-2008, 10:50 AM
Also, I don't really get why people treat Shakespeare's works like some sacred scripture. It's full of sex, violence, piss and shit jokes and really cheesy one liners.

"Your mistress' name?"
"Mistress Overdone."
"Hath she had any more than one husband?"
"Nine, sir; Overdone by the last."

There was also a prostitute named Kate Keepdown. Measure for Measure is so awesome.

Sven
07-09-2008, 10:53 AM
There was also a prostitute named Kate Keepdown.

I always like to bring that up whenever people bitch about Bond Girls' names.

Sprite
07-09-2008, 10:55 AM
I like to bring Kate Keepdown up whenever people complains about how depraved media has become. Those same people usually also encourage their kids to study Shakespeare.

Andrew
07-09-2008, 11:03 AM
Macbeth looks like Stan's (from South Park's) anime ninja counterpart, without the hat and different weapons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWEfL5Tt7gk

locit
07-09-2008, 11:07 AM
I always like to bring that up whenever people bitch about Bond Girls' names.
And now I will too!

Paul, you need to check one of these out from the library and tell us about how awesome Macbeth is as a ninja. Just gut it up and take one for the team.

Pseudonym
07-09-2008, 11:13 AM
Who knows, these could be fun. I like strange settings. My local Shakespeare in the park group did Much Ado About Nothing as a western, and a modren production of A Mid Summer Night's Dream. (The workmen who put on the play within a play made their entrance in a pickup truck and had power tools and stuff.) I also once saw a Hobo version of As You Like It.

A few years back, I was at a Shakespeare Festival and they did a Green Show (A short parody skit on the night's play for children) called "Super Pericles Brothers". It was the plot Pericles set in the Mushroom Kingdom. It was amazing. They went all out with props too.

Zithuan
07-09-2008, 11:38 AM
This reminds me of an Onion article (http://www.theonion.com/content/news/unconventional_director_sets).

The Community Players' 1999 production of Othello was set during the first Gulf War, 2001's The Tempest took place on a canoe near the Bermuda Triangle, and last year's "stripped- down," post-apocalyptic version of Hamlet presented the tragedy in the year 3057.

Red Hedgehog
07-09-2008, 12:03 PM
Also, this was already done. It was called Gargoyles, and he was a badass old man with an electric mace, body armor, and a tonne of bat-toys. ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES.

The Gargoyle's story of MacBeth was actually closer to the historically accurate than the one told by Shakespeare (which makes sense since Shakespeare was writing MacBeth for the winning side and wanted to make the English look good).

Also, in 6th grade we read a comic-book adapatation of MacBeth, but it was basically the whole story just with accompanying pictures. It may have been abridged, I don't remember.

KCar
07-09-2008, 12:47 PM
I've known that for years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throne_of_Blood).

You beat me to it.

Posaune
07-09-2008, 01:58 PM
Aren't a lot of Kurosawa's films supposed to be based off of/influenced by Shakespeare? Like Ran is supposed to be influenced by King Lear and The Bad Sleep Well, which I really need to see, by (I had to google) Hamlet?

Dizzy
07-09-2008, 02:10 PM
Aren't a lot of Kurosawa's films supposed to be based off of/influenced by Shakespeare? Like Ran is supposed to be influenced by King Lear and The Bad Sleep Well, which I really need to see, by (I had to google) Hamlet?

Indeed, indeed. Throne of Blood, I believe, is based off of Macbeth.

If you're looking for other adaptations there is also a Hungarian version of Macbeth that has only two cuts in the entire movie: a five minute cut followed by 56 or so minute cut. Must be a snoozefest.

Guy
07-09-2008, 03:55 PM
To be, or not to be? (http://youtube.com/watch?v=SCVc5TaPpe8)

Not to be.

Calorie Mate
07-09-2008, 04:36 PM
Back on the original topic...these would actually make a pretty funny birthday gift for a friend of mine, who happens to be having her birthday on Saturday. Any chance I can find 'em somewhere before then, or is it a fool's dream? What's a likely candidate for a place to buy them?

Excitemike
07-10-2008, 07:02 AM
Back on the original topic...these would actually make a pretty funny birthday gift for a friend of mine, who happens to be having her birthday on Saturday. Any chance I can find 'em somewhere before then, or is it a fool's dream? What's a likely candidate for a place to buy them?

Your best bet is a big bookstore like a Border's or a really well-stocked comic shop. (http://www.comicrelief.net/driving-directions/) Or Amazon, if they can get it to you fast enough.

MCBanjoMike
07-10-2008, 08:20 AM
I didn't see this mentioned in the thread, but if I'm not mistaken the books actually keep the original dialogue from the plays, just in abridged format. I think I saw one of these books recently - they're pretty stupid, but if the actual story is intact then they're probably not as bad as you guys think they are.

Calorie Mate
07-10-2008, 10:13 AM
Yeah, I just ordered two (Romeo&Juliet and The Tempest) from Amazon. I will report back on Monday about them!

Octopus Prime
07-10-2008, 10:41 AM
I didn't see this mentioned in the thread, but if I'm not mistaken the books actually keep the original dialogue from the plays, just in abridged format. I think I saw one of these books recently - they're pretty stupid, but if the actual story is intact then they're probably not as bad as you guys think they are.

Actually... that might make them worse.

Pombar
07-10-2008, 10:47 AM
Man, you shouldn't be READING the plays anyway. They were meant to be seen/heard.Except Measure for Measure, which should certainly be read at some point, if only because no one adaptation can do justice to the script (which can be interpreted in so many ways as to change the entire point of the play multiple times into a huge range of possible meanings, morals of lack thereof) . Measure for Measure is pretty much single handedly the Shakespeare play that forced the creation of the 'Problem Play' distinction.
It's also one of his best.

nadia
07-10-2008, 02:58 PM
I'm not sure how I feel about this. Not because I object to tampering with Groundskeeper Willy's sacred plays (I liked Romeo + Juliet) but because these manga adaptations are often drawn badly and written worse. I was looking forward to the Manga Bible and it pretty much turned out to be the worst thing ever. Cain to Abel: "Wassup, bro?"

Oh God why.

That said, I think the Romeo and Juliet adaptation would be more palatable than the Macbeth one, Shibuya and all. Love-based conflicts are a universal thing and it looks as if the manga keeps it simple by merely transferring things over to modern times. Nothing new there. Better than transferring Macbeth to a nuclear wasteland from a B movie. What's the point of that? Macbeth has some great themes that don't need to be dressed up by mutants and samurai and shit.

I know Grade 8s in Ontario still read something like As You Like It (although as an intro to Shakespeare, that wasn't a lot of fun - Julius Caesar is much better in that role).

I never read Shakespeare in grade 8, but we did read the Tripod Trilogy!

After that, Romeo and Juliet was for grade 9, 12th night for 10, Macbeth for 11, Othello for 12 and Hamlet for 13.

Sprite
07-10-2008, 03:08 PM
Except Measure for Measure, which should certainly be read at some point, if only because no one adaptation can do justice to the script (which can be interpreted in so many ways as to change the entire point of the play multiple times into a huge range of possible meanings, morals of lack thereof) . Measure for Measure is pretty much single handedly the Shakespeare play that forced the creation of the 'Problem Play' distinction.
It's also one of his best.

My Shakespeare professor's favorite play is Measure for Measure. The man has studied the play for decades and students still manage to point out things he never considered. The ending leaves so many bad tastes in your mouth, I love it.

I'd say Henry V should be read as well, or at least seen multiple times in different productions. That play is either the most patriotic or least patriotic thing ever written.

Pombar
07-10-2008, 03:18 PM
My Shakespeare professor's favorite play is Measure for Measure. The man has studied the play for decades and students still manage to point out things he never considered. The ending leaves so many bad tastes in your mouth, I love it.Depends entirely on how you interpret it, I find. I've seen both a giddy overjoyed kiss and handholding stage exit, and a slap followed by a storming off, leaving him looking like a right moron. There're more ways to do it, but to get the full ambiguity, it's best to read it and see how you personally choose to interpret it.

Sprite
07-10-2008, 03:41 PM
I'd say even with an overjoyed kiss the ending is sour. I'd say especially with an overjoyed kiss the ending is sour (after the stubbornness Isabella shows about her celibacy). Nothing is really resolved in that play, because it was all a game of the Duke's (who shows himself to be just as manipulative and petty a ruler as Angelo). And the land is filled with poverty and oppression which all the rich people more or less ignore.

Good times, Measure for Measure.

Red Hedgehog
07-10-2008, 04:18 PM
Man, I don't remember any of that stuff from Measure for Measure, just that Shakespeare wrote it as a response to Merchant of Venice seeming too vindictive. But then, my class mostly analyzed it for what it had to saw about the law and legal system of the time.

Pombar
07-10-2008, 04:18 PM
Nah, the play shows a society caught between excessive 'virtue' and 'vice', with Isabella and Escalus presenting balanced parties on the issues of morality and political governance. Isabella is plainly caught between the over-restrictive religious ethics that she initially tries to support, and her own personal moral code that leans towards forgiveness. Escalus provides balance between Angelo's fascist restriction of freedom and 'no mercy' policy, and the Duke's all-too-often abused leniency (it was this that got the state into a bad way to begin with).

It's why it's called Measure for Measure - the play is a balancing act, and there's never one 'correct' answer as to how to run the state, or how to judge morality.
I think the play has the Duke relearning the value of forgiveness, and becoming more human as a result. Initially he is removed from the people, preferring to stay distanced, and tells the Friar that the dart of love could never pierce "a complete bosom" such as his own, but by the end he clearly gives in to it somewhat, not to mention in a huge public event that he'd organised for himself. He's a changed man, for all his (often unsuccessful) manipulations.

Sprite
07-11-2008, 12:02 AM
Stuff

I agree with your interpretation for the most part. However, I really don't think the Duke learns much. He punishes a man to an unwanted marriage for badmouthing the Duke while the latter was in disguise. Personally I think the whole thing was a stunt to make himself look good.

I'm sure the play could be produced to accompany either of our interpretations, though. That's what makes drama so awesome.

Sheana
07-11-2008, 12:51 AM
I dunno, I'd say there's plenty of Shakespeare that's up for reading. Sometimes it's nice to just sit back and take the words in slowly and think about them a bit. When my brother was still in high school a couple years ago, he asked for the complete works of Shakespeare for Christmas out of the blue. He got it, and he read the whole danged thing.

And while weird manga adaptions are horrible, I contend that nothing will ever be worse than the edition of Macbeth I saw translated into Klingon at a little Star Trek convention once.

Jeanie
07-11-2008, 06:22 AM
And while weird manga adaptions are horrible, I contend that nothing will ever be worse than the edition of Macbeth I saw translated into Klingon at a little Star Trek convention once.

"Shakespeare is best read in the original Klingon"

/Star Trek Nerd

No I don't know Klingon, I'm not a total dork.

Merus
07-11-2008, 07:02 AM
You know, I'm kind of tempted to track down Romeo x Juliet so I can go to the next performance of the stageplay I see and exclaim that it's just like one of my Japanese animes. And then wet my pants.

Calorie Mate
07-11-2008, 04:37 PM
Just don't have sex with your step mom, mk?

cortbassist89
07-11-2008, 05:35 PM
Just don't have sex with your step mom, mk?
Wait now...

Is she hot?

Wolfgang
07-11-2008, 09:24 PM
Man, you shouldn't be READING the plays anyway. They were meant to be seen/heard performed by bad summer stock and endlessly derided from the penny seats.

Best field trip evar.

Excitemike
07-12-2008, 08:08 AM
Somewhere in the world, someone is butchering Shakespeare right now.