Belle’s & The Beast’s Tale – Mallory Reaves


32841044This manga series does not reimagine the story of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The author takes some liberties, but they do not change the core of the story. But the art is apparently inspired by the movie, which I have yet to see.

It’s delightful. We all know the story, so it’s not as if I was expecting to be blown away by it. In fact, I would most likely have been annoyed if there were important changes. But this is Belle’s tale, so we have her insight. She narrates the story, not some unknown character.

While Belle could have been prettier – she looks a little unoriginal, doesn’t she? – I absolutely loved how the other characters were represented in manga format. The locations are astounding. It’s a delight to the eyes.

And heart. Because it’s romantic. After all, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a romance, so if it’s not beautiful enough to sweep us off our feet, then it failed, right? Fortunately, this manga did not fail. I read it in one sitting. There was no way I could have stopped myself from reading.

I only wish there was a manga version such as this one of Mulan and The Princess and the Frog. Maybe someday…

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32841045I couldn’t wait to start this book. I read it immediately after I finished Belle’s Tale, because I absolutely enjoyed Belle’s innermost thoughts and was excited at the idea of reading The Beast’s.

I don’t think I’ve ever read Disney’s Beauty and the Beast or a retelling of it from the point of view of the Beast. So this was my first. I’m unsure if I prefer The Beast’s tale or Belle’s, but I’m sure of this: I felt more emotionally invested in his story.

Of course I believe Belle is being misjudged and treated unfairly in her town (in this version she is an outcast), but the Beast’s predicament resonates with me a bit more. He is prisoner of his castle and body. I couldn’t imagine looking at myself in the mirror and not being able to recognize the person staring back at me.

The Beast makes me think a little more than Belle does. He makes me wonder, can one action change the entire course of your life? Belle is wonderful and courageous, but the Beast is mysterious and sort of philosophical at times.

My only complaint would be that much content from Belle’s Tale is also included in The Beast’s tale. I mean that actual scenes from Belle’s Tale are copy pasted in this version. I find that cheap, but at the same time I understand that the author couldn’t just reimagine a scene to not be repetitive.

A must read.

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Thank you Diamond Comics for the review copies!

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