You might think the worlds of anime and classical literature are pretty far apart, but every so often they come together to give a fresh coat of paint to tales proven by time. Series like the Jules Verne inspired Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, and Romeo x Juliet put the books you read in high school through the Japanese lens. What happens more often than this, though we don’t see them Stateside, is a classic novel from the canons of both Japanese and western lit getting fancy new covers from popular manga artists so they’ll sell.
In this set of classic novel reprints put out in Japan by publisher Poplar, you have a great mix of literature from around the world and some excellent artist pairings. Asking BEASTARS’ Paru Itagaki to illustrate the cover of Doctor Dolittle, about a man once portrayed by Eddie Murphy as well as Robert Downey Jr. who could talk to animals, makes perfect sense. Out of the collection, I’m probably most fond of Haruko Ichikawa’s, who’s best known for Land Of The Lustrious, rendition of the classic Kenji Miyazawa tale turned classic anime film Night On The Galactic Railroad. From the more manga-esque designs to those with a more subtle sensibility, all these illustrations are fantastic and we think if western publishers saw fit to give these books the same treatment, we might have been a little more inclined to take our book reports seriously in high school.
These books will be available from the middle of June.