June 3, 2015

Review: Manga Classics: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, SunNeko Lee and Crystal Silvermoon

Review of the manga adaptation of Les Miserables (Manga classics)
Title: Manga Classics: Les Misérables

Author: Victor Hugo

Illustrator: SunNeko Lee

Adaptation: Crystal Silvermoon

Publisher: UDON Entertainment

Date of Publication: September 14th, 2014

Number of Pages: 345

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo's classic novel of love and tragedy set in the 19th century France in reborn in this fantastic manga edition! Gorgeous and expressive art brings to life the unforgettable stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and the tragic Fantine in this epic adaptation of Les Misérables


After Pride and Prejudice and The Scarlet Letter, I was searching for a chance to read yet another adaptation from the Manga Classics series. So, I can't explain my happiness when I got this edition of Les Misérables, a novel that I'm particularly familiar with. In this novel, there are many important characters and I was curious to see if each of them would have sufficient time for development in the change of medium. 

The story is one of the most beautiful stories ever written. It illustrates the human nature in the most suitable way. Humans are neither purely evil nor purely good. This means that a convict like Jean Valjean can do good deeds and be a good man all of his life. It also means that people of the law like Javert can become blind and have wrong judgment. Right and wrong, honour and treachery are all things that sometimes are hard to be distinguished.

The adaptation of this manga satisfied me. I was aware before I start reading it that it wouldn't be possible for every scene in the novel to be included. Besides this classic work is massive and it would take several volumes, in order to contain everything. But this adaptation managed to select the scenes in a way that the story was consistent. It also gave the atmosphere of 19th century France in an effective way. The dialogs were clear, although sometimes they were more modern than I would prefer them to be.

The portrayal of characters, as far as the writing is concerned, was very good. We learnt a lot of backstory for all of them, their motives were transparent and it was easy to connect with them. Fantine's story was very touching and it was saddening to read of her misfortunes. The character that was problematic to me was Cosette. In the end, she seemed almost ungrateful towards Jean Valjean and this wasn't the case in the novel.

The art style was for another time impressive. The scenes on the barricades and the revolution had an amazing atmosphere. The expressions on the faces of the characters are unforgettable. The pain in Fantine's face when she is forced to sell her body for a few francs, the stern expression of Inspector Javert and his inner conflict about his morality, are just a few examples. However, I didn't quite like the image of Cosette. Her face when she has grown up, is almost he same as when she was a little girl. I'd like to see her more mature, both in the face and in the character.

The Manga Classics adaptation of Les Misérables is worth reading. Apart from the gorgeous cover, the story is told in a way that even those who haven't read the actual book would understand and love it. It's also highly possible that by the end of it, tears will be running from your eyes. I would recommend it to everybody, the story is beautiful, the characters deep and the art amazing.

So, my advice is...

Can you hear the people sing?


  1. Wow, I love Pride and Prejudice too! You should totally write a review on it. ;)
    Thanks for commenting on my blog and following me! I followed you back! :)


    1. Thank you!

      Do you mean, should I review P&P apart from the manga adaptation? That would be very difficult!All my review would be like "I love P&P,I love the story,I love the characters,just read it already <3" :D

  2. Hey Aeriko001, :)

    I am not a fan of mangas to be honest but I still read your review on Les misérables. Although I ain't a fan of mangas but I am one of Victor Hugo. Not his novels but he's poems. He is an amazing poet. I love them! So I am sure that as a manga fan you definately enjoyed his novels :D I have also check out your other posts and I must say I really like your reviews and mostly your writing style. It's honestly a really great post :)
    By the way, thank you so much for following me :D I followed you back on here & on bloglovin' ^^ I am glad that we are now blogger buddies haha :P Thank you once again Aeriko001 :D

    1. I like Victor Hugo too. Notre Dame de Paris is one of the most complex and exceptional novels ever written. But I do like manga, so these classics adaptations really got my attention. Thank you for commenting :)

  3. "The story is told in a way that even those who haven't read the actual book would understand and love it." THIS, I completely agree. I read this one a little bit ago and felt the same way about it, it was such a fun adaption, and the art was great!

    1. I'm so glad that we agree. This is what I liked about these adaptations, they gave the essence of the novel, despite the differences :)

  4. I love the movie and the musical so much and one day I will read the book! It's just so long though. Maybe I'll check this out:)

    1. You will definitely enjoy this one. The novel is very long and sometimes Hugo can be very tiring because he can dedicate whole chapters in the architecture. For example, in Les Miserable there is a chapter about the sewers.

  5. Hi, lovely blog :)
    I used to love reading Manga! I saw your post on goodreads.
    My blog is www.espresso-yourlove.weebly.com
    I would love to do some type of share for share?


    1. Thank you for visiting! :)

      Manga is great, I read a lot!

  6. I've never been sure how I felt about manga adaptations. Would you say they're mostly good? Your review definitely definitely makes me want to check it out!

    1. I can't tell about all the adaptations, but this series is amazing. They manage to stay close to the originals, which is great!

  7. Great review! I've not read Les Miserables but it's on my TBR list. It's nice that they've done an adaptation of it! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
    Have a great day,
    Amy x

    1. It's an amazing novel. I'm glad that they made an adaptation in this series, because they really make a good work :)


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