Review: Les Misérables Manga
Illustrated by: Tszmei Lee
Released by Udon Entertainment on 1 May 2014
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Netgalley, Received
Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo's classic novel of love & tragedy during the French Revolution is reborn in this fantastic new manga edition! The gorgeous art of TseMei Lee brings to life the tragic stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and the beautiful Fantine, in this epic adaptation of Les Miserables!
After reading the Nightmare Before Christmas manga, I felt like reading more. So I went back to Netgalley, where I knew they had at least two more mangas available. One of them was Les Misérables a book (and movie) I had never particularly been interested in, partly because of the book’s immense size. But this manga seemed like a shorter version of the story, so that is why I decided to read it.
Les Miserables, from what I’ve understood, tells a story of tragedy, love, and most of all revolution. We follow a cast of characters as they struggle poverty, judgement and all sort of things.
In this manga, we only get a fraction of the story, because like I said the original book is over a thousand pages long. But I do believe we got the most important part of the story. It sometimes felt a bit rushed though, but I do believe the people who made the manga did their best to bring you the best of the book. I did know the story already because I’d seen a huge part of the movie that came out in 2012, I believe. But there was still enough I hadn’t seen that could surprise me.
The artwork was great too, typically Japanese artwork that I know and love from shows like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z. I thought all the characters were amazing and easy to recognise as well. Unlike the NBC manga, this artist has given their own interpretation to the characters, rather than just copying them from the movie cast or the many musical casts this story has had.
One unfortunate thing with this book from Netgalley was that it wasn’t perfect. Sometimes there would be strange blocks all through a page, and some of the pages had text that was too small for me to read, even when I zoomed in. I believe they did say this at the beginning (end?) of the book, but it’s such a shame that this happened.
But honestly this type of story (historical, romantic, call it what you will) isn’t my thing, and that is why I couldn’t give this a higher rating. It hasn’t made me excited to pick up the original book, nor has it made me want to rewatch the movie from beginning to end. Maybe one day when it’s on TV again, but not on my own accord.
I do recommend this to people who love the original story and would love to read it in a different format. But honestly buy a physical copy, because I don’t know if an ebook will do this story justice!
My opinion in one gif: