Review of Manga Classics: Les Miserables by Stacy King, Tszmei Lee and Victor Hugo

Manga Classics: Les Miserables by Stacy King

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication date: August 12th, 2014
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Genres & Themes: Love, Classic, Action, Liberty, Historical, Family, Manga, Revolution.


Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo’s classic novel of love and tragedy during the French Revolution is reborn in this manga edition!


This was a very poignant story. Actually, I don’t recall ever reading a manga that brought tears to my eyes. Be aware that you won’t turn the last page with the same emotional state as when you turned the very first.

This is an adaptation and not a retelling. While I haven’t read the classic, I know a bit of its story and I’m pretty sure that the content in this manga is very similar to the original story. Plus, after reading Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice, I do trust the author on that point.

While I thought this was an emotional yet very enjoyable read, there are some elements that could have been better, especially regarding the art.

For example, Cosette (daughter of Fantine), as she grows up, has a too similar appearance as when she was a little kid and even in her personality. I also didn’t see much change in her personailty which is not a BAD thing since she is a wonderful person but that did make her character less realistic.

Also, Marius is…cute but way too simple as for his appearance. I’m not sure how he was meant to be in the book, but I just looked up the actor in the new movie adaptation and the man playing his character is so handsome compared to the one in this manga.

Look at how handsome he is in the movie:


That’s how he was supposed to look in the manga as well.

STILL, the art was very beautiful and it portrayed the society very well. Almost every character felt alive and they were the ones making this manga as good as it is, in my opinion.

While the plot is filled with twists and turns and heart wrecking scenes, there were some times when everything went just…too fast!

Everything is explained well and I can easily tell you the story myself after reading this but I think a good 100 more pages would have been very welcome, ESPECIALLY regarding the scenes in which Cosette and Marius fell in love because I had trouble, during the reading, believing in their love as much as I’d wished to. The ending made up for it a little though. It was wonderful yet heartbreaking.

Really, the manga was well done and the dialogs very realistic for that Century. It did made me want to read the original classic but I am sure I will do so in French (language I’m the most familiar with) since I’m positive the story is more complicated and detailed in the novel.

Recommended for lovers of beautiful mangas and Les Misérables. There are some pretty great themes in this story that’ll even make you think for a second at how lucky you are. Because you, who are able to read this right now, are.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Image source.

40 thoughts on “Review of Manga Classics: Les Miserables by Stacy King, Tszmei Lee and Victor Hugo

  1. You got teary eyed? Aw *pats you* I haven’t read the original either and I haven’t even seen the movie. Oops. Bad Siiri, right? 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed the characters in general even if they didn’t wow you. I like fast plots, but mostly when it’s a thriller. I doubt this was meant to be a thriller lol. I’m glad for twists though! So happy you liked this as a whole, Lola 🙂


  2. Well now I really want to know how he looks in the manga! I know very little of this story aside from the fact that it’s a bit of a downer, so I think it would be kind of fun to pick up this adaptation having never read (or watched) the story before. Plus, the artwork (aside from Marius) sounds gorgeous!


  3. Cosette and Marius really had an instalove in the movie too, mind you. XD I absolutely enjoyed the 2012 adaptation and my favorite songs were Do You Hear the People Sing? and On My Own. Anyway, I didn’t know there’s a manga for this. I would love to see these characters drawn manga-style. You’ll read the original book in French? Victor Hugo would be proud. As if I needed anymore reason to be impressed by you. Haha. Lovely review, Lola!


  4. Oh it’s been a while since I have read this one but I have seen the movie last year or so. Anyhow I’m sorry that Cosette didn’t develop here as I remember her really changing over the years. And yes Marius (I totally drooled during the movie) he is really a great character. I have no idea how long is this manga but it’s hard to put the whole novel in only one manga. So yeah I can see how everything happened too fast. Great review, Lola 🙂


  5. I have seen the movie, which I absolutely loved (despite the fact it was very long!). I want to read the book, but I seems such a daunting task. I will however def pick this up!


  6. I had never heard of this, but it sounds truly wonderful and I’m adding it to my tbr! I love manga/graphic novels and Les Mis has a very special place in my heart, and I’d love to see this version of it and discover, hopefully, a new element to my love for the story! Excellent review!


  7. I’ve never read/seen Les Mes because I heard it was sad, and it sounds like the Manga is as well. I was hoping that the ‘adaptation’ part would make it happier, but I guess that isn’t the point. I think the novel is probably best in French anyway. Wish I could read something other than English.


  8. I’ve actually never read the original before, in French or in English. I do have a friend who’s such a legit fan of Victor Hugo that she read the French version back to back five fricking times. Talk about dedication! As for me, I have the abridged version, but it still feels too daunting for me. I wonder if I read this manga adaptation instead it would make me have a feel for it more? That may be the case as I am a huge reader of mangas 😀

    Faye at The Social Potato


  9. Aw, I love the fact that this brought tears to you eyes and gave you so many feels! I’m curious now as to check out this MANGA adaption, as I’m only slightly familiar with the classic. Awesome review, Lola 🙂


  10. These Manga Classics reviews of yours are tempting me to request these on NetGalley! But I have to resist myself because school just started and reading manga on top of everything else is not a good idea ugh. Anyway, I just have to live vicariously through you in the meantime. I hope you enjoy the other classic adaptations you’ll read. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for your thoughts on those! Fantastic review, Lola ❤


  11. I LOVE Les Miserables. I’ve seen the 25th anniversary show, the 10th anniversary , and the movie like 3 times each. I know all the songs and I desperately want to see it live one day. So glad the manga was very poignant! (I can’t imagine a manga bringing tears to my eyes!). I really wish I could request this on Netgalley. Great review!


  12. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh! I MUST OBTAIN THIS BOOK. TO GOODREADS I GO! I’m sorry, I’m just super super passionate about Les Mis. It happened when I came home (to my parents) and one night I was flipping through channels and on PBS they were just starting to show the 25th anniversary performance of Les Mis and I just fell in love! I have watched the performance at least ten times, listened to THAT specific recording at least 50 times, watched the actual movie a grand total of seven times, have five versions of the musical recording on my computer, adore the 10th anniversary performance as well and I have the book. That I haven’t read yet but started a long time ago.

    Do you get what I said about passionate? When I saw it for the first time opening night at the movies, I sobbed. For like the last 40 minutes of the film. That’s after crying from various parts throughout the movie. Oh dear, I have to get this manga. Omg…I love Les Miserables so freakin’ much. So much.

    Is this for sale?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve read the book seven times now (oh gosh) and I highly recommend picking it up! It’s so worth it, I promise.

    And well, Cosette in the book has quite a bit of character development and became one of my favorite characters.


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