There are several reasons to love this adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic LES MISÉRABLES. For one, as a Westerner reading manga, the brain flips “on”. It’s like taking notes or drawing with your non-dominant hand: it pushes you to observe more. Then, the stylistic cartooning of manga pushes emotion to a higher level (the eyes get me, especially during the tearful, swelling moments). Finally, the inspiration to read the source material. Unlike reading condensed or review materials, reading this inspires continuation.
As for the story, the team involved did an excellent job capturing the essences of the book, the major plot points, and the character-defining moments—no easy task considering the volume of the source material! Yes, of course much is missing, but the spirit is all there: the life lessons and realities.
I’m a little spoiled with some other graphic novels that were in all color, so that’s my only wish to make this better. The cover and one opening page are in color, the rest penned in black & white.
Who this is for: fans of the original material, maybe. Mainly: folks that may have seen the musical or movie or just curious what the buzz is about. Not for students trying to pass a test; read Hugo’s original.
Thanks to Diamond Book and Udon for originally providing this electronically, and then for sending me the paperback version for review. Much better in print: again, the brain flip thing of magna (plus the awesomeness of art).