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Anime / Les MisÚrables: Shōjo Cosette

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Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette is a 2007 anime. Produced under the World Masterpiece Theater banner, it is an adaptation of the novel Les Misérables. It ran for 52 episodes, airing weekly for the entire length of 2007.

This anime provides (in addition to those shared with the novel) examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: The Thenardiers, full stop. They effectively abandon their sons and both heavily mistreat Cosette in the years she's in their care. Mme Thenardier isn't like this towards her daughters, but no such luck from her husband.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Grantaire is described as extremely ugly, and Bossuet/Lesgle as bald and older than most of the Friends of the ABC. Here, Grantaire is only slightly homely-looking by comparison to the Cast Full of Pretty Boys and Lesgle looks younger, but sports a full head of hair and Badass Beard.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Gillenormand, Marius' grandfather, is a complete Jerkass who fails to show Marius his affection in the book, even if he does secretly care a great deal for them, and while the two eventually reconcile after Marius barely escapes the barricade with his life, he never really changes. Here, he starts that way, but has a Heel Realization that leaves him acting much more kind and friendly after Marius's brush with death.
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  • Adaptational Karma: In the original book, M. Thenardier manages to escape to America with Marius' money. That does not happen here, since Javert did not commit suicide and was able to arrest him.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Revealed retrospectively with Javert's mother. In the book, Javert's mother was a prostitute and only his father was a criminal, but here, both parents were criminals.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Thenardier in the books is defined by being extremely good at surviving and adapting to different situations, and is an ultimate Karma Houdini. In this adaptation, pretty much nothing goes right for him. He doesn't get the money from Valjean when he takes Cosette away, he has absolutely no respect from the Patron-Minette, Marius refuses to believe that he truly saved his father at the battle of Waterloo, and Javert arrests him in the end, subverting his most infamous feat.
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  • Adapted Out: Brujon is one of only two noteworthy characters to play this straight, and even then he's not particularly important. The other, Felix Tholomyes, Cosette's biological father, is a good deal more important to the backstory, and he doesn't receive so much as a passing allusion in the anime, in which it's stated he's dead.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the book, Marius has curly black hair and Cosette is brown-haired. In the anime, Marius has straight golden-brown hair and Cosette has blonde hair.
  • Alpha Bitch: Eponine as a child deconstructs this. While she's basically the princess when her parents are around, it's shown that she has difficulty making friends or being liked in more normal social situation due to her haughty demeanor. Ultimately, this, coupled with many people around Montfermeil enjoying Cosette's friendliness and treating her nicely (despite Eponine having been conditioned all her young life to consider Cosette scum), only further fuels her own insecurities and the resentment of Cosette that would last into both girls' adulthoods.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: After Valjean's death, Javert briefly and subtly goes to his funeral and takes off his hat as a sign of respect.
  • Archnemesis Dad: In the past, Javert had to arrest his criminal parents, because they didn't reform themselves.
  • Anyone Can Die: It's still Les Misérables. Being a Lighter and Softer Adaptation doesn't mean that the series shies away from killing off important characters.
  • The Artful Dodger: Gavroche, of course.
  • Ascended Extra: Toussaint has a much bigger role than in the novel, even seeming to be almost a mother to Cosette at times.
    • Not to mention Cosette herself, who is given a much more central role in this anime than she has in the book, or in just about any other adaptation for that matter. No surprise, considering her name appears in the series title itself.
    • Pressoir and Jurges (No Name Given in the source material), the two youngest, unknown-to-Gavroche Thenardier sons, stick around in the story much longer.
    • Gavroche himself features for a much wider span of the story, being just slightly older so to be a character of his own right even during the episodes prior to the timeskip. His focus lasts longer both ways, in fact, as along with showing up earlier, he's Spared by the Adaptation and continues to play a part in things after the revolution as a result.
  • Asexuality: Enjolras and Grantaire's subtext from the book is either heavily downplayed or made even more onesided on Grantaire's part, but Enjolras' lack of any mistress besides France itself and lack of any interest thereof remains.
    • Jean Valjean, as per the norm, is portrayed with virtually no interest in romantic or sexual prospects.
  • The Atoner: Jean Valjean.
  • Babies Ever After: Cosette and Marius have a little girl at the end of the series.
  • Badass Baritone: Valjean, Javert, Gillenormand, Enjolras... There's quite a few.
  • Badass Boast: Javert is really good at making these.
  • Badass Crew: The Friends of the ABC, come time for the June Rebellion. Doesn't save any of them besides Marius, of course.
  • Badass Mustache: Jean Valjean and Monsieur Thenardier. The former's mustache is as big as his strength. The latter changed its style three times: as an innkeeper, as M. Jondrette and Baron Thenard.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played straight for Cosette during her stay with the Thenardiers in which we're told by Jean Valjean that she's actually malnourished, but averted for Fantine, who looks progressively worser for the wear once she's out on the streets, even once she is taken in by Valjean.
  • Beta Bitch: Azelma to Eponine, though due to being the younger of the two by several years, this is more out of following what her big sister does more than any actual malice.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Chou Chou.
  • Bishōnen: Marius, Enjolras, and other members of the ABC Friends. Montparnasse also qualifies.
  • Bookends: The series begins with little Cosette and Fantine walking down a road. The series ends with Cosette and Marius walking down the same road with their own little girl.
  • Brawn Hilda: Mme. Thenardier is a large, beefy, and unattractive woman.
  • Brick Joke: Marius getting Cosette's name wrong is brought up one last time at the barricade.
  • The Bus Came Back: Alain, Sister Simplice and Gavroche's former boss reappear in a chapter in which Cosette and a friend visit Montfermeil and Montrieul-Sur-Mer.
  • Canon Foreigner: A few, but Alain/Alan and Chou-Chou are the most blatant.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Becomes one as soon as the Friends of the ABC take the stage, true to form.
  • Central Theme: People can change. And if they can change, so can the world.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Chou Chou is mostly a mere companion, but at the end it saves Gavroche.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Even with 52 episodes to tell the story, this is still a children's adaptation and some parts are omitted because they're not appropriate - Fantine is never explicitly shown to be a prostitute, for example. This version is the one which focuses the less on Bishop Myriel.
  • Cool Old Guy: Valjean, Mabeuf, Bishop Myriel, and Fauchelevent. After Character Development, Gillenormand, Marius' estranged grandfather, becomes one as well.
  • Cool Old Lady: Toussaint is far from young as well, and serves as something of a surrogate mother to Cosette.
  • Cue the Sun: The sunrise coincides with Javert deciding not to commit suicide and accepting people can change.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Marius speaks to Enjolras' ghost when visiting the site of the Last Stand. Cosette tells him that sometimes she talks to her mother as well, showing that she doesn't think he's crazy.
  • Demoted to Extra: Bishop Myriel gets even less screentime than most other adaptations, only showing up in a couple of flashbacks, thoughts of Jean Valjean and the opening.
  • Domestic Abuse: Monsieur Thénardier is implied to be one towards his wife.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Les Amis, of course. Gavroche and Marius are the only ones to survive: Gavroche because he was saved by Chou Chou before his wound could kill him, Marius because Valjean saved him during the Last Stand.
  • Dramatic Irony: Fantine has no idea that Cosette is being abused and often says that the Thenardiers are taking very good care of her.
  • Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: Valjean, as per tradition.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Pretty much like the book.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • When Jean Valjean in his M. Madeleine persona comes into scene, he saves a boy from being punished but redeems him. This scene marks him as a redeemer and a compassionate person.
    • We first meet Gavroche as a baby. Cut to three years later and we see him put a mouse in Eponine's hair, when she's bullying Cosette. This establishes him as the kind of kid who will stand up for those who can't do so for themselves, and Foreshadows his joining Les Amis later.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even Eponine and Azelma, who had long been bullying Cosette ruthlessly themselves, end up objecting to the sight of their mother brutally beating her with a broom until she's unconscious. Eponine even starts begging her mother to stop (which her father agrees to, but only because Cosette still has "work" to do).
  • Fallen Princess: "Princess" is stretching it thin, but after the time skip, Eponine has not adjusted to poverty and losing her parents' good graces well. She is continues to act self-centred and consider herself above her father's criminal (and unprofitable) activities.
  • Foreshadowing: When Gavroche and Cosette, as children, are running over a hill together, Gavroche falls and lies facedown for a moment. Cosette, concerned, turns around and says his name. When she finds him after he was shot at the barricade, he is lying facedown on the pavement. She gasps and says his name over and over, nearly in tears.
  • For Want of a Nail: The series doesn't overlook the consequences of the presence of a major Canon Foreigner, having someone be Spared by the Adaptation, or creating new subplots. Two examples of this are that Chou Chou existing means he is able to save Gavroche from the barricade, and Gavroche's friendship with Cosette means that said dog has somewhere to bring him to. Thus, Gavroche is Spared by the Adaptation, and Valjean taking the time to tell Javert his life's story leads to Javert reconsidering suicide at the last minute, sparing him his canonical fate. He later arrests Thenardier, a Karma Houdini in the source material. Alain, the kid Valjean-as-Madeleine took under his wing and provided for the siblings of, was able to use his knowledge to prevent Montreuil Sur-Mer's economic decline (as shown in the book) by stepping in for them.
  • Good Shepherd: Bishop Myriel and a bishop who latter would be transferred to Paris.
  • Happily Adopted:
    • Cosette by Jean Valjean, of course. After the revolution, she's joined by Pressoir, Jurges and Gavroche.
    • He's not "adopted" per se, but Gavroche is sent away from home to work as a blacksmith's apprentice in the first arc. The smith and his wife apparently treated the boy so well that he rebuffs Cosette's offer to join her and Valjean's journey to Paris.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Javert goes into one after seeing a sunrise and thinking about Valjean's words about how people can change, instead of committing suicide. It's implied that Mme Thenardier will undergo one of these as well.
  • Heroic Dog: Chou Chou certainly has his moments. Namely saving Gavroche from the barricade.
  • The Hero Dies: Jean Valjean dies as he does in the books, his daughter beside him.
  • Hero of Another Story: Alain has been very busy keeping the town afloat according to what "Madeleine" would have done.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Thenardier tries squeeze more money out Valjean by claiming he needs written proof from Cosette's mother that she is allowed to leave with whoever has that proof, even saying he would let Cosette go for free. Valjean hands him a letter from Fantine, proving that Cosette can leave, and that Valjean doesn't need to pay him to take her.
    • In retrospect, them charging Fantine higher prices constantly is what led to that situation in the first place, as she became more and more desperate to pay them, to the point where she ended up in her situation and forcing Valjean to investigate matters and rescue Cosette.
  • Inspector Javert: The Trope Namer, of course, but he will fight hard to avoid this situation when he decides to redeem himself.
  • Jerkass: The Thenardiers, as usual.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though Eponine is still a pretty mean person as a grown girl, she's much more troubled by her actions, outright hinders her father's criminal attempts when she's not deliberately avoiding associating with them, and generally comes off as sympathetic and regretful of her mistreatment of... everyone she's wronged.
  • Karma Houdini: The Thenardiers avert this. Monsieur Thenardier is arrested in one of the last episodes, and Madame Thenardier is stuck in same position Valjean used to be in, a paroled convict who has to show her papers to everyone. It's unlikely that she'll ever be living well again.
    • The Patron-Minette gang plays this entirely straight.
  • Kiddie Kid: The only maturity Azelma Thenardier goes through is cosmetic. Even after her family's decent into dirt poverty, she remains innocent and shallow, and does not appear to comprehend her situation.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Whenever Javert appears on screen, chances are things are gonna go for the worst. Though this is subverted once he redeems himself.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Valjean, the hero of the story has a wide jaw and has superhuman strength.
  • Last Stand: You know the scene, if you've read the book or even seen at least one of the other adaptations.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: The remainder of the opening song is put at the last chapter among happy scenes, flashbacks and Javert subtly showing respect to Valjean's death.
  • Lighter and Softer: It has more people survive than other adaptations and quite a few added cutesy scenes, especially involving Chou Chou the dog, a character whom Cosette and Gavroche adopt as a puppy. He ends up saving Gavroche from the barricade. However, just because the anime looks like this doesn't mean that the anime itself is entirely light and cutesy. Indeed, one scene involves Cosette being beaten by Madame Thenardier with a broom while shielding Chou Chou with her body. This is accompanied by a voiceover by Fantine saying she's glad the Thenardiers are taking such good care of her daughter.
  • Like Brother and Sister:
    • Cosette and Gavroche. In fact, among the Thenardiers, Gavroche is the closest thing Cosette has to family.
    • Sister Simplice becomes a sister of sorts to Alain.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Manages to include just about every important character from the book, while adding a few of its own.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Just like in the book, Valjean's hair turns white when he reveals his true identity in court to save the life of an innocent man.
  • Metaphorically True: After Sister Simplice lies to Javert as per canon by saying that she hasn't seen Jean Valjean, she justifies it afterwards by saying that to her, the man isn't the escaped convict Jean Valjean, but the merciful and self-sacrificing Mayor Madeleine.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Cosette, Marius, and Gavroche all miss each other by seconds, on many occasion. Also occurs between Javert and Valjean, but it's entirely deliberate on the latter's part.
  • Morality Pet: Eponine and Azelma are this to Mme Thenardier. She's a pretty thorough jerk to nearly everyone else, but she loves her daughters.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: When it becomes clear that the revolution is going poorly, Enjolras assures the remaining people in the barricade that, even if they fail, their spirit will carry on in people's memories.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After letting Valjean go free, Javert feels remorse for how his heartless words and actions caused Fantine's death. Madame Thenardier also comments that she has done a lot of bad things.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Named by the Adaptation: The two homeless boys Gavroche befriends are given the names Hugues/Jurges and Bressole/Pressoir.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Jean Prouvaire calmly gives a speech about how he's happy to have known his fellow revolutionaries and the world they live in mere moments before being gunned down in front of them.
  • Out of Focus: Out of the Friends of the ABC, Feuilly, Joly, and Bahorel get next to no focus or characterization, few lines, and their names are only passingly mentioned. Unlike most adaptations, however, the rest of the group averts this to varying extents.
  • Papa Wolf: Jean Valjean may think nothing of his own wellbeing, but he will showcase some of his Super Strength if Cosette is in danger.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Thenardier only disguises himself with a pair of glasses when attempting to extort and blackmail Marius for what Thenardier falsely believes to be a murder Valjean committed. Even more transparently, he uses the pseudonym of Baron Thenard.
  • Parental Substitute: Valjean becomes a father figure for Alain before being one for Cosette.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Javert. He finally smiles as the sun rises and he completes his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Put on a Bus: Toron, a classmate of Eponine, had moved away. It's unknown what happened to him after that.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Valjean as Madeleine, as mayor of Montreuil Sur-Mer. After Javert doesn't die, he's shown to become one of these.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Javert.
  • Rescue Arc: A few episodes are devoted to Valjean's journey to the Waterloo Inn to rescue Cosette from the Thenardiers.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Gavroche's former boss comments how beautiful Cosette is now as an adult.
  • Sherlock Scan: Javert is incredibly competent as an inspector, noticing the little details when other officers have Failed a Spot Check.
  • The Show of the Books: This is a series of 52 episodes which adapts a long book.
  • Society Is to Blame: Monsieur Thenardier spouts this more than once to justify his villainy, but he's really just an Entitled Bastard who always Wants a Prize for Basic Decency, and expects his family and allies to work for his benefit alone.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The barricade's last stand is set to perky, sparkly J-pop music. It works if you understand the lyrics though.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Mme. Thenardier, Gavroche and Javert. Cosette's doll, Katherine, also counts; although she didn't necessarily "die", Cosette lost her the first time Javert caught up to her and Valjean. Claquesous of the Patron-Minette survives thanks to the gang abruptly disappearing.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Cosette looks a lot like her mother. Cosette's own daughter looks a lot like her too.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While Cosette has much more agency than in the book or in any other adaptation, coupled with plenty of focus, the plot, being mostly unchanged, is still heavily driven by Valjean trying to escape his past and Marius' experiences with the Friends of the ABC.
  • Tears of Joy: Javert, after taking Valjean's words to heart, and realizing people can change after all.
  • Time Skip: Several, over the course of time.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The Thenardiers. Mme Thenardier has lost a lot of weight by the time she's gotten out of prison.
  • Truer to the Text: Lighter and Softer aside, this is one of the most faithful adaptations of the book.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: With more lines being added.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: The ugly couple's hot/adorable offspring. The Thénardier couple aren't good-looking at all, but Azelma and Gavroche are cute while Eponine is pretty.
  • Unkempt Beauty: The three Thénardier children. Gavroche is adorable even if he is homeless. Azelma is cute and Eponine is attractive even if the family fell to poverty.
  • Unknown Rival: Eponine to Cosette. Cosette has no idea how jealous of her Eponine is. Even when Cosette was an abused little girl Eponine was jealous of her.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Inverted with Alain. He was bitter as a child, but becomes a nice, hardworking lad who would substitute "Madeleine".
  • War Arc: The June Rebellion.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Alain's siblings aren't seen again, not even when Cosette, alongside Gavroche and Chou Chou, goes to Montrieul Sur Mer to mourn her mother.
    • Nothing is known about Toron since he moved away.
    • Patron-Minette is last seen at one of the barricades, but they are explicitly mentioned as still at large afterwards, meaning they survived, and... are never addressed again after said passing mention.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Happens to Valjean pretty regularly, just like in the book.
  • A World Half Full: Believe it or not.
  • You Are in Command Now


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