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Top 5 Anime Inspired by Classic Novels

If you enjoy the classics like a true lit geek, then you'd be happy to know that there are several anime series that are inspired by stories written in the unforgotten past by authors that would forever live on.

by Law_Light
Mar 28, 2016 9:04 PM | 10,348 views

Clannad! anime like classics, Kotomi Ichinose

Who does not know one or two classic books? You'll love them. You'll hate them. But there's no denying that the timeless themes and unforgettable characters the classics has to offer continue to baffle the old and the young. Songs, poems, dances, and movies has made their tribute to these great books. Of course, anime will not be far behind. Let's take a look at these anime series that relive immortal stories.



Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette


Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette! anime from classics, Cosette

One of the most frequently adapted classics, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables has once again graces the screen-this time, in anime form! Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette keeps in line with the novel, being set in 19th century France. Three-year-old Cosette travels with her mother, who is looking for a job and a place to live. Like what happens in the book, Cosette is separated from her mother, given to a corrupt caretaker and later on meets Jean Valjean. Unlike the book, which focuses on Jean Valjean, however, it focuses on the innocent girl's adventures in a world where there seems to be little hope, especially for abandoned children like her. Will Victor Hugo's words hold true for Cosette: "even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise"?



Fushigi no Umi no Nadia (Nadia: Secret of Blue Water)


Fushigi no Umi no Nadia! anime like classics, Nadia Ia Arwall, Jean Rogue Raltique

Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is given a new interpretation in Fushigi no Umi no Nadia. This anime centers around two protagonists, Nadia, an orphan, and Jean, a young inventor. However, it also features Captain Nemo, who is the picture of an enigmatic antihero in both the anime and the book.



Pandora Hearts


Pandora Hearts! anime like classics, Alice, Oz

If you loved Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland as a child, then Pandora Hearts is an anime you should check out. What differs between the book and anime is that the main protagonist for the latter is not Alice, but Oz, modeled after the white rabbit. The story starts out as Oz turned fifteen years old. During the ceremony of his coming-of-age, everything suddenly changes. Oz is cast into a mysterious place only known as the “Abyss”, where he meets Alice. Whether the Abyss is as magical as a wonderland or not is for you to find out.



Gankutsuou (Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo)


Gankutsuou! anime like classics, The Count of Monte Cristo, Albert de Morcerf

Alexandre Duma’s The Count of Monte Cristo takes another turn in Gankutsuou. The anime takes the story from the era of the Bourbon Restoration (1814-1830) to a fictional year 5053. Despite this difference in the timeline, many elements of 19th century France still shines through. Society is still divided by social wealth and power. However, the Count of Monte Cristo is not just going to sit down and watch things go as they are.



Romeo x Juliet


Romeo x Juliet! anime like classics, Romeo Montague, Juliet Capulet

Who can forget William Shakespeare’s most famous star-crossed lovers? In this adaptation, the fierce and sole survivor of the Capulet family, Juliet, meets the kind heir to the Montague family, Romeo, is a true classic. The anime takes the story into a whole new level though. More magical. More action-packed. More romantic. Romeo and Juliet's charm truly never fades.

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