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Rose of Versailles

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Rose of Versailles

Post  Bunnies on Tue May 07, 2013 4:33 pm

What's this forum's opinion on the Japanese anime Rose of Versailles?

The official summary is:

General Jarjayes, desperate for a son to preserve the family name and noble standing, names his newborn daughter "Oscar" and chooses to raise her as a boy. Fourteen years later, Oscar is a masterful duelist, marksman, and the newly appointed Commander of the French Royal Guards. Her first task: to protect Marie Antoinette, who is engaged to the French prince and future king, Louis-Auguste.

Even though the planned marriage should provide both countries with some much needed peace and prosperity, the French court is a dangerous place. Marie's youthful naivete makes her an easy target for those who wish to see the monarchy overthrown. Oscar soon finds herself both defending Marie's reputation from those who seek to discredit her and protecting her life from those who wish to kill her.

I watched the whole series last year with my sister. It's one of the most melodramatic pieces I've ever seen, with Antoinette's refusal to speak to the Du Barry shrouded with the same dramatic tension as the prelude to her execution. Things just seem to happen, for no reason: there's about a 5-episode story arc depicting a young noblewoman's reluctance to marry a pedophile. All very interesting, but it doesn't contribute to the overall plot and just seemed clunky.

The whole series is clunky, really.

That said, I did rather like the depiction of Marie-Antoinette. She starts off as the bubbly airhead, but it's endearing and reminiscent of the heroines of other Japanese Magical Girl series so given the context of the culture it's far from insulting. She reminds me of Usagi from Sailor Moon. You know, flighty and feminine but undoubtedly strong. Like her historical counterpart, as Antoinette grows she sheds her recklessness and transforms into a Queen of France in both demeanor and title.

I started thinking about it again because the series has just been officially released to English-speaking audiences on DVD today: http://www.rightstuf.com/1-800-338-6827/catalogmgr/mYumDWbaMdi1iq7YJX/browse/item/97140/4/0/0
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Re: Rose of Versailles

Post  Elena on Tue May 07, 2013 9:03 pm

Thank you for bringing it up. I really can't stand the look of it. No tongue

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Re: Rose of Versailles

Post  Bunnies on Tue May 07, 2013 11:16 pm

How do you mean? The art style? It is a tad dated, the show being first released on the 1970s...

Or do you mean the plot in general? I'd give you that. The Japanese have different literary tropes than Westerners and so their stories can be a tad jarring initially. They can take some getting used to... Embarassed
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Re: Rose of Versailles

Post  Elena on Tue May 07, 2013 11:21 pm

The whole thing. I just don't like it but I am glad you brought it up because it needs to be discussed.

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Re: Rose of Versailles

Post  Bunnies on Tue May 07, 2013 11:35 pm

As a sidenote, I'm somewhat curious whether or not Anna Amber will purchase it. She blogs screenshots and memorabilia from the show sometimes but she's told me that she's yet to see the show.

I've never read the manga but I understand it goes deeper into the Revolution than its anime counterpart. The anime (Spoiler alert?) closes with the Storming of the Bastille, with a clip episode recapping the Revolution itself.

As for the historical figure the show portrays, Marie-Antoinette and Robespierre are portrayed the most flatteringly. Louis XV is the indolent cipher he always is and the Duc d'Orleans takes on Supervillain proportions (he also disappears without explanation and without any comeuppance for his numerous crimes). Saint-Just is an assassin a la Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill. Louis XVI is adorable but lacks a backbone. And while Robespierre is portrayed somewhat flatteringly - although Saint Just does comment that he's only involved in the Revolution for his personal benefit and the viewer is likely meant to agree with Kiddo's ruling - he seems to have been infused with testosterone and we see him straddling the Revolution as a lead figure in mid-1789.

He channels the spirit of Mirabeau before Mirabeau is even dead. Or ever existed, because he doesn't seem to in this universe.

I dunno. I wouldn't pay 30 dollars for it but the thing is available on YouTube for free and I'd recommend watching one or two episodes. It's melodramatic and laughable at times but it's amusing.
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Re: Rose of Versailles

Post  Elena on Tue May 07, 2013 11:51 pm

There are many people who do enjoy The Rose of Versailles and it certainly is their right to do so. Smile Your reflections are interesting! flower

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