Raised from birth as a man, the Lady Oscar commands the palace guards at Versailles in the years before the French Revolution. Her beauty and noble spirit make her a shining figure in the eyes of both men and women but she is torn between her chosen life of service and duty to class and country and her own heart and desires. She lives as a noble amidst the opulence of Versailles but her keen senses and compassion are not blinded to the poverty of the French people.
On July 11, 2015, Udon Entertainment revealed that they had licensed Versailles no Bara for release in English as Rose of Versailles. The publisher plans to release the series in 2-in-1 omnibuses though a release date has yet to be announced.
Rose Versailles, one of the most influential stories to ever be written for it's stunning portrayal of the messed up societies of the 20th century. Written 35 years ago, Rose of Versailles remains as one of the greatest story to be written; a true masterpiece. A tragic, historic melodrama about the patriarchal societies of the 16th Century, forbidden love, and the harshness/corruption of reality/society that eventually lead up to the french revolution. I don't remember a single moment while reading the manga where I was left scratching my head, or feeling bored. Who knew learning history with a pinch of romance could be so amazing! Rose of Versailles perfectly masters every possible aspect in it's genre. This masterpiece stretches over a 24 year period (Lady Oscar starts at 14 years old, and ends at 38 years old). Time skips... Great right?... Rose of Versailles makes the time skip transitions seem perfectly smooth and natural. This manga is a must-read.
The story is actually realistic, accurately follows a good portion of French history, and doesn't have any sort of bullshit, cut-to-the-chase crap. The story revolves around Oscar François de Jarjeyes (Lady Oscar) who is the youngest daughter of the Royal Guards Commander, General Jarjayes. Lady Oscar is raised as a boy because General Jarjayes had desperately wanted a son that could take after him as the Royal Guards Commander. Her beauty and noble spirit makes her an ideal suitor for both men and women. She lives a rich, lavish life with lots of power (hence blind to the travesties and poverty of the outside world.); she is the commander of the Royal Guard and is responsible for the safety of Marie Antoinette, the Princess soon-to-be Queen of Versailles, as well as the rest of the royal family. The plot is about Oscar's growing realization of how France is governed (corruption), the plight of the poor, and her torn heart between her chosen life of service and duty to class and country vs her own heart and desires. Seems like a bright, romantic anime at first, but slowly becomes darker and sadder as the story progresses. There are certainly moments in this anime where you will cry, especially the end.
Not only is the story a genius piece of work, but the characters, their designs and their development were phenomenal. Lady Oscar was not the only significant, and symbolic character in the anime. There's Queen Marie Antoinette, whose character was masterfully weaven to be sympathetic and childish, yet still have her be the wild and corrupt Queen that she was (in French history, monarchs were often cruel and selfish). There's Hans Axel von Fersen, a young aristocrat whose Oscar's best friend, and later engages in a forbidden love relationship with Queen Antoinette. And then there's one of the most tragic heroes of all anime, André Grandier, a true friend of Lady Oscar who shared his entire childhood/life alongside Lady Oscar, always watching after her. André is secretly in love with Oscar, but never openly tells her, and in the end their love was a forbidden one that would end up being even more tragic than Romeo and Juliet's love story. Andre Grandier is the pure definition of an archetypal character whom fights to protect his ideals and those that he cherishes (the people of France and Lady Oscar). What a beautiful tragedy that is about to unfold upon his life. The antagonists, the Duke of Orléans, Madame du Barry, the Duchess of Polignac, Saint Just, were perfect examples of corrupt leaders that made the societies of the 16th century rot; perfect villains. Even all the side character's were significant, as they played their roles in portraying an important part of 16th century societies. The time-skipping in the anime was surprisingly good. The character's actually changed (maturation) into "new" people, and the viewers actually connect more with the characters. Character's were just indescribably spectacular. Honestly, every character in the anime was ambiguously sympathetic characters who all were torn between what they had to live by, and their true inner identity along with their torn ideals.
And of course I must dedicate an entire paragraph for one of the greatest characters of all literature, Lady Oscar herself. I love her so much: How often in literature is it that you see the female lead be strong-willed, intelligent, courageous, scarred and still maintain her feminine beauty?~ The character of Lady Oscar can be simple and obvious if you blatantly watch the show, but if you understand the psychological emotions, and societal values at the time, then you'd understand that that the character of Lady Oscar is a morally complex one indeed. Her character is deeply flawed within herself. Where some people sacrifice their lives to the pursuit of 'dignity', Oscar dedicates hers to the idea of ''honour''. As we have seen, Oscar embodies the traditional Japanese ideal set out in the Bushido samurai code: to serve another with absolute dedication and selflessness. Significantly, however, the author present us with a similar moral dilemma: Should a samurai remain loyal to an unworthy master? It is a problem which confers universal appeal, and it is presented to us in similar psychological terms. Where the samurai must traditionally overcome and transcend his fear of death, it seems that Oscar mainly suffers through a state of death-in-life. Her words signal both an admission of defeat and a rebellious cry from the heart; it is this fundamental duality which lends Oscar her psychological depth. She is, as one commentator points out, two souls wrapped up into one. Although it is the 'male' part of her, the false persona, which mostly overrides her better (feminine) self, it is immediately apparent that the tug-of-war between them is constant and finally reaches epic proportions as one author notes: ''For quite a while, she defends her queen while at the same time balking against both injustice done the common people and against any radical plot to overthrow the system of state, apparently completely unable to see that all this cannot be reconciled and that something has got to give. Oscar's relative innocence and the late disillusionment ensure that she is taken aback by many of the greater circumstances as many of the main players are, and she convincingly first clings to what she knows and holds dear but later on--and in fact too late--after a few rude awakenings, has to admit that the balance of what she considers to be the right thing has shifted.'' The author is correct: Oscar's awakening comes too late. He notes that she has ''no real sense of where she stands and never participates in the political arena, never shaping what occurs but always being shaped by it.'' Oscar's moral failings are great, and it is possible to attribute them, at least in part, to the over determined nature of the story's politics. And yet, she simultaneously cuts a very tragic figure, in the literary sense of the term.
According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is defined by 5 steps;
1) Of Noble birth, and is an important character to begin with~
2) Has a fatal flaw or Error of Judgement that threatens to bring the character to his/her downfall~ (Hamartia)
3) A reversal of fortune brought about by the hero’s tragic flaw (Peripeteia)
4) The characters actions result in his/her increase of self-awareness and self-knowledge.
5) The audience feels pity for the character in the end, and the character is greater (more noble) in death, than he/she was in beginning.
How often do you see a female main character being a tragic hero? Almost never--Until you read Rose of Versailles. She is the pure embodied definition of a tragic hero, and I won't explain each step as to why, because that'd just make this review 10x longer~
The art in the anime were realistic portrayals of societies and people in the 16th century. Nobles had their gleamingly, lavish, long cloth that they wore, and the peasants... well, they looked half-naked, half-starved, and crazy with hatred towards the corrupt government. The royal halls of Versailles' palace looked like a haven filled with riches and food, while the streets of France looked like a putrid, horrifying environment, in which the people were dying of starvation or by getting beat by soldiers for rebelling against the government. The art was very nice indeed. But keep in mind that because this written in the 1970s, the art is mostly black-and-white (but it's still spectacular art)!
Far ahead of its time with it's astonishingly superb in every single category. Rose of Versailles is a story that everyone can enjoy, and I'd recommend everyone to read. Genuinely one of the most romantic, tragic, deep, magical and classic stories I've ever read; Rose of Versailles puts Shakespeare tragedies to shame. Do yourself a favor and don't judge a book by it's cover, and go give this manga a go. I promise, that it'll surprise and amaze you as it did for me.
"Rose of Versailles is currently 14th on the list of all-time best-selling shōjo manga, having sold a grand total of 15 million volumes worldwide and 12 million in Japan only, a "nation-wide best seller". In terms of circulation per volume, it is in fourth place with an average of 1,500,000 sales per volume. It is not well known in North America (except in Quebec) due to its age and lack of publicity, but remains a treasured classic in Japanese manga." - My comments: Wow. Nice~read more
Since there is no review of this beautiful manga, I'll try to make one. It's my first rewiew , please do not kill me and be gentle with me.
To start I will say that this manga is considered one of the pillars of shoujo mangaka drew several ideas, ways to draw , tell, etc from The Rose of Versailles .
This manga tells the story of Oscar Francois de Jarjeyes or Lady Oscar and its based on historical facts with real characters from that era but with the vision of the author.
Anyway , Lady Oscar is a young woman who was raised as a male, due to the desire of his father to have a son who has skills to serve the royal family.
At the age of 14 , Oscar becomes Captain of the Imperial Guard , protector of the new princess of France, Marie Antoinette and this is how Oscar is witnessed several social transformations in France. The story is very well wirtten and very well made but it must respect the facts chronologically, the author was able to give his touch which made it more interesting and enjoyable , it is as if the reader were living then and facts for itself ( at least that was how I felt reading it ) .
The art is amazing, although I'm not a fan of the classic style, the art of this manga didn't bother me at all, indeed made the manga more interesting and enjoyable. I didn't even read Oniisama e because of the art but I loved the anime of Lady Oscar so much that I want to read the manga and like I said, the art did not bother me. Its a classic shoujo and its has his funny moments along with the faces that really are funny.
The characters were developed very well, Ikeda-sensei knew how tell their stories particularly and their participation in the story. You can understand the changes of Oscar, both in personality and maturity as her story from childhood to adulthood. You can also see her feelings for André and how she slowly fall in love with him and how she feels about what was happening in France, as how she feels when she fight and of course how she feels as a woman.
Now, to Marie Antoinette, Ikeda-sensei did a very good jod with her, her personality, what she felt as a Queen and her feelings for Fersen, her children, her relationship with the King, her relationship with the people, etc.
And André, my beautiful André, he is my favorite and he is somehow the only character who can express his feelings freely, along with Rosalie. André loves Oscar and he was ready to face whatever to be with her, despite their class differences. I was about to write something else but it contains spoilers so better not.
I loved all the characters and now I see with more sympathy the history.
I really do enjoyed this manga, I cried, I laughed,I fell in love (with André). Oscar became one of my heroes, really, I love her in every single way. Believe it or not, you learn pretty much and it helps you the understand better the history of the French Revolution and all that came before, you see it from another point of view.
I'm not a huge fan of shoujo, although I'm a girl but this manga is different.
I don't much left to say just this manga is worth to be readed. Perhaps the anime is not the best and leave several things out, things that really matter but The Rose of Versailles has a lot to give and you will not regret reading it.
It may be tedious, since the story is developing in accordance with the historic facts and slowly but worth it, it has everything, pain, joy, love, romance, comedy, everything.
Hope you like it and enjoy it as much as I did.
So I hope this was well written and done, as I said is the first rewiew and I'm not sure but you can correct me, slap me, ignore me, ok, anyway, that's all.
See you in my animelist. Bye bye~
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