In 1755, Marie Antoinette is born in the royal family of Austria and raised in luxury. However, the fate of the future queen of France is set in stone—at the young age of 15, she has to leave her family and marry the crown prince of France.
At the same time in France, a girl is born in the family of the Commander of the Royal Guards. Upset at not having a male heir, her father decides to raise her as a man and names the girl Oscar. Oscar is trained from a young age to become the leader of the Royal Guards, but she is yet to discern that the will of the queen sometimes does not equal the good of the people.
Based on the critically acclaimed manga by Riyoko Ikeda, Rose of Versailles depicts the fateful meeting of Marie Antoinette and Oscar, which is bound to influence history and change the life of the people facing the French Revolution as the clock ticks toward the end of the French royalty.
Since when did history become interesting? Lady Oscar (The Rose of Versailles) may seem like it came from the French Revolution judging by the animation style, but the storyline is extremely well written. There is an excellent cast of characters each with their own personality. Lady Oscar is a classic and should be viewed by every anime fan, especially those who are into shojo.It's similar to the Hollywood movie, "Marie-Antoinette," however, it shows the events going on inside and outside of Versailles with a plot that is more enjoyable. (It isn't an anime showing the day and the life of Marie-Antoinette partying. Also, her personality
is kinder in Lady Oscar.)
The characterisation is perfect with a strong female lead. Though Marie-Antoinette's character is childish, she isn't a cookie-cutter cliché. Each personality is different and doesn't fall into the anime stereotypes. With experiences, characters grow and develop; it isn't hard to grasp the cast's characters. Lady Oscar is a strong female raised a man, but she has femininity in her: she's a balance in character.
The sound and animation is from the 1970s so those who aren't into the retro look may not like the series. However, the storyline is main aspect for the show. The costumes with their many frills are pleasant to the eye, while the character design is between realistic and exaggerated. (But, more on the realistic side. In other words: shojo.) Cosplaying as a Lady Oscar characters isn't something one should be surprise since the clothing is from the 18th century. The sound quality isn't great because of the time period, but the sound effects aren't terrible. The background music uses strings, but there isn't a lot.
The storyline describes the French Revolution far more interesting than a history teacher. It's accurate in events, but has some original characters to add to the plot. It's almost as if one is living the events at the start of the French Revolution, pre The Reign of Terror. There are suspenseful episodes with a plot that keeps the viewer on their toes. The story procresses with time adding detail, and though it is a drama, the pacing is perfect. There is some added romance with many possible couples, but in the end the romantic troubles are fixed. (Most viewers will be pleased)
Those who are into classic shojo would love this anime. Some younger viewers may find this anime a little boring, but for those who are in love with historical fiction must watch this anime. It was released in most languages besides English, which is why it's obscure. Must be on every anime fans 'to watch' or 'to buy' list.
I finished Versailles No Bara. I am perplexed by this late experience of mine and I’m angry at myself, angry because I could have watched this one sooner, after all, I have it on my “plan to watch list” since the time Live-Evil were still subbing it, that makes it 4 or 5 years, a lot of time. Why haven’t I watched this title sooner? Oh well, better late than never.
At the beginning I was feeling a little hesitant to start watching Versailles No Bara/Rose Of Versailles because I kept hearing people comparing it to Revolutionary Girl Utena. I didn’t dislike
Utena, but I think it is a totally overrated anime with some serious lack of story development added with a very weak lead character. Thankfully, the only similarities with both titles are the styles and visuals that Utena went to get inspiration from, the rest and most important stuff like the characters personalities and the plot, are beyond comparison, so you should rest assured there if you got a similar point of view as mine regarding Utena.
The first thing that naturally you notice when You start watching Rose Of Versailles, is the marvellous character design done by Shingo Araki, the man did a lot of character designs on the seventies for some famous titles but here he was in his best shape and developed his trademark style, which he later also used on Saint Seiya.
Not only the character designs but the style and the peculiar 70s filled directing approach are very appealing and are added with a consistent and clever animation for ’79, and dare I say that some scenes are so well animated with the character movements that they even defy the commodity of modern animation from these days. Some examples being shown on the dances of the characters at some parties and in some crowd scenes where most of the individuals (if not all) of the crowd make independent moves of their own.
Unfortunately Nagahama Tadao died early and with him died some of the “acid” aesthetics of the series, because the acclaimed 70’s director Osamu Dezaki which came as substitute didn’t pick those “acid” scenes but he also fulfilled his duty with excellence. I especially love how the shots of the camera are taken from various angles throughout the series.
The story couldn’t have been better, it picked up historical facts prior the French Revolution and went along history to the beginning of the revolution covering a span of 20 years. It started using the shoujo formula of “newcomer female arrives and gets picked by older already established female at the place”, but it goes beyond its shoujo standards, not only because of the historical facts that the story cleverly went to use but also by the excellent characters that it had and their no lesser excellent character developments.
The author had a good use on the critic of the society of the 17th century, especially the aristocracy problem. Having watched Legend of Galactic Heroes prior to ROV, and ROV being older than LOGH, I get amazed at how the aristocratic situations and characters could have been the same on both anime, of course discarding the sci-fi universe of LOGH on this. Perhaps dare I say, that LOGH, author or director went to get direct inspiration from the clever aristocratic issues of ROV to display on LOGH..
The music is perfect for the anime, it was competent and good. I’m hearing the OST as I write and it does have very powerful songs. I especially loved the 70s tunes that it had which only the 70s could create. Of course the classical ones were also very good, some helped greatly on setting the mood of some special scenes and when that happens it is because the OST is good.
I am still impressed at the quality of this anime, and the only thought around in my head these days is to rewatch it again.
“Classic” is a word only fitted to some works, Rose Of Versailles is perfectly fit for it and I even go ahead and say it isn’t only “classic” but “cult” as well. No wonder it is still big back at Nippon. These type of stories are immortal.
I ended giving it a 10. I don’t give away 10s so easily as you can see by my list, and I wasn’t hoping to find another series so late at these times that I could give a 10. But RoV pushed me to a corner.
Many people argue that The Beatles are the greatest musical group to date. Even though I disagree, it is impossible to deny the influence they have in their own industry and beyond. They are without a doubt one of the most powerful cultural forces ever. I find that Rose of Versailles is very similar.
The difference in production value of a 70's anime compared to today's anime is probably quite proportional to 60's music and today's music. Back in the day, creative minds had much less to work with, but still were able to produce masterpieces that overshadow almost everything in their respective industries today. Is
Rose of Versailles as well animated as what we have now? No of course not, but that does not mean it is bad in any sense of the word.
The music industry today is plagued by artists who have people write for them in order to reach the widest demographic. It's no longer about trying to make good music, but instead earning a profit. Bands like Led Zeppelin and The Beatles were so successful because they were in it for the music. They were able to create art through their hard work (and also drug use). It seems today that the people making anime simply animate some fight scenes, force in "emotional" elements, add a little fanservice, and call it a wrap. In the 70's and 80's, this was typically not the case.
Rose of Versailles is a work of historical fiction that is set in the years prior to and during the French Revolution. Beyond being a story of rich versus poor, it explores loss of identity, betrayal, and most importantly, love. However this is not the love story you see in today's anime, where the stock protagonist is surrounded by stock female characters who desire him for no other reason than him being the main character. No, this is a real love story. It shows love in its rawest form, demonstrating how it can create happiness and then destroy it. It is a true tragedy.
I found the characters to be incredible. The heroes blossom marvelously and the villains play their parts so well that even though you despise them you can only admire their determination. If a story has ever truly been supported by a colorful cast of characters, it is Rose of Versailles. A work of historical fiction can be dull if the fiction is not unique. The characters completely make up the fictional aspect, and they do so in a way that turns this history lesson into a beautifully tragic tale.
The musical score nearly moved me to tears. Combined with the tragic nature of the story, it invoked an incredible emotional response in me. At some points I felt quite sad. But this also made me happy. I was happy that I found a series that was touching enough to actually affect my emotions.
The aesthetic value of this series is not only found in the music, but also the art. It looks gorgeous. The animation, while not up to today's standards, does not take away from the series. In fact, I believe it is part of its charm. The swordplay, the intricate dances, and even normal movements look incredible considering this anime is going on 35 years. Perhaps it is just because I am a fan of old anime, but I really believe that the character designs are better than most of today's moe females and males with unnatural hairstyles.
It seems that only a small portion of the anime community is familiar with Rose of Versailles. The typical response to the question "should I watch Rose of Versailles" is a resounding yes from its diehard fans. Here comes the cliché "this anime is not for everyone." But this statement is true. Many people watch anime for the action, and although it has action, it is no One Piece. But if you can see yourself enjoying a tale of tragic romance and revolution, Rose of Versailles may be for you.
Wow, what a story. I can't believe I haven't watched this anime until now. No, I can't believe what I just watched. I'd always thought that the forbidden love romance between Romeo and Juliet was tragic... I'd always thought that Shingeki no Kyojin was epic. I'd always thought that stories like Clannad and AnoHana were masterpieces. But wow, Rose of Versailles puts all of these shows to shame. Who knew that an anime, which some people (idiots) call "cartoons", could portray such a realistic, romantic, tragic, and captivating historical story about the events leading up to the french revolution - 1700s. Rose of Versailles
is truly a hidden gem that deserves more recognition. My favorite anime of all time.
The setting is in France, before and during the French Revolution. The story is about Oscar François de Jarjeyes (Lady Oscar) who is the youngest daughter of the Royal Guards Commander, General Jarjayes, is raised as a boy because General Jarjayes had desperately wanted a son that could take after him as the Royal Guards Commander. Growing up inside the lavish palace, Lady Oscar had no knowledge of the travesties and poverty of the outside world. The greed of the nobles, the evil of the soldiers, the corruption of the government, the patriarchy in society, the social hierarchy, and the hatred in the hearts of the people. All of these were factors that were developed and masterfully portrayed in the anime that eventually led to the French Revolution. The story not only focuses on the French Revolution though. Lady Oscar's decisions between her chosen life of service and duty to class and country versus her own heart and desires are all aspects of the anime that portray the harshness of reality during the 18th century.
The story honestly starts off cheesy and seemingly childish at first. But put up with maybe the first 2 - 3 episodes, and after the magical plot and character development kicks in, the story soars into the realm of perfection. The plot is lively and happy during one moment, and then turns into darkness and sorrow the next. The plot is highly enjoyable but can definitely mentally destroy you if you develop feelings/attachment to the characters (which the anime will force you to do).
This anime had my favorite characters ever in Lady Oscar and Andre Grandier. Lady Oscar is a strong and smart women, you don't see that often in literature, especially classic ones. 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). Their love story is more tragic than Romeo and Juliet. The hardships they have to go through together is tougher and more touching than anything I've ever seen. The concept of forbidden love, and Male Vs Female patriarchy is constantly brought up. Marie Antoinette, the Princess soon-to-be Queen of Versailles is in love with Lady Oscar's best friend, Hans Axel von Fersen but a princess marrying a nobody is forbidden. Can they break through the rules of reality or will they end up as yet another pair of tragic lovers that cannot overcome the social hierarchy and harshness of reality? Will the brewing French Revolution devastate all relationships between Hans, Marie, Andre, and Lady Oscar? Absolutely stunning how perfectly the anime handled the character development and attachment. I'll spoil this for you now, the end will DESTROY like it did for me.
Did I even watch the 1979 Rose of Versailles, or was it a more modern remake that I watched...? How can an anime from 1979 have so much color and be so realistically beautiful. Was colored television even invented in 1979...? The poor with their torn cloth/nakedness - skinny. The rich nobles being the fat-stuffed monsters that they mostly were back in the 18th century. The nobles and royal families with their lavish and beautiful medieval clothing. The guards and their uniforms, muskets, and drums. Holy moly, the art was so perfect that... I don't even know! The sound, ah yes the music. Well, what can I say... It was dazzling. The beating of the drums, the heart-warming/breaking classical pieces, the french music; amazing. The character's voices, loved them. Lady Oscar and Andre, I love you guys. Although, I will admit that I wasn't a big fan of the opening, BUT the German "Lady Oscar" opening remake (2009) was a perfect fit the anime and is one of the most beautiful songs ever (yes, it's in German).
Rose of Versailles is unparalleled in terms of how beautiful, realistic and touching the story was. How much did I enjoy it? Well, what do you think? The anime scores perfect for me all across the board. A rare masterpiece that actually has moralistic themes about reality that people can perceive in their own beliefs. I hear that 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. So, I guess it's not "underrated" but definitely needs even more recognition.
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