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.
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.
It’s the eve of the 18th century and France is flailing between hubris and chaos.
The air is stale in Paris; an odious despair engulfs the streets as the common man struggles to eat. The color of the Seine slowly begins to fade. Yet, the scarlet-stained roses of Versailles continue to bloom with such fervor, such elegance, and such nobility. Surrounded by decadence in its purest form, these roses thrive; unaffected and ignorant of the tumultuous tempest that brews, seeping insidiously into the soils of the earth.
One rose, the noblest of them all, with a chivalrous conviction breaks off - known better in the
evocative masterpiece by Dezaki as Oscar Francois, or the real “Rose of Versailles”.
With sun-kissed golden tresses, a pellucid conviction, and a regal dominance, Oscar from the get-go is an enigmatically alluring character. Growing up as a noble, with a disillusioned father who fills her childhood with all the mannerisms of a noble boy, including her name, Oscar becomes the ideal French quixotic noble’man’.
Rose of Versailles charts the life of Oscar as she moves along the history of France as a woman, as a noble, and as a French military leader right before and during the French Revolution. This series is not aiming to be a completely historically accurate re-telling of the events, so any expectations and qualms related to that are unjustified. Rose of Versailles falls under the genre of historical fiction and the latter should clearly indicate what that entails. That being said, it still does well keeping the fabrics of history intact and seamlessly weaving it into a beautiful tapestry featuring everything one can expect from a great story with all the right elements.
Beneath the scintillating layer of the laid-out premise, the heart of Rose of Versailles offers something rare: complete enrapture. As one would imagine (and wouldn’t be wrong) to perhaps think of this as a story about the grand events of that time, the grandeur of it all, but it isn’t. Yes, all of these pieces are present, as nuances, or akin to the backdrop of a play, but the forefront is exclusively dominated by the characters and their affairs. The mercurial nature of each and every character beneath their facades is deeply explored, especially the duo of Oscar and her non-aristocratic childhood friend and worker, Andre Grandier. The social and personal evolution of the main cast is a feat in itself; especially when looked at in retrospect or holistically, due to their volatility and the debacles surrounding them throughout the show. As a result, we a get a cast of characters that are utterly human, hopelessly flawed, and undisputedly real who evoke and transpire an inexplicable sort of invested interest and feeling within.
Essentially this story can be summed up as a mosaic of struggles; with each piece outlining a certain element and how Oscar in relation with those around her, tries to overcome the societal dualisms and the shortcomings of herself, her regime, and her time while battling a gradually building inferno. As aforementioned, the series is primarily focused on the characters, while using history as a conduit to do so, yet the manner in which the setting is actualized is commendable. The series does an exceptional job highlighting the mood of the time. The macro problems from various perspectives are shown, which sets the stage on a silver platter. The haughty aristocracy, the indulgent royalty, and the crestfallen public along with their unstable dynamics are shown slowly, carefully, and realistically making the denouement of the series all the more effective. Since the show does fall under historical fiction, the manner in which the events are reinvented is integral to how the other, more prevalent elements come together.
One other aspect that Rose of Versailles effortlessly creates is the romance. The reason I explicitly bring this is up is because how understated ‘good’ romance is and by good, I mean believable, real, grounded, personal, evocative, and empathetic to the point that one can vicariously feel as if they too, are riding on the constantly-swinging pendulum of pathos. I don’t hesitate to call it the idyllic romance. The reason being that, one, it isn’t riddled with contrived or cheesy infestations just to evoke ‘something’ and, two, it’s complete in the sense that we get to trace the character’s developments as individuals first and then as complementary forces for one another, which does wonders for a good romance. It’s the transition between the first and the second that really accentuates the individual and then the individual-in-love. It is the former, when developed properly that the latter becomes significantly easier to birth. The infusion of romance almost feels magical because how subdued and subtle it is but when it hits, it hits with a spontaneous force that will leave its imprint in the minds and hearts of all those who experience it.
As full of praise the aforesaid words are, the series has its set of flaws, as small as they may be. The production values are nothing to glamorize and given that it’s from the 70’s, nothing to hold against it either. A major caveat that may burden the enjoyment of some people are the glimpses of extreme shoujoesque moments that surface such as the excessive over-dramatization both from a situational and technical stance. This over-dramatization plays out like a double-edged sword and ends up having the reverse effect. There is also an inconsistency in quality and pacing. The show takes some significant dips and it singes off little parts of enjoyment, but this often goes hand-in-hand with the extreme dramatization. For example, the first half of the show exclusively deals with seemingly petty drama surrounding the aristocracy and royalty which can seem overbearing at times, especially the recycled ignorance and stupidity of certain characters, but none of it is in vain. Each and every character and their actions, effectively in the first part of the show, has purpose when conjoined with the entirety of the series. Regardless, all of this can be easily be dismissed because of what the show does offer. It’s not hard to see why Rose of Versailles is hailed as definer of its genre(s) and setting the bar not just in its niche, but within the medium.
Naturally, this isn’t a series to gloss over or underestimate. This is a product of meticulous crafting. Dezaki invites you to sit in his reverent time-machine and travel back a few centuries ago where:
The Seine is coming to a standstill, shaded with ripples of red.
The streets are ready to be lit with the fires of a Revolution while France swings betwixt the twilight of former glory and present ruin.
And between the cracks of impending destruction rises a scarlet rose, embellished in decadence, but rooted in humanity.
Rose of Versailles is the model for how to tell a grand story simply; a grand story about people who may seem estranged to us, but in the end, are all too similar and the struggles they go through in some ways are universal, timeless, and ingrained within the ebb and flow of life; regardless of how grandiose the stage its set on may be…
The Rose of Versailles is an old school anime. It aired from 1979-1980 and was based off of a manga from the early 70s. It was brought to us by TMS, the same studio behind the mediocre Magic Knight Rayearth, the excellent Glass no Kamen & the decent enough Kousetsu Hyaku Monogatari. Is this one a classic worth revisiting? Let's find out.
In the years leading up to the French revolution, a young woman works as the Captain of the Royal guards, as she was raised like a boy. This is our heroine, Oscar François de Jarjeyes. Can she navigate through the turbulent times?
going to ignore that this series has about as much relation to actual history as the Abrams films have to do with Star Trek. It's historical fiction, we can forgive it for only vaguely resembling the reality and even then you have to squint a lot and use magnifying lenses to find the similarities. The issue is with the kinds of liberties it takes. Speaking in the very broadest of strokes, there are two basic types of alterations. The first are changes made to simplify things. This series doesn't seem to be cognisant of grey morality. Instead, it boils things down to the “right” and the “wrong.” The nobles, save a select few, are portrayed as outright evil people who shoot children and run people over without caring in the slightest.
The second types of changes are those designed to make things painfully melodramatic. This series loves to take relatively minor things, like Marie Antoinette snubbing Madame Du Barry, and act like they're massive events that could totally lead to the end of everything that is. Because Ikeda Riyoko doesn't quite understand how treaties actually work and thinks they can fall apart like wet tissue paper when an important person from one nation doesn't get on with a kind of important person from another.
Speaking of an unfettered love of melodramatic nonsense, this series loves to take little twists and turns that don't make a lot of sense but they're “dramatic.” A big example is that there is a character who suffers an injury and loses the use of one of their eyes. We then discover that they're losing the use of their other one because “it's a strain to just have one functional eye.” Which basically translates to “anatomy, how does it work?” Here's a hint, not like that. There's a bit with a terminal illness, but it's pretty pointless since the character in question is barely affected by it before they die from something unrelated. It's good that they wasted our time with that sub-plot that goes nowhere. There's also the attempted sexual assault scene which leads to an apology and is never mentioned again. Speaking of romance bits, there's a part where Oscar's father tries to marry her off and there's an attempt to have drama with it for a very short period before it's over. Because that's how to have effective romantic drama. The romance in this is just rubbish in general. On the plus side, the slow, tedious execution of the “big, dramatic” scenes does lead to some unintentionally funny bits.
The pacing in this is pretty bad too. There are long, tedious segments where nothing of value is accomplished and when it finally gets to the revolution, which should be the interesting bit, we get a very small bit about the start and then it skips right to the end. Because why would you want real drama when you can have melodrama?
Earlier, I mentioned that the morality in this is very one-dimensional. And the characterisation is where that creates the biggest problem. Those historical figures who are selected as antagonists are so unambiguously “evil for the evils” that if this weren't historical-based they'd have snake pun names and be taking orders from a bloke with a metal mask and raspy voice.
With the royal couple, the effort put into trying to make them sympathetic just gets absurd. Everything they do has to be justified, including engaging in the upper class twit past time known as fox hunting. Because foxes are vicious and will lunge for your throat. They certainly don't hide in burrows. And Marie Antoinette’s mild pettiness is presented as demonstrative of strength of character. The sad part is that it's not hard to portray them sympathetically. He s[pent his entire reign trying to make things better for the common folk but he ruled at a time when the king couldn't make unilateral decisions and he didn't have the political savvy to get the nobles on board. While she didn't have any real power because the woman in power at the French Court at that time was the king's mistress, which Louis XVI didn't have. And then they were both executed, as were their children. They may not have been saints, but they did nothing worth killing them.
Our protagonist is a very one-note “noble” protagonist. She always does the right thing and stays on the right side of history. It gets to the point where she comes across as an incompetent moron because there are scenes where her work requires her to deal with someone causing trouble but she'll let them go because “well, they're doing good” or she'll try to talk them down without anyone to watch her back and she'll get taken by surprise. It really comes across as Ikeda being afraid to have her do anything that someone might find objectionable. After all, if she went in and used her authority as the captain to do her job, she might seem like a bit of an authoritarian.
The ultimate consequence is that the characters come across more like they belong in a simple work for children than in a drama we're supposed to be taking seriously. Which is even worse when you factor in that these are based on real people, not a Hasbro toy line.
I don't want to be too harsh on the animation for this, since it was made a very long time ago. I won't say it looks bad. It really doesn't. I will, however, say that it's very lazy. All the standard cost cutting measures are used. Minimal movement with some motion blur to try and craft the illusion that more's happening on screen than actually is, recycled frames, very slow and awkward action sequences, tedious bits with a lot of sparkle vision to try and spice them up.
The performances in this are decent enough. They aren't good performances but they're a bit above average. The biggest thing holding them back is just that the characters are very bland and don't demand much range. The music is passable.
There are quite a few female characters who express interest in Oscar, thinking that she's so cool and it's a pity she's not a man. They also include some of the spurious rumours about Marie Antoinette sleeping with everyone, including women.
Overall, the big problem with this series is that it wants to be a serious drama but it doesn't want to include any real complexity. So, we get very stock characters who could be at home in a work for small children and we get a total lack of nuance or subtlety, which would also be suitable for a work made for small children. But we also get very poor attempts at tackling more serious subjects. Which makes it decidedly not for small children. And, ultimately, there are a lot of better portrayals of the French Revolution in media. Like a Tale of Two Cities, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Reign of Terror Serial from Doctor Who, The Glass Blowers and quite a few more. Rose of Versailles simply doesn't use its subject matter in a compelling way. Unless you really like boring melodrama. For myself, I have to give it a 3/10. Next week I'll look at Youjo Senki.
It’s based on the French Revolution, though that doesn’t mean the story is completely unoriginal, the author added few original characters like Oscar Francois de Jarjayes, who happens to be the main character. A bulk of the first half of story focuses on Marie Antoinette and certain nobles trying to take advantage of her or trying to oppose her due to her being young and impressionable. While the second half focused on planting the seeds of the historic Revolution with the Royal family sort of fading in the background in favour of Oscar, Andre and other characters that where somehow involved in the upcoming revolution.
story is nicely paced; there was mostly no wasteful episode, so each event had an effect on the overall story.
It’s unfair to say that the animation is Rose of Versailles’ weak point, because it really isn't, sure it’s going to look dated because of the lack of tools present at the time of it’s production but for an 80’s anime it looks pretty decent and once you’ve been grasped by the engaging plot you’ll pretty much forget about how dated the show looks. The backgrounds are very detailed and the while some of the characters seems to share the same facial features, though they do vary in character design, although Oscar does look significantly different from the rest of the cast, her face is ambiguous which helps solidify her ambiguous personality.
It had a solid OP and ED, they fit the mood of the show fairly well since both had had a sort of bittersweet feel to it. The rest of the OST was great as well; background music represented what type of music you would hear in the 17th Century well, although there were a few instances of the clichéd "dramatic" piano playing but it’s hard to hold it against them because it was so COOL at the time.
Oscar is a great character, she was cool and strong willed; being raised as a man, it was somewhat humorous that members of both sexes where attracted to her and even as the women find out that she is in fact a woman as well they still retain their admiration for her.
At first Marie Antoinette was likeable but through out the story she started becoming more selfish and immature which I guess lessened my sympathy for her when she faced her eventual demise. (not really a spoiler it's part of history after all)
The rest of the cast weren't as interesting but they did manage to stand out on a few occasions through out the show.
Rose of Versailles is definitely a classic. it’s one of the pioneers of shoujo manga/anime. It’s probably hard to watch for some since it’s quite old and not only that, there's little action and a lot of political drama as the story tend to focus more on the build up to the revolution rather than the revolution itself. Another thing is that it’s not a happy show; there are a lot of tragedies that befall the cast of characters so if you’re looking for a feel good show, this is not it. If you’re a fan of the oldies or very open minded with different genres of anime then it’s quite recommendable.
It's without hesitation that I'd consider Rose of Versailles to be the definitive masterpiece of the shoujo genre. Clearly defined, ambitious, and relentless, it accurately dramatizes the period of instability leading up and into the French Revolution, all the while developing memorable and unique characters. Thanks to this grace, it has had an influence on anime and manga to this day.
Our main character, Oscar François, is one of a strange background. Born a woman, raised a man, the series chronicles her life as she vows to relentlessly protect Marie Antoinette. She's among the most well-portrayed female protagonists in the medium, never faltering to the
standard set of tropes implied by her status. If anything, she's unpredictable, and that's her strong suit. Ranging from cold and calculating one moment to witty and headstrong the next, the viewer is always put in her shoes.
And, more importantly, we get to see her mature – not just as a man, but as a woman. Due to the series taking place over a span of twenty years, she grows in complexity almost parallel to the times. Her character constantly toes the line of tragic and beautiful without a hint of idealization, and later romantic aspects deepen this bond. Perhaps her greatest quality is the sheer sense of fulfillment she brings.
Marie Antoinette, on the other hand, is rightfully devilish, and those versed in history should understand why. From the moment her character is introduced, the viewer is with direct knowledge of her fate, yet she remains entertaining to watch. Her downward spiral, while somewhat fictional, is just as twisted as it should be; insurmountable levels of indulgence come hand in hand with her every on-screen presence, and the resulting behaviour can only be deemed lifelike.
The main conflict of the series originates from the relations between commoners and royalty and its direct effect on those of importance. Through it all, the unintentional cat-and-mouse game between Oscar and Marie is what keeps things on track. It's a descent into a Hell on Earth that constantly grows deeper, all the while clawing away at the emotions of the characters around them. Every piece coming into play isn't a one time thing with Rose of Versailles – it's done multiple times throughout the series, all the while remaining consistent and meaningful. Combined with the essence and powerful message that the French Revolution proudly stated, it makes for one heck of an experience from start to finish.
A story like this can only be amplified by the visuals and soundtrack, and thankfully, they're fantastic. The combination of traditional shoujo art and 18th century fashion works all too well. Whether sword-wielding or in dress, characters easily pop from their backgrounds rather than blending with the shadows. Directing is stunning and straightforward, making use of not only brilliant camera angles, but brief art shifts. As arrogant and tired as it may sound, it appears few and far between the thousands of other cuts, so the shifts in stylization look brilliant when apparent. It's something that vaguely reminds me of older American cinema in practice, all the while staying true to the atmosphere.
The sound isn't quite as impressive, but the pieces chosen to go along with each scene are relevant and timely. A few compositions, such as the opening, are notably stronger than the rest, but the foley and voice acting makes up for it. It's a worthwhile contributor to the overall experience, despite it not being as strong as some other aspects.
The only problem I found was somewhat excusable. Some minor dramatic scenes are given little time to play out, so the feelings conveyed within them don't feel as strong as the rest. This seems like more of a problem with the source material than the anime, and even then, it begins to fade away around halfway through the series.
Thankfully, it's not enough to have an impact on the quality of Rose of Versailles at large – a story that's conveyed masterfully in such little time. Hate or adore the notion of history, there's little chance you won't be blown away by the amount of material the anime proudly presents.
Before you read this I will ask of you to not judge it solely on the high ratings. I feel like I have explained the reasons for giving them quite well. Please in your rating, let me know the way to improve on it and I will promptly do so. The high animation rating is based on what could be accomplished at the time the anime was made as I realise that it would be sub-standard if it were made nowadays.
This anime is one of my favourite and I have seen many in 15 years but only a couple have managed to come close in
delivering like this one does.
The animation is not the best nowadays but I am giving it a high mark because for its time, it is a remarkable achievement. I am sure that many people will agree with me on this, some of the budget episodes of Sailor Moon or Pokemon and Naruto look worse. This is because Rose of Versailles is not a show that takes shortcuts in its presentation. Unlike Naruto and Sailor Moon, the same high standard is kept through its entire run.
For its time, this anime was very ambitious and it does accomplish what it sets out to do. A scene that reflects the animation capacity (in its iconic form) of this series can be seen in the last episode. It is just stills of pencil drawings and the symbolism and emotion is so strong, one can't help but be moved.
Just that scene reflects what you have seen in emotion and intensity for 40 episodes and blows you away. The drawing style is also another one of its strengths as the characters look very elegant and royal, which fits the bill here perfectly. The character design is also great as it allows the character to grow within a time period, and slowly changes and matures them in their drawing style over time.
The sound is excellent in this series as it helps to show the range of emotion characters express. The theme song is atmospheric and also very fitting with the emotive notes and the beautiful music. The theme music is used quite often within the episodes and it is surprisingly efficient to portray the rainbow of human emotion. The best part of it is obviously the seiyuus' work here.
Main characters like Oscar, Andre and Marie Antoinette and minor ones like Mme DuBarry and Charlotte are brought to life extremely well. Even though these characters are on conflicting sides of the social spectrum, one understands their motives and sentiments to a touching degree.
The story is still one of the most engrossing I have seen in anime since I first watched it. Taking real historical figures and some fictive ones, this anime tells the story so well that you can understand why the characters acted the way they did, and the drama is strongly expressed.
Some historical events are also used as plot devices here (the affair of the necklace, the bastille, the revolution) and the result is brilliant. These are given enough detail for us to fully appreciate the situation, while letting characters shine through as the driving force. There are also plenty of heartfelt moments of yearning, loss, love, obedience and death that are so well-executed - they move you to tears.
As mentioned above the characters are amazing as were it not for them, the story would not be nearly as successful. To fully enjoy this experience one has to connect with the characters and this cast makes it extremely easy.
I felt a lot of emotions when the romantic story between Marie Antoinette and Fersen was explored and was moved to tears to see its conclusion. Same goes with the Oscar and Andre story. There are rarely animes that make you feel the way this one does and this is very much due to its affecting cast. The reason the characters seem so great overall is because their feelings are explored very convincingly and unlike other shoujos, they are not overplayed for emphasis.
The value of this anime is just excellent as I frequently revisit it for some great entertainment and it still delivers. It also paved the way for other great shows like Utena and Princess Tutu (Utena more obviously than Tutu with its theme but the detailed backgrounds of Tutu are definitely influenced by some settings here.)
I still enjoy this anime immensely even though it is 25 years old and have seen it many times over as it really aims for the heart. My guess is you will feel the same way.
If you combined certain elements of Revolutionary Girl Utena with the novel Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, you'd get Rose of Versailles.
One of the best aspects of the anime is the plot, which revolves around the years leading up to the French Resolution. Not only is the historical aspect of it based on real events (with some creative liberties taken), but also real people such as General Francois de Jarjayes (who inspired the main lead character Lady Oscar).
Another great aspect of the plot is that discusses classism (discrimination btw. classes), gender roles, power struggles, and justice in a way that entertains the viewer, pulls
at their heartstrings, and makes them think. There is a LOT of death in this anime, some of it so cruel and tragic that you'll want to stop watching, yet keep watching to see the deaths not be in vain. There is also symbolism (particularly with roses) that enhances the themes of the anime and make them linger in the mind long after certain episodes (and the entire series) are done.
In addition to the plot, the characters are very well done. The main lead character, Oscar, has a strong sense of justice, can handle herself with a sword and gun, and lead an army. However, she also human struggles with what it means to live as a man and (in certain episodes) a woman.
There are numerous secondary characters who are either good, bad, or a mixture of both. You will cheer on some, hate others, and feel a lot of pity overall. The most poignant ones for me were Marie Antoinette, Andre, Jeanne, and Rosalie.
As for the animation, it can sometimes be a little over the top with glittery scenes, but for the most part it is very good, esp. for an anime from the 70's. Sometimes, certain scenes looked like a beautiful painting. Also, the fight scenes were amazing to watch!
Finally, the music was very good, esp. the main theme of the anime. If you pay attention to the English translation, then you can see them forshadowing Oscar's fate. The instrumental pieces were lovely and made certain moments very touching.
Overall, this anime was very tragic, yet enjoyable. As an Utena fan, I loved seeing how this anime would influence Utena in terms of the symbolism, character design, and sword fighting scenes. Also, the anime, like Les Miserables, made me think about the world we live in today and wonder if such events could happen again.
As a general rule, I'm not into shoujos - joseis yes, but not shoujos. "Rose of Versailles" is a shoujo.
And it's also one of my favourite anime.
"Rose of Versaille" is an old fashioned telling of an old story. The oldness is all too obvious in its painfully outdated presentation (such as the overuse of panning, static frames), the agonizing lack of finesse (such as the over the top and often random dramatisation), and the poor quality sound production. And yet, right from the start, I could sense potential underneath its crappy exterior.
I was not disappointed. It took me a few episodes to get used
to the laughably bad production gimmicks, but by episode 10 it already has the markings of a great tragedy, and I was engrossed.
"Rose of Versailles" is a story with historical settings - it's set in France during the reign of Marie Antoinette as Queen of France. It tells the story of Oscar Francois de Jarjayes, daughter of a French General who was brought up as a man and served Marie Antoinette as the captain of the royal palace guards. Now obviously, Oscar never existed, but unlike most Holywood films that are "based on a true story", the series includes plenty of events that really did happen. Because of this, you can guess how the show will end. Or even if you cannot, the narrator pretty much tells you what to expect. Watching a show with the ending in mind creates an interesting viewing experience - you get to how everything builds up towards it, such as Robespierre's growing contempt for the nobles, and how Marie Antoinette is unknowningly fuelling the people's anger towards her. This makes "Rose of Versailles" more potent as a tragedy, because there's a sense of utter helplessness watching the events hurtle towards their inevitable conclusions, dragging the characters along mercilessly.
Though historical commentry style narratives can make a show feel overly cold and detached (just look at the first season of "Legend of the Galactic Heroes"), this isn't the case for "Rose of Versailles". In fact it's a most emotionally engaging anime, because it makes you care its characters. And not just the main ones either. Very little is black and white in "Rose of Versailles", as it's not a show that likes to take sides. Or rather, it's a show that likes to take multiple sides, allowing you to see things from more than one view point.
Take, for example, Marie Antoinette herself. The show does not portray her as a very competent queen, the kind that is capable of handling domestic politics and ruling with wisdom and strength. She is shown as frivolous and ignorant. But while the people's frustration and anger towards such a queen is understandable, her childlike innocence and high sense of morality also makes her hard to condemn. It's not really her fault that she is born into a role that she is not suitable for, and a large part of her ignorance is due to her being shielded from events that take place outside her court - there was simply no one who tried to open her eyes to what was going on.
Madam du Barry is another good example. Initially, she seems like a total villain, with her manipulative and corrupt ways. Eventually though, when you learn about her background, it's easy to sympathise with her, because she's just someone who made the most of what she has and climbed up from the bottom rung of society. Is she really a villain? No, she's just understandably human. In fact this is given even more emphasis when the anime introduces Rosalie, an innocent, sweet girl who also comes from an impoverished family. Being a girl who is forced to try and sell her body in order to take care of her sick mother, the parallels between Rosalie's poverty stricken background and Madam du Barry's own path to becoming the King's mistress is all too clear.
But enough about side characters, lets talk about Oscar - she is the main character of "Rose of Versailles" after all. Born as a woman but raised as a man, surprisingly little is made of her gender as she rose to prominence. In a old society where you would expect people to take issues with such a thing, she certainly had it relatively easy, and didn't have to "fight the power" too much, so to speak. This is one of the points that "Revolutionary Girl Utena", an anime inspired by "Rose of Versailles", seized on and did much better with. To be fair though, the comparison is a little inappropriate. After all, "Rose of Versailles" was never meant to be an anime about breaking conventions and starting revolutions (well, perhaps does have something to do with revolutions... but only in the traditional sense), it's just meant to be a straightforward historical drama with a twist provided by Oscar, a twist that is very much a shoujo fantasy. To try and convincingly integrate Oscar's gender issues into the historical settings is such a mammoth task that it would have threatened to engulf the whole show.
A lot of the content in the early part of the "Rose of Versailles" is about Marie Antoinette and the politics that surrounds her. Later on though, the series becomes more focused on Oscar and her personal turmoils. More specifically, the focus is on Oscar's own inner conflicting identities as they slowly starts to tear her apart. Oscar's internal conflicts makes for some gut wrenchingly good drama, and to a large extent makes up for the lack of externally induced conflicts over her gender.
"Rose of Versailles" is effortlessly good at blending fact and fiction. Oscar may not have existed, but her father did. The show is filled with historical figures and historical events, many of them given fictional modification, and it's done so well I honestly could not tell where the facts end and the fiction begins. After finishing the series, I actually spent a few hours on the internet reading up on the period of Marie Antoinette's reign. To my surprise, I found the majority of the major events in "Rose of Versailles" to be based on real events (or at least on widespread beliefs, like Marie Antoinette's affair with Ferson), including some that sounds too farfetched to be true, like the diamond necklace affair. Even Marie Antoinette's sweet and frivolous nature, which seemed for all the world like a shoujo fudge factor - bad monarchs are often the cause of their own downfall, so I was convinced that the anime was portraying her through ridiculously rose tinted glasses in an attempt to get the viewers to sympathise with her - is actually very much inline with a lot of historians' perception of her (if anything, many believe that Marie Antoinette is not at all ignorant to the suffering of the people, and her demise is totally undeserved). The show clearly is a very well researched project.
"Rose of Versailles" is also one of the few anime I've seen that has a great ending. I can see why some viewers complained that the ending dragged, but as someone who has a passing interest in history, I enjoyed the documentary-like way it wrapped up the story. Although the french revolution was far from over by the end of it, the ending does give it a sense of closure, a sense that it was an end of an era, with the stories of all the main characters of interest neatly tied up. For me, it's a near perfect ending.
On the audio front, "Rose of Versailles" may not sound as crisp and clear as modern productions, but it does not lose out when it comes to the quality of the music. The pieces are exquisite, a mixture of the styles from its productions era of the 70's, and the classical style from the settings of the show, the latter enforced by the use of instruments from that period such as the harpsichord. For the most part, the music is used to great effect, but there are moments where they suddenly cut off a pleasant piece into a harsh tone to match an ominous turn in the narration. While this trick can be quite effective, "Rose of Versailles" uses it too much. In addition, the voice acting is a bit too melodramatic, and there's a ghastly bit of voice over that hilariously marrs the otherwise graceful ending theme. Everyone should check out that voice over for their own amusement. Thankfully, the makers themselves must have realised how ridiculous it sounds, and removed it eventually.
To sum it up, "Rose of Versailles" has all the standard staples of a sparkly shoujo. However, it's also far more than that. It's a show that brings to life the events leading up to the French Revolution, and the people involved in those events. Historically informed but also adept at weaving in great fictional drama, it's a shoujo that has far more substance than fluff. After all, it's very rare that I rate a shoujo so highly, especially one with such crappy production values by today's standards, and that speaks for itself.
I've decided to include here a bit of trivia I found on the French Revolution, which might be of interest for people with a bit of a historian streak in them:
There's a popular belief that Marie Antoinette uttered the notorious remark "let them eat cake" upon hearing peasants' complain that there's not enough bread to go around. Scholars on the subject, however, believe this to be completely false. Not only is there no historical evidence supporting this claim, but it's now generally accepted that it's not even within her nature to make such a remark - she is ignorant at worst (and even this is debatable), but she's not an ass who would say something as callous as that. It's possible that it was unjustly attributed to her as part of the vicious smear campaign targetting the royal family during the unpopular, later years of her reign, and "Rose of Versailles" also seems to support this theory as it shows people infuriated by the cake quote, but does not show Marie Antoinette saying it at ANY point in the series. I don't know whether this was intentional or not, but I'd like to believe that it's just a another example of the quality research that went into this brilliantly made historic tale.
Critic’s Log – July 14, 2015. Review #95: The Rose of Versailles
When it comes to World History, The French Revolution was always a fascinating subject to me. There happens to be one anime that is a portrayal of French History and even the French Revolution, even if the whole thing is a build-up to the French Revolution. The anime I am referring to is… THE ROSE OF VERSAILLES
Oscar Francois de Jarjayes was raised as if she was a boy, she would later command the palace guards at Versailles in the years before the French Revolution. Her beauty as well as her strong noble spirit
makes 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 in nobility amidst the luxuriousness of Versailles but her keen senses and compassion are not blinded to the poverty of the French people.
The Rose of Versailles is a TMS Entertainment production and ran from 1979 to 1980. This anime may be old but do not let its age fool you because this series is what I would consider a “vintage anime”. The animation may look awkward at times but this was made in 1979 till 1980, of course the aesthetics are going to be older than what we have now. I actually never had an issue with the animation although there are a couple visual effects that never really aged well. The one thing that made The Rose of Versailles age extremely well is the overall design. The hairstyles, the clothing, and the Palace of Versailles all look marvelous in this anime. I did some research and saw pictures of French art, sculptures and even the architecture of the Palace of Versailles and I have no reason to doubt that the French are known for their exquisite taste in art because of how well detailed French art often is. It is no surprise why France is one of the most visited countries in the world. The exquisiteness of France is translated well in The Rose of Versailles. Not only is the artwork marvelous, the character designs also stand out for the time it came out. Like I said, there are some visual effects that don’t age well but that is only the bare minimum of the entire animation aspect of this anime. There are some animation quirks but even after 30 years, it still looks remarkable.
The music by Kouji Makaino is an interesting case. There are some stringed instruments used, a harpsicord, and even violin. In other words, considering the historical account and how dramatized and romanticized it is... this soundtrack is very fitting even if some tracks are a little overused. This was made in 1979 till 1980 so it’s excused. I will say that as much as I liked the opening to Neon Genesis Evangelion even though it is considered one of the most iconic and beloved anime openings, The Rose of Versailles has a wonderful opening. I never skipped it when I was watching the show and I really liked the opening a lot with each passing episode.It is sung by Hiroko Suzuki and she also sang the closing theme which is also is a nice closing theme to the show. I however recommend skipping the closing theme for this show in its first half because for some unknown reason, there is a quote that is spoken in the closing theme that SPOILS a big plot point that happens near THE END OF THE SHOW. Good thing the quote is omitted in the second half of the series. Like I said, the music is fitting in the show.
Now since The Rose of Versailles was never licensed till 2012, it would be very odd to have a recent dub on an old series. For those that often watch English Dubbed anime, I am sorry to say this but this series is only available SUBTITLED. That should not be an excuse to pass on a series with great storytelling such as this one. Reiko Tajima was excellent as Oscar, Taro Shigaki is fine as Andre. Miyuki Ueda is not too bad as Marie Antoinette, and the late Nachi Nozawa is fine as Fersen. The main lead seiyus may have not done too much since (with the exception of Nachi Nozawa) they did excellently in The Rose of Versailles.
Some of the characters are fictional but there are portrayals of Marie Antoinette, Hans Axel von Fersen, Rosalie Lamorlière, Madame du Barry, Louis XVI and so forth that are in The Rose of Versailles. Marie Antoinette is romanticized in this series but her actions are dramatized in a way that I would feel somewhat sorry for her even though she was an infamous figure in French history. Now I may sound like I’m spoiling The Rose of Versailles but I don’t think I am because this anime is based off historical events leading up to the French Revolution. Hans Axel von Fersen makes the series interesting but I would not rather go in much detail on that since he does interact with some fictional characters… Rosalie had the most liberty taken with the historical portrayal since not much is known about her except she was the last servant to Marie Antoinette. Most of the things that happen with her are mostly fictional, but she is a nice supporting character in The Rose of Versailles. Now there’s Oscar François de Jarjayes. Oscar’s father wanted a male heir but it turned out that the child was a girl. So Oscar’s father decides to raise his newborn daughter as if she were a boy. Oscar is admired by both men and women because of her demeanor and elegance. Now looks aren’t everything because Oscar Francois de Jarjayes is a well-developed character in this show and she is one of my favorite female characters. Lady Oscar was not the first “of her kind”… you know, the lady taking on a typical male role. Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Sapphire had this similar concept where Princess Sapphire pretends to be a male knight for a specific cause. Also, Revolutionary Girl Utena is also another series with a similar concept. Even though Oscar is physically female, she is identified as Gender-fluid. There is no Identity crises addressed in this series and Oscar is a very believable and she develops extremely well in this series. Not only is Oscar well-developed, but so is André Grandier. I won’t say much about Andre because he is not as much of a special case than Oscar. I will say that Andre’s purpose in the plot is rewarding to watch. All the characters make The Rose of Versailles intriguing to watch.
Another fascinating aspect of The Rose of Versailles is the story, I did state early in the review that it is based on historical accounts leading up to The French Revolution and for those that are into French history should not miss out on this series. It may be romanticized in some areas but the historical aspect is still kept true to the turbulent spirit of the events that are portrayed in this fictional telling of French history. The show may be slow at first but the slow pacing is excused since it fleshes out the characters. The first half of the series does focus more on Marie Antoinette and this is fine since Oscar served for Marie Antoinette, the focus did later turn more to Oscar in the second half of the series. Even though the focus is different in two points, I have no problems with this because Oscar was still treated as the main character throughout the entire anime’s runtime. There is also another thing that I should note is that the first 18 episodes were directed by the late Tadao Nagahama, he passed away during the airing of The Rose of Versailles and the remainder of the show was passed down to the late Osamu Dezaki who was known for his distinct visual techniques at his time and the pastel freeze frames are a good example because they are used in this show. I remembered the Berserk TV series had the pastel freeze frames which was kind of hit and miss except for an end of an episode. The pastel freeze frame technique however works well in The Rose of Versailles and I am glad this isn’t used a whole lot but I like how it is used in this series.
Now as excellent as this show was, I had a couple issues with the story. First off, the finale had some odd pacing in the last 10 minutes and even though it ends with a nice touch… the second thing that bothered me was one scene that the narrator of The Rose of Versailles is to blame for. The narrator did hint events such as The Affair of the Diamond Necklace and the French Revolution and this is acceptable since they did happen, but near the very end of the series, the narrator blurts out something that will happen before it even happens. The Rose of Versailles is not all sparkles, sunshines, and rainbows. This is no surprise since The French Revolution is involved but I must ask myself this… Why the hell would someone think that a narrator telling the viewer things in advance sound like a good idea? I am so glad this only occurs once, but this also took place in the final stages. For a series that was so good for the heavy majority, this only narration-spoiler felt out of place. I will look on the bright side, at least it wasn’t as annoyingly infuriating as the Narrator from LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES. I also found the last 10 minutes underwhelming thanks to the odd pacing but I am not saying the conclusion is bad, it is just had some things left to be desired. Even though I have a couple issues with it, it was still a truly excellent series overall,
The Rose of Versailles is available by Nozomi Entertainment, The movie “The Rose of Versailles: I’ll Love You As Long as I Live” was never licensed and I don’t see the point in watching it because it is a 90 minute compilation. The iconic shojo manga of the same name by Riyoko Ikeda was just recently licensed by Udon Entertainment and will at last have an official English Translation.
And now…My final verdict! The Rose of Versailles has a compelling story with believable characters as well as taking liberties of historical French figures without taking too much of what is recorded in history. This masterpiece also has a great soundtrack for its time and the animation has aged extremely well. This anime has not withered in time, it has an aroma of excellence.
That being said, I give The Rose of Versailles a 9.7 out of 10.
70’s. Somehow, the ‘70’s-ness made this show better. The ridiculous sound effects crack me up every time, and that's good because otherwise the show might just be too heavy. The animation is at times downright shabby by our standards, however what do you expect, some three decades later? To enjoy this show, you have to accept that it has a lot of faults, and that despite that it entertains quite strongly.
At times I felt like this show was too dramatic, it felt a bit silly and predictable. Many times, I felt that I wasn't in the mood to watch another episode, but I put
it on just to be sure, and sure enough, I would be wrapped up in minutes. What really got me excited every time was the opening theme song, which suffice to say, kicks all kinds of ass. The closing song is beautiful, and ends every episode on such a lush note. The opening and ending are enough to increase the overall rating by a whole point, that's how awesome they are! Great artwork too on the OP, with the pink silhouette and thorns, and the multi-colored fields, etc.
But I digress. The characters and their designs all point to an obvious fact. One person made them. In lots of really good shows, the characters have realistically distinct personalities, which is really hard to do as a writer. In this show, they have the same patterns of thinking, and even perform many actions that mirror each other. Their designs are also homogeneous. This isn't such a bad thing really, lots of great writers have this same problem, though to a lesser degree. It does mean, however, that you will relate to all of the characters, or none of them, and for similar reasons. And, sometimes you will get tired of them.
The story is historical, and thus can't help many of its weaknesses. This show quite effectively tells the history in a way that is very engaging, although not necessarily all true (I don't think the protagonist actually existed, for example). Overall, it is totally worth watching if you're in the mood for old school anime, it might bore many anime newcomers though. I rate a bit harshly, so my 7/10 is what most people would consider an 8/10 or even 9/10.
Rose of Versailles is a typical shoujo romance set not long before and during French Revolution. It executes both badly. There are gonna be spoilers here.
One of the big problems with this show is presentation, large part of the french revolution revolves around royalty and nobility treating common people like animals and disregarding their rights or wishes despite them making up majority of the population. However in RoV for some reason a lot of time is spent showing her going to balls, spending money, gambling and generally acting deplorably but they way it's shown it's almost as if you're suppose to empathize with her and
feel sympathy. Even at the very end when Oscar finally parts way it's said obstacle for their friendship was her being a Queen of France which couldn't be further away from being accurate without being random. The rift in their relationship was caused by Marie's complete disregard for commoners and greed for status and luxury.
Aside from that this focus on one character leads into another issue with the show. It's heavily based on history but at the same time it treats it like a backdrop for typical shoujo melodrama instead of properly focusing on it. More time spent on a scene of character crying about how unfortunate they are for being born a noble or a commoner then on retelling some of the most important events in French history so it very much does this aspect a disservice. When it finally comes around to actually getting deeper into history it treats it with all complexity of a saturday morning cartoon. The great part of history is that it doesn't tell you "these guys are evil, these guys are good", history simply presents actions and motivations behind them, observer then can draw a conclusion. Here there's barely any depth to any side of the conflict, nobles are all evil unless they support commoners, commoners are pretty much exclusively right no matter what they do aside from one edgy terrorist.
Another thing to note is that even when repeating historical events such as the necklace incident the show goes through it so briefly that it makes real events that made sense seem overly dramatic and ridiculous.
As far as melodrama goes it's no better than any random soap opera. Main motif in the narrative is downside of class system and social status. All of this doesn't really go anywhere, people cry a bit over unrequited love and move on without it having much of an effect on story or characters themselves and characters themselves are not that interesting to begin with.
When it comes to art this show really shines. Great character designs that change a little as time passes, great color coordination and beautiful backgrounds. Music is just as good and it making shallow but emotionally manipulative scenes feel as they almost have impact.
Overall enjoyment is rather poor but I'm also not the audience for this type of show, not that I think being into it makes writing better.
The story is about the France revolution from the 18th century and the events that lead to that revolution. 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.
The story has a slow pace in the begining but thats just a preparation for the big play that will occur later. We are introduced to the classic atmosphere of France 18th century, the stuning peisage carefully evidentiated
in this anime captivates our eye. The old chimney houses ,the beautifull gardens of roses from Versailles ,and the gourgeous arhitecture of old France palaces and castles all together forming our big stage where the actors perform the best play of their life called Rose of Versailles.
The slow pace that the anime has in the begining is meant for the worbuilding of this anime which is magnificent. Another purpose is to get used with the characters their personalities ,habits and finally the way the act and interact with each other in a situation.
The story most part in this anime occurs in the beautifull city of Versailles inside the royal palace where we follow Oscar and Marie Antoinete across the flowing time. But as a pleasent surprise this anime shows us not only the bright side of France but also the dark past were people lived in poverness and didn't afford a single piece of bread. As the story progreses we found out more details about our characters and how they influence each other directly or indirectly across time.
One of the most beautifull unrequited love stories are told and offered by this anime to the viewer delivering a bunch of feelings and shred tears.
What's marvelous again are the details that this anime carefully and steady at a slow pace builds up his world and characters leaving a strongfull impression for the viewer.
These are the best actors that a play could hope for. Their character development is slowly but steady done and every detail is not missed at all building up a firm foundation for their character.
Oscar one of the best female leads in the history of anime she is the best written character from this anime. She influences every character directly or indirectly because of her actions and desicions and has a great role for the progression of the story. She is brave she doesnt hesitate at all has a iron heart and a soft part too she cares for everybody and tries to help them as best as she can. Indeed a splendid character that many anime need.
Andre is Oscars friend since childhood and the one that helps Oscar when in need . Another well written character from this anime. His character development is amazing and his loyalty towards Oscar is impressive never doubting or betraying her. He also keeps his promises and he is a trustworthy man. His actions influence the whole story.
Marie Antoinete is the queen of France and her character starts of as a spoiled little child but after she experiences the sour part of life her character changes and becomes more mature and responsible.
Other honorable mentions are Jeanne, Rosalie and Fernes who have a fantastic influence across the story and change and help Oscar during the entire anime.
What is a good point in this anime is the interactions between the minor characters and main characters which is done so well that the minor characters shine too.Also the minor characters help the development of the main characters but the show doesnt cast them away after that instead they are offered a role in the "play"called the revolution of France.
The interactions between all characters is well done and meaningfull for the plot and story every detail matters every action affects directly or indirectly each character and their influence across the story.
Stuning visuals and character designs that are way better done than in the anime made nowdays and it's a 40 years old anime. Gorgeous.
Impressive ost that brings shivers to my skin every time i hear it. Also it's well done within the most important moments from this anime at the exact time.
Every episode brought up new things the progression of the story was linear and the characters actions and decisions in a crisis situation impressed me and captivated me especially Oscar.
Overall 9.5/10( its a 10 ffs)
The ending was well done left a strong impact on the viewer and was according to the characters actions and interactions during the whole story. One of the best and firm characters that a anime could provide for the viewer with such an amazing an carefully crafted details to our characters to shine out their unique traits.
Gladly recommand this anime one of the best History-Drama anime of all times.
After I completed Rose of Versailles, I was trapped in a limbo and wished to stay there.
This 40-episode anime is a good fictionalised version of French history, revolution and of the iconic but ill-fated Queen Marie Antoinette's life. For someone studying this subject, this is helpful in remembering certain points. Note that main characters Oscar Francois de Jarjayes—a girl her father raised as a man— and André Grandier are among the other fictional characters. Oscar and Andre, the very reason why I wanted time to stop.
I like how Riyoko Ikeda masterfully put together the voices of the people and of
the crown, showing both sides of the coin for us to sympathise with both—or hate both—and understand deeper whatever it is that's hidden; unlike other classic novels/anime out there which only clearly voices out the barks and cries of one side to mislead and gain sympathy. Of course, as I aforementioned, this is fictionalised but it sure can make us think, analise and realise that not all things we hear and see are what they actually are. Oftentimes, rumours are plainly rumours.
Now, please pardon me for especially mentioning my impression about Queen Marie Antoinette based on this story. To her, she was a queen with her beauty, decorations and manners. She was too absorbed on being The Queen. I say Queen Marie Antoinette was kind, indeed; but capricious, immature... a failure—the cause of hunger, deaths and revolution. She innocently added fuel to the fire and it exploded. Queen Marie Antoinette was destroyed by her own whims. Nevertheless, I pity her.
Rose of Versailles is deep, full of conspiracies and scandals, upsetting to watch... the romance is heart-rending and tragic, too! This is for those who like classic and/or historical anime such as "Daddy Long Legs", "Les Miserables", "Trapp Family", and many others.
Age hasn't necessarily treated it well, but Rose of Versailles remains a compelling and gripping viewing experience for even modern, jaded audiences, as long as they enter into it equipped with a bit of patience, a fondness or tolerance for heavy-handed sentimentality, and open-mindedness with regards to their entertainment.
Rose of Versailles tells the story (with a few deviations) of four people, living in the years leading up to the French Revolution. Two of them, Marie Antoinette and Hans Axel von Fersen, are fictionalized but nonetheless fairly 'real' portrayals of their historical counterparts. The other two, Oscar Francois de Jarjeyes and Andre Grandier, are (almost) wholly
fictional characters who serve as sort of the emotional anchor for the series. Much of what happens, whether it is straight from history or an invention of the writers, is processed through these two characters before reaching the audience.
I'm assuming that everyone who is reading this review already knows enough history to be aware of the fates of Antoinette and Fersen--just in case though, I'll avoid talking about them, other than to say that the writers do a fine job of making both characters sympathetic and very human. Antoinette is not the self-absorbed pleasure seeker here that she is so often portrayed as, and Fersen in particular benefits from thorough character development and a well-rounded depiction. Of all the characters though, it is Oscar who steals the show. The series begins with her (yes, her) birth into a prestigious military family. Her father, depressed by his lack of sons who he can pass on his family's military heritage to, decides at the moment of her birth to raise her as a boy and as his successor. Flash forward a few years and we see the results: Oscar has grown into a beautiful and somewhat haughty woman who is tremendously skilled in the ways of combat, and whose mannerisms and bearing straddle an interesting middle ground between femininity and masculinity. If you're familiar with Revolutionary Girl Utena, Oscar is very much a prototype for the titular heroine of that particular series--not only somewhat in disposition, but even, to some degree, in character design.
Oscar quickly lands herself a commanding position in the royal guards, becoming a loyal friend and servant to Antoinette, and shortly thereafter finding herself ensnared in the high-society power-games that dominate life in the Court of Versailles. For roughly the first half of the series most of the plot arcs revolve around the emotionally-heightened 'combat' between the French nobles. And it is, to say the least, a bit silly. Shojo tropes are in full bloom here: expect lots of dramatic musical cues, name-calling, wide-eyed close-ups, sparkles, and pastel freeze frames. None of it is any worse than that which still happens regularly in modern girls' anime, but it is significantly clunkier, and is further stilted by the fact that it's all supposed to be happening in 1700s France. It's certainly not going to be to everyone's tastes: you either will just have to deal with it or learn to love it for its cheesiness and narmy charm.
Things improve markedly as the half-way point of the series approaches. Oscar, with the help of her friend (and stable boy) Andre begins to take note of the plight of the commoner and is introduced to the would-be revolutionaries who will rise up against the rule of the nobles in the not-so-distant future. Oscar's loyalties are severely tested, and as the eve of revolution draws near, she has to make impossible decisions about who requires her sword arm the most: the common people of France or Antoinette and her court. This second half of the series borders on the masterful, marred only by some mistimed displays of melodrama and over-the-top sentimentality. These small flaws aside, one couldn't ask for more from any anime series: incredibly well-developed characters (it's remarkable how well the writers do with showing these characters grow over a couple decades' worth of time), brisk pacing, a lovely (and sad) romantic subplot, and a final arc of episodes from which few of the characters, if any, will remain unscathed; it's a complete package. It makes for serious edge-of-your seat viewing, and is topped off with a shockingly cold epilogue that is easily the most brutal and tragic concluding chapter of any 'girly' series I've ever watched. The last ten or so episodes are practically an emotional holocaust--even if you could care less about the interpersonal relationships between the primary characters at this point (you monster!), the large scale and clever interweaving of historical events into the plot should pretty much guarantee that you marathon Rose of Versailles's last fourth.
Technically speaking, Rose of Versailles has aged pretty poorly in some aspects of its presentation. The score ranges from the laughably bad to the fairly decent, and the animation quality is all over the place. (Though it is surprisingly fluid and well-choreographed during the action sequences.) Nonetheless, I think the art design and attention paid to period detail will impress most viewers, as will the character designs, once you embrace their old-school charm and get past how many times the same face design is used on a huge chunk of the cast. Oscar, in particular, is something of a marvel, with the animators masterfully hitting exactly the right notes that the character requires.
The team behind the series also puts her gender-bending to fantastic use, using it to satisfyingly explore gender politics and even (maybe?) same-sex relationships. They get a lot of comedic mileage out of Oscar too, particularly with regards to how the ladies of the court react to her. Less successful is the drama that they try to squeeze out of her gender-identity issues. Still, through it all, Oscar never suffers from being a plot-device; she remains a strong, believable character throughout, and it's easy to see how she's become such an icon. She really leaves a huge impression, and has very quickly become one of my favorite anime heroines, keeping company with Utena, Hawkeye, Holo, and Kino.(Modern anime needs less Tohrus and more Oscars, that much is for certain.)
Another thing that has aged very well, in my opinion, is the Japanese voice acting. While required by the script to overact occasionally, most of the principal cast leave strong impressions, as do a lot of the minor characters. As if things couldn't get any better, each member of the cast even significantly steps up their performance as the series moves towards its finale, bringing a lot of earned pathos to their roles. If only a more subtle editing touch had been used during a few key scenes, I would say that the ending to this series would be pretty much absolutely flawless--which is something that one cannot say frequently about the ending chapters of too many series, period.
Not only is its influence on modern shojo totally massive, but Rose of Versailles tells a fantastic historical tale in its own right, and does us all the great favor of populating it with characters who are a joy to spend time with. There are some significant missteps along the way (an almost complete lack of anything resembling subtlety is the biggest blow against it, in my opinion), but it nonetheless possesses remarkable power, and will really resonate with the right audience. It's not just a good series considering the time in animation history that it comes from; it's a good series period, and is perfectly capable of being compared favorably to many excellent modern series. Hugely recommended.
Rose of Versailles is a historical drama that was made in the 70's. That's right - the 70s with its distinct shoujo character designs, dated animation techniques, and some music with hints of disco. In an age flooded with 1080p productions employing the use of advanced computer animation, this anime's age might be a turn-off for those looking for the latest eye candy. However, this anime excels in the holy trinity of visual narrative; that is, characters, plot, and direction. Anybody who values these aspects should not miss this anime, as they lead the way to a powerful experience rarely
achieved by fiction.
The historical drama is set in pre-Revolution France and primarily delves into the events taking place in Versailles, the palace of the royal family and high nobles; and greater Paris during the 20-or-so years before the French Revolution. The setting is crucial to the plot of this anime, as many of the characters are linked to the course of the nation. The author was able to do a superb job in bringing this world to life - detailed artwork excellently depicts Versailles as a palace of decadence, dripping with opulence and filled with haughty and scheming nobles; and Paris is successfully given the feel of being a vast city of struggling commoners in which the fire of revolution is beginning to kindle. Most of the time, there did not seem to be a dearth of effort in creating detailed backdrops of palaces, slums, manors, and open plains; and the results are more than solid, especially considering the fact that this anime is over 3 decades old. The background music was also able to successfully enhance the atmosphere with fitting pieces, ranging from classical pieces to strings (harpsichord/piano) solos to faster beats, depending on the scene.
The vibrant and detailed world created in this anime sets a grand stage for the large-scale plot this anime entails. The story revolves around Oscar de Jarjayes, the youngest daughter of a French nobleman and military general. Despite being a girl, Oscar was raised as male due to her father's yearning for a son. As such, Oscar is trained in and excels at conventionally masculine activities of warfare, and eventually enters the French military military world. When Oscar is appointed as the royal guard of none other than Marie Antoinette, the future Queen of France, we are introduced to the world of drama, subterfuge, power struggles, affairs, manipulation, and opposing ideologies that exists within Versailles and a turbulent Paris. The characters hail from all walks of life and the viewer is able to see the personae and mindsets behind the movers and shakers of the nation and revolution. The first half of the show unfortunately has somewhat of a soap opera feel to it, as it often focuses on contrived power struggles and conflicts, with characters often merely reacting to the next bad guy. But make no mistake, these ruthless power games within high society of France do play a role in the greater scheme of things and give us insight into the personae of the characters, and things begin to truly unfold by the second half of the series. The exploits of the cast of characters, including monarchs, nobles, revolutionaries, and military officers, are interesting in themselves as they are tied into the nation-wide transgressions within pre-revolution France. However, it is the well developed characters and their relationships that serve as the strongest feature of this anime.
Many of the characters in this anime are fleshed out and unique, even including side characters. This leads to a robust cast of characters, each with his/her own, believable personality. The 70s artwork does a solid job of bringing the main cast to life and each character is drawn fittingly - from the elaborate and gaudy attire of the nobles, to the large and shining eyes betraying emotion, to the dashing portraits of young nobles and revolutionaries, to the haughty faces of power-hungry nobles - some might consider the art too dated or extravagant, but I thought that it added a certain theatrical charm to the anime - a charm that I found pretty tasteful. In fact, Rose of the Versailles reminded me of watching an opera, as it contained plenty of melodrama. One might claim that melodrama is cheap and a common pitfall of shoujo anime. However, Rose of Versailles is able to flawlessly implement all of this within the atmosphere of a pre-revolution France defined by extremes. Detailed, still shots and close ups are used to build up a sense of heightened emotion. Much of the melodrama seems natural and even illustrative of the high society of Versailles. The result is a powerful experience for the viewer achieved by -the- defining aspect of this show - the character development of Oscar and her relationship with her stable hand and friend since childhood, Andre.
The author masterfully tells the story of Oscar over the course of decades, during which we not only see a deep and well-rounded character, but how she develops . Oscar is a character who, underneath her calm and steely appearance, is torn by a number of conflicts from within. These conflicts are far from simple and generic as she is faced with a multitude of issues stemming from her gender, family duties, personal feelings, passions, friendships, and the mounting revolution. We see Oscar as a character who has stood out, even since birth due to her unconventional upbringing, from the rest of all sides of society. By later half of the series, the viewer is left pandering to know which path Oscar is going to choose and to which realizations Oscar will arrive at.
All in all, this anime is a drama done right, with the added benefit of a portrayal, with artistic license, of course, of the French Revolution. It feels complete from beginning to end and the pacing is top-notch. The character actions and relationships are flawlessly intertwined with the turbulent time period around which the French Revolution occurred. This anime flirted with masterpiece rating, but the inferior (but still solid) first half and some narration gripes made me dock a point - so I give it a 9/10.
To anyone hesitant about the shoujo genre - it involved plenty of action and the harsh, vicious aspects of war and power struggle to satisfy even a seinen/action fan like myself.
The everlasting dilemma when you choose a historical setting for your story; is it more beneficial to aim for historical accuracy or inaccuracy? Pretentious historians would most likely point at "accuracy" and label it obvious while I personally think that a tone of creative liberty allows the narrative to soar into more admirable levels of grandeur. Rose of Versailles is not only famous for being among the first titles ever produced in the Shoujo genre and its strong female lead but also for the fact that it takes place before, during and after the French revolution using non-fictional characters like Marie Antoinette and Maximilien Robespierre
as key figures. The inevitable ending is thus spoiled by one's standard knowledge of history, but the ride in itself and the terrific characterization is more than enough to still make the 40 episodes an entertaining ride.
The story takes a closer look on Oscar Francois de Jarjeyes, a tragic character born as a woman but raised as a man in an environment of fencing, horseback riding and responsibilities. I'd never dream of calling Rose of Versailles story driven in comparison to the amazingly portrayed characters, but the narrative still boasts a pretty impressive combination of twists, melodrama and dialogue. Many historical events like the infamous diamond necklace affair are used as plot devices, though in slightly altered ways, ranging from heavily changed to slightly modified.
My interest for history aside, the excellent transitions between accuracy and inaccuracy are one of the reasons that I derived so much entertainment from this watch. You could argue that the show dwells a little on its melodrama, or that a few repetitive scenarios (like Rosalie crying in front of Oscar while stuttering her name) turns the task of watching it into a tedious one, but if you look for a somewhat educational, though not entirely trustworthy, story about the tragic life of a woman pursuing honor and the fundamental facts about the revolution, then this might be right for you.
Compared to its temporary opponents like Galaxy Express 999, Rose of Versailles radiates extremely high production values for its time. It has since then faded into insignificance, but the relatively detailed character designs as well as a few decent moments of action are definitely impressive. Keep in mind though that this is more than thirty years old, and that you cannot expect the same quality that it's natural to do in modern times. Most moments of a more swifter haste tend to be slowed down to the point of abnormality in attempts to lower expenses, so it takes several seconds for the apple Andre throws to Oscar to reach her hands and whenever someone jumps a longer distance the same phenomena can be found.
Another aspect of the visual frontier that I relished was the creative and occasionally beautiful art direction. Shocking revelations are followed by equally dramatic facial expressions complimented by metaphorical cracking mirrors that burst onscreen. In each episode there are at least more than two dramatic close-ups (though likely many more) and while this reaches serious depths of annoyance on a few occasions, you'll get used to it.
The opening theme was designed to be used in the show both verbally and instrumentally but works equally well in all cases. Worth to bring up though is that the show usually makes sure to decapitate the melody right before the chorus is about to make its entrance which seriously ruins the mood it has been so eager to establish. The soundtrack in itself is also good but does by no means deserve any praise.
What does deserve an endless amount of compliments, on the other hand, is the voice acting of Reiko Tajima who portrayed the protagonist Oscar. Her voice radiates the kind of authority and dignity that will have women and men alike experience delight and appreciate the powerful potential in her character. Other voice actors are competent in most cases, but nobody is near the most impressing vocal performance of Reiko.
In the initiating paragraph of this statement, allow me to emphasize that I'm by no means a feminist. Not only has feminism reached the state in my nation where it's associated with the bizarre will to place women on pedestals and emphasize a non-existent oppression in favor of equality, but I also doubt that its followers even remember the nature of traditional feministic values.
However, if there's one thing that gets to me in Anime it's when female characterization is successfully made. Shows like Kino's Journey, Haibane Renmei and Rose of Versailles where female protagonists exist for purposes that do not include fanservice or anything alike. And that's why I heavily enjoyed watching Oscar develop throughout this show. She struggles to live her life in honor and masculinity, confronts her womanhood and attempts to oppress it in favor for her military and patriotic way of life and ultimately ends up falling in love with a man named Andre whose humble origin complicates things. Likewise, the rest of the show is heavily influenced by powerful, yet usually malicious, ladies who yearn for nothing more than power and wealth. Rose of Versailles explores corruption in its most unpleasant form and does so through a large variety of characters. Not to mention its infamous portrayal of Marie Antoinette who's luxurious and wasteful ways attracted public hate which made the bloody revolution possible.
Historically significant as well as a prime example of strong female characterization, Rose of Versailles entertained me while simultaneously making me realize that I should watch more shows from this era. It enjoys spending its time modestly observing flowers, sparkles and beautiful dresses, but fulfills its grander ambitions by exploring the many obstacles of royalty, the struggle of sexual identification and most fundamentally; love. On its way it throws in characters who long for democracy and glory, only to end with the inevitably grisly revolution followed by the executions that we all know lie in the future. A most pleasant watch!
They make magnificent cheese in France, and Japan can make a magnificently cheesy anime set in France. It's best to approach 'Rose of Versailles' the same way one would approach a Rafael Sabatini novel or the Errol Flynn 'Robin Hood' movie from the 1930's, as swashbuckling adventures, melodramatic romances, and cackling villains abound (oh, and somebody spilled a truckload of shojo glitter). This legendary anime is a grand old time.
'Rose of Versailles' is licensed by Nozomi Entertainment and can be legally streamed on Crunchyroll.
Melodrama done right. I know I've lambasted other series for being melodramatic, but those cases involved situations where there were inexplicable tone
shifts and all the scenery-chewing ham came from nowhere. 'RoV' incorporates its over-the-top emotions right from the beginning, and sets the stage properly so that the viewer is willing to accept it (it's a bit easier to get away with melodrama when the French Revolution is raging around you than it is in say, an average modern Japanese high school). When the first multi-episode arc centers around two pampered girls who are "totally not going to talk to each other", there's a limit to how seriously the story can be taken. But in spite of this, 'RoV' isn't completely without depth: for all it's Shojo-y tropes I personally saw some deconstruction of the idea of "Follow Your Heart". How? In this series, characters solely following their emotions often cause problems, not solutions, so I saw a message of " emotions are important, but it's critical to have some good sense as well". Go in expecting something along the lines of "Captain Blood" and this story will be thoroughly enjoyable.
I have a personal preference for the old cell-animated look, the more washed-out colors have a certain vibe I find pleasing. It is tough to judge older animation as technological limitations made it effectively impossible for a lengthy series to have a level of quality comparable to modern productions, although I didn't see many still-frames or reused shots in 'RoV'. Aesthetically, however, the series excels. Backdrops have a high level of detail, character designs are appealing and distinct, and while there are plenty of traditional shojo special effect shots (in several scenes it looks like a glitter truck crashed headlong into a flower truck) there are some special dramatic shots that are very appealing (such as one image rendered entirely in red and black). Much like the story, if you appreciate the old-school stuff the art is excellent.
English sub only, with Japanese voice actors who do a good job of conveying the tone of their characters (at least to a native English speaker with next to no knowledge of the Japanese language). The soundtrack uses a large number of Baroque pieces, which is period appropriate. For more dramatic scenes it will use a variation of the OP, which is a combination of 18th century and modern influences. The ED uses a relaxing, fade-out vibe and is fine but completely forgettable. The OST has fairly limited range, but no complaints here.
Ham and cheese all wrapped up in croissant. The villains are deliciously over-the-top, often stopping to talk to themselves about how "I control the King, nothing can stop me now!" or "My noble rank makes me untouchable! Those peasant swine exist only to serve me!" The protagonists, on the other hand, will often make grand proclamations of loyalty or condemnations of injustice. Nobody is particularly subtle, everything they do is turned up to 11 and you KNOW what they're feeling or thinking at the time. And it's all played so unapologeticly straight that you just can't hate them for it. The characters aren't overly deep or complex, but they are entertaining and even surprisingly endearing at times.
*Bit of character trivia: Marie Antoinette was originally the main character in the manga, but by the time the TV adaptation was in production Lady Oscar had become so overwhelmingly popular that the story was tweaked so that the anime would be told from HER perspective.
If you go in expecting a historical melodrama, you'll absolutely love 'Rose of Versailles'. As a fan of historical fiction this series played into a lot of my biases and I found myself having to stop myself from binge watching. Also, given how influential this anime is, any fan looking to be seen as serious and knowledgeable should check this series out.
Sometimes you don't want an intricate work delving deeply into psychology and philosophy, sometimes you just want a simple, straightforward good time. To use an example from American cowboy films, 'Tombstone' may not be anywhere near as deep as 'The Searchers' but darn if it isn't incredibly entertaining. 'Rose of Versailles' is like that. It's an old school swashbuckling adventure combined with an old school Shojo romance, and it doesn't care what you think about that. Let other anime handle in-depth exploration of life in a certain time period, or debate complex philosophies and religious questions, or follow characters with more twists and turns than a mountain road. Lady Oscar and company are bombastic, melodramatic, unapologetic, and thoroughly entertaining.
Since when a shoujo anime become so fascinating and remarkable?!
The Rose of Versailles or Versailles no Bara in Japanese is an unbelievably a gift to be given. Such an intriguing premise that executes itself tremendously well with the shoujo genre as a whole. Beforehand, many non-shoujo fans including myself have critcised and generalized shoujo as overly dramatic, overly romantic, and often predictable because how many shoujo anime/manga execute their stories. The Rose of Versailles is....... different and unique. At anyone's perspective, it is like your typical shoujo anime but once you've watch the anime in it's entirety.... You're definitely in for a treat.
Rose of Versailles is a 1979 anime loosely based on the French Revolution. The anime consist of a narrative that is enriched in detail. Consisted of various sub-plots while keeping in touch with the main storyline, which connects overall. The Rose of Versailles is extremely unique to the shoujo genre as a whole because the anime is definitely an anime that not only appeal to the young teenage female audience but male audiences as well. The anime details everything you can think of; intense drama, plenty of action and suspense, believable romance (sometimes over the top or non serious), a strong cast of characters, a strong female lead, conspiracy, murder, senseless violence, and a grey line between the rich and the poor. The anime enforces the main theme of displaying a moral dilemma of the class system put out in France during 1780s, portraying the rich as corrupted, narrow-minded, greedy, and narcasstic while the poor suffers from poverty, signs of domestic abuse, increased numbers of human trafficking and prostitution, and scarse food resources of which many of the poor died because of these circumstances
Our main heroine, Lady Oscar Jarjayes, one of the many 6 daughters of the Jarjayes noble family, was born. Unfortunately, the family were unblessed to bear a son to inherit the nobility if General Jarjayes, the father. Broken in despair, he forces to raise his own daughter into a man. Over Oscar youngest years, she trains herself into fencing, horsemanship, and combat along with her trustful servant and childhood friend, Andre, who served as a love interest for Oscar. Oscar is probably the strongest female character ever portrayed in anime. Her character overall is constructed through her ideals of what's like to be a woman but trapped in a belief of being a man for the rest of her eternity. A good way to develop your female lead. Another main heroine, Marie Antoinette, is a historical figure descibed as a character who is surely conflicted. If you knew your history in France or the French Revolution in general, then you know how she is influential to the story and history. Antoinnete is protrayed as naive but truly benevolent. However, the hypocrisy shows later in the show as our main heroine mislead when she viewed her as a benevolent person.
The Rose of Versailles is fascinating and remarkable for destroying the tropes and archetypes of the shoujo genre and turning into one of the underrated masterpieces ever to come out in the 70s up until now. Whether you're not a fan of shoujo or are one, there's no denying that The Rose of Versailles is actually intriguing, grabs your attention of the presentation and strong narrative and characters you will grow to love. As you can tell, Both The Rose of Versailles and Oscar are in my favorite lists so you can tell this is a recommended show despite it has aged poorly in animation and the year it was in that of course, 1979. A shoujo anime that is really serious and grim that has became a timeless classic