August 27, 2006 on 11:17 pm | In Curios, Rose of Versailles | 5 Comments



My good friend Kim alerted me to something she’s had sitting around for a while: a back page advertisement for a Daihatsu car, promoted by Oscar and Andre from Rose of Versailles! (Click on it for the full page ad; it’s 619kb and a huge resolution.)
It’s strange in my mind that Ikeda Ryoko is fine with this, but objects to people cosplaying as her characters. I suppose that the world needs to know about roomy cars that can be contracted.

My friend Raymond and I pieced together a basic translation of the dialogue, which goes something like this.

Oscar: ANDREEE!!
Andre: OSCARRR!! 

Oscar: Ah, if only I could, I would trade this life and become a bird … If I could become a bird, I would go to you … Ah, Andre, my love.
Andre: Ah … Oscar! The wide space between the two of us can be bridged like thousands of light years across this boundless universe.

We’re not certain of that, and that can probably be corrected, but Andre and Oscar have taken a break from fighting for the rights of the proletariat to sit in a car.

If only they had realised that the seats were adjustable, they could have got together and averted the horrible fall out of the French Revolution!

Rose of Versailles – episodes 25-39

July 9, 2006 on 10:22 pm | In Rose of Versailles | 3 Comments

Wow, the French Revolution sucked. Not only for the nobility, but for the commoners. Bad times all around.

As for Rose of Versailles as a whole: it features some of the best build up episodes I’ve seen, preparing the audience for the conclusion with skill and finesse, abandoning specific historical figures to focus on hypothetical people of the period. With all of this build up, the Revolution is a sort of anti-climax.
That part, of course, is entirely historically accurate.

Series’ conclusion given inside

Continue reading Rose of Versailles – episodes 25-39…

Rose of Versailles – episodes 20-24

May 16, 2006 on 11:53 pm | In Rose of Versailles | 2 Comments

The Affair of the Necklace comes to the fore, once again illustrating the flawless political logic of Rose of Versailles while showcasing the somewhat nonsensical personal actions of these characters.

Spoiler territory yonder

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Rose of Versailles – episodes 14-19

May 2, 2006 on 11:52 pm | In Rose of Versailles | 5 Comments

I was going to make fun of all of the lesbian subtexts that are, in this day and age, supertexts. Then episode 19 came along and punched me in the kidneys. Rose of Versailles proves itself a great source of sympathetic villains: complex characters from history, that bring into sharp relief the fact that the fictional characters are little more than decoration.
The interest largely springs from characters such as Madame Polignac and Marie Antoinette, relegating Oscar at this point in the story to more of a reactionary role: a prism through which the series can take turns in tone.

Here we cross into spoiler territory

Continue reading Rose of Versailles – episodes 14-19…

Rose of Versailles – episodes 5-13

May 1, 2006 on 12:36 am | In Rose of Versailles | 1 Comment

I really can’t blame the French for rising against their oppressive bourgeois class. With these episodes we become acquainted with the poverty of 18th century France, which makes the nobility seem all the more sickeningly vapid and decadent.

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Rose of Versailles – episodes 1-4

April 17, 2006 on 12:59 am | In Rose of Versailles | 4 Comments

“I was born to a destiny of roses”

I have never made a secret of the fact that I love the work of Dezaki Osamu. 1979’s Rose of Versailles is one of the defining moments for the genres of shoujo and historical. This 40 episode series is the ultra-dramatic tale of Marie Antoinette and Oscar, the woman charged as commander of her royal guard.
It’s a forerunner for Ikuhara’s Revolutionary Girl Utena, and the protege of Tezuka’s Princess Knight, and the romance and style inherent in its execution are palpable.

Fun fact: in consulting sources for this article, I accidentally found out the ending (despite deliberately skim reading).

Continue reading Rose of Versailles – episodes 1-4…

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