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In France in 1755 a daughter was born to the famous royal guard family
Jarjayes, named Oscar Francois de Jarjayes. Since her father
desperately wanted a boy to continue his work as a royal guard to the
queen, Oscar was raised as a boy and learned how to fight and fence.
Oscar and her friend Andre were soon assigned to Versailles to protect
Marie Antoinette. There they discovered a lot of affairs from madam du
Barry, Jeanne de Motte and others. But Andre fell in love with Oscar
and in 1789 the French revolution started, forcing them to choose if
they want to be loyal to the queen or to the people...
"Lady Oscar" is a real treat for all nostalgic anime fans and history lovers. Namely, despite the fact that Oscar is a fictional character, almost 90 % of it's story is actually ( loosely ) accurate. For example, I thought that the whole double crossing affair by Jeanne de Valois de la Motte, who dressed a prostitute as Marie Antoinette to trick cardinal Rohan into thinking that the queen likes him and bought an expensive necklace ( worth 200 million $ by todays standards ) on Antoinette's account, and who was later led to a court where she said that Antoinette was a lesbian, was just a gross exaggeration by the anime makers. But I was surprised to find out that not only did Jeanne really exist, but that this actually did happen!
Still, the real hero(ine) is Oscar, a fascinating woman always dressed as a man, and her tragic romance with Andre, which creates subtle gay themes. The director Osamu Dezaki directs this anime on the limit of fantasy, not caring so much about the structure or the sometimes dry events, as much as creating opulent, excellent characters. Oscar is the highlight of course, a woman trying to find her place in the world and history, choosing if she should be loyal to the rich queen or to the poor people.
This classic anime series, inspired in the comic books by Ryoko Ikeda,
follows the story of Oscar François de Jarjayes, a girl raised as a man
to become her father's successor as leader of the Palace Guards. The
entire plot takes place in France, in the years before and during the
French Revolution. The series combines historical characters with other
that are merely fictional; however, the development of the story
manages to be both convincing and realistic. All the characters are
wonderfully portrayed: Their psychology and feelings are heavily
explored during the series. Also, the character designs, despite being
somewhat dated, are still stylish and beautiful to look at. The music
is great too, and fits very well with the tone of the series.
"The Rose of Versailles" is one of the best animated series ever made, and it is still one of my favorites, I wish there were more anime like this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first discovered this animation when I was 21 years old and even
though I was an adult, I became hooked.
I was living in France at the time and I couldn't speak the language. When I watched television it was hard too, everything in French, even the English speaking movies would be dubbed French... So when we got a disk, I started to look for foreign channels, there were many German Channels and BBC World. Thank God I could understand some German, so when I wanted to watch a film or a series, at least I could understand something. Since there wasn't much else to watch, I tuned in to RTL and watched whatever they aired. Lady Oscar series was somewhere in it's first episodes. I missed the first ones, but I slowly understood the story line anyway. This animation brings up pleasant memories, I used to watch it with my firstborn playing in my lap, happy to finally hear a different language on TV than just French and actually understanding what they were saying! What struck me was, that the way this animation had been made, the way they told the story, you almost forgot after a few minutes that it was an animation! The script, the scenes are often almost like in real series. I think this is perhaps also one of the reasons I got hooked on it. Plus I love history.
Most of the historical events are true as seen in Lady Oscar. Even her family excisted. We see real historical events take place through the eyes of Lady Oscar and her other fictional friends (André, Rosalie).
It's about the last King and Queen of France. We don't just follow the life of Lady Oscar, but we watch Maria Antonia of Austria become Marie Antoinette of France. I've always had a special interest in the French, Russian and British history, (rumor has it that the other tragic queen, tsarina Alexandra had a portrait of Marie Antoinette hanging in one of her rooms, eerie when you think about both their endings!) so it was nice to watch it.
The animation is a must see for children, because it wakens the interest of children for history. In this animation they tell in short why Marie Antoinette made her mistakes, why the people of France did what they did, how the situation slowly escalated and it gives an idea of life just before and after the Revolution.
There is one thing though that bothers me a little bit. The main character is brought up as a boy by her father, because he was disappointed never to have a son. In the first episode you see her sisters, but later they are never mentioned again. Also, you meet her mother in a few episodes, but in later episodes, she isn't mentioned either.
Also, in real life in those days, nobody would have accepted this kind of behavior of a female, while a father might have raised a daughter as a son in his craziness, other people would never have accepted that female to fill the roles of males, while in the animation, she leads troops of men who actually follow her for example. Women had to fight for a right to even vote for themselves, let alone to do what Lady Oscar did! So, in that sense, of course, it's not correct. But then again, it's an animation and around half of it is supposed to be fictional, besides, it's good to see a female character this strong, even in an animation.
Of course it doesn't cover everything, but it's still very good and enough for young children. My children are 9 and 7 and at their ages, they still enjoyed this animation and understood a lot, though I had to explain them a lot of the background and the motivations of the characters involved.
It's not just an animation for enjoyment of children, but they actually learn something. From what I understand it has been made in the 70's. But still it's very watchable and I was actually quite surprised it was that old! I think it's superb and even as an adult I enjoyed it and now, many years later, I've bought all the episodes on DVD and loved watching it with my children, translating and telling them a bit about the history.
Perhaps some people will laugh at me, but I feel this animation is as suitable for an adult as it is for children.
Osamu Dezaki was one of the most prominent Japanese
animationist, recognized for a visual style that
aims to give the viewers a sense of 'static movement'.
Considered to be one of his best works, "The Rose of Versailles" features a young heroine, Oscar, seeking to find her role in a world that falls apart around her in the most violent way possible - the French Revolution. She commands a battery of soldiers, protecting the King of France and his wife, with the help of her faithful attache.
This series doesn't focus on her alone, as backstabbing politics that occur inside the confines of the Versailles give the viewers compelling reasons to watch. Without wanting to give away anything, I advise anyone wishing to see this series that Osamu Dezaki represented a phase in the history of Japanese animation in which his works reflected the social psyche of a tumultuous Japan before its meteoric rise in the 80's.
Even with a female lead, it's best that kids under the age of 12 understand first what the French Revolution was like.
If you liked this series, perhaps you may find other works of Osamu Dezaki also appealing, such as the boxing series 'Hurricane Joe' and 'Treasure Island'.
Rose of Versailles is a great anime to show young people to spark an interest in European history. For the most part, the events depicted are pretty accurate, and the portrait of the doomed young Queen is pretty much spot on. A lot is made of the lead character, Oscar, being "fictional," but it should be pointed out that her place in the drama of the French Revolution is not fictional -- the role she plays is the role of Lafayette. Lafayette did, of course, fight in the American Revolution, he was appointed to commander of the Garde Nationale when things turned bad, and he was protector of the Queen, and he did try to stop the violence and ultimately switched sides in the Revolution. He was also a glamorous figure who always appeared in uniform and was quite popular with the ladies at court. It works amazingly well to have a woman as Lafayette. A lot of interesting discussion can be generated by weighing the results of re-imagining him as a woman.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm from Qatar and I'm 38 years old Qatari women sense I was little girl I love this animation and still love it even know if I see the last couple episode or the last four episode I cried I don't know why but this animation or Oscar character is touched my heart and I love hear a lot for long long time I thought that Oscar was a real person and I search a lot to find any things about hear because I was hope to see if what I see it in the animation was a fact, but the thinks that I seen it in ARABIC version and I want to see it completely in English language but I gave up. For the last maybe 4 years as I remember I search for it but I found just the Japanese language with English subtitle I hope some day I will find what I search for.
This is for all of those (and you are many) who didn't see this epic
anime, too old for your minds even to look for.
This anime is about 37 years old to the date, and still it hungers us the drama genre fans into oblivion by each episode the more.
This anime is about an extremely appealing fictional character named Oscar Francois de Jarjayes and her equal fictional friend named Andre that together are drawn into the big picture of reality, of the human history called: La Revolution Francaise de 1789-1799 from which the sparkles of democracy have transgressed throughout all of Europe, so in other words its a story within our European history, within our European heritage.
And what of a story this is!!!!!!!! My God...
Oscar is a name you would give to a boy and no coincidence her father thought of the same thing since he has the "misfortune" of having his wife given birth to a girl instead of a boy to carry his legacy and his honor as a nobleman further. The female protagonist of this story, caring not just the name of a man but also the responsibilities and the pressures only the best of men can deal with, is soon caught in one of the most turbulent and pivotal time of Frances and Europes history. It's a time just after some bloody and costly wars between France and Austria not just in lives but in this two country's peoples welfare, just ended. Austrias queen, to reassure the newly and unsteady peace between the two giant countries, gives her most beautiful daughter Marie Antoinette in marriage to the France prince Louis the XVIth (fact of history). In debut of the story, Oscar must safeguard the royal family, especially the new princess of France Marie Antoinette as she is targeted for being a foreign element that can not be trusted by the parisian nobles of Versailles. As the story unfolds Oscar is soon forced to partake not just her job of the royal guards high commander, but also to mend and caretake the ever more abrupt discrepancy between the luxuriant world of exaggerated pleasures and the major surplus of monetary spending from taxpayers money that the nobles enjoy, with the world of commoners taxpayed into the ground by the nobility, forced to work from down to dusk just to barely be able to feed their family some potatos with salt in the evening, if even that. With a relentless principledness, courage and some fencing abilities that would make even the toughest and bravest of men applaud in delight, she manages to soften terrible wounds both of this corrupt nobles vs. the growingly angered-persecuted commoners conflict, as well as in her ever troubled heart witness to some unbearable, unreal nobility cruelty.
This anime throughout its 40(or 41) episodes describes not just the massive adversity our hero(ine) Oscar has to amount, caught between a world of perversity and ignorance that the nobles obnoxiously embrace and a world of sweat, tears and anger that the commoners are trapped in; but also the tormenting questions of her forever growing personal dilemma: to lead a life of staggering manlike integrity that forces that renown icy look in her eyes (meaning she is compelled not to show any emotions in public) opposed to her own woman heart scolding her for being exactly the reverse of how a woman should feel and be!
I've finished watching this show no more than a day ago that compelled me to write this, and I still can't manage to shake this kind of choking searingly feeling in my chest from this story of dedication, perseverance and sacrifice, in this awesome, old and painfully delightful anime Versailles no Bara aka La Rose de Versailles aka Lady Oscar.
Throughout all of it, you have the feeling more and more rupturing in the end, that this world does not deserve some of the people that make almost all the sacrifices imaginable for it, and Lady Oscar is without a doubt one of the best of those!
Grade 10/10. I'm a drama junkie, but this has left even me wanting no more.
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