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Posts Tagged ‘The Rose of Versailles’

Let’s take a brief look at the influence of The Rose of Versailles had on two popular shojo series of the 1990s! Mild spoilers for Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena.

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Origins of Shojo Manga
Part 3: Riyoko Ikeda (Part 1)
Part 4: Moto Hagio
Part 5: Keiko Takemiya
Part 6: Interlude: The Rose of Versailles Franchise
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Part 6: Interlude: Riyoko Ikeda and The Rose of Versailles Franchise

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Origins of Shojo Manga
Part 3: Riyoko Ikeda (Part 1)
Part 4: Moto Hagio
Part 5: Keiko Takemiya

Before I get back to The Rose of Versailles, I want to make a quick note that the manga The Window of Orpheus (1975-1981), which also features a girl being raised as a boy for the sake of being an heir, but is very different than Oscar. Julius von Ahrensmeyer is the daughter of her father’s mistress, who later becomes his second wife. Because von Ahrensmeyer’s first wife had two daughters, when Julius was very small, her mother began dressing her in boy’s clothes and passing her off as a boy; when she married von Ahrensmeyer, Julius became his heir. Julius has to keep up the disguise as long as her father lives so she can inherit.

The Window of Orphesus 1

Unlike Oscar, who enjoys her work and her unusual life for the most part, Julius does not. She wants to wear dresses and be allowed to express her romantic interest in her crush Klaus, which she can’t do partially because of her all-boys music school’s strict “no homo” policy and social norms, as well as a desire to be true to herself. Additionally, she has to deal with the doctor who delivered her blackmailing her mother and threatening to out her. It’s a different take on the women-performing-masculinities genre in that, instead of being freeing or transgressive, Julius is unhappy in her role, a predecessor in some ways of the manga that would explore trans identities and social dysmorphia.

 

While many manga in our discussion had anime versions released, The Rose of Versailles stands out from the crowd with 40 years of continual media adaptations and marketing. In the years after the manga wrapped, The Rose of Versailles became a cultural force unto itself. First, let’s take a brief look at how The Rose of Versailles has become as recognizable and referenced in Japanese culture and media as Star Wars before we delve into the other media the series inspired.

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LINE has some new stickers from The Rose of Versailles (BeruBara)!
Translated from InternetCom.

Is the lovely Oscar-sama now spewing Internet slang?

berubara1

(c)Ikeda Riyoko Production [Image: Rose of Versaille LINE stickers with the characters using Kansai Internet slang in Japanese.]


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I finally got around to reading the new volume of The Rose of Versailles (ベルサイユのバラ), which focuses on some side stories about the male characters: Andre Grandier, Florian Girodelle, Count Hans Axel Fersen, and Alain de Soisson.

Image via Amazon.co.jp

Image via Amazon.co.jp

I have mixed feelings about the volume. Parts of it were brilliant, but some of it felt a little forced. Mild spoilers for the volume, major spoilers for the original series.

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We could do with a bit of humor around the holidays, yes? If you like fandom crack, Calorie Mate and FROGMAN collaborated on a Beru Bara parody anime, 「ベルサイユのマリモ」(“The Marimo of Versailles”).

Screenshot from YouTube of "Marimo Antoinette" arriving at court in a fish tank

Screenshot from YouTube of “Marimo Antoinette” arriving at court in a fish tank

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Part Two: The Theatre

A novel by Rosalie Lamorlière. (Joyce Farmer discovers Ingrid Bergman's Joan of Arc in No Straight Lines, p. 25.

How can she be a girl if I love her so much?: A novel by Rosalie Lamorlière.
(Joyce Farmer discovers Ingrid Bergman’s Joan of Arc in No Straight Lines, p. 25.)

In this section, my co-author and I explore cross-dressing in the theatre, specifically all-male kabuki and all-female Takarazuka Revue, how these productions queer our views of the gender binary, and how the main character of The Rose of Versailles disrupts tropes about women cross-dressing as men. Part 1 here.

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Speaking of cross-dressing, Ikeda-sensei is publishing new BeruBara stories and no one told me?! Excuse me while I go swim to Japan. I should get there by August, right?

Contains some major spoilers for BeruBara. But it’s been 40 years, right?

Via Crank-In. Copyright Ikeda Riyoko Productions.

Via Crank-In. Copyright Ikeda Riyoko Productions.

 

Original:『ベルばら』新作読み切りで仏革命後のアラン描く!40年ぶりに新刊発売も決定 on Ameba News. Translation by me.

Drawing Alain after the French Revolution: New One-Shot BeruBara Story! First New Volume in 40 Years! 

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