Sunday, 6 October 2013

Born with a destiny of roses

Sometimes strange things happen to me. Like just a while ago, when I ended up watching the anime series The Rose of Versailles... No spoilers ahead.

It started as an innocent experiment and search for some comedy and ended with bittersweet tears.

I have a thing for old anime titles which were dubbed and released in Finnish years, years ago in bad quality. I watched some in my childhood and loved them, and sometimes I get particularly nostalgic and want to watch them again, even though I have trouble keeping a poker face with the horrifying voice acting. So, a while ago, I took up the Finnish VHS releases of Lady Oscar (the series is known as The Rose of Versailles or Lady Oscar, depending on the country, though the former is an actual translation of the original Japanese title whereas Lady Oscar is the main character) and watched them, laughing while I did so, mostly at the wrong time. The dub quality was bad and I'm glad I never ate while watching it since I might have choked on my food more than once.

However, they never released more than three videos in Finnish, each one consisting of four episodes of this 40-episode-long series. Having watched these videos, I realized I was somewhat addicted and I had to see the whole series, so I continued in Japanese with English subtitles. Last night I found myself watching the last twelve episodes...

At the beginning I thought it was overly dramatic (even to my taste) and slightly ridiculous, especially with Marie Antoinette acting strangely. But I did my homework and learnt, much to my dismay, that many of those scenes or details at which I was rolling my eyes were historically accurate. At that point I no longer questioned the original author's, Riyoko Ikeda's sanity, and eagerly watched the story of the French Revolution (and other historical events) unfold before me.

And in the end, I cried. I thought I would only be laughing at some light-themed girls' animation badly dubbed in Finnish, but the Finnish age limits (or the lack thereof; I doubt this series was truly checked when it was released here) deceived me and left me watching the 18th century France in dire straits. And what's worse – now I'm longing for more. And it isn't particularly easy to find much evidence or information of the related anime movies...

If I had watched Lady Oscar as a little girl, I know for sure who would have been my idol.

Have you seen The Rose of Versailles and if you have, did you like it? Do you like some other old anime classics? Do you know of The Rose of Versailles anime movies, if they are available somewhere?


  1. I loved Lady Oscar when I was younger and your post instantly revoke the urge to see it again! As I remember, the story was pretty good and a lot about emancipation...

    1. I'm quite sure it'd be nostalgic for you to watch it again. ;D I kind of wish I had seen at least some of it as a child too. And the story is pretty good too, yet so sad..!


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