Lady Oscar – The Rose of Versailles

I used to love this anime when I was a child… I watched it on German television and though I couldn’t understand everything I enjoyed it sooo much. I remember the first thing that got me into watching it was the clothing, all those beautiful princess dresses (I used to draw dresses like those) and then was the fact that the action was set in 18th century… it used to fascinate me back then…
OK so The Rose of Versailles (Berusaiyu no Bara) also known as Lady Oscar focuses on Oscar François de Jarjayes, a girl raised as a man to become her father’s successor as leader of the Palace Guards, because he had no son, but six more daughters. She’s a great leader and a strong character, but she ends up being a woman after all…
The action is set in France, before and during the French Revolution. In the early part of the series, the main character is the young Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, however later the focus of the story shifts to Lady Oscar. Oscar’s father trained her well in the arts of fencing, horsemanship, and medieval combat. Oscar often practiced her skills with her best friend, companion and servant, André Grandier, whom she almost always defeated. André was the grandson of her nanny and thus they spent most of their time together in harmonic friendship and near the end of the series, this freindship turned into love.
Oscar is the commander of the Royal Guard and responsible for the safety of Marie Antoinette, as well as the rest of the royal family. The story revolves around Oscar’s growing realization of how France is governed, and the plight of the poor. Another important storyline is the love story between Marie Antoinette and the Swedish Count Axel von Fersen. The affair between the two was the subject of rumours through all of France, endangering the Queen’s reputation and driving Oscar to request the Count to leave the country.
After the Count decided to leave and sign up for the war of independence in America, Marie Antoinette became lovesick. She began spending money in excess —expensive jewelery and clothes, attending balls every other night— to distract herself from pining for the only man she loved. Both the Affair of the Diamond Necklace and the appearance of the infamous Gabrielle de Polastron, countess de Polignac are central plot events taken from history, as well as the French Revolution and the fall of the Bastille—all given interesting interpretations through the fictional character Oscar and her companions.
On July 14, 1789, the Taking of the Bastille, the crowds rebelled but lacked strategy, giving the military the advantage and making themselves easy target for cannon fire. However, Oscar and the regiment B then arrived to help organize the insurgents. During the following fierce battle, Oscar is shot and killed, but the Bastille eventually falls, symbolically striking down the French monarchy. After the Bastille is taken, the revolutionaries burst into the Palace searching for Marie Antoinette and her family. Many guards are killed and the royal family taken prisoner. Big trials were started for Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, but finally, both were declared guilty and guillotined.
Near the end Oscar becomes André’s wife, but their happiness doesn’t last too much as they both die in the end.
It’s such a touching story and the way the events are mixed with actual french history is amazing! Well yeah the end is so dramatic and sad, but it’s still a great anime series!
A few more info about this anime:
Soundtracks: Bara Wa Utsukushiku Chiru, Ai No hikari To Kage (Both performed by Hiroko Suzuki).
Original run: 10 October 1979 – 3 September 1980.
Episodes: 40.
The manga series was created by Riyoko Ikeda.
Enjoy it guys!

German opening :) such nice memories… “Immer ladylike”:

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