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REVIEW: The Rose of Versailles Sub.DVD [2014-02-21]




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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:33 pm Reply with quote
This show might be almost 35 years old, but it was one of the best things I watched last year. The animation didn't age very well, but it's incredible how consistently on-model the characters look from the first to the last episode, almost as if character designers/animation directors Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno drew every frame. Compared to how frequently their designs were butchered by lesser animators on Saint Seiya, that's quite impressive.

I was also impressed by how great the colors look and how clear the picture is. At times, I felt like I was watching the show on Blu-ray. I don't know if TMS used better film stock than other studios or simply did a better job conserving and remastering the original film materials, but these Rose of Versailles DVDs look much better than most '80s TV series look on DVD or even on Blu-ray.

And if you don't want any spoilers, DO NOT watch Dezaki's interview before finishing the show. The French Revolution episodes really are something to be experienced, and after doing some reading on it, I was surprised to learn that some of the series' most apparently ludicrous parts like spoiler[Fersen orchestrating the royal family's failed escape from the Tuileries] actually happened.
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Araki



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 232

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:00 pm Reply with quote
Zhou-BR wrote:
This show might be almost 35 years old, but it was one of the best things I watched last year. The animation didn't age very well, but it's incredible how consistently on-model the characters look from the first to the last episode, almost as if character designers/animation directors Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno drew every frame. Compared to how frequently their designs were butchered by lesser animators on Saint Seiya, that's quite impressive.


I remember reading a Shingo Araki interview where he said his work in Versailles was exhaustive, because he worked as the animation director in every single episode, which is very unusual, so the series was his most personal work. I guess that explains it.


Last edited by Araki on Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1278

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:01 pm Reply with quote
I think this series flounders a bit when it doesn't have historical events to base itself on. At the end of the series here they seem to run out of these events save the revolution itself, and for a while it seems to want to avoid getting to that because that has to mean the end of the series. When it finally goes for the end, though, it's back to the good.
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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4107
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:39 pm Reply with quote
While I do love this show quite dearly but I have to admit, I still have some major reservations about some of the turns Oscar's development went when it came to her relationship with Andre. It just made her seem too soft, for lack of a better word, and turned me off enough that IIRC I actually skipped several episodes at the end of the series, though I did definitely watch the final episode.

Still a great show but the ending definitely brings the overall quality of the story down.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 785
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:40 pm Reply with quote
marie-antoinette wrote:
While I do love this show quite dearly but I have to admit, I still have some major reservations about some of the turns Oscar's development went when it came to her relationship with Andre. It just made her seem too soft, for lack of a better word, and turned me off enough that IIRC I actually skipped several episodes at the end of the series, though I did definitely watch the final episode.

Still a great show but the ending definitely brings the overall quality of the story down.


I can see how you'd feel that way. I did think that she fell for him (or realized her feelings, which was the impression the manga gave me) awfully quickly, and since I don't remember it feeling as rushed in the manga, I suspect episode limits dictated it. But given how quickly she fell for Fersen initially, it still seems within the realm of her character. My general feeling is that spoiler[having seen how happy Rosalie was with Bernard, she realized that maybe that was a happiness she could have too, without having to give up on her ideals.] My main issue with the ending is simply how abruptly the narrator ended things - spoiler[yup, and Fersen died a miserable old bastard years later. The end.]

I just tracked down an Italian edition of the sequel manga, Eroica, and I can't wait for it to get here. spoiler[I really want to see how Alain fares in the new era he so wanted.]
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:18 pm Reply with quote
Araki wrote:
I remember reading a Shingo Araki interview where he said his work in Versailles was exhaustive, because he worked as the animation director in every single episode, which is very unusual, so the series was his most personal work. I guess that explains it.


You're talking about this interview, right? I hadn't read it before, but you're right, Araki really did say he was the animation director on every single episode, re-drawing every frame where TMS's animators had drawn the characters wrong. That must have been an insane amount of work, and it only makes me appreciate this show more.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:52 am Reply with quote
marie-antoinette wrote:
While I do love this show quite dearly but I have to admit, I still have some major reservations about some of the turns Oscar's development went when it came to her relationship with Andre. It just made her seem too soft, for lack of a better word, and turned me off enough that IIRC I actually skipped several episodes at the end of the series, though I did definitely watch the final episode.

Still a great show but the ending definitely brings the overall quality of the story down.


I have a strong suspicion there was some executive meddling for that plotline. In the manga (which has finally been fully scanlated, thank goodness!), BOTH Andre and Oscar have to change in order to suit each other; Andre's desperation turns into full acceptance of Oscar, warts and all, and Oscar comes to realize that Andre is her equal, despite all the classism that surrounds them. They also have her give an awesome speech about freedom to her troops, none of that "I'll follow wherever my husband goes" nonsense in the anime. Razz

There's a really in-depth analysis of Andre's and Oscar's relationship online; it has some spoilers for the manga, but they're contextualized well enough that anyone with passing knowledge of this series (like this review! Anime hyper) can read it without much issue. It's a three-parter, but here's a link to the first: http://odorunara.com/​2010/​07/​09/​character-​control-​and-​confession-​the-​theme-​part-​1/​
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3309
Location: Back stateside

PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:21 pm Reply with quote
whiskeyii wrote:
They also have her give an awesome speech about freedom to her troops, none of that "I'll follow wherever my husband goes" nonsense in the anime. Razz

Oh man, thank you! If the manga is at all different with Oscar's character, then I will go back to reading the manga again and try to forget the anime ever happened.

When I got to that point in the anime, I was so furious at how badly it derailed Oscar as a character that I almost rage-quit the series. I wish I had, I don't like the ending, at all -- it felt like the message was "screw democracy, never start a revolution, because it will only end badly." Just a little note that "...but freedom did come to France, eventually, their deaths weren't in vain" would've been nice. Sad
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