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The Rose of Versailles: Part 1

Score: 64%
Rating: 13+
Publisher: Right Stuf, Inc.
Region: 1
Media: DVD/4
Running Time: 480 Mins.
Genre: Anime
Audio: Japanese Mono
Subtitles: English


  • Clean Opening and Clean Closing

It seems to me like there has been an anime made about pretty much any time in history. Personally, I really enjoyed Blood+, which was set near WWII. The Rose of Versailles: Part 1 is set quite a bit further back, in the 18th century. The story starts with Oscarís birth. Oscarís father is General Jarjayes. The General always wanted a son, but his wife kept delivering girls. When Oscar was born, Jarjayes decided that even though she wasnít a boy, he would still give her a boyís name and raise her as if she were a boy so that she can take over his strong military influence. Really, the true beginning of the series starts in 1769 when Oscar is 14. At 14, Oscar is posed to join the royal guards and our story begins.

Oscarís first task as captain of the royal guards is to escort the soon to be Dauphine, Marie Antoinette, from her homeland of Austria to meet her soon to be husband at Versailles. Marie is a very high-spirited young girl who is also 14. She has no concept of the real world or anything other than what makes her happy. She is truly naÔve and is tricked from the very beginning. Luckily, Oscar was there to save her. Oscar continually has Andre by her side. Heís been her best friend since they were children. Itís obvious to me, at least, that heís in love with her, but how does a woman who lives her life as a man ever become a wife? Everyone does know that Oscar is female, they donít deny that, but that doesnít mean that sheís allowed to ever act like a woman.

When they get to France, Marie is introduced to Louis, the Dauphin. Louis is a shy boy whoís not much older than her. He doesnít really have political aspirations, but he has no choice but to become the next king. His real hobby is making locks though and he spends most of his time in the forge working on them. This leaves Marie alone to her own devices much of the time. Eventually, the King dies so Marie and Louis become the new King and Queen of France. Given that Marie still has no concept of the human suffering that is happening outside of the palace, she continually messes up, wastes a hell of a lot of money, and earns the ire of the people, tainting her husbandís rule as well.

Marie is continually influenced by one evil noble woman or another. She is so naÔve that she just wants to make her friends happy without ever thinking how it might affect anyone else. Pretty much all the women, with the exception of Oscar and a few others, are spoiled brats that just make me cringe watching. If the nobles were really half this bad, then I can understand why the French revolted against the nobility. Honestly, there are very few likable characters in this anime. Oscar and Andre are really the only people I like. They are the only ones who really have a sense of humanity. The rest are selfish and spoiled. The women are horrible to each other, continually back-stabbing each other to try and become Marieís friend. The men are simply selfish, gullible, or evil, or a combination of all three! After the first 6 episodes, I really didnít want to see any more because I just wanted to shoot the characters, but as it went on, The Rose of Versailles did get better.

At this point, I am curious to see what happens in the next part, but that doesnít mean that I really liked the series. Just be aware that it really is as much about Marie Antoinette and the Versailles nobles as it is about the very interesting Oscar. Also since The Rose of Versailles was originally created in 1979, donít expect any computer generated effects. The animation is the original from 1979. It is beautifully hand drawn, which I really did enjoy. If you think you can deal with watching that many petty, evil people then check out The Rose of Versailles: Part 1.

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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