Look, I love Fruits Basket, but you have to admit that our precious and beloved main character Tohru cries an awful lot. I don’t think I would be exaggerating TOO much if I dared to say that she’s cries at least every other chapter. So you see, saying I cried more than her means I cried A LOT. 3 guesses to what it was that made me cry so much.
Anyone out there who has watched Baccano will probably recall that Jaccuzi Splot spent at least 3/4 of the whole series in tears. I’m not saying I spent 3/4 of this series I’m reviewing now in tears, I’m just saying that I cried A LOT. Now, three guesses as to what it was that made me cry so obscenely much?
a) They Kiss Again episode 2 for being so unbearable?
c) Beauty and the Beast?
Nope. You’re all wrong. It was…
ROSE OF VERSAILLES
Jesus christ that is tragic. I don’t think I’ve cried that much because of a movie or book since I saw Homeward Bound, which for some reason made me cry an inexplicably large amount of tears when I saw it for the first time when I was 6 (I was an animal-lover child). Hell, this is more tragic than Romeo and Juliet for christ sake; those cheesy, sappy over-dramatic bastards. I mean, I cried over Jean de Florette; but I cried for HOURS over this. Episode 37. I literally cried for an hour after watching episode 37 of Rose of Versailles. I was crying too much to be able to read the subtitles so I had to stop watching and go to bed. The next day I cried straight through the last 3 episodes. Why the hell did it make me cry so much?
Now whenever I study the French Revolution I’m going to bawl like a baby.
It wasn’t like it was completely unexpected, either. I mean, the French Revolution was already a tragic period in history; and I’d been warned by a friend that Rose of Versailles was “kind of” tragic. Kind of tragic? Kind of tragic? KIND OF? I think I’ve already expressed how I feel about the level of tragedy in this show.
But let’s make this a more orthodox review, shall we?
Godddd it’s too sad to review… *deep breath* Okay. Organized, organized.
Animation/Chara designs – Well… this was made in 1979… need I to say more? But, even though there are a LOT of still frames, it’s not done inelegantly, and it really is forgivable… it’s not like they had even half of the animation technology available now. I actually really liked the character designs, being a fan of old school things… but the cheesy sparkly eyes are so deceiving *cries*
Characters – Yes, the characters are a strong point of Rose of Versailles. At first they’re all just kids… and then… and then Aughhhhh WHY MUST IT BE THIS WAY? What I’m saying is; although not all the characters are really fleshed out – on the contrary, I wouldn’t really say any of them are, except maybe Oscar – you still care about them, and they’re interesting. The way the interact is interesting. And none of the villainous characters are completely one-sided. DuBarry, for instance, at first she’s just this jerky mistress and Marie-Antoinette is the good girl; but then you can see it’s much more than that. Jeanne Valois wasn’t one-sided either; she really wanted to be happy by becoming rich, and in the end she just gave up because she was tired. What I’m trying to say is, even though you never had it explained for you explicitly, the way the story was told you could look at all the characters objectively; and you were encouraged to question whether there really was a “good guy” and a “bad guy”. Same thing for the conflict between the nobles and the commoners. Even though Marie-Antoinette had been something of a main character in the beginning, and a “good guy”; of course in the end she was really ignorant. But it wasn’t completely her fault that she became that way. And the commoners weren’t saints, either. Rose of Versailles expressed the reality very well, EXTREMELY well considering it kind of looks like a kid’s show on the outside.
OH I almost forgot – Oscar Francois de Jarjeyes, my poor, dear love. She’s awesome and righteous, but you can tell where she’s naive. She’s kind of a cross between Shi Seiran and Tenjou Utena.
Well, it’s up to you to decide if you agree with me. Actually, I was reminded a lot of Saiunkoku while watching Rose of Versailles. I wonder why? Definitely wasn’t as tragic… it must be the whole court aspect of it. Both shows spend a lot of time at court. Two very different courts, but courts just the same.
Plot – of course the plot isn’t really ORIGINAL, it’s history… but what would Rose of Versailles be without Oscar, the fictional main character? Oh god… the non-fiction part is tragic, but why does the fiction part have to be so tragic too?! But the way the build-up to the revolution was created was really amazing. And obviously, since it made me cry so much, the rest of the plot was very intense as well. Ahh… they can try, but who can out-write history?
Sound – Well, a good portion of the music was rather cheesy at first, but it got me in the end. There’s no school like old school, after all. Ahahaha.
Overall – I will admit, after seeing the first episode, I was a tad skeptical. In fact, it wasn’t till about 6 months later that I actually decided I had to give in and watch the whole thing. While the outer shell of Rose of Versailles may seem cheesy, there’s SO much more. No wonder it’s a classic. Let’s see…I guess we could compare it to Snow White… NO. WE COULD NOT. See, America just isn’t awesome enough to have such unbelievably amazing classic animation. I don’t think there’s a way to describe it. But if you think you want to KNOW shoujo, the REAL shoujo, YOU MUST WATCH THIS. Also if you want to cry. And if you like history or France. Or kick-ass female leads. Alright. Words fail me. Just watch it.
Now that THAT’s over with; I think I’m going to print out little pictures of Oscar and Andre, frame them, and put them next to each other next to a little tiny vase in which I will put new flowers every week, preferably roses.