Revolutionary manga ‘The Rose of Versailles’ turns 50

Japanese manga “The Rose of Versailles” options elaborate outfits, palace intrigues and passionate romances set in opposition to the backdrop of the French Revolution, but it surely additionally has its personal revolutionary credentials. The collection, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this yr with occasions together with an exhibition presently on in Tokyo, was an enormous business success within the “shojo” genre-comic books aimed toward women and teenagers.

It tells the epic story of two principal heroines, Queen Marie Antoinette and the fictional character Oscar Francois de Jarjayes, a younger lady raised as a boy who turns into head of the queen’s guard. The collection has had a large cultural influence, prompting Japanese followers to flock to Versailles, and has been praised for its uncommon feminist portrayals of robust girls characters in manga.

A cosplayer representing Midari Ikishima, a supporting character within the Japanese Manga collection Kakegurui, and the principle protagonist of the spin-off collection Kakegurui Midari, poses for a portrait on the Comedian Con Africa.

On the Tokyo exhibition, 22-year-old Manami Suzuki stated she had grown up with the collection as a result of her mom was a fan. “Due to her I’ve been studying it since I used to be little,” she informed AFP. “After I first noticed Oscar, I used to be fascinated by how cool, stunning, robust, and great she was,” she stated. The collection started in a manga journal in 1972 and has since been tailored into a number of musicals in Japan and an animated tv collection referred to as “Girl Oscar” that was additionally successful overseas, particularly in France.

The manga has offered greater than 20 million copies worldwide, and in an indication of its ongoing enchantment, an English translation debuted final yr. “It’s onerous to overestimate how necessary and influential it’s been within the shojo manga style, and in Japanese popular culture basically,” stated Deborah Shamoon, affiliate professor on the Nationwide College of Singapore’s Division of Japanese Research.

Picture reveals Japanese manga artist Fujiko Fujio A, whose actual title is Motoo Abiko, in Tokyo.

“Oscar is an incredible, splendid hero for ladies,” she informed AFP, noting that the collection additionally depicts the love story between Oscar and her childhood pal Andre in a approach hardly ever seen in manga. “He admires all her qualities and doesn’t attempt to change her or make her extra stereotypically female,” Shamoon stated. “This type of equality in heterosexual romance in shojo manga remains to be uncommon.”

Writer of “The Rose of Versailles” Riyoko Ikeda was concerned in left-wing politics and has stated she intentionally got down to shake up conventional tropes in manga. “On the time there was a spot between women and men, and there have been individuals who stated ‘girls and kids gained’t perceive historical past’,” Ikeda stated in an announcement launched alongside the exhibit, which options dozens of authentic drawings from the collection.

“I used to be younger, and I replied ‘I’m going to ensure this can be a hit’.” On the exhibit, dozens of tourists took images with life-sized cardboard variations of the collection’ characters, surrounded by lifelike Versailles-style archways. Rieko Takahama, 58, stated the collection made her lengthy to go to the famed French web site, a dream she fulfilled a decade in the past. “I’d wished to go there since I used to be a toddler, and I believed, I couldn’t die with out visiting.” – AFP

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