Manga of the Month: The Rose of Versailles

Screen Shot 2021-08-22 at 1.02.25 PMThe Rose of Versailles (ベルサイユのばら)
by Riyoko Ikeda

July 2015 will probably be remembered as the summer when anime and manga dreams came true. Sort of. The month before has been the E3 where the The Last Guardian was saved, Final Fantasy VII got a remake, and Shenmue III was going to get made via a kickstarter. The Anime Expo 2015 did the same thing for the otaku community. While the impossible dream of getting the Legend of the Galactic Heroes anime and novels would normally be enough to make the announcements go into the realm of the fantastic the manga lineup was no slouch. The most surprising news was probably the fact that Udon was going to release the original The Rose of Versailles manga from the 70s.

The Rose of Versailles was always one of those manga that everyone asked for but never really expected. When the Right Stuf licensed the anime the reaction (beyond being slack-jawed) usually was, “It would be nice if we could also get the manga but this is more than good enough.” So when Udon of all people unveiled their little SDCC it made a mad sort sense given the events that had occurred in the last few weeks. I don’t think a year and a half ago most people who have guessed:

A. Anyone would license such an old shojo manga.
B. Anyone could get such a tricky prestigious shojo manga.
C. That it would have ever been from someone like Udon.

That summer of 2015 was interesting as most of the titles I mentioned had some major hiccup that changed the way people saw that string of miracles. The Last Guardian was sort of good but it sort of got overwhelmed by expectations thanks to years of dreams so it mostly exists in this limbo state between a dream come true and an utter disappointment. Shenmue III got really bad reviews but everything I have heard seems to say that it deserved every thumbs down it got. Final Fantasy VII has taken a long time to come out and since it is now being released in parts it has yet to be seen how the final product will be especially since there have been some major changes in the first part. It seemed like everyone of those wishes was made on a monkey’s paw. Not every wish ended in disaster but no one really got exactly what they wanted.

The Rose of Versailles manga seemed to have been a wish made on the same cursed monkey’s paw. As delayed as the Final Fantasy VII remake was at least there was occasional news updates even if they were few and far between. Udon seemed to just license The Rose of Versailles and then completely forget about the series. The was some speculation that Udon had just bit off more than they could chew and the license and they were just waiting for the license to lapse. But then beyond all odd Udon actually released the manga and it was in a super amazing premium format that lived up to most expectations and often exceeded them.  It was a long wait but it was very much worth it. Continue reading

Manga of the Month: Wakako-zake

Wakako-zake by Chie Shinkyu

Wakako is a young office worker who understands the pure pleasure of a good bite to eat and good drink to go alongside it. Usually that means popping in an eatery after work, but even at home or at a wedding, Wakako has her food priorities straight.

Short chapters pack a lot of punch with lovingly detailed food shots and Wakako’s wide-eyed face that is made for good reactions. A contented “PSHEWWW” often escapes her lips as she enjoys her meal.

From the simple pleasures of fried chicken and rolled omlette, to the exotic treasures of monkfish foie gras and grilled turban shell, Wakako appreciates all ends of the culinary spectrum.

Often depicted alone, but not lonely, Wakako not only takes great pleasure from eating food but also feels no shame in it. Whether you read a chapter now and then or a whole book at once, you’ll be uttering  a happy “PSHEWWW” yourself.

~kate

Manga of the Month: Pop Team Epic

Pop Team Epic (ポプテピピック) by Bkub Okawa

hisui_icon_4040_round If the blog is shut down after this post know that it was because we were unfairly charged with Anime Blogging Crimes to stop us from disseminating the TRUTH. The truth about the power and majesty of Pop Team Epic.

Continue reading