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

Anime Secret Santa 2019: Wasteful Days of High School Girls

hisui_icon_4040_round There is something oddly freeing about now having the pressure of having to do the links for Anime Secret Santa. It was always a stressful task of hunting down people’s reviews on the already hectic day of Christmas. Thankfully All Geeks Considered is doing it this year I can just be a lazy participant which is a welcome change of pace. Also because my main PC died this would have been a ROUGH year to be in change of Anime Secret Santa. So maybe everything has worked out in the end. Or more like my miserable luck is more just terrible instead of disastrous. (He says as writes the post the day before Christmas on a tiny notebook in an apartment where the sewage is currently mixing with the hot water.)

So as per tradition, I break down why I picked the show I did from the three choices I got. My picks were Wasteful Days of High School Girls, Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor, and Two Car. Two Car mostly just seemed like a series about the asses of racing girls with some story to explain why you were watching them all the time. Theoretically, there might be some Keijo!!!!!!!! level brilliance hidden underneath I did not really feel like rolling those dice unless it was absolutely necessary. A Country Doctor was my “I ran out of time but still want to review something worth talking about” fall back. I thankfully finished my final choice early but I was still glad to have a fail-safe just in case. I went with Wasteful Days of High School Girls mostly as it felt the most in the spirit of the project. It was a show I had completely missed when it was first on the air and it felt like a show I could go either way on.

Especially considering some of the dire selections I have got in the past this was a pretty nice mix of shows. Continue reading

O Maidens in Your Savage Season: Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

hisui_icon_4040_round One of the main problems with no longer doing the APBs every season is that it is a bit easier for new shows to fall in between the cracks. Thankfully in this age of the Internet, there are also more than enough people going out of their way to tell you what you’re missing on to balance it all out. Last season the show I slept on was O Maidens in Your Savage Season.

I’m actually a little surprised we missed this one. It really seemed like something that would be a Reverse Thieves title. I wonder if it was a case where we saw the little blurb on the seasonal chart and wrote it off as nothing more than a basely pervy comedy. It used to be that the low down sex comedies would be a cast of all girls except one guy but now the pure all-girl formula is increasingly common. If that was the case I’m sorry I wrote this show off so quickly for while it definitely revels in sexual comedy it does so in a brilliantly clever and thoughtful manner. It is a proper dramatic comedy with sex and not just a dumb fan service romp.

Although it might also have just been that it was on HIDIVE and I just forget to look there at times.

Continue reading