Part 2, Disk 1 of Rose of Versailles begins with an extremely low point, from which everything will flow downhill until the very end. We are launched into the Affair of the Diamond Necklace which contributed strongly to the already bad feelings both the people and the nobility had for the Royal Family.
Jean Valois, her husband Nicholas de la Motte and Cardinal Rohan are all real people involved in the affair, as were the prostitute Nicole Lequay d’Oliva and forger Rétaux de Villette. Jean did have a sister, but her name was not Rosalie. And, while rumors were supposedly to have been circulated of lesbianism between the Queen and her favorites, those were later, some even after the revolution began. She was accused of the double crime of lesbianism, in fact, with a notorious British lesbian – as if the French ones might not have been good enough. But, then, she was also accused of sleeping with every man in France, including her own sons. Marie Antoinette was not well liked. But this anime works very hard to make sure we find her sympathetic, Rohan is a letch, Jean and Nichiolas are sociopaths, Marie just wants time with her family, she’s not a bad person, just tone-deaf to…well, everything.
In the context of the anime, it is of course, sensible that Oscar be painted with this same broad brush of accusation and, of course, for her to be unmoved by it.
The pit of effluvia that is the Affair of the Necklace does not come to a neat end, it comes to a worn, frayed, painful end, at last. Rosalie leaves for the worst reason ever and we are catapulted back to time spent with Oscar and Andre, after wallowing in Jean Valois’ admirably sociopathic schemes.
Fersen returns and Oscar admits she could love him…we all squirm with discomfort in a way that is remarkable when you think how stoically we viewed the idea that she slept with the Queen. But the look on her face when she sees Fersen hurts, somehow.
The trajectory is inevitable…we are on the downwards curve of the parabola and we know what waits at the end. As not-cheerful as this all is, I have never been more interested in French history as I am while watching this series, so that has to count for something! ^_^;
Art – 8
Story – 9
Yuri – 1
Service – 1
Overall – 8
I have 2 Rose of Versailles Part 2 Box Sets to give away, courtesy of RightStuf! Tell me in the comments your favorite moment in French History and your age and country. I will announce winners when I review the next Disk.
Today’s review was brought to you by Brigid Alverson’s article on Robot 6, A writer writes! But it’s not that easy… because although I was feeling all lazy today, I really should have been writing this. ^_^