This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.
There’s soooo much anime on my to watch list… Where do I even begin?! As I’ve previously mentioned, I haven’t seen a huge amount of anime so there’s a hell of a lot I still need to see, and top of that list is definitely Kill La Kill that I’ve been meaning to watch for a while now.
Honorable mentions: Genesis Neon Evangelion and Ghost in the Shell. (I could name many many more that I feel like I should have already seen but the list would go on for days!)
My ‘To Watch List’ is probably about as long as the number of years it will take until Oda finally writes the last chapter of One Piece. I also get into a bad habit of starting but not finishing series’ such as Bleach and Fairy Tail. For this post I’m going to go with a series that’s not only been on my list forever, but I also have a weird nostalgic connection to, and that’s The Rose of Versailles, also known as Lady Oscar.
I first discovered this series when I was on holiday with my family years ago as a teenager. My sister and I were channel-hopping in our hotel room, and suddenly something animated flickered across the screen and we stopped straight away to find out what it was. It was dubbed in French, the animation style looked super old school, and the episode featured odd scenes of cross-dressing knights, princesses, horses, and castles. As neither me or my sister spoke French, we made up our own plot to the episode, and even our own lyrics to the theme song (which just involved singing “LADY LADY OSCAR” over and over again).
It turns out – after a little research – that I was right about the ‘old school’ animation, as it originally aired in 1972-3, and ever since discovering it I keep seeing it pop up on ‘The Best Shojo Manga’ and ‘Must Watch Classic Anime’ lists constantly. Apparently we’d unwittingly stumbled across a bit of a cult thing.
Set during the French Revolution, the story revolves around Lady Oscar – raised as a boy by her father, General Jarjayes – and the infamous historical Queen Marie Antoinette. Interestingly, although Marie begins as the main character, Oscar became the fan favourite and was pushed into the central character role from the supporting one. As the head of the Royal Guard, Oscar is essentially the body guard for Marie and the royal family, only to become ideologically conflicted as she realises the true extent of poverty in France at the hands of the neglectful and greedy monarchy.
My research also revealed that the series is both hugely popular and adored in it’s native with Japan (number 14 on the Best Selling Shojo Manga of All Time list; with live action and even musical adaptations) and so well-researched that it is even used as a teaching aid in schools and public libraries. In the West, it is revered as a cult classic, and revolutionised the Shojo genre with its progressive sexual politics and inclusion of the first ever ‘bed scene’ in manga.
Knowing all of this compels me even more to finally sit down and get into those 40 episodes of historical Shojo goodness! And I can finally find out what on earth was going on in that episode I watched all those years ago.
Honourable mentions: Revolutionary Girl Utena, Beserk, Le Chevalier D’Eon, Freezing, Gundam, Fate/Stay Night, .hack//SIGN, Psycho Pass, Noragami, K-On!, Assasination Classroom, Durarara!
I tend to refuse to watch good stuff if too many people tell me to watch it. For example I still haven’t seen Breaking Bad or Lost, and I probably never will. But, one day I will watch Death Note… Just not today.
I stayed away from Death Note for two reasons:
- I watched the live action film first and for a wile I was staying away from anything that had to do with it. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know why.
- It just looks too ‘Emo’ for me. I know that’s such an old school insult, but I tend to stay away from stuff styled that way, because in school Emos were annoying to me. But I will watch it eventually, even though I was told the main spoiler of the story…
Honorable Mentions: Psycho-Pass, Fist of the North Star, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Assassination Classroom and Kill La Kill.
Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.
Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page!