Anime movie announced in celebration of the 50th anniversary of an all-time shojo manga classic.

We’re getting very close to the premiere of Urusei Yatsura Allstars, the anime TV series revival of the landmark science fiction comedy franchise. Anticipation is running high, since it’s been a long time since its most recent anime installments; the most recent is a single 2008 OVA, and before that you have to go back to 1991.

But now there’s a revival coming for a series that’s been dormant for an even longer time, with the announcement of a new Rose of Versailles anime.

Originally a manga that started serialization in 1972, creator Riyoko Ikeda’s shojo story set during the French revolution caused a revolution itself, proving the appeal of combining the romance of girls’ comics with an epic, high-stakes plot. While Marie Antoinette is the initial protagonist, the real star of the series is Oscar Francois de Jarjayes, also known as Lady Oscar, the gallant commander of the royal guard who was raised as a boy and captured the hearts of fans with her strength and devotion.

The Rose of Versailles was adapted into a 40-episode anime TV series that concluded in 1980, and that was the last of the franchise’s anime output. To mark the manga’s 50th anniversary, though, a new movie is being produced. Details are scarce at the moment, but given the historical context of the setting, as well as the movie’s tagline of “They lived intensely, and beautifully,” it’s probably safe to assume this is going to be a retelling of the Rose of Versailles plot, and not a sequel.

No staff or cast members, nor a release date, have been revealed, but Ikeda herself offered the following comment:

“We have often received requests from fans for a new anime, and it is a happy surprise that we are able to make that wish come true…I am very happy that the manga has been read by people from across different generations.”

Ikeda also crated a new illustration of Marie Antoinette and Oscar in celebration of the movie’s announcement.

Some might say the original TV series is a masterpiece that should be left as the franchise’s sole animated output. As Ikeda’s comment alludes to, though, it’s been a very long time since Rose of Versailles’s debut, and while the still, monochrome artwork of the manga may have aged gracefully, 40-plus-year-old anime visuals are a little harder for younger audiences to appreciate, especially considering the smaller size of the anime industry itself in that era, and the smaller budgets that went with it. With The Rose of Versailles’ pop cultural importance now firmly established, a new anime movie has the potential to give it the lavish artwork the TV series couldn’t afford

Source: The Rose of Versailles movie official website via Jin
Top image: YouTube/劇場アニメ「ベルサイユのばら」公式
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