A manga by the beloved Riyoko Ikeda, later made into an anime series by Osamu Dezaki, the Rose of Versailles is a fairly fictionalized quasi-historical drama centering around Oscar the (fictional) female captain of the king of France's personal guard. Oscar was the youngest in a long line of girls, and her nobleman father, fed up with having no male heir, finally cracked, and raised Oscar as a boy. Yay for ambiguous sexuality.

Anyway, Oscar is a swordsman (?) of uncommon skill, and is assigned as Marie Antoinette's personal guard when said princess is engaged to the crown prince of france as part of the treaty that Austria signed with France in order to end their bloody struggle.

Lots of high melodrama and complex relationships make "Berusaiyu no Bara" a real treat for any fan of shoujo manga. Ikeda went on to do Oniisama E, the animated version of which was also directed by Dezaki.

A chapter of The Rose of Versailles translated into English can be found in the back of "Manga! Manga! The world of Japanese Comics" by Frederik Schodt.

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