By Erica Friedman
Set in the years before the French Revolution, we meet Oscar François de Jarjayes, the youngest daughter of a noble house. Her father, dismayed by having only daughters, swears to raise Oscar as a boy. Oscar becomes the Captain of the Queen’s Guard just as the glamorous Marie Antoinette is coming to Versailles to marry Prince Louis. In Versailles, Oscar finds herself and her family embroiled in court intrigue and facing an increasingly desperate populace, whose situation she learns from friendship with a young city girl, Rosalie.
This elegant hardcover volume is the first of a five-volume deluxe set that features textured metallic-print covers with an original, thematic design, color pages reproduced and all color illustrations restored to their original location with the magazine chapters. Volume 1 contains the first 22 chapters of the manga series.
Riyoko Ikeda, best known in the west for The Rose of Versailles, has had a storied career since her debut in 1967. In 2009, Ikeda was awarded the French Legion Of Honor, for her contributions to Japanese awareness of French culture. The Rose of Versailles, which ran originally in Shueisha’s Margaret Magazine from 1972-1973, has been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, Indonesian and Chinese, Italian, French, German, and Korean. In 1983, the first two volumes were translated by noted translator Frederik L. Schodt as a teaching tool for Japanese readers to learn English. This new edition marks the first time the complete series has been translated into English. Translator Mari Morimoto is also known for her work on other influential manga titles, such as Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto and Rumiko Takahashi’s Inuyasha for Viz Media.
Publisher Erik Ko, COO of UDON Entertainment says of this edition, “The Rose of Versailles is a treasured piece of manga history, and I feel honored to be trusted to bring this important title to the English-reading audience. When I got the project, I swore to myself that this has to be the best job UDON has ever put out. We really took the time and effort to make this as perfect as we can. The end result is something I am very proud of and I must thank my team for the hard work they have put in! I hope all the fans will like what we’re presenting here.”
As the editor of this series, I can attest to the attention to detail, to the time and research, and to the love and care which was lavished on this edition. I’m proud to have been a part of the team. I love this edition so much, I’m making my family members read it.
The Rose of Versailles, Volume 1 is getting limited release at Kinokuniya stores in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Austin and Portland on December 17, followed by a wider release on January 28, 2020. Visit Udon Entertainment to get a sneak peek at pages from this girls manga classic, and to pre-order a copy today.
The Rose of Versailles, Volume 1
Art & Story : Riyoko Ikeda
Translator: Mari Morimoto
Publisher: UDON Entertainment
A previous version of this article did not disclose that author Erica Friedman is the editor of this English edition of The Roses of Versailles, Volume 1. We apologize for this oversight and have made additions to clarify this piece.