Growing up in a fractious household in working-class Brooklyn, my mother dreamt of living in France, of experiencing “civilization.” As for myself, molded by the gloomy obsessions of the adults around me, I sought refuge as a child in a Japanese anime titled Lady Oscar, and its story of a woman forced into the role of military officer for the royal guard at Versailles.
Very personal in tone, A Bloody Song examines the enduring mystery of “time travel”, leading from an adult’s awakening into the enchanted world of childhood and back again. It explores the major themes and imagery in the celebrated anime Lady Oscar and comments on those of The Rose of Versailles, the manga it is based on. The essay also proposes to examine these motifs through a comparative study of Nobel-prize winning Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day.
Divided into eight distinct parts, or themes, A Bloody Song offers a glimpse into the rich, ancient culture and literature of Japan via one of its most famous animes and mangas. In this way, it aims to elucidate the adult themes concealed within the dark, fairytale realm of a cherished girlhood series. My main reason for revisiting this world is this: to save a favourite animated character from feeling abandoned. As I once did. As we all sometimes do.