Manga review

This’s the review for the version’d been pulished in Vietnam


The Rose of Versailles (Berusaiyu no Bara), also known as Lady Oscar was created by Riyoko Ikeda. The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Margaret Magazine in 1972. It was published on 24-05-1982 and contains 10 volumes, in Japanese, of course.1981, the first two volumes of this manga were translated in English. Then soon, the manga had been translated into many languages and arrived to many countries: France, Italia…and became one of the most influential manga ever. 2002, “The Rose of Versailles” arrived to my country, Vietnam, with the name Hoa hồng Véc-Xây.

Manga was introduced into Vietnam since 1992, the first manga is Doraemon, a komodo (manga for children). Somehow, it gave everybody the notion that manga is for children only. And when other genres of manga arrived to Vietnam, like shoujo (manga for teen girls and older), content some romantic scenes, were opposed, including “The Rose of Versailles”.

2002, the first time I read “The Rose of Versailles”, I was fifteen. I don’t remember the first feeling when I kept the book on my hands. But now, when I took it again to write this review, I can say, this edition sure had been designed for children. With the small size 11,3 & 17,6cm, and the colorful cover paperback, I don’t think any manga collector would put it on the shelf. But there’re no manga collector in Vietnam at that time and even now. And I have to say, the design doesn’t look very luxurious, but it doesn’t bad compare with other manga.

The cover was colored by computer and looks really beautiful, the publishing house left several auxiliary pages to introduce the story, which they had never done before. I take that as a progression.

“The Rose of Versailles” was published by Kim Đồng, one of the biggest publishing houses in Vietnam. The pictures were reversed to be suitable for reading culture of Vietnam, and most of the characters’s name were transcribed. Example: Marie Antoinette = Mari Antoanét, Oscar = Ôscan…For me, I don’t like that, sometimes it sound funny, so funny that make people feel uncomfortable. Well, that’s the way they edit all the manga many years ago anyway, not only “The Rose of Versailles”.

They wrote in the book that they translated the manga from Japanese. I don’t know Japanese, but compare with the Italian version, it seem very close. The only thing I don’t like is, the literary style sound too old, I read the manga but I though I was reading Shakespeare’s drama. They thought the story of “The Rose of Versailles” is about France at 18th century, therefore the dialogues must be old? But other manga were published by Kim Đồng have the same problem, perhaps that’s their style.

And this manga, also has the problem that every shoujo manga have as publishing in Vietnam, at the early years of 21st century: almost every “hot” scenes (or at least they thought it is “hot”) had been cut. I can understand that, like I said, Vietnamese thought and now still thing, manga is for children. There’s no surprise when they cut those “romantic” scenes.

The first shoujo arrived to Vietnam is “Sailor moon”, and there’re some kissing scenes in there. If I remember well, there’re no thing more, only kisses. But some newspapers had mention it like evil influences with “children”. And after shoujo manga impetuous arrived to Vietnam, with several scenes hotter than kissing. They weren’t only mention, they wrote articles, warning parents never let their “children” read or even touch manga.

And to be survived, the publishing houses decided to cut those scene. Good new is, after the Berne Convention (Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works) had been signed in Vietnam in July 26th 2004, they are not usually do that again, except with the scenes extremely hot. Bad new is, they signed it after had published “The Rose of Versailles”, so “The Rose of Versailles” fans in Vietnam, are still not have a chance to have an edition familiar with the original Japanese version.

I’ve said before, I can understand why they cut those romantic scenes, even how disappointed I am, I can understand. (Honestly, I really want to have an edition contents the scene between André and Oscar, in the “night of passionate vows” ^^ ) But You know what’s the funniest thing? They cut the hot scenes, but not really cut them…Hmm, I mean, the scene Alain kissed Oscar, is about 3 pages, but they cut one page. What did they do that for? And I can’t understand why they cut other scenes, which aren’t hot or violent. Like the scene Rosalie was practicing with Oscar, or the scene Antoinette was being on trial…?

The Japanese version contents 10 vols, but the Vietnamese version contents 13 and they also cut the part about Loulou. In one Vietnamese vols, there’re 138 pages. With 13 vols, there’re about 1794 pages, while the Japanese version is more than 1830 pages (not including the part about Loulou). So I guess they did that because, they tried to put the same number of pages in every vol, and tried to end the whole manga at vol 13. Again, I have to say, they did that with all the manga at that time, not only “The Rose of Versailles”. Fans of manga in general, and fans of “The Rose of Versailles” in particular in Vietnam, are really disadvantage.

In summary, the Vietnamese version of “The Rose of Versailles”, hadn’t been translated and edited good enough for a best-known shoujo like that. In my opinion, the publishing house didn’t appraise this manga as its true worth.



10 thoughts on “Manga review

  1. Hahahaha I think it’s not only in vietnam, in Indonesian version there’s also some ‘hot’ scenes are cut. For example, the scene where andre ripped oscar’s shirt. So the next scene is when Oscar hold her blanket to cover her ripped shirt. When I read it, I was confuse what happened before… 😀

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