If you sit between two worlds, are you really part of either of them? Both will make their claims on you, no matter how you resist. Such is the uncomfortable place Oscar François de Jarjayes finds herself in at the end of episode three of The Rose of Versailles. Despite her desire to remain on the sidelines, watching the tense “duel of the ladies” from a happy neutrality, the news that Lady du Barry has, through the order of the king, acquired Oscar’s mother as her handmaid shocks Oscar and will eventually force her into the realm of female court politics (or so I presume).
But there’s more to it than the implied threat to Oscar’s mother…
This is the third in a series of three posts reflecting on the various roles of Utena Tenjou, the titular character of Revolutionary Girl Utena. These posts are adapted from an academic paper I wrote in Fall 2014. These posts assume the reader has completed the anime and thus contain spoilers. Citations will be noted in footnotes at the bottom of the piece.
Happily, the discussions of the previous two posts lead quite nicely into the topic of this final post. As you’ll see in the body of the post, I think Utena is such a tightly woven character that it is essentially impossible to discuss her heroism or role as the agent of change in the story without discussing the fact that yes, Utena is a girl. A girl prince.