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Mangaka Riyoko Ikeda Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Her Debut

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Riyoko Ikeda is known for her “Berusaiyu no Bara” (The Rose of Versailles) and “Orufeusu no Mado” (The Window of Orpheus) series.

Aiko Komai reports: This year, veteran mangaka Riyoko Ikeda — who is known for her “Berusaiyu no Bara” (The Rose of Versailles) and “Orufeusu no Mado” (The Window of Orpheus) series — celebrates the 50th anniversary of her debut.

An English-language edition of “Berubara” — short for “Berusaiyu no Bara” — will be published for the first time this summer. What is the driving force behind this 69-year-old artist, also known for her parallel career as a vocalist, and also her continued engagement with various creative works?

“Berubara,” a long-selling series about the upheaval in the run-up to the French Revolution, currently appears in Shueisha Inc.’s Margaret magazine on an irregular basis under the title “Episode.” The latest one is about Marie Antoinette’s involvement with talented watchmaker Breguet.

©Ikeda Riyoko Production The cover of the first volume of “The Rose of Versailles 1972-73 (deluxe limited edition)” published by Fukkan.com ©Ikeda Riyoko Production The cover of the first volume of “The Rose of Versailles 1972-73 (deluxe limited edition)” published by Fukkan.com

©Ikeda Riyoko Production The cover of the first volume of “The Rose of Versailles 1972-73 (deluxe limited edition)” published by Fukkan.com 

Ikeda and Breguet share something in common, in that they are both Chevaliers of France’s Legion of Honor. “I didn’t know how great an honor this was until I studied the life of Breguet,” Ikeda said with a smile.

Ikeda’s work is highly regarded in Japan and has also enjoyed overseas acclaim. This is despite her actually starting out in manga merely to “earn her bread and butter.”

“I was reticent around people and looking for a job I could do ensconced in the security of my own home,” she said.

After paying her dues for several years, Ikeda made her debut in 1967 with “Barayashiki no Shojo” (A girl in a rose mansion). Five years later, she began work on “Berubara.”

Ikeda has her own perspectives on Marie Antoinette, based on the texts of Stefan Zweig, which she read while in high school.

“Antoinette is not the villainess she is often portrayed as, but rather a tragic woman in the sense of both the family into which she married and the time in which she lived,” she said.

Characters such as Oscar, a woman who dons men’s attire to guard Antoinette, and Andre, who falls in love with Oscar, are also popular. Oscar is modeled after an actual head of guards who eventually sided with civilians during the revolution. … (read more)

via The Japan News

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