Considered one of the first feminist icons, “Lady Oscar” made her first appearance on Japanese screens on October 10, 1979. Her character immediately presents herself in all her disruptive being, upsetting the canons of the cartoons of the time and bringing new themes. such as sexual identity and prostitution. She arrived in Italy in 1982 and was immediately subjected to strong censorship. The adventures of Lady Oscar end on July 14, 1789, when she, weakened by the first symptoms of consumption, the protagonist dies, during the turmoil of the assault on the Bastille. From manga to tv series
Known in Italy for the television series, Lady Oscar was born in Japan as a manga. Conceived and written by Riyoko Ikeda, the adventures of Lady Oscar were serialized in magazines from 1972 to 1973 and then collected in tankĊbon. Only later were the 1975 film, directed by Jacques Demy, and the animated television series that we all know. In Italy, as well as in other European countries, the success of the work was in fact determined by the broadcast in 1982 of the television series, for which the international title Lady Oscar was used. Lady Oscar
Born a woman, but raised by her father as a man, Oscar Francois de Jarjayes immediately made people talk about his ambiguous sexual identity, becoming one of the most modern characters in cartoon history. With her proud bearing and her blond hair blowing in the wind, Lady Oscar has subverted the stereotypical female image of the cartoons of the past and brought the theme of independence, like that of sexual identity, to the center of the story. History
The series is set in France, in the last years of the ancien regime, and tells in detail the life in the court of Versailles and the years of the revolution of 1789. In 1770, the young Marie Antoinette of Austria comes to court. She acts as an escort in every one of her outings by Oscar Francois de Jarjayes, her noble age and commander of the Royal Guard, who has been raised as a man since she was a child. A strong friendship immediately arises between the two. Oscar attends the meeting between Marie Antoinette and the Swedish count Hans Axel von Fersen, with whom both women end up falling in love. Inspired by a true story
Lady Oscar’s story is inspired by that of Marie-Jeanne Schellinck. Disguised as a man, the woman enlisted in the French army around 1792 and fought in the battle of Jemappes. On November 10 of the same year she was appointed second lieutenant and she left the military service only to marry her lieutenant. She fought with him again until 1808 when she then retired to Lille. Lady Oscar’s name is also true as it is inspired by that of Francois Augustin Reynier de Jarjayes. It is a count, a brave knight who tries to save the royal family during the revolution and to make the queen escape. The censorship
Also to this anime, as happened to most of the Japanese cartoons brought to Italy, a severe censorship has been applied. Especially with regard to the scenes that touched on themes such as homosexuality, prostitution and sex. For example, the scene in which Rosalie offers herself to Oscar for some money has been censored. In the original version, to this gesture, Oscar responds laughing and confesses to her that she is a woman and therefore cannot do what he asks of her. However, he offers her a coin, begging her not to make such a gesture again. In Italy, however, Rosalie asks for some money for her sick mother and the moment when Oscar laughs has been cut.

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