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Manga / Honoo no Alpen Rose

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Alpen Rose (炎のアルペンローゼ・ジュディ&ランディ, Honoo no Arupen Rōze a.k.a. Blazing Alpen Rose) is a shōjo manga series created by Michiyo Akaishi. It ran in Shogakukan's Ciao from 1983 to 1986, later was gathered in nine short volumes, and then it was re-released during The '90s in four volumes. It's actually the only of Akaishi's mangas made into an anime, which was done in The '80s by none other than Tatsunoko Production - yes, THAT Tatsunoko - and reached quite the success in Europe and some Arabic countries despite flopping in Japan; it has music by Joe Hisaishi and designs by Akemi Takada of Urusei Yatsura and Kimagure Orange Road fame. The 20 episodes of the TV series would later be recopilated and mixed into two movies.

The main characters are two teenagers named Lundi and Jeudi. Lundi Cortot is a boy who lives in Switzerland with his aunt and uncle in 1932, few years before World War II; in these days, he and his family find a little girl in a dandelion plain, and they take her in alongside her cockatoo Printemps. Since she can't remember anything about her past, they rename her Jeudi and raise her for a while until she's taken in by a nearby store (manga) or a nursery school (anime).

Fast forward to 1939, few after the Austrian Anschluss and a little before Switzerland declares its neutrality. Lundi and Jeudi are already teenagers, but Jeudi is still amnesiac; her only clue about her identity is a song that repeats itself in her memories, whose name is apparently Alpen Rose. And then, a strange man named Count Germont appears and attempts to kidnap Jeudi! When she refuses to become his mistress and is pretty much locked in the castle as a maid, Lundi rescues her and they run away from home, setting out in a journey to find the answers to all of their questions, as well as falling in love in the process...

Honoo no Alpen Rose provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adapted Out: Toulonchamp's eldest daughter Madeleine didn't appear in the anime.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Jeudi, also a Protagonist Without a Past.
  • Arranged Marriage: Liesl and Johan. Also, Count Germont and Helene Durant. As a reply, Helen ran off and married Friederich.
  • Attempted Rape: Implied in the beginning of the manga. It wasn't the Count, actually, but the abusive new owner of the store Jeudi works in. She manages to run away and go to Lundi's home but his aunt and uncle don't take it seriously, so Lundi gives them a What the Hell, Hero?.
  • Body Double: After Helene is brought back to the Durant clan manse, a girl named Mathilda is taken in to pose as Alicia/Jeudi. It works mostly because Helene is pretty much blind as a consequence of her accident, and Matilda has exactly the same voice as Jeudi.
  • Bowdlerize: Not only Jeudi's original part-time work was changed from store attendant to prospect nurse to avert including the Attempted Rape incident, but her Disguised in Drag stint is totally cut out — likely to avoid showing how Liesl gets quite the Stupid Sexy Flanders over "Julian" as well as the two Unsettling Gender Reveals (and Liesl kinda being If It's You, It's Okay).
    • In the first Italian dub multiple scenes were cut, such as some on-screen violence (like Hans being shot) or the scene where Jeudi applies Intimate Healing to Lundi, but most importantly any reference to Nazism and World War II was completely removed, and as a result most episodes had around 10 minutes of foorage cut. A second dub was later done to rectify this.
  • Break the Cutie: Oh boy.
  • Bridal Carry: In Berne, Jeudi is using new shoes. They hurt her feet, so Lundi carries her like this.
  • Cain and Abel: Jean Jacques/Tarantula and Lundi.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: A limousine almost runs Jeudi and little Clara over, but they're safe in the end. Its owner and passenger is actually General Henri Guisan, who protects Lundi and Jeudi since he knew a woman whom he thinks she can be Jeudi's Missing Mom. (And she is, in the end.) Not to mention there's the role he'll have later...
  • Chekhov's Gun: The song Alpine Rose. It's one of Jeudi's few memories of her past life.
    • Even more: it's a song to honor La Résistance, since both Leonhardt's and Jeudi's parents were supporters of it and went against Those Wacky Nazis. And also it allows Jeudi to tell her mother Helene that she's her child, via singing it when she's about to be taken away from the Durant mansion.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: The two leads get together very fast. Their problem is actually staying together, considering what happens later...
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Both Jeudi and Lundi can be bad about it, though Lundi may be the worst of the two.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Count is allied with Those Wacky Nazis.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: The Count, to Jeudi. Johan, to Liesl - though he gets better almost immediately.
  • Coming of Age Story
  • Dance of Romance: Subverted, because Jeudi dances a waltz with the Count instead of Lundi. It's also plot relevant since it triggers her recovering one of her memories: dancing the waltz with an older man who turns out to be her Disappeared Dad... before her accident.
    • Played straighter in the OP of the anime, where she dances with both the Count AND Lundi.
  • Disguised in Drag: In the manga not only Jeudi has to crossdress, but at some point Leon has to do it too.
  • Diving Save: Jeudi saves a little girl name Clara like this.
  • Distress Ball: Chapter 17 of the manga has Leon as Germont's hostage.
  • Dub Name Change: Jeudi is named Julie and Lundi is called Stephane in both the French and original Italian dubs. In Arabic, Lundi is Hassan and Jeudi is Juman.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
    • Bittersweet Ending: The recopilatory movies finish right after Lundi and Jeudi finally get free from the Count... and right as World War II finally takes off. It's a full blown Happy Ending in the other Alpine Rose media.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The hitman Tarantula almost shoots the Count to death when he reveals his plans of building his ideal nation and asks him to kill General Guisan.
    Tarantula: The Germont I knew has just died to me right now!
  • Flower Motifs: Obviously, the Alpine rose (Rosa pendulina)
  • Gratuitous French: It's in the lead characters' names, as both of the protagonists are named after days of the week in French: "Lundi" is Monday and "Jeudi" is Thursday. The bird, Printemps, means "spring" (as in the season) in French.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Hans. Having repented after selling Lundi and Jeudi out, he tried to prevent the Count from getting to them and give them some info that he had just picked up... only to get shot In the Back by the Count himself.
  • Historical Domain Character: General Henri Guisan
  • Hospital Hottie: Jeudi is taken away to become a nurse in the anime. In the manga she was a store worker.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: The Count wants to do this to Jeudi
  • Important Haircut: Jeudi cuts her hair short in Berne, so she won't be recognized by the Count's henchmen.
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Martha
  • Intimate Healing: When an injured Lundi is about to suffer hypotermia, Jeudi strips both of them and lays next to him.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Robert
  • Impoverished Patrician: The Durant clan, by the time Jeudi meets them
  • Kick the Dog: The Count wanted to shoot Jeudi's pet bird Printemps down, and beats up Lundi when he interfers.
    • Also trying to foce Leonhardt (a supporter of La Résistance) to perform for the Nazis, under death threats.
  • Lady in Red: In the anime, Jeudi gets dolled up in a red dress when the Count abducts her to his Big Fancy House
  • Love at First Punch: Jeudi calls the Count out for trying to shoot her pet bird Printemps and beating up Lundi. He notices how brave and pretty she is and takes her to his castle.
  • Meaningful Rename: Lundi gave Jeudi her name since she couldn't remember her real one. Said name turns out to be Alicia, but almost nobody refers to her as such — save for Leon, Friederich and the Durant family.
  • Murder-Suicide: Invoked by Countess Francoise.
  • The Ojou: Liesl, who's a little childish and selfish but has a good heart underneath.
  • No Swastikas: Averted. An example is the cover for the DVD, as seen here.
    • And here as well. Which keeps triggering Jeudi's memories. It's never referred to as such, but as "the Black Cross".
  • Parental Abandonment: Jeudi's parents died in the accident that left her amnesiac. They actually didn't. Leon's parents, however, were killed by the Nazi.
  • Plucky Girl: Jeudi already was both sweet and outspoken, but fully starts to become this as she and Lundi are separated.
  • Promotion to Parent: Hans, who has to take care of his baby sister Clara
  • Proper Lady: Francoise, the Count's wife. She still goes "Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!" and helps Jeudi and Lundi to escape the castle.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Invoked when Leon uses his own "Nazi concert" to get away from Those Wacky Nazis with Jeudi AND give them the musical finger via inserting an anti-Nazi song in his "Austrian symphony". The Von Trapp family would be proud of you, son.
  • La Résistance: Leonhardt and his friend Heinrich are members of it. So were Leon's parents (and they die for it) and Jeudi's (who survive, but are broken)
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: The Count and Lundi. Obviously Lundi wins.
    • Also, Leon and Lundi. Again, Lundi has the ball on his yard.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Hans and Clara.
  • Smug Snake: The Count, as well as Arms Dealer Toulonchamp who is pressuring the Durants aka Jeudi's maternal family into supporting him.
  • Snow Means Death: In the manga, Toulonchamp's goons dump the injured Jeudi in the middle of a snowy and abandoned place, hoping she will freeze to death since she can't walk away due to her injured foot. She does her best but ultimately gets lost and then a snowstorm rages in. It turns out that a kind villager and his family found Printemps and then Jeudi just in time, taking care of her until Lundi and General Guisan come for her.
  • Snow Means Love: After Jeudi's aforementioned borderline Snow Means Death experience, she and Lundi share a hug in the snow.
  • Sole Survivor: Jeudi and Printemps. Subverted, they weren't alone in the end.
  • Spanner in the Works: Both Jeudi and her mother Helene were this. The first, via appearing in the Durant mansion and thus throwing a wrench in Toulonchamp's plans, which involved him having his own daughter Mathilda as his spy as well as Jeudi's Body Double; it goes double when, in the anime, she starts singing the Alpine Rose song when she's being taken away, letting Helene know the truth. The second, also in the anime, pulls this via crawling towards Toulonchamp in the middle od his Hostage Situation, and holding on his leg while he's holding Jeudi at knife point, distracting him enough to let Lundi pounce on him and setting Jeudi free.
    • However, Jeudi's dad/Helene's lover Friederich Brandel was the biggest one. The aforementioned Alpine Rose song? It was his most famous theme, and not only it doubled as a symbol of La Résistance but as his biggest token of love for Helene as they became Star-Crossed Lovers. Jeudi singing it to prove her identity to Helene totally undid all of Toulonchamp's plans in regards to the Durants, and before that it was one of Jeudi's few memories about her own past as well.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Some sources, including Anime News Network, translate the protagonists' names as Randy and Judy.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Count Germont, who wants to have Jeudi because she looks a LOT like a woman he loved in the past. Said woman? Her mother Helene, who rejected to get in an Arranged Marriage to him.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: As things get worse and worse, it seems the Universe itself is conspiring to give Lundi and Jeudi trouble. Specially when Lundi disappears when the train he and Jeudi have boarded to reach Austria is caught in a bomb attack, and Jeudi has to go to Austria alone.
    • Not to mention, Jeudi's parents Friederich and Helene. Friederich explains to Leon and Jeundi that he was already disliked by the Durant family by the time they got married since she was an Uptown Girl, and after she was wounded in their escape they took her back in but kept them separated.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In the manga Jeudi has to crossdress to go to Austria unnoticed, calling herself Julian. She does it so well that two girls find her boy self "handsome", and Liesle is quite infatuated with "him" too. (And she may have stayed infatuated *after* finding out.
  • Team Pet: Printemps, Jeudi's cockatoo
  • Those Wacky Nazis: They're pretty much in movement by the time the story begins.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Jeudi can't remember anything from her past, except the Alpen Rose song. She gradually recovers her memories, and it's a HUGE Tear Jerker when she finally can remember the accident, that her name is Alicia Brandel, and the sight of her mother Helena covered in blood.
    • Also, Mathilda claims to have this to cover up that she isn't the real Jeudi and therefore doesn't know the lyrics to the Alpine Rose song.
  • Tsundere: Leonhardt Aschenbach is a male Type A.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Leon, to Jeudi. Or better said, to Alicia - that is Jeudi's real name, and he refers to her as such.
  • We Used to Be Friends: General Guisan and Jeudi's grandfather Jacques were Vitriolic Best Buds as youngsters, always squabbling but always by each other's sides. They grew apart when Guisan helped Helen run away from her Arranged Marriage, and as a consequence Guisan wasn't able to help the Durants when they fell into Toulonchamp's paws.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Martha slaps and berates Hans for ratting out Lundi and Jeudi to get money for Clara's medicine.
  • Yodel Land: Both Switzerland AND Liechtenstein are included in this.