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Manga / Requiem of the Rose King

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"Even Shoujo can be dark and gruesome."
— An Amazon reviewer, summing up the series
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Requiem of the Rose King (Baraou no Souretsu in Japanese) is a manga loosely based off of William Shakespeare's Henry IV and Richard III. It is written by Aya Kanno.


This series features examples of

  • Abusive Parents: Richard's mother hated him from the moment he was born and believes him to be the spawn of the devil. In contrast, Richard's father openly loves him and Richard is utterly devoted to him. His murder helps Richard's Start of Darkness
  • Actor Allusion: On the drama CD, Takehito Koyasu voices a manipulative British villain.
  • Actual Pacifist: Henry hates bloodshed and cries at the aftermath of battles. It's part of why Margaret is so openly disrespectful towards him.
  • Adaptational Heroism: This Richard is far more sympathetic than his play counterpart.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the play Elizabeth was portrayed as a sympathetic women who is ruined by Richard's ambition. In this she's a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who has married Edward as part of an elaborate scheme of revenge for her first husband's death at Yorkist hands.
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  • Alas, Poor Yorick: Richard kisses his father's decapitated head on the lips.
  • The Alcoholic: After drowning his sorrows too often, George became this by the eighth volume.
  • Arranged Marriage Multiple couples in the series have these Henry and Margaret, Anne and Edward, averted with the other Edward (York), who was supposed to have this but avoided it by eloping with Elizabeth
  • Bishōnen: Several of the male characters. Henry especially.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing /Femme Fatale: Elizabeth Woodville, who uses her looks to manipulate men and tries her best to appear sweet and vulnerable, when in reality she is anything but. Richard sees right through her act.
  • Dark Is Evil: Although not evil at first, Richard dresses up all in black and wears a clawed hand. Later on it begins to be played straight as he becomes more like his character from the play.
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  • Domestic Abuse: Margaret to Henry. It's never, ever Played for Laughs.
  • Doomed by Canon: Anyone familiar with the plays knows that quite a few characters won't be making it to the end. So far: Richard Plantagenet, Edward of Lancaster, and King Henry haven't.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: George does this as a way to cope with his jealously towards Edward and Richard's brotherly support for each other. He does it again when Warwick is crowned king after the latter promised George he would be king.
  • Eye Scream: At the end of Chapter 28, one graphic panel has a crow holding an eyeball in its mouth.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Much like the plays it's based on.
  • Intersex: Richard is this, rather than the hunchback he appears in the play.
  • Jerkass: Margaret of Anjou is an unpleasant individual and is nasty to just about everyone, but particularly to Henry.
  • Kick the Dog: Doesn't even begin to describe what Margaret does to Richard Plantagenet before murdering him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Jeez, Richard, you'll say and do just about anything to persuade people, won't you?
  • One-Man Army: After his Father's horrific murder at the hands of Margaret Richard joins one of the battles and slaughters almost every Lancastrian soldier he comes in contact with. It tips the battle in York's favour, and also signifies Richard's Start of Darkness.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There are so far at least four Edwards, two Richards, two Margarets, two Henrys, and two James's.
  • Peek-a-Bangs Richard wears his hair like this.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Considering its source material, this is all but inevitable for Richard.
  • Wars of the Roses: The series takes place in this time of English history.
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