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YMMV / Belladonna of Sadness

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  • Anvilicious: The film bangs viewers over the head with its message about female liberation, culminating in a final sequence showing women leading the French Revolution.
  • Awesome Art: There's no denying the level of effort and skill that went into the animation; even the still pans are beautiful works of watercolor and ink. Take a look at some of it.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Complete Monster: The nameless baron represents the worst excesses and cruelties of the nobility. When Jeanne cannot pay the exorbitant fee for a wedding, the baron rapes her and allows his courtiers to rape her as well. Taxing the people into starvation, the baron tortures his tax collectors for not taking in enough, including Jeanne's husband Jean, whose hand he removes. When he finds his wife sleeping with a Page, he kills them both, while also growing jealous of Jeanne's growing power and influence as a witch in curing The Black Death. When Jeanne refuses his overtures, he angrily orders her burned at the stake.
  • Cult Classic: Among alternative anime fans.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The baron is a despicable rapist who ends up as an absolute Karma Houdini (unless you count The French Revolution being a thing), the Devil is also a rapist who corrupts Jeanne into selling her soul to him, Jeanne herself is relentlessly victimized throughout the entire film, and Jean is a Dirty Coward who ultimately ends up working for the Baron in setting his own wife, Jeanne, up to be killed.
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  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Became popular among American arthouse audiences after it was rereleased on Blu Ray in 2016.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The "witch hand sign" which appears all over the film is nowadays most frequently associated with German chancellor Angela Merkel, who often does the exact same hand sign.
  • Vindicated by History: A financial flop on release, the film has gone on to become a Cult Classic.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The film comes across as this with its surreal imagery, makes The Holy Mountain look like a low-key work of stone-cold sobriety. It is also what got Kunihiko Ikuhara interested in working in anime, and its influence is obvious in Revolutionary Girl Utena.

Alternative Title(s): Kanashimi No Belladonna


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