First Impression: Requiem of the Rose King

Richard III by William Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers to have lived, has been loosely adapted in this anime. It follows the battle between two royal families, York and Lancaster, for the throne in Medieval England–a series of conflicts known as the Wars of the Roses. In this version, the two sons of the King of York, George and Richard, are proud of their father and want the war to end with him being the victor. As they grow up, Richard confronts the fact that his body is both male and female, while having nightmarish visions of a demon-like entity. This creature tells him he will be the cause of great bloodshed and many will despise him, but Richard doesn’t believe it.

His mother calls him a demon child because of his body, and she believes he is the reason for all their troubles. His father ends up winning the war, but Richard gets kidnapped by the price of Lancaster and held in prison. While there, he has (what I think is) another vision and meets Henry who is also dealing with nightmares. As the war comes to an end, Richard wants to find out if the prophecy of him being a threat to others is true.

Right away, the animation did not impress me and took time to get used to. I am not an expert nor do I know in detail how anime is colored and created, but I can say that I did not like what I was watching. The pacing was also not given enough time to breathe, as this episode could have at least been split in two. There was enough material to have gotten to know the characters, but instead it’s just one scene after another with little transition.

I can’t imagine that later episodes will fix these issues. The original play was much better, so I can only recommend it and not so much this adaptation. Too bad, because it could have been much better. As the original author said, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

You can stream Requiem of the Rose King on Funimation.


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