The Rose of Versailles / Lady Oscar
What it is and why I loved it:
The Rose of Versailles was known as Lady Oscar in Germany, and it's an anime about Oscar François de Jarjayes, youngest daughter of the commander of the royal guard. He is waiting for a son to follow in his footsteps and kind of loses his patience at his fifth daughter, so he raises her as a boy and makes sure she knows how to ride and fight and lead the guard. When Oscar is old enough, she joins the guard but soon finds herself torn between her loyalty to the crown (and in particular Queen Marie Antoinette) and the injustice she sees among the common people. Thrown into the mix are a few confusing romances, one epic (and brutally sad) love story and the French Revolution.
This anime was on German TV in the mid-90s, when I was around 12 or so, and I loved it. I loved the idea of breaking down gender stereotypes, I loved Oscar being a totally kickass woman who was involved with men and women and didn't care one bit what people thought of her. I also loved the "history" aspect of this anime - I knew a lot more about the French Revolution than was strictly necessary as a result of my obsession with this anime. It's not always accurate, but it did give the viewers the main points and adequately showed the reasons behind the revolution. To this day I'm a diehard Oscar/André shipper and I still hate the fact that they never got a happily ever after. [spoilery rant about the ending]I am still mad about the fact that Oscar and André both died within days of each other after finally, finally getting together. They got one night together and then it was over and it broke my little, twelve-year-old heart. But, you know, gotta hand it to the creators of it, because I still randomly think about it over twenty years later, so mission accomplished, I guess. So, Lady Oscar was my first real
[I had a poke around tumblr the other day and current ROV fandom seems to hate André? IDK, whatever. I mean, there was that one very questionable scene, but other than that he was okay?! Or maybe I'm remembering things with rose-coloured glasses. Whatever. Although I am glad that current ROV fans are totally on board the Oscar and the ladies train. Rosalie, anyone?]
The Main Players
Oscar François de Jarjayes
Oscar's father raises her as a boy. She grows up with André and once she's old enough, joins the Royal Guard (or whatever it was called). She is assigned protection duty for the then-crown prince's bride, Marie Antoinette. She has a strong sense of justice and over the course of her years at court is dissatisfied with a lot of the stuff going on there. She also occasionally struggles with her identity. Eventually Oscar decides to side with the common people against the aristocracy and dies. [When the anime starts, Oscar is around 14-15, and it ends with her death in her early 30s.]
André has been in love with Oscar since he could walk, probably. He is at her side for most of her life, and usually supports her with everything he has, but he's also very aware that she's part of the nobility and he is, essentially, her servant. André shares Oscar's sense of justice and becomes a soldier. (He is also blinded - first in one eye, but his sight in his remaining eye is fading, too - which is why he has his hair across half his face in the later years.)
Rosalie is the secret daughter of one of Queen Marie Antoinette's best friends, although she doesn't know it for a long time. When her adopted mother is run over by a carriage, Rosalie swears to kill her mother's murderer. She believes that to be Oscar's mother. Oscar stops Rosalie from killing her mother and, once she's listened to the story, attempts to help her. Rosalie definitely has a crush on Oscar. [And she survives! Yay!]
Arrives in the first few episodes to marry the future king of France, Louis XVI. Oscar is assigned as her bodyguard. At first she is like a silly little girl, but she soon feels how much the intrigue at court sings and learns to adapt. She feels unsatisfied in her marriage and sometimes makes stupid decisions. Oscar is her bodyguard and friend. [She also dies at the end, obviously.]
Count von Fersen
He's not really that important? Oscar falls in love with him, but he's in love/having an affair with Marie Antoinette.
What it is and why I loved it:
For those of you who've lived under a rock these last few decades, Knight Rider is an 80s TV show about a man and his car. The special thing about it: the man is an ex-cop named Michael who was nearly killed and the car is the Knight Industries Two Thousand (AKA KITT), basically a modified car that is armored and fitted with all kinds of technology. It also talks. Together, they solve crime and help people. They're supported by Devon Miles, Michael's boss, and Bonnie Barstow, the engineer responsible for KITT.
I remember being eight or so and watching Knight Rider with my dad, my mum and my brother. It was cheesy and ridiculous and pretty improbable (turbo boost, anyone?), but it was a lot of fun. For me, though, it's mostly the memory or enjoying this with my family. (To this day, when there's nothing on TV but a Knight Rider repeat, we'll watch Knight Rider.)
The Main Players
His name used to be Michael Long, but then he got shot, got some surgery (including a new face) and a new job, and now he's helping people together with KITT. Not only does he run into the Bad Guy of the Week in every episode, he also meets a new Love Interest of the Week, usually by saving her. *g*
KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand)
Pretty sleek, right? KITT is a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, thought of by Wilton Knight and then build by Knight Industries. He is armored and fitted with a number of weapons, computer systems, lasers and all sorts of other gadgets and gimmicks. He considers Michael, Devon, Bonnie (and April and RC*) his friends.
Devon is the head of FLAG (the Foundation for Law and Government) and Michael's (and Bonnie's) boss. He used to be a spy and is an overall badass, but he usually lets Michael do the heavy lifting on their cases, preferring to work in the shadows and supporting Michael with funds and technology.
Bonnie is the lead engineer on the KITT project and works with Devon and Michael on FLAG. She's responsible for keeping KITT running and improving his systems. She took a break from FLAG for a year to go to grad school and get her doctorate (and was replaced by April Curtis in season 2).
* April and RC. April Curtis was KITT's main mechanic in season two, stepping in to do Bonnie's job while Bonnie was at grad school. RC is a character from season 4 who sort of joins the team. He's a kind of vigilante (in a good way - he's trying to keep gangs away from his neighborhood) and has quite a bit of mechanical talent. He makes some improvements to KITT.
What it is and why I loved it:
Jurassic Park is the best dinosaur movie ever made. I was (nearly) ten when it came out and talked my mother into taking me to see it in the cinema. And it was awesome! (I think we all know what it's about, so I don't need to go into that, do I? But okay: InGen extracts dinosaur DNA from a fossilized mosquito and makes dinosaurs. They've put all the dinos on a Puerto Rican island and plan to open a theme park there. But before they can do that, their lawyers want the park ratified by "experts", so they hire paleontologists Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler and "rock star scientist" Ian Malcolm to visit the park. But one disgruntled employee disables the security system in an effort to steal some dino embryos to sell, and things go badly wrong. Dinosaurs escape, there's running and carnage. *cue iconic Jurassic Park theme music*
The Main Players
Dr. Alan Grant
Alan is a well-known and respected paleontologist and quite happy to dig for bones all day long. He's not very good with computers and has a general no-nonsense attitude. He's dating Ellie.
Dr. Ellie Sattler
Ellie is paleobotanist, meaning she specializes in prehistoric plants. She's pretty badass and has no time for men getting in her way.
Dr. Ian Malcolm
Mr. Rock Star Scientist. Basically, he's the one who lounges prettily with his shirt torn open. (No, he is a cool guy. But he does, in fact, lounge with his shirt torn open.)
The man behind InGen. He had the idea for Jurassic Park and is the driving force behind it. In fact, he spared no expense to make Jurassic Park the best theme park in the world. He didn't quite count on the attractions trying to eat the visitors... He's also a doting grandfather and ultimately tries to do the right thing.
Lex and Timmy
John Hammond's grandchildren. When things go pear-shaped, they end up in the wilderness of the park with Alan Grant and they bond a bit. They also kick some velociraptor butt.
Samuel L. Jackson
That's not the character's name, but I don't remember his name. He's the guy in charge of the tech division, I guess. He doesn't deal well with all the hacker bullshit and smokes one cigarette after the other. Dies.
The blood-sucking lawyer
His name is technically Gennaro, but he's everything you'd expect from a blood-sucking lawyer. Nobody has ever been sad to see him get eaten by the T-Rex.
The bad guy. He thinks he should be paid more, and since Hammond isn't forking over more money, he goes to the other side and makes a deal: a suitcase full of money for dinosaur embryos. He switches off several security systems so he can steal them, but an incoming storm stops him from reaching the last outgoing boat. Dies.