Drawing from the Shakespearean History Plays Henry VI and Richard III, the ongoing adaptation of Aya Kanno’s shojo Requiem of the Rose King follows the story of young Richard Plantaganet throughout the War of the Roses. Mirroring its Shakespearean influences and their own historical sources, Aya Kanno’s story takes bold creative liberties with the established history; the most striking of which being the depiction of Richard Plantagenet as intersex.
However, Requiem of the Rose King offers a more psychologically-nuanced and problematic account of this identity by focusing on the alienation Richard experiences and internalizes. From its introductory episodes, the adaptation lays this groundwork through a maze of visual and atmospheric effects which distort the narrative, entangling history within Richard’s own increasingly chaotic interiority. Reminiscent of