The Window of Orpheus

The Window of Orpheus (オルフェウスの窓, Orufeusu no Mado), also known as Orpheus no Mado or Das Fenster von Orpheus,[1] is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Riyoko Ikeda. It is a historical romance and was partially adapted into Takarazuka Revue musical in the title The Window of Orpheus - Story of Isaak.[2] But the entire story hasn't been adapted into musical. The manga series was published by Shueisha, first in weekly Margaret from 1975 to 1976,[3] then in monthly Seventeen from 1977 to 1981.[4]

The Window of Orpheus
Cover of volume 1
of Aizō version 1988 (4 volumes)
(Orufeusu no Mado)
GenreHistorical, Drama, Mystery, Gender Bender, Romance, Tragedy
Written byRiyoko Ikeda
Published byShueisha
DemographicShōjo, Josei
MagazineWeekly Margaret,
Monthly Seventeen
Original runJanuary 1975August 1981

The series was collected in 18 bound volumes. It takes place in Germany, Austria and Russia with the backdrop stories of the World War I and the Russian Revolution.


Riyoko Ikeda published her first long story The Rose of Versailles in 1973. The story had two main themes. One is the life of Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France. And the other is the love and the life of Oscar François de Jarjayes. These two themes were in resonance, and The Rose of Versailles got great popularity and success.

On the other hand, The Window of Orpheus has the three themes.[5] The one is the life and the love of another Oscar François, that is, Julius von Ahrensmeyer. The second is the story of music and the life of a musician (Isaak) which Ikeda truly wished to describe.[6] And the third is the historical romance in the Russian Revolution. Ikeda wrote the French Revolution in the Rose of Versailles, but she did not satisfy it.[7] She wanted to describe the deeper human drama in the background of another revolution.

Origin and development

Riyoko Ikeda had learned piano from her very young days. She had loved music and wished to become a professional musician. But she got aware that she hadn't talent. She gave up, but the passion for music has vividly existed through her life.[8][9]

In October, 1973, after completed the long story The Rose of Versailles on the Seventeen, she travelled to the Europe with her friend manga artists Toshie Kihara and Yōko Tadatsu (JA) for about one month or one and half months. They reached and stayed at an old city of Regensburg by chance.[10] There, Ikeda was inspired and visioned the stories of the music and romance which she could not fully express in The Rose of Versailles.

There were two obstacles in writing the first long story La Rose de Verailles. One was the editors of Margaret who asked and forced her to make Oscar a strong, high pride female protagonist. The true protagonist, the true "Rose" was Marie Antoinette though. And the other was the fact that the readers of Margaret were early teens girls. What Ikeda wished to depict was the adult human love and life, but the media Margaret did not allow it.[3]

Julius is apparently a feminine and sensitive aspect of Oscar François.[11][12] Ikeda did not want to weaken the themes of her manga arts. She calmly judged that Margaret was not proper media where she expressed and realized her true themes. She changed the media from Margaret to Seventeen. Ikeda firmly decided she would never compromise in her creation of the work.[3] Her decision gave birth the story The Window of Orpheus.


The story consists of four Parts. It encompassed over 30 years, from 1893 to 1924, where each part mutually covers the time. Through this four parts story, there are three major characters: Julius von Ahrensmeyer, a daughter of the aristocratic house Ahrensmeyer of the Kingdom of Bayern, Aleksei Mihailov (alias Klaus Sommerschmitt), a son of the Marquis House of the Russian Empire, and Isaak Gotthelf Weisheit, a genius pianist born in the common people.[13][14][15]


In the Autumn of 1903,[16][17] one boy comes to the Saint Sebastian music school as a transfer student in Regensburg, Bayern, Germany. His name is Isaak. Hearing a certain legend, he goes up the tower and stands in front of the old Window with curiosity. He looks down through the Window, and sees a person just walking. It looks like a girl at a glance, but that person is another transfer student, called Julius.

Next day, Julius hears the Legend from Isaak. The Saint Sebastian is all boys school, but Julius is a cross-dressed girl, not a boy. Thinking over the Legend, Julius looks up that Window. There is a person, and he sees Julius through the Window. It is Klaus, an upper grade student. Here, three persons, Isaak, Julius and Klaus (Aleksei) are combined through the legend. The window is called the Window of Orpheus.

The Legend

There is the legend since about 400 years ago in the Catholic Saint Sebastian school. It says if a man stands in front of the Window of Orpheus, and if he first sees a figure of a female through this Window, he will fall in love with that female. But it will bring pain for the love will end up like the tragic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Julius, Isaak, and Klaus are tied in the legend of the window. And there are other persons who are tied in this legend as well. In the shadow of the legend of the window, the four parts long story opens.

Part 1 - The Secret of the House Ahrensmeyer [18]

The stage of the Part 1 is Regensburg in the Kingdom of Bayern, Germany, 1903 to 1905.

Jilius is a girl, Her mother Renate was a concubine of aristocratic father Ahrensmeyer. Renate was abandoned by him when she had Julius. For revenge against the Ahrensmeyers, Renate gave her daughter a male name Julius and raised her as a boy.

After the death of Ahrensmeiyer's wife, Julius and her mother are accepted by the Ahrensmeyer house, since there are no other male children than her, Julius becomes an heir of the Ahrensmeyers. Julius learned piano from her early days, so she enters the Saint Sebastian school as a disguised boy, when she is 15.

Julius spends her school life with friends Isaak, Klaus and other students. But the legend of the Window casts the shadow to her mind since she is a girl, and she starts feeling a kind of love to Klaus, a manlike, yet mysterious student.

There are conflicts between the rich and the poor, the noble and the common. The Ahrensmeyers is the old aristocratic house. The newly rising merchant house Kippenberg is a rich family. The Ahrensmeyers is declining. Moreover, the strange and terrible events take place in the Ahrensmeyers in succession. There seem to be some secret in the Ahrensmeyers. It may have relation with the German Empire and Russian Empire.

Part 2 - The Road of Isaak as a Pianist [18]

Most of the secret of the Ahrensmeyers seems to be unraveled. But in the course of search, Klaus, the real name Aleksei Mihailov, suddenly disappears. Klaus returns to his homeland Russia. Julius, now having love to Klaus, follows him and goes to Russia. Isaak remains alone in Regensburg. But he is invited to the Vienna Music Academy and becomes a student of it. Thus the Part 2 begins.

The stage of the Part 2 is Vienna, the capital of Austria, 1907 to 1920. Protagonist of this part is Isaak Weisheit.[19]

In Vienna, Isaak meets various people. In the blessed environment, the talent of Isaak largely bloom. He happens to know a mysterious student Reinhard. Isaak hears the strange music which Reinhard plays. Reinhard composed this music when he was called an infant prodigy.[20] It seems to be impossible to play this music by piano. In fact, Reinhard himself damaged his fingers. But Isaak challenges this music.

Isaak debuts as an outstanding talent new pianist. Reinhard gives advice and warning. You should know what is the true art. Learning from Reinhard and Wilhelm Backhaus, Isaak opens a new frontier of music art. Isaak plays on stage with a Russian violinist Anastasia. But Anastasia is a member of the Russian revolutionary group. She tells Isaak a message from Aleksei (Klaus). Isaak marries Roberta who was once an acquaintance in Regensburg, a poor girl working in tavern, now a prostitute.

Isaak returns from World War I, but his fingers have got trouble and he cannot play piano. Isaak returns to Regensburg with his son Jubel. And when walking along old street, Isaak meets with a beautiful woman.

Part 3 - The Russian Revolution, Fate of Aleksei [18]

The stage of the Part 3 is mainly Sankt Peterburg and Moskva in Russia, 1893 to 1917. The story begins about 10 years before the three persons, Isaak, Julius and Klaus (Aleksei) meet in Regensburg, Germany in 1903.

In the Spring of 1893,[21] Aleksei is accepted to the Marquis house Mihailov after his mother's death. He meets his elder brother Dmitri who is a secret revolutionary, but also famous as a genius violinist. Aleksei learns the spirit of brave man and the passion for music from Dmitri. But Marquis Dmitri Mihailov is shot to death by betrayal.

Aleksei and Alraune, the fiancée of Dmitri, fled from Russia. But after the several years of joyous school life, his homeland and comrades call Aleksei back to Russia in 1905. At the Sankt Peterburg station, he sees Julius who follows him, but he dares to leave her. Julius is searching Aleksei in the vast white world, and happens to be involved in the riot and is shot. When she wakes up, she is in the gorgeous mansion of Marquis Yusupov. She is captured by him.

Aleksei and his revolutionary comrades are working for the new Russia. They establish the Soviet (the Committee), but revolusionaries are divided into Mensheviks and Bolsheviks. On the other hand, Marquis Yusupov realises that Rasputin is the enemy of Russia and the Royal House. Yusupov meets Aleksei, but he does not kill or arrest him since Aleksei helps his younger brother's life. Aleksei is captured by other trap, and sent to a hell jail in Siberia.[22] He is believed to be burned to death.

Anastasia was arrested in Vienna and sent to Russia. She is sentenced to be sent to Siberia. Bolshevik revolutionaries try to rescue her. But their plan is failed by Antonina's information. In the confusion, Julius meets again living Aleksei. However, Julius is in amnesia. She knows Aleksei, but she cannot remember all the other things. The Russian Empire is a melting pot of conspiracies and power struggles. Marquis Yusupov decides to assassinate Rasputin for the Emperor Nikolai II. On the other hand, Julius conceives a child of Aleksei. Now, Aleksei and Yusupov face the fates which will bring them the different last.

In the cold water of the Neva River, Aleksei remembers the Window of Orpheus. His body is shot by numerous bullets. In his last consciousness, he surely sees Julius... And Marquis Yusupov closes his eyes and sees the image of Julius in mind. He holds a pistol and says to himself: I made two mistakes in my life, but I never regret. Vera Yusupova leaves Russia with Julius. Vera keeps promise with her brother Leonid. They depart for Regensburg.

Kerenski grasps the power but he soon escapes from the Winter Palace, and the Bolsheviks win. Thus Vladimir Lenin declares their victory of the Revolution in November, 1917.[23]

Part 4 - Regensburg, Farewell Julius [18]

In 1920, Julius walks along to the Orpheus Window tower in Regensburg. There is an unknown man. It's Isaak. He looks at Julius. And the Part 4 starts here.

The main stage of the Part 4 is again Regensburg, Weimar Republic.

Maria Barbara has been trying to heal Julius. But Julius cannot remember anything. Isaak works in the downtown tavern. Isaak and David try to help Maria. Julius herself wants to recover her memories. But various trials all fail. One morning they read the newspaper article which says a certain unidentified woman[24] insists she is a royal princess of Russia, the youngest daughter, Anastasia. Julius goes to Berlin to meet a woman to know what she has forgot.


In Berlin, there isn't that woman. But Julius understands that the secret of her house is related with the large fortune which the Russian Emperor deposited in the German Imperial bank in secret. Julius knows the truth. And it was her end.



Julius Leonhard von Ahrensmeyer

Julius Leonhard von Ahrensmeyer (ユリウス・レオンハルト・フォン・アーレンスマイヤ) - Heir of the Ahrensmeyers. Though she is a woman, but her mother Renate raised her as a man. A student of the Saint Sebastian music school. Shining, beautiful blonde hairs. Sensitive woman. She kills a quack doctor Jahn by paper knife. But it gives her mental damage and makes her amnesia. Julius falls in love with Klaus (Aleksei). She knows someone try to kill the related people of the Ahrensmeyers. Who is and what reasons. There are secrets in the Ahrensmeyers. Julius hears the story from her sister Anelotte. Then, Julius leaves the Ahrensmeyer mansion and goes to Russia to follow Aleksei.

Aleksei Mihailov (Klaus Friedrich Sommerschmitt)

Aleksei Mihailov (アレクセイ・ミハイロフ) alias Klaus Friedrich Sommerschmitt (クラウス・フリードリヒ・ゾンマーシュミット) - Born as a second son of the Marquis house of Russia. Her mother was but a concubine of the former Marquis. He liked and longed for his elder brother Dmitri. Marquis Dmitri was a true genius violinist and a revolutionary activist. But He was betrayed and executed. Aleksei and Alraune, the fiancée of Dmitri, fled from Russia to Bayern, Germany, and he entered the music school under the pseudonym Klaus.There he meets with Julius. But he has the mission to do in Russia. It is his fate. Love to Julius or devotion to the future of his homeland Russia.

Isaak Gotthelf Weisheit

Isaak Gotthelf Weisheit (イザーク・ゴットヒルフ・ヴァイスハイト) - Son of a violinist of a low class tavern. Thanks to his talent, he can enter the Saint Sebastian music school. Isaak loves Julius. But Julius sees him as a friend. Isaak and his sister are fallen into poverty by the malicious pressure of Moritz. Isaak works in a tavern, where she meets Roberta. After the death of Friederike, he gets invitation to Vienna. He gets success as a pianist there, and experiences love with Amalie and Clara, and the marriage with Roberta. But everything is lost in the World of War. Isaak returns to Regensburg.

Main characters

Maria Barbara von Ahrensmeyer

Maria Barbara von Ahrensmeyer (マリア・バルバラ・フォン・アーレンスマイヤ) - Elder sister of Julius and Anelotte. Simple and sincere woman. After the death of their father, she is a de facto mistress of the Ahrensmeyers. Maria has been embracing the secret love for Mr. Wirklich, a music teacher, but he has a loved woman whom he met through the window of Orpheus long years ago, but unknown even her real name. Maria is about to be killed. But she survives and maintains the house.

Anelotte von Ahrensmeyer

Anelotte von Ahrensmeyer[25] (アネロッテ・フォン・アーレンスマイヤ) - Elder sister of Julius. Egoistic and conspiracy woman. She has the secret and seems to know the secret of the Aharensmeyers. She talks Julius the secret of their house, but is poisoned by Julius for what she has done.

David Lassen

David Lassen (ダーヴィト・ラッセン) - Senior student of the music school and a good friend and adviser of Julius and Isaak. David opposes the marriage of Isaak. He says you will lose everything if you marry Roberta. Later David helps Maria to heal Julius's heavy amnesia. His model is real David Bowie.[26]

Friederike Weisheit

Friederike Weisheit (フリデリーケ・ヴァイスハイト) - She is a younger sister of Isaak. She loves her brother Isaak. Because she is a step daughter of the parents of Isaak. Isaak knows this fact after her death.

Moritz Kaspar von Kippenberg

Moritz Kaspar von Kippenberg (モーリッツ・カスパール・フォン・キッペンベルク) - Youngest son of the Kippenberg house. He loves Friederike, but she rejects him. Moritz deprives livelihood means of Isaak and Friederike by the money power of the house Kippenberg to make her follow him and love him. Later, he gets aware that what he did was the worst. Several years later, when Moritz and Maria Barbara visit at Vienna for business purpose, Moritz meets Malwida who very looks like late Friederike. He loves her, though he has a wife and child in Regensburg.

Katharina von Brenner

Katharina von Brenner (カタリーナ・フォン・ブレンネル) - Daughter of the aristocratic house Brenner. A piano disciple of Isaak. Mild and brave woman. Katharina adores and loves Isaak. She tries to help Isaak and Friederike. Though she is a high class woman, she becomes a professional nurse.

Reinhard von Emmerich

Reinhard von Emmerich (ラインハルト・フォン・エンマーリッヒ) - Genius pianist. He composed a strange music when he dressed as a girl, played piano, and was called an infant genius. Isaak learns what is the true art from Reinhard. But he is shot to death by his younger step brother Wolfgang, a little boy, though Wolfie has adored Reinhard, but since Reinhard was in adultery with Wolfie's mother. The spin-off Collage is the story of Wolfgang and their descendants.

Roberta Braun

Roberta Braun (ロベルタ・ブラウン) - She is a poor, low class girl who works in tavern. Roberta loves Isaak in secret. Roberta is raped by a man who buys her from her alcoholic father. Later Roberta works in Vienna as a prostitute. Isaak marries her. The marriage of learned musician and former prostitute woman results in class difference tragedy. Isaak loses everything. However, Roberta leaves his child behind.

Alraune von Egenolf

Alraune von Egenolf (アルラウネ・フォン・エーゲノルフ) - A German woman. Alraune is a fiancée of Marquis Dmitri. After execution of Dmitri, she flees from Russia with Aleksei, a younger brother of Dmitri. And she trains Aleksei as a revolutionary. They return to Russia. But their revolutionary group is divided into two sects. Aleksei joins in the Bolsheviks, but Alraune doesn't.

Anastasia Krikovskaya

Anastasia Kulikovskaya (アナスタシア・クリコフスカヤ)

Leonid Yusupov

Marquis Leonid Yusupov (レオニード・ユスーポフ侯爵) - Calm and clearheaded career officer. Commander of the Imperial Guard Regiment. Nicknamed "Blade of Ice". True loyal subject of the Romanov. But he is also a warmhearted, sincere man. He captures Julius, but secretly loves her. Yusupov tries to maintain the Empire. He plans the military coup d'état with General Kornilov. But they are defeated. Historical Duke Yusupov who assassinated Rasputin is one of his model.

Vera Yusupova

Vera Yusupova (ヴェーラ・ユスーポフ) - Younger sister of Leonid.

Minor characters

Part 1

Renate von Ahrensmeyer (レナーテ・フォン・アーレンスマイヤ) - Mother of Julius. She planned the revenge against the Ahrensmeyers. She raised Julius as a boy. She is about to be killed by fire. Is it an arson by anyone. In the far past, she told a lie that her name was "Kriemhild" to a man whom she met in the window of Orpheus.

Gertrud Plank (ゲルトルート・プランク) - Maid of the Ahrensmeyers. Gertrud was an abandoned child. She is a freckle girl. She loves and adores a cross-dressed Julius. But she happens to know Julius is a girl. Gertrud is killed by dogs set by someone.

Jacob Schneberdingen (ヤーコプ・シュネーバーディンゲン) - Servant and cabman of the Ahrensmeyers. Jacob adores Anelotte. He has been working for Anelotte as a devoted follower. He is a shadowy man, who has the last key of the secret.

Gerhard Jahn (ゲルハルト・ヤーン) - Unidentified man. He works as a fake doctor, and helps Renate. But his target is the large fortune of the Ahrensmeyers. He has relation with the secret. Jahn is killed by Julius by accident.

Hermann Wirklich (ヘルマン・ヴィルクリヒ) - Excellent teacher of the Music school. Isaak learns many things from him. But Julius gets aware that Wirklich is about to kill her several times. Why. Has he any relations with the Ahrensmeyers' secret. In fact, Hermann has wanted to take vengeance upon the Ahrensmeyers, wishing to kill all the related persons. He has the serious and terrible reason. He dies with Renate by falling from the window of Orpheus. People think they are in shameful relation of adultery and commit suicide together. But the truth is different.

Heinz Frensdorf (ハインツ・フレンスドルフ) - School Principal of the Saint Sebastian school. A kind, old man. He talks everything which he knows to Julius before he commits a suicide. By his confession, Julius knows he was a real father of Countess Behringer.

Bettina Hansemann (ベッティーナ・ハンゼマン) - Fiancée of Moritz. Married with him. Frau von Kippenberg.

Imperial police officer (国家警察の男) - Name is unknown. He has been searching the secrets of the Ahrensmeyers. When Jahn is killed, he appears. 20 years later, when Jahn's relics is discovered, he again appears. He suggests various things. He knows the murder affair in which the family of Count Behringer was all killed. The Count was suspected as a Russian spy, and the father of Julius and the imperial soldiers went to arrest them. But there was resistance, and they killed Count Behringer and all the people in the house. But this is not true.

Part 2

Amalie Schönberg (アマーリエ・シェーンベルク) - Daughter of Professor Schönberg, who is a teacher of Isaak in the Vienna Music Academy. Beautiful but ambitious woman. Isaak once tries to love her and is disappointed. Amalie learns from Katharina how to live strong as a woman.

Ingrid von Seidelhofer (イングリット・フォン・ザイデルホーファー) - Eldest sister of Malwida and Clara. She has kept unmarried because she loves low class servant Anton. Anton says he hopes her marriage from his status as a servant. Anton but cannot forget her and he kidnaps a little son of Ingrid. The Gaiden is the story of Anton and this kidnapped boy Kies.

Malwida von Seidelhofer (マルヴィーダ・フォン・ザイデルホーファー) - Elder sister of Clara. Piano disciple of Isaak. She met a man in the Window of Orpheus. She falls love in. But this love brings her pain.

Clara von Seidelhofer (クララ・フォン・ザイデルホーファー) - Youngest sister among three daughters of the house. Very clever girl and good piano disciple of Isaak. She has trouble in foot. She has talent of music. She respects Isaak and has love to him. Isaak thinks she is possibly a music successor of him.

Wilhelm Backhaus (ヴィルヘルム・バックハウス) - Famous pianist. He gives Isaak very kind advice several times. He also raises the son of Isaak as a musician. The model is a real pianist Wilhelm Backhaus.

Part 3

Dmitri Mihailov (ドミートリィ・ミハイロフ) - Step brother of Aleksei.

Sergei Rostovski (セルゲイ・ロストフスキー) - Captain Rostovski. A loyal follower of Marquis Yusupov.

Adele (アデール) -

Antonina Kulikovskaya (アントニーナ・クリコフスカヤ) -

Aleksandr Strahov (アレクサンドル・ストラーホフ) - Head of Russian Music academy. Count Strahov is a husband of Antonina. Assassinated by Mihail Karnakov.

Ustinov (ウスチノフ) -

Shura (シューラ) -

Fyodor Zubovsky (フョードル・ズボフスキー) -

Galina (ガリーナ)

Mihail Karnakov (ミハイル・カルナコフ) -

Yuri Pleshkov (ユーリィ・プレシコフ)

Part 3 Historical characters

Rasputin (ラスプーチン) - Russian mystic monk who exerts influence in the court. In Ikeda's story, man of insatiable desire for power. The model is historical Grigori Rasputin.

Nikolai II (ニコライ2世) and Aleksandra Fyodorovna (アレクサンドラ・フョードロヴナ) - Tsar (Emperor) and Tsarina (Empress) of the Russian Empire. Tsarina Aleksandra deeply believes in Rasputin who heals her son Crown Prince Aleksei. Nikolai II is the last Emperor of Russia. Marquis Yusupov submits a cabinet to Imperial sanction in order to help the Empire. But Tsar Nikolai doesn't give. It brings the end of The Romanov Russia. Their Models are historical Nikolai II and Aleksandra.

Kerenski (ケレンスキー) - Leader of the Socialist Revolutionary Party. Enemy of Marquis Yusupov. He wins Yusupov and grasps the power, but is defeated by the Bolsheviks. The model is historical Alexander Kerensky.

Part 4

Structure of story

The Window of Orpheus has a bit complicated structure. The story consists of the four Parts. But from the contents of each part, it can be said that there are three independent stories. These stories are apparently assigned to each Part.

  • Story 1 : The Story of the Secret of the House Ahrensmeyer (Part 1, Part 4)
  • Story 2 : The Story of Isaak and the Music (Part 2, Part 4)
  • Story 3 : The Story of the Russian Revolution (Part 3)

Part 1 contains the prologue of the Story 2, and it contains the interlogue of the Story 3. And Part 4 contains both the epilogue of the Story 1 and the Story 2. And the Story 2 isn't finished here in the original plan.[27]

At the first vision of the author, it was the story of a pianist and the music.[11] That is, the Story 2 - Isaak and the Music was "the Window of Orpheus". The Story of Isaak and the Story of Russian Revolution have no relation. Aleksei was created to introduce the Russian Revolution. And Julius was formed to connect these situations.[28][29]

In the plan of the author, the story was scheduled to continue after the death of Aleksei and Julius. The son of Isaak, Jubel, would be a great pianist, and Isaak himself would be a grand master Composer in Vienna.[27] But Ikeda could not write these stories, and therefore The Window of Orpheus is her "Life Work".


The Window of Orpheus is one of the representative Japanese shōjo manga in 1970s. Another Ikeda's work The Rose of Versailles has had higher reputation and popularity. But according to one editor, Orpheus has a higher completeness than Versailles in the view point of the artistic achievement as manga story, including its picture quality.[30]

The 1970s is the epoch for Japanese shōjo manga from the various view points in cultural and social phenomena. The fruits of the Year 24 Group were ripened in this period, and the Japanese manga and subcultural industries themselves had largely developed and diversified in this epoch.[31]

20 Best Titles in 1970s Shōjo manga

Publication of Margaret comics

The manga series was published in 18 bound volumes in Margaret comics series of Shueisha.[32]

Vol.Subtitle [33]Subtitle (Japanese)PagesReleaseN [34]ISBNrefPartPb
01Futari no Tennyūseiふたりの転入生の巻185 +11976-0320227ISBN 4088502272refPart 1Mg
02Klaus no Himitsuクラウスの秘密の巻183 +31976-0420230ISBN 4088502302ref
03Carnival no Dekigotoカーニバルの出来事の巻180 +41976-0820247ISBN 4088502477ref
04Isaak no Shōrai wa...イザークの将来は…の巻182 +21976-0920251ISBN 4088502515ref
05Julius no Himitsuユリウスの秘密の巻188 +21976-1120259ISBN 4088502590ref
06Friederike no Shiフリデリーケの死の巻199 +31976-1220263ISBN 4088502639ref
07Kōchōsensei no Kokuhaku校長先生の告白の巻183 +31977-0120266ISBN 4088502663ref
08Mi mo Kokoro mo Koi ni Moete...身も心も恋に燃えて…の巻177 +31978-0120321ISBN 408850321XrefPart 2Sv
09Nengan no Debut念願のデビューの巻177 +31978-0220326ISBN 4088503260ref
10Yubi... ga Ugokanai指…が動かない!の巻177 +31978-0320329ISBN 4088503295ref
11Gekidō no Arashi no Naka de...激動の嵐の中で…の巻193 +31979-0120380ISBN 4088503805refPart 3
12Yureugoku Ai to Nikushimi...ゆれうごく愛と憎しみ…の巻209 +11979-1225448ISBN 4088504488ref
13Saikai wa Shitakeredo...再会はしたけれど…の巻205 +11980-0228460ISBN 4088504607ref
14Datsugoku Kekkō!!脱獄決行!!の巻179 +11981-0130543ISBN 4088505433ref
15Mō... Omae wo Hanasanai!!もう…おまえを離さない!!の巻177 +11981-0228552ISBN 4088505522ref
16Julius ga Haha ni...ユリウスが母に…の巻179 +11981-0830600ISBN 4088506006ref
17Yusupov-kō no Saigoユスーポフ侯の最期の巻177 +11981-0930607ISBN 4088506073ref
18Sayōnara Julius!!さようならユリウス!!の巻204 +21981-1030614ISBN 4088506146refPart 4
"Mg" indicates stories are published in weekly Margaret. "Sv" indicate stories are published in monthly Seventeen.

General publication

There are various versions of Japanese manga books of The Window of Orpheus. In Japanese, five real paper book series and one E-book series are known.[35] The manga series is also published in the languages other than Japanese.[36]

Japanese language

TitleSeriesFormPublisherReleaseVolumeCompleteISBN [37]ref [38]Remark
Orufeusu no MadoMargaret comicstankōbon [39]Shueisha1981 [40]18YesISBN 978-4088502274ref
Orufeusu no MadoAizōbanA5Chuokoronsha19884YesISBN 4-12-001640-4refPaperback
Orufeusu no MadoComic bunkobunkoShueisha19959YesISBN 978-4086170017ref
Orufeusu no MadoGirls RemixB6Shueisha20038YesISBN 978-4081064359ref(conveni-book) [35]
Orufeusu no MadoFairbell comicsbunkoFairbell200513YesISBN 978-4902026481ref(conveni-book)
Orufeusu no MadoAmazon KindleE-BookFairbell201418Yes-refE-Book

Other languages

LanguageTitleFormPublisherReleaseVolumeCompleteISBN [37]ref [38]Remark
EnglishThe Window of Orpheus(on-line)(private translation)--(uncertain)--(uncertain)
SpanishLa ventana de OrfeoPaperbackEdiciones Glénat España SL2008 [41]13maybeISBN [42]ref,
ItalianLa finestra di OrfeoPaperbackPlanet Manga200414Yes?ref, ref
IndonesianJendela OrpheusPaperbackPT Elex Media1996?18Yes?ref
Korean오르페우스의 창PaperbackCrew201218maybeISBN [43]ref, ref
VietnameseCủa sổ Orpheus(on-line)(private translation)??? [44]-ref(uncertain)
FrenchLa fenêtre d'Orphée(on-line)(private translation)--(uncertain)--(uncertain)

Notes and references

  1. In the front cover of each volume in the Bunkobon series (9 volumes, 1995), the following title appears: "池田理代子 オルフェウスの窓 DAS FENSTER VON ORPHEUS". This is, "Ikeda Riyoko, Orufeusu no Mado, Das Fenster von Orpheus".
  2. 『オルフェウスの窓-イザーク編』,Orufeusu no Mado - Izāku-hen.
  3. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.29.
  4. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, p.21.
  5. Ikeda says there were two themes, "music" and "revolution". But in contrast with Oscar, formation of Julius was also required. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, pp.31-32.
  6. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, pp.33-34.
  7. Ikeda says it is my "Representative work", but my "Life work" is The Window of Orpheus, (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.34.
  8. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.34-35.
  9. For this passion for music, Ikeda entered the Tokyo College of Music in 1995, when she was 47 years old, and after graduation she started her music activities as a classic vocalist. (ja) Ikeda Riyoko no Sekai, 2012, Long Interview p.23. As a result, after 1996, she was a story creator in her most stories, and the illustrators were other persons such as Erika Miyamoto (宮本えりか).
  10. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.26.
  11. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.31.
  12. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.33.
  13. Reference: the article in ja-wikipedia. 27 June 2019, thu., 20:49.
  14. Riyoko Ikeda Orufeusu no Mado, 9 volumes, 1995
  15. (ja) Isaak-fan Retrieved 27 August 2019
  16. The year or date when an certain event took place are not explicitly written in the original manga in general. The year or date are assumed by the context of fictional story, comparing with the real history. However, there are simple chronology of the story in the reference books such as Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten.
  17. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten, 2005, Nenpyō (chronology), pp. 114-117.
  18. These subtitles do not exist in the original manga. Editor of this article gave the proper subtitle to each part.
  19. Ikeda says that the original protagonist was Isaak. The Window of Orpheus was originally the story of Isaak. To add the story of the Russian Revolution, she introduced Klaus. And then, to connect Isaak and Klaus, she formed character Julius. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.31.
  20. Reinhard disguised as a girl child, since he is a son of the high rank house. He could not debut in his real identity. But his father valued his talent, so made him debuted under the different gender and girl name.
  21. The season and year are written in the original manga.
  22. Aleksei was scheduled to be sentenced to death. But Marquis Yusupov sent a petition to the authority. So Aleksei wasn't executed. Yusupov knew Julius and Aleksei were mutual lovers. Yusupov didn't want death of Aleksei for Julius.
  23. This is so-called October Revolution. The armed insurrection took place in Petrograd on 7 November in 1917. This day is "25 October" according to Julian calendar.
  24. This woman is Anna Anderson. When Ikeda wrote this story, it was uncertain whether she was really Royal Princess Anastasia or not. Now, it is known she was not Princess Anastasia.
  25. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten, 2005, p.61
  26. Acccording to Riyoko Ikeda. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.33.
  27. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.34.
  28. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.32.
  29. Ikeda says she first visioned the story of the all boys music school in Regensburg. But at the time, other manga artists planned and published this kind of stories, i.e. shōnen-ai manga, such as works by Moto Hagio and Keiko Takemiya. She should form Julius as a cross-dressed girl. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten 2005, Interview, p.31.
  30. Hikaru Fujihira (藤平光), who was an editor in charge of Riyoko Ikeda while she had been publishing The Window of Orpheus in Seventeen, says that Ikeda's picture style wasn't established when she published Versailles in weekly Margaret. After completed Versailles, Ikeda established her manga arts. In this view, The Window of Orpheus was the true masterpiece where the unique picture style and the depth of themes were perfectly realized. (ja) Ikeda Riyoko no Sekai, p.125 (Fujihira is a director of Hakusensha co. ltd. at the time).
  31. (ja) Watashi no Shōjo manga Shi, 2011, pp.141-143.
  32. (ja) Orufeusu no Mado, Margaret comics, 18 volumes, 1976 to 1981, Shueisha.
  33. Meanings of these subtitles are as follows: 1) Two Transfer Students, 2) The Secret of Klaus, 3) The Happening in the Carnival, 4) The Future of Isaak is..., 5) The Secret of Julius, 6) The Death of Friederike, 7) The Confession of School Principal, 8) Love Burning in Mind and Body, 9) Long-Wishing Debut, 10) The Fingers Trouble, 11) In the Violent Storm, 12) Shaking between Love and Hatred, 13) Though Met Again, 14) Breaking out of Prison, 15) I'll never Let You Go, 16) Julius becomes Mother, 17) The Last of Marquis Yusupov, 18) Farewell, Julius.
  34. Series number of the Margaret comics.
  35. In the table for Japanese, "conveni-book" means low-quality paperback books usually sold in convenience stores.
  36. References for all the entries in these tables are shown in the tables as the external links.
  37. This shows the ISBN of the first volume.
  38. References: Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  39. "tanōbon" here refers to a standard form of Japanese manga book, which is paperback, and size: ca.17.2 cm high, 11.2cm wide. There are various sizes by a publisher and date of publication, for instance, there is manga books whose size: ca.18cm high, 12.8cm wide, etc.
  40. Year of the last volume was releaeed.
  41. Year of the first volume was released.
  42. ISBN 978-8483575017
  43. ISBN 978-8925294568
  44. There are translation from Chapter 1 to Chapter 18. (note: Not Volume 1 to Volume 18).


  • Ikeda, Riyoko Orufeusu no Mado, Magaret comics (manga tankōbon), 18 volumes, 1976 to 1981, Shueisha
  • Ikeda, Riyoko Orufeusu no Mado, 9 volumes (bunkobon version, in Japanese), 1995, Shueisha
  • Ikeda, Riyoko Orufeusu no Mado Daijiten - Sonderausgabe zum 30-jährigen Jubiläum, 2005, Shueisha ISBN 4-08-782095-5
  • Ikeda Riyoko no Sekai - ASAHI Original 389, 2012, Asahishinbun Shuppan, ISBN 978-4-02-272424-3
  • Schodt, Frederick L. Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics, 1983, 2012, Kodansha USA, ISBN 978-1-56836-476-6
  • Konagai, Nobumasa Watashi no Shōjo manga Shi, 2011, Nishida Shoten ISBN 978-4-88866-544-5
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