The following contains spoilers for Requiem of the Rose King Episode 17, “Because God Chose This Bloody Demon,” now streaming on Funimation.
Religion plays a huge role in Requiem of the Pink King. Richard’s mother demonized him for being intersex, calling him a sin in the world and believing his death would be the only way to atone. Henry was a devout Christian, often seen praying in church when he should have been concentrating on being a king, much to everyone’s chagrin. Although Richard is not a religious man by definition, he was heavily influenced by the concept of God and demons in his rise to the throne.
In the first court of Requiem of the Pink King, Richard believed he could never touch the light, the crown, because of who he was. The second courtyard is considerably darker, with Richard coming to terms with his “demon” side to get what he wants. Still, too many people doubt him, but Richard crushes dissent in the most unexpected way in episode 17.
With the help of Catesby and Buckingham, Richard gets rid of his last obstacles: using the basis of legitimacy, Elizabeth’s sons are not heirs to the throne because their father had already been married to another woman before her. . Even though Richard is the rightful heir to the throne, there are still whispers around him caused by Cecily spreading rumors in the kingdom. But Richard and Buckingham have a plan that will not only win him a lot of supporters but also upset Cecily: Become God.
Richard plays the role of God perfectly; it’s an interesting dichotomy in the scene as he prepares. He stands before the cross, somewhat naked except for the bandages wrapped around his chest, but with his left arm still bearing the affliction that marks him as a demon. It’s ironic because while his mother is telling the surrounding citizens that her son was not made in the image of God, he is making himself into God.
As he stands before the people, Richard acts as a humble and serious heir to the throne – the very image of a king chosen by God. As someone who usually wears black, Richard in white is a startling sight to behold. That said, it’s only fitting that he wears white as he confesses he wants to be the light that shines on the world. It feels genuine because it was something he never had when he was young.
As Richard heads to the throne room to be crowned, he remembers everything leading up to this moment. From birth, he had been told that his birth symbolized the advent of an era of misery and misfortune. When he kneels to accept the crown, all the people he killed to get here appear behind him – a rather interesting subversion. Normally an image like this would be portrayed in a much darker way, like a throne sitting on a mountain of corpses. Instead, it seems like everyone Richard killed blesses him.
The divine right of kings states that monarchs are chosen by God, but Richard essentially strength God to choose him, the demon. Or in more precise terms, in his embrace of his demonic self, Richard rejected God and chose to take his fate into his own hands. But to everyone, it looks like God chose a worthy man — when in fact a demon was chosen.
Episode 17 of Requiem of the Pink King uses a game within a game – a structure also used in Hamlet to allow the titular character to expose his uncle’s guilt. The play played at the end of this episode is used to foreshadow and threaten Richard. The actor portraying Lucifer sits on the throne of God, and the meaning couldn’t have been clearer. At the very least, it’s mocking and lets Richard know that “Lucifer” knows there’s a demon lurking behind that mask of God. But he also acts as a threat: if he’s not careful, another demon will take over the throne.
Requiem of the Rose King: How to Get Started with Anime and Manga