|“||I wonder if a story exists there ...||„|
|~ Hortense and Violette|
Hortense & Violette (Princess of Hydrangeas & Princess of Violets) are two main characters of the album Roman. They are dolls that serve as assistants and companions to Hiver Laurant in upholding the balance of life and death, and travel through different worlds in search of his story. Their speaking voices are provided by Yukari Tamura and Mamiko Noto, while their singing voices are provided by YUUKI and KAORI respectively.
As implied in the songs, Hortense and Violette are named for their respective flowers. Although hydrangea come in various colors, the June rain in Japan is notably heralded by the blooming of the blue flowers, with the color deepening throughout the rainy season.
Hortensia have come to mean a number of things: boastfulness, vanity, sincerity, and gratefulness. Violets often convey positive meanings in the language of flowers, such as faithfulness and modesty.
Hortense and Violette are twin dolls, almost completely identical in appearance. Their clothes may be described to be in the gothic Lolita style: both dolls wear ruffled white blouses, dark jackets, flared skirts, black stockings and boots with headbands to match.
The dolls also differ in physical appearance on a number of points: for one, Hortense's clothes follow more of a blue, sometimes blue-green color scheme while Violette's are purple. Their eyes are similarly colored. Hortense bears the marking of the sun on her left cheek, while Violette possesses one of a moon on her right cheek. Hortense's hair is also cut straight across her forehead while Violette's bangs are swept to the side.
The two dolls make an appearance in all of the songs on Roman as well as a few other extra songs, although they only sing in three of them. The stories that they discover on their journeys come to comprise the contents of the album.
Asa to Yoru no Monogatari
|“|| On the right hand side is the violet princess, Violette... and...|
On the left hand side is the hortensia princess, Hortense...
|~ Asa to Yoru no Monogatari (The Story of Morning and Night), 5th Story Roman.|
Hortense and Violette appear in the first song alongside Hiver Laurant, singing of searching for the meaning of life and death. Hiver expresses his desire to find a "Roman" or a story leading to his birth, and sends Hortense and Violette to travel in his stead.
Several symbolisms are introduced in this song that will be repeated throughout the album, such as Hortense being associated with the sun, hortensia flowers and life, and Violette by the moon, violet flowers and death.
This song is the first to be found by Hortense, although it is worth mentioning because the two dolls make an appearance here.
|“|| So that you won’t be lonely by yourself, I place the 《Twin Dolls》[la poupee] by your sides|
I send you, never waking, off with a small coffin as a cradle…
Swaying with happiness is the 《Violet Flower》[Violette], drenched in sadness is the 《Light Blue Flower》[Hortensia]
I give you, never to be born, this song that someone weaved…
|~ Honoo (Flame), 5th Story Roman.|
The two dolls that the mother buries with her stillborn child appear to be Violette and Hortense, thus the child is presumably Hiver. The live performance seems to confirm this as at the end of the song, Hiver comes up to take the two dolls placed at the grave.
The second song to be found by Hortense is also worth mentioning as the dolls make another brief cameo in the song.
|“||Her chin resting on her hand…a sigh…the daughter of a doll maker…the 《Twin Dolls》 standing on the windowsill…||„|
|~ Norowareshi Houseki (The Cursed Gem), 5th Story Roman.|
Hortense and Violette appear with Noël while she waits for her brother, Hiver, to return. Although she is mentioned as the daughter of a doll maker, the manga portrays Noël as the creator of the dolls herself.
Hortense and Violette are heard to be answering Michèle Malebranche, saying "Oui, Madame," in the same manner that they had addressed Hiver. The dolls pose the same question about whether there is a Roman to be found there at the end of the track.
The song itself is mainly a remix of Asa to Yoru no Monogatari, although the ending dialogue in Yaneura Roman by Hiver and the two dolls are repeated. Hortense and Violette are introduced as "broken dolls" and sing in a more mechanical manner, reflecting their deteriorated appearance on the cover.