The Duchess (known as Danton) is a character, a wicked stepmother and a former antagonist plus a supporting character of the Japanese anime/animated series, The Story of Cinderella.
The Duchess is married to Cinderella's father, The Duke who is a wealthy ambassador. She has two daughters, Catherine and Jeanne (numerous to Anastasia and Drizella), and owns a cat named Misha. She is also the stepmother of the Duke's daughter Cinderella. She loves her daughters, but isn't fond of her stepdaughter.
The Duchess is elegant and sophisticated, but also quite mean, snobbish, and hypocritical and at the end of the twenty-sixth and final episode, A Happy Marriage, she is good-hearted, lovely, motherly and kind.
She forces Cinderella to do endless chores and has no qualms in humiliating her and making her life unbearable and miserable, as her whole existence is centered on herself. Despite her meanness, the Duchess rarely yells. Her goal is to get one of her daughters to marry Charles, the crown prince of the kingdom they live in.
Role in the series
When Cinderella's father, the Duke, has to leave on a long trip, Cinderella is left alone with the Duchess, Catherine, and Jeanne. The Duchess banishes Cinderella to the attic and makes her wear rags. Then the Duchess and her daughters make Cinderella do all the housework.
The Duchess finds ways to embarrass Cinderella. She gets a horse to chase Cinderella. She also gives away Cinderella's mother's doll as a substitute for money (though Cinderella does eventually get it back). Cinderella is even forced on a wild goose chase to recover the Duchess' ring, which Cinderella was blamed for losing the object.
Cinderella falls in love with Charles, who disguises as a commoner to go into town. Eventually, the time comes for the ball. Cinderella manages to find a dress, but the Duchess and her daughters make fun of it and proceed to rip up her invitation. Cinderella does end up going to the ball with the help of her fairy godmother Paulette. When Cinderella loses her glass slipper, the Duchess seeks the opportunity to get one of her daughters to win over the prince. Of course, Catherine and Jeanne don't fit in the slipper. But Cinderella, who was locked in her room, manages to fit the slipper, and she and Prince Charles are to be married.
After this, the Duchess changes her mind about Cinderella. She, Catherine, and Jeanne make peace with Cinderella, who invites them to her wedding. The Duke returns as well and sees that his family has made peace.
- The Duchess bears numerous similarities with Lady Tremaine, the stepmother in Disney's 1950 animated film, Cinderella. Both have cats, both are aristocratic, and both are rather cold.
- However, unlike the Duchess, Lady Tremaine remains evil even after her stepdaughter wins over the prince, and Misha, the Duchess's cat (that was numerous to Lucifer), is reformed, becoming one of Cinderella's coachmen (actually she is a coachwoman).