The Duchess (real name: Danton) is the wicked stepmother and the main antagonist of the 1995 anime, Cinderella Monogatari, who later reformed after the shoe fit Cinderella.
The Duchess is married to a duke who is a wealthy ambassador. She has two daughters, Catherine and Jeanne, 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, fashionable, and sophisticated, but also quite mean, snobbish, opprobrious, conceited, defiant, lying, rude, cheating, sarcastic, persuasive, duplicitous, hypocritical, sanctimonious, extortionate, scornful, impolite, corrupt, arrogant, egotistical, and manipulative - she forces Cinderella to do endless chores and has no problem humiliating her stepdaughter. 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.
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's ring, which Cinderella was blamed for losing.
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 Jean don't fit in the slipper. But Cinderella, who was banished to her room, manages to fit the slipper, and she and Prince Charles are to be married.
The Duchess did do some nice this for Cinderella, she gave her the ring she misplaced even though the ring was fake. She let her rest when she had a high fever. She even let her go to the castle with her two daughters jean and Catherine, even though they were put to work as maids instead of princesses in training while they were in the castle. When Cinderella moved to the castle she and her girls made her a beaded head band and said they'll manage when she was making a list of the things in the kitchen along with the location. Showing this you can tell she reformed.
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 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, is redeemed, becoming one of Cinderella's coachmen (actually she is a coachwoman).