Revolutionary Girl Utena

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Revolutionary Girl Utena
UTENA newtype.jpg
Cover of the Newtype artbook Newtype Ultimate Collection.
少女革命ウテナ
(Shōjo Kakumei Utena)
Genre Psychological, Drama, Magical Girl, Yuri
Manga
Written by Chiho Saito
Published by Shogakukan
English publisher
Demographic Shōjo
Magazine Ciao
Original run 19961997
Volumes 5
Anime television series
Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara
Written by Yōji Enokido
Studio J.C.Staff
Licensed by
Hanabee Entertainment
Network TV Tokyo
English network
Original run April 2, 1997December 24, 1997
Episodes 39 (List of episodes)
Anime film
The Adolescence of Utena
Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara
Written by Yoji Enokido
Studio J.C.Staff
Licensed by
Released 1999
Runtime 80 minutes
Video game

少女革命ウテナ いつか革命される物語 (Revolutionary Girl Utena: Story of the Someday Revolution) was developed by Sega and released for the Sega Saturn in 1998.

Stage shows
  • Comedie Musicale Utena La Fillette Révolutionnaire (Revolutionary Girl Utena, The Musical Comedy)
  • 少女革命ウテナ魔界転生黙示録編~麗人ニルヴァーナ来駕~ (Revolutionary Girl Utena Hell Rebirth Apocalypse ~ Advent of the Nirvanic Beauty)
  • 少女革命ウテナ~コロス幻想生命体~ (Revolutionary Girl Utena ~ Choros Imaginary Living Body ~)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Revolutionary Girl Utena (少女革命ウテナ Shōjo Kakumei Utena?) is a manga by Chiho Saito and anime directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. The manga serial began in the June 1996 issue of Ciao and the anime was first broadcast in 1997. The anime and manga were created simultaneously, but, despite some similarities, they progressed in different directions. A movie, "Adolescence of Utena" (少女革命ウテナ アドゥレセンス黙示録 Shōjo Kakumei Utena Aduresensu Mokushiroku?, literally "Revolutionary Girl Utena Adolescence Apocalypse") was released in theatres in 1999. A number of stage productions based on the franchise were also produced in the mid-1990s, including the "Comedie Musicale Utena la fillette révolutionnaire", staged by an all-female Takarazuka-style cast.

The main character is Utena Tenjou, a tomboyish teenage girl who was so impressed by a kind prince in her childhood that she decided to become a prince herself, expressed in her manner of dress and personality. She attends Ohtori Academy, where she meets a student named Anthy Himemiya, a girl who is in an abusive relationship with another student. Utena fights to protect Anthy and is pulled into a series of sword duels with the members of the Student Council. Anthy is referred to as the "Rose Bride" (薔薇の花嫁 Bara no hanayome?) and is given to the winner of each duel. It is said that the winner of the tournament will receive a mysterious "power to revolutionize the world", and the current champion is constantly challenged for the right to possess the Rose Bride.

Utena is a highly metaphysical, surreal, and allegorical Magical Girl series. It contains a mix of borrowed visuals from Takarazuka theater, shadow puppetry, and classic douseiai-style shōjo manga.

Plot[edit]

Anime Story[edit]

The anime series is divided into four story arcs, in each of which Utena comes to face a different challenge at Ohtori Academy (Enoki Films calls it "Otori Junior High School"). In all of them, Utena must defend her title as the owner of the Rose Bride, with the intention of protecting Anthy. The duels almost always occur when someone with the Rose Crest ring challenges the current Engaged, though the Engaged may challenge other Duelists as well. No refusal is accepted. The matches occur in the dueling arena, a large, high platform in the academy's outskirts, which is only open to duelists. The Rose Bride pins roses to the Duelists' jackets. They then swordfight until one duelist wins by knocking away the opponent's rose with his or her blade.

(The story arc names below link to more details than given here as well as the episodes.)

Episodes 1 to 13. This first part of the series introduces Utena, Anthy, and most of the main characters. It depicts how Utena ends up winning the Rose Bride, and her initial duels against the Student Council members. They in turn insist for various reasons on fighting in order to defeat Utena and win Anthy in order to gain the power to revolutionize the world.
Episodes 14 to 24. After repelling the Student Council's attempts to take Anthy, Utena faces another obstacle, Souji Mikage. Disguised as a genius 18-year-old school counselor, he uses his powers of persuasion and knowledge of psychology to put people under his control by coaxing them to confide their deepest hostilities and fears. Almost always, these people are students whose problems stem from conflict with Utena, Anthy, and the Student Council. He then sends them, wearing black Rose Crest rings on their fingers and frozen, black roses on their chests to fight Utena. This arc also introduces Akio Ohtori.
Episodes 25 to 33. After solving the Mikage situation, Utena must fight rematches against the Student Council, whose members attain new abilities upon meeting Akio. At the same time, she finds herself the target of Akio's seduction, creating a rift between her and Anthy.
Episodes 34 to 39. As the conflict escalates, the dark secrets of the duels and Akio and Anthy's true intentions behind them are unveiled, and Utena confronts Akio in a final duel to free Anthy from his influence.

Manga Plot[edit]

The plot of the manga starts off with Utena at a different school. She is seen as having conflict with the staff of her current school and they call in her aunt, who is an interior decorator. Utena's friend, Kaido is introduced and the two seem to have a strong friendship. It is then explained that Utena may be as head strong as she is because of her parent's death at such an early age. Utena gets a letter from someone who has been sending her letters every year when the roses bloom. She says it started after she was rescued by her prince as a little girl. Kaido is intent on finding out who is sending her the letters. Later on Utena meets a coworker of her aunt's, Aoi Wakaohj. He seems to bear a strong resemblance as well as the same ring as Utena's prince. She is drawn to him but only to have her hopes that Aoi is her prince shattered when she catches him and her aunt in a passionate moment. From there the scene from her childhood is recreated right in front of Kaido's eyes. He informs her that he found that all the letters reveal themselves to be a picture of Aoi's alma mater, an exclusive prep school. From this knowledge Utena decides to change schools. She leaves a heartbroken Kaido, who it seems has feelings for Utena, to find her prince.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Utena Tenjou (天上 ウテナ Tenjō Utena?)
Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (Japanese), Rachael Lillis (English)
Utena is a tomboyish, courageous and naïve character who lives to emulate the idealized prince figure from her childhood. She is forthright, honest, and friendly. Nearly all the girls in school adore her. She both subverts and conforms to the stereotypes she embodies as a noble warrior and a naive magical girl in danger of becoming a damsel in distress. The series chronicles her journey to protect her friend Anthy and become a truly noble Prince. Her Dueling Rose is white.
Anthy Himemiya (姫宮 アンシー Himemiya Anshī?)
Voiced by: Yuriko Fuchizaki (Japanese), Sharon Becker (English)
A mysterious, shy girl whose vapid expression and superficial politeness mask a complex, darker personality. It is said that she has no thoughts or desires of her own; she will do anything her master expects of her. Because of her "doormat" behavior, other characters tend to project their wants or desires onto her, and she's always the target of their eventual rage. Her past and current personality are simultaneously tragic and sinister, and her personality shifts between selfless love, passive-aggressiveness, cruelty, and learned helplessness. Like Utena, Anthy also subverts and conforms to the stereotypes she embodies as both a damsel in distress and a witch.
Akio Ohtori (鳳 暁生 Ōtori Akio?)
Voiced by: Jūrōta Kosugi (TV), Mitsuhiro Oikawa (Movie) (Japanese), Josh Mosby (English)
Anthy's older brother, the acting chairman of the academy, and the main antagonist of the series. Although almost non-present in the first season of the show, he later plays a pivotal role in the second and third seasons. His given name is derived from the Japanese name of Venus as the Morning Star (明けの明星 ake no myōjō?), which is identified with Lucifer.

Student Council[edit]

Juri Arisugawa (有栖川 樹璃 Arisugawa Juri?)
Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (Japanese), Mandy Bonhomme (English)
The captain of the academy's fencing team, Juri is one of Ohtori's most highly respected students, and even the teachers appear to be in awe of her. Her aloof, intimidating manner belies a dark secret. Of the Student Council Duelists, she is thought to be the most noble, and thus the one with the most potential to become a Prince, but her nobility and the strength that comes with it are constantly undermined by her desires and despair. Her Dueling Rose is orange.
Miki Kaoru (薫 幹 Kaoru Miki?)
Voiced by: Aya Hisakawa (Japanese), Jimmy Zoppi (English)
Miki is an ingenuous and polite seventh grader who befriends Utena, despite their role as possible opponents in the duels. He is especially known for his skill with the piano. In spite (or because of) his genius, he is lonely, sheltered, and insecure, and seeks a person who is just as pure and talented as him. With the exception of their two duels, Miki is mostly a friend to Utena. In the anime he has a crush on Anthy, whereas in the manga he has a crush on Utena. His Dueling Rose is light blue.
Touga Kiryuu (桐生 冬芽 Kiryū Tōga?)
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (Japanese), Crispin Freeman (English)
President of the Student Council and Ohtori's resident playboy, Touga is an arrogant and handsome young man whose desire to be powerful drives him to cruel and unscrupulous deeds. He is the only regular Council Member who deliberately involves himself in Akio's plans. Despite his talent and intelligence, Touga eventually realizes that he's not as influential as Akio, and this causes him to change his ways as he tries to discover a new method to gain power. His Dueling Rose is red.
Nanami Kiryuu (桐生 七実 Kiryū Nanami?)
Voiced by: Yuri Shiratori (Japanese), Leah Applebaum (English)
Touga's dramatic younger sister, often used as comic relief throughout the series. Her love for her brother borders on obsession and incest, and she is often seen using devious means to punish the people who take her brother's attentions away from her. Though her motivations are considered the simplest and least ambitious out of all the Duelists, they are no less real to her, and she suffers just as much as all the other Student Council members throughout the series. Her Dueling Rose is yellow.
Kyouichi Saionji (西園寺 莢一 Saionji Kyōichi?)
Voiced by: Takeshi Kusao (Japanese), Jack Taylor (English)
Vice-president of the Student Council and captain of the kendo team. He is temperamental, egotistic, prone to angry rages, and often cruel. His lack of self-control stems from insecurity, a lifelong rivalry against Touga from which he is always at the losing end, and the fear that everyone and everything he knows will eventually die. He is obsessed with Anthy because he views the Rose Bride as a mindless doll who will never disobey him, and thus be with him forever. His Dueling Rose is green.
Ruka Tsuchiya (土谷 瑠果 Tsuchiya Ruka?)
Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki (Japanese), Wayne Grayson (English)
A master swordsman, Ruka is the former captain of the fencing team and a former member of the Student Council. His cunning, manipulative behavior belies a hidden desperation to live, and his influence on Juri becomes one of the major turning points for her character. His Dueling Rose is dark blue.

Black Rose Duelists[edit]

Souji Mikage (御影 草時 Mikage Sōji?)
Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (Japanese), Dan Green (English)
Mikage is the pink-haired head of the popular Mikage Seminar at Ohtori Academy. He wishes to kill Anthy and install a gravely ill boy, Mamiya, as the Rose Bride in order to save him from terminal illness. Mikage uses manipulation and psychology to control students close to the Council members in order to create a Duelist who can beat Utena.
Kanae Ohtori (鳳 香苗 Ōtori Kanae?)
Voiced by: Ai Orikasa (Japanese), Kerry Williams (English)
Akio's fiancee, daughter of the school's Trustee Chairman. She has a strained relationship with Anthy, who she finds 'creepy and intolerable'. Though she loves Akio very much, she feels distant from him and becomes the first Black Rose Duelist.
Kozue Kaoru (薫 梢 Kaoru Kozue?)
Voiced by: Chieko Honda (Japanese), Roxanne Beck (English)
Miki's twin sister, Kozue feels overshadowed by her brother's talents and reacts by sleeping with many different men. She's extremely possessive of Miki to the point where she physically hurts anyone who tries to hurt or "steal" him.
Shiori Takatsuki (高槻 枝織 Takatsuki Shiori?)
Voiced by: Kumiko Nishihara (Japanese), Lisa Ortiz (English)
Shiori is the catalyst for Juri's current broken state of mind. She simultaneously idolizes Juri for her brilliance and feels envious of her for it. Her extreme lack of self-worth is the reason for the rocky relationship between the two, and it reaches a breaking point when Ruka re-enters Ohtori Academy.
Mitsuru Tsuwabuki (石路 美蔓 Tsuwabuki Mitsuru?)
Voiced by: Akiko Yajima (Japanese), Ted Lewis (English)
Nanami's most devoted lackey, a boy in fourth grade. He is obsessed with serving Nanami and wishes to be her adored "brother". He is extremely confused about love, sex, and adulthood in general. His fruitless attempts to experiment makes him a Black Rose Duelist.
Wakaba Shinohara (篠原 若葉 Shinohara Wakaba?)
Voiced by: Yuka Imai (Japanese), Roxanne Beck (English)
Wakaba is the most outwardly cheerful person in the series and is Utena's best friend, but she feels surrounded by "special" people and doesn't know how to become special herself. She sees herself as a perfectly average person and is only happy when she takes care of people - because she doesn't feel like she has any other talents. She doesn't realize the importance of her role in the story: her crush on Saionji, and his rejection, caused Utena to get involved in the duels in the first place; and her empathy and passion rescued Utena from an awful slump after the first Touga duel.
Keiko Sonoda (苑田 茎子 Sonoda Keiko?)
Voiced by: Akira Nakagawa (Japanese), Mandy Bonhomme (English)
Keiko is one of Nanami's sidekicks, who follow her only because she has a crush on Touga. Her jealousy, though as simple as Nanami's is strong enough for Mikage to take advantage of her mind.

Production[edit]

The Utena franchise was conceived by BePapas, a production group composed of talents from various corners of the manga and anime universe. Most notably, the 39-episode Revolutionary Girl Utena TV series was created by some of the same production staff responsible for Sailor Moon, including writer and director Kunihiko Ikuhara. Ikuhara was already well known for his role in the production of Sailor Moon, including his contributions to the highly acclaimed third season, Sailor Moon S. When working on Utena Ikuhara was unsure if he would be fit for the role as producer and worried about the financial risk involved. Believing it may be the last show he ever worked on, Ikuhara set out to make Utena the pinnacle of his work.[1] The member of BePapas responsible for the manga version of Utena was Chiho Saito, a well-established shōjo manga author. Though she and the other members of BePapas discussed concepts together, Saito had little influence on the direction of the anime.

Ikuhara did not conceive of the idea for the movie, Adolescence of Utena, until watching the final episodes of the television series on broadcast TV. Once again, BePapas convened to discuss concepts, and Saito would go on to create a manga adaptation of the film. The film can be interpreted either as the end of the story initiated by the TV series, or as a condensed retelling with the same themes and characters, although it goes in a very different direction. Its structure is in many ways parallel to that of the series, but the roles of the leads are subtly switched. If the television series riffs on themes from theater and mythology, it could be said that the movie riffs on themes from the series. Familiarity with the television series is assumed, and the movie version is even more visually bizarre than the original Utena, enough so that it earned the good-natured nickname "The End Of Utena", after the similarly abstract but much less cheerful The End of Evangelion.

Another incarnation of Utena came in the form of a number of one-shot theatrical productions. The Takarazuka-style "Musical Shōjo Kakumei Utena", also known as "Comedie Musicale Utena la fillette révolutionnaire", played in 1997, and the second disc of Shōjo Kakumei Utena OST 5, Engage Toi a Mes Contes, contains many of the songs from this musical. At Animazement '00, Ikuhara was said to be working on a later musical, "Shōjo Kakumei Utena, Makai Tensei Mokushiroku hen, Reijin Nirvana Raiga", with the theatrical group Gesshoku Kageki Dan.

Inspirations[edit]

Riyoko Ikeda's The Rose of Versailles has often been speculated as an established source of inspiration for the visual style of Utena,[2] scenes involving sliding mirrors and unsupported staircases appear during character introspections in The Rose of Versailles while in Utena very similar scenes are part of the surreal landscape. However, director Ikuhara has denied this on several occasions, including the director's commentary on the final DVD Finale of the American release.

Ikuhara cites prolific playwright, poet, and director Shuji Terayama as a major influence.[citation needed] Terayama was a longtime collaborator with J.A. Seazer, who wrote the music for his plays. Ikuhara worked with Seazer for the most well known music of Utena.

Ikuhara stated that the concept for Revolutionary Girl Utena came from his 'End of The World' themed Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie. Ikuhara's original ideas for the film were not used as he left prematurely following the producer.[1]

Visual motifs[edit]

Some of Utena's architecture.

The dominant motif of the entire series is the rose, which fills the decor and landscape of the Academy as well as the ritual accoutrements of the Duelists. Highly stylized, they are reminiscent of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's work.

Another motif is the use of elevators, which are used as places of transition or transformation. These include the Council's elevator, the one found in Nemuro Hall (scene of the confessions in the Black Rose arc), and the one found in the final version of the dueling arena.

Cars may be considered one of the most oblique motifs seen in the series. In the anime, they appear in the third version of the dueling arena and are strongly associated with Akio. Scenes in Akio's car are sexually suggestive, with his and Touga's shirts opening partway through the ride. In the final act of the movie, Utena is transformed into a car.

Repeated use of animated sequences can be seen in almost every episode, most noticeably Utena's entrance to the dueling arena. While this is usually seen in anime as a practical consideration to reduce production costs, it may also be used to reinforce certain themes.

Utena also takes the typically shōjo manga poses and dramatic effects intended to heighten the mood or tension of important scenes and exaggerates them, often to the point of being deliberately comedic. Examples include characters framed with spinning roses, or a dramatic scene accentuated with a baseball match in the background.

The color red is used liberally throughout the series to symbolize the ambition of the characters.[3]

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The manga Revolutionary Girl Utena was written by Be-Papas and illustrated by Chiho Saito. It began serialization in the June 1996 issue of the monthly manga magazine Ciao. The manga ended in 1997 with five volumes being released. The manga was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media in 2000[4] and was serialized Viz's magazine Animerica Extra[5] and later published into five trade paperbacks, with an additional volume for the film adaptation.

Anime[edit]

The anime series of Revolutionary Girl Utena was produced by the Japanese animation studio J.C.Staff and directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. The series aired between April 2, 1997 and December 24, 1997 on TV Tokyo in Japan and spanned 39 episodes.

Enoki Films holds the American license to the anime and called the series Ursula's Kiss, and gave each character English names. However the American distributor, Central Park Media, chose to use the original title and character names. The dubbed and subbed versions were released to VHS in 1998 by Central Park Media under their Software Sculptors label. There were a total of four releases each containing either three or four episodes. These same episodes were released to two bilingual DVD volumes in 1999 with six or seven episodes each. These DVDs were known as the Rose Collection. However after releasing the first 13 episodes to VHS and DVD, Central Park Media had difficulties licensing the remaining 26 episodes and the dub was put on hiatus despite the show's popularity. After settling all legal issues, they released the remaining 26 episodes of the anime series to bilingual DVDs in 2002 and 2003, though the show's popularity had declined in the years since. The entire series was later sold in the form of three DVD box sets.

Hawaii-based TV station KIKU aired the Central Park Media licensed version of the series during the January/March and July/August periods of 2007. Funimation had previously acquired broadcast rights for Revolutionary Girl Utena from Central Park Media in 2006, and played it in their channel, Funimation Channel, multiple times.[6] Comcast's Anime Selects on Demand also showed episodes of the first and second season for a brief period. It also aired on SciFi Channel for a short time. Anime Network on Demand began airing the series on August 6, 2009.[7]

With the complete shutdown of Central Park Media in 2009, the distribution rights to the series were put up for liquidation.[8] At Anime Expo 2010, The Right Stuf International announced that they have rescued the Utena TV series and subsequently re-released the series in three remastered sets in 2011.[9] The anime is also being distributed in Australia for the first time by the anime distributor Hanabee. The anime will run on Viz Media's Neon Alley channel service in Fall 2013.

King Records will release two Blu-ray box sets of Utena in Japan, with HD remastered video in 2013.

Film[edit]

Adolescence of Utena was released in theatres in 1999. It was first conceived by director Kunihiko Ikuhara when the final episode of the television series was broadcast on Japanese television. BePapas reconvened and created a new vision of the Utena universe. The resulting film is ambiguous in its place within the Utena universe; though it functions as a separate continuity, much like the manga, it also refers to events in the television series frequently enough that it is confusing to those unfamiliar with the show. Ultimately, the film is plotted in such a way that it could be seen as a continuation of the series or an entirely new vision. Central Park Media licensed Adolescence of Utena and released it to a dubbed only VHS and a bilingual DVD in 2001 under the title Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie.[10] The film was also screened at several anime conventions and had a very limited theatrical run. Right Stuf also acquired the North American rights to the movie in 2010.[11]

In a loose retelling of the Revolutionary Girl Utena TV series, Utena Tenjou arrives at Ohtori Academy, appearing to be a boy. She is accidentally swept up in a series of duels for the possession of the Rose Bride Anthy Himemiya and the power she supposedly holds. At the same time, Utena reunites with Touga Kiryuu, a friend and love from her childhood. It is later revealed that Touga died long ago. A belief among some fans is that the movie takes place in the land of the dead. Other key differences between the series and film include the absence of Nanami (save for a brief cameo in her cow incarnation) and the revelation that Akio is also dead before the film begins.

The film takes many themes from the series and either ramps up their intensity or turns them on an ear. For example, the latent sexual tension between Utena and Anthy in the series is far more overt in the film; it is made clear to the viewer that Anthy is not only a "bride" by name, but that she will sleep with the person to whom she is engaged, regardless of whether that person is male or female, including her brother. The concept of Ohtori as a prison is made clearer and Utena's empowerment of Anthy to escape is given physical manifestation as Utena, surprisingly,[12] literally transforms into a car for Anthy to ride to freedom.

Theater[edit]

Musical - Shōjo Kakumei Utena (ミュージカル・少女革命ウテナ?)

  • Dates and Location
Dec 17 - Dec 29, 1997 Hakuhinkan Theater, Tokyo
  • Staff
Director: Yūji Mitsuya (三ツ矢雄二?)
  • Cast
Utena Tenjou: Yu Daiki (大輝ゆう?)
Anthy Himemiya: KaNNa
Touga Kiryuu: Rei Saito (斉藤レイ?)
Juri Arisugawa: Sanae Kimura (木村早苗?)

Shōjo Kakumei Utena Hell Rebirth Apocalypse: Advent of the Nirvanic Beauty (少女革命ウテナ魔界転生黙示録編~麗人ニルヴァーナ来駕~?)

  • Production Company
Gesshoku Kagekidan
  • Dates and Location
May 26 - June 1, 1999 Zamza Asagaya Theater, Tokyo
  • Staff
Producer: Kunihiko Ikuhara (幾原邦彦?)
Director: Ei Takatori (高取英?)
  • Cast
Utena Tenjou: Megumi Ichinose (一ノ瀬めぐみ?)
Anthy Himemiya: Kazuyo Noguchi (野口員代?)
Touga Kiryuu: Rei Saito (斉藤レイ?)
Nanami Kiryuu: Chieko Misaka (三坂知絵子?)

Shōjo Kakumei Utena: Choros Imaginary Living Body (少女革命ウテナ~コロス幻想生命体~?)

  • Production Company
Fantasy Adventure
  • Dates and Location
September 30 - October 1, 2000 Amasaki Piccolo Theater Center Hall, Hyōgo
  • Cast
Utena Tenjou: Mayu Watari (亘まゆ?)
Anthy Himemiya: Aki Kaai (可愛あき?)
Touga Kiryuu: Kazuki Aoi (葵かずき?)
Juri Arisugawa: Shinobu Kiryu (桐生忍?)

Video game[edit]

Shōjo Kakumei Utena: Itsuka Kakumeisareru Monogatari (少女革命ウテナ いつか革命される物語?) was developed and published By Sega for the Sega Saturn video game console, it was released in 1998 in Japan only.[13] It tells an original story which is set between episodes eight and nine of the TV series. The main character of the game is an original character (no default name, voice: Kaoru Fujino (藤野かほる?)) who transfers to Ohtori Academy.

The game is in the style of a visual novel with strong dating sim elements. The major characters each possess a statistic called "Heart's Nobility" which the player affects through dialog choices that appear sporadically during play. Each character's level of Heart's Nobility determines how the game will end. The special endings available for characters that end with particularly high Heart's Nobility represent the game's dating sim element, but because it is set within the larger plot of the TV series the relationships are usually somewhat platonic, or one-sided affections on the part of the main character. Yet there are many aspects of the game that make it interesting to fans, such as duels between Student Council members and the opportunity to turn the main character into a duelist.

Music[edit]

The songs of Revolutionary Girl Utena, written by J.A. Seazer, it is one of the series' most memorable features. Utena's signature song is "Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku" (Absolute Destiny Apocalypse), which plays every time Utena makes her way to the dueling arena. This song, along with those played during the duels, is composed in a choral rock style. The texture of the chorus is primarily monophonic, although there is some homophony within the inner voices of the chorus. The melody of the chorus is written in transposed Aeolian mode or natural minor. The melody does not use a major five chord at the cadence which is usually the norm for minor mode; it uses a minor five chord instead. The lyrics that often appear to be little more than themed words strung together. While the show's creative team hasn't offered any official explanations of the lyrics, some fan websites[examples needed] suggest interpretations.

The score was composed by Shinkichi Mitsumune, and is largely orchestral in character, though it often features significant jazz influences. One notable song is "The Sunlit Garden," a recurring duet piano piece which plays during nostalgic scenes. Mitsumune also handled the arrangement of the first eight duel choruses.

The soundtrack of Adolescence of Utena is similar in style to the series, containing a mixture of orchestral pieces and choral rock. Masami Okui's track, the J-pop ballad "Toki ni Ai wa" (At Times Love is...), is however atypical of the series' sound.

Reception[edit]

Revolutionary Girl Utena won "Best TV Animation Award" at Animation Kobe in 1997.[14] In 2000 Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie won a Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation Award in the category of "Best Film, Japanese Release".[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Interview with Kunihiko Ikuhara". UR Anime Club. Oct 8, 2000. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  2. ^ Charlton, Sabdha (May 2001). "Intersections: Review: Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku". Intersections. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ ikuniweb(EnglishVersion)
  4. ^ "FEATURE: Anime Expo Days 2 and 3". Anime News Network. July 3, 2000. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Animerica Extra to become shojo-only". Anime News Network. July 16, 2003. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ "FUNimation to Air Enoki Films Series". icv2.com. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Anime Network Streams GetBackers, Pet Shop of Horrors". Anime News Network. April 18, 2009. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Central Park Media's Licenses Offered by Liquidator". Anime News Network. June 8, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Right Stuf, Nozomi Adds So-Ra-No-Wo-To, Utena Tv". Anime News Network. 2010-07-02. 
  10. ^ "CPM Aquires [sic] Utena Movie". Anime News Network. January 31, 2001. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  11. ^ "I.G: Right Stuf Has Utena Movie License (Updated)". Anime News Network. July 3, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  12. ^ "IKUHARA: They were very surprised. I think everyone was very surprised when Utena turns into a car. *laughs*"http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2001-04-22
  13. ^ "少女革命ウテナ いつか革命される物語" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Animation Kobe '97". Animation Kobe. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  15. ^ "SPJA awards". Anime News Network. July 6, 2000. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  • Clements, J. and H. McCarthy. The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917. New York: Stone Bridge Press (2001)
  • Lyons, Michelle. Revolutionary Girl Utena: Book 1. Guardians of Order (2004)

External links[edit]