Adolescence of Utena

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Adolescence of Utena
Adolescence of Utena poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara
Produced by Tomoji Matsukura
Atsushi Moriyama
Toshimichi Ohtsuki
Written by Yōji Enokido
Based on Revolutionary Girl Utena
by Chiho Saito
Starring Tomoko Kawakami
Yuriko Fuchizaki
Music by Shinkichi Mitsumune
J. A. Seazer
Cinematography Toyomitsu Nakajo
Edited by Shigeru Nishiyama
Production
company
Distributed by Toei Company
Release date
  • August 14, 1999 (1999-08-14)
Running time
85 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Budget ¥120,000,000

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?) is a 1999 Japanese anime film directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara, written by Yōji Enokido, from a story by Ikuhara, and produced by J.C.Staff. The film is a retelling of the plot of the anime and the manga Revolutionary Girl Utena, but like the two it has its own continuity. In English-speaking territories, it was released as Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie. In 2001, Central Park Media licensed and released the movie, with the English voice cast to reprise their roles from the TV series.[1] In 2010, following the closure of Central Park Media, Right Stuf Inc. announced their license to the film, as well as the TV series.[2]

Plot[edit]

The story centers around Utena, a new student at Ohtori Academy who has a penchant for dressing like a boy. She is shown around by the happy-go-lucky fellow student Wakaba, who declares Utena to be her prince. As Utena watches over a fencing match between Juri and Miki, she notices her former boyfriend Touga, who is also watching over the match. She follows him to a yard where roses are grown, and after a brief conversation, reveals her motivation for dressing like a boy.

Utena takes notices of Touga wearing a ring and then presumes it's a wedding ring, but Touga corrects her and states that the ring made him seek out the academy. After Touga leaves Utena with a white rose, the rose opens to reveal a ring with the same rose crest as on Touga's. Utena notices roses falling from above and discovers a huge rose garden above.

In the garden she meets Anthy, who introduces herself as the Rose Bride. Shortly after, Anthy's current fiancé Kyoichi Saionji makes an appearance. After seeing Utena's ring, he challenges her to a duel. Anthy just tries to interrupt, but she is slapped by Saionji. Enraged, Utena immediately accepts the duel and fights with a bamboo staff. Utena tries her best to fight with a staff, but she is outmatched by Saoinji who is using a real sword. Things start to look dire for Utena, but Anthy throws herself at Utena and kisses her, which causes Utena to drag the Sword of Dios out of Anthy's chest and use it to defeat Saionji.

Touga has a mysterious encounter with Shiori, where Shiori talks about how her childhood prince was killed by a girl. The girl fell off a boat and the prince drowned trying to save her. At night, Anthy enters Utena's room in order to have sex with her but Utena rejects her advances and questions her about the meaning of the duels and the Rose Bride. Anthy simply responds by saying she will sleep with whom ever wins in a duel.

Touga receives a phone call from a mysterious man who tells Touga about how his sister was a witch. Through her magic, the sister made the lord of the flies into a prince, but when her magic faded the prince turned to his true self again. Touga asks the man if he tried to regain that power, but to no avail. A flashback reveals that Touga was sold and raped as a child. Juri and Miki walks through a garage which Juri claims leads to the "end of the world" (the alias of the villain in the anime series).

A car bearing Kozue's name is shown next to Miki, who notices an apparition of the prince. Juri playfully teases Miki, but they are interrupted by Shiori. Shiori emotionally blackmails and manipulates Juri into duelling Utena, specifically bringing up that because of Juri a prince died.

Utena confronts Anthy in the rose garden and blames Anthy for making her relationship with Touga end. Utena thinks Touga is in love with Anthy. Utena begins to break down, but Anthy comforts her by dancing with her. On the next day during art class Utena and Anthy are tasked with drawing each other. Utena starts by drawing Anthy, but Anthy declares that they switch. Anthy then requests that she draw Utena naked, stating that it's the best way to get closer to each other.

A reluctant Utena agrees, but blushes furiously and then asks that she draw Anthy naked as well, for fairness. Anthy obliges and then reveals a huge hole in her body and tells her that the one who possesses the Rose Bride will have the power to revolutionize the world and make miracles happen. Meanwhile, the school's broadcasting club reveals a video tape that eludes that the headmaster Akio has drugged and raped Anthy on several occasions.

Afterwards, Utena agrees to Juri's duel, during which Juri gets the upper hand, but also witnesses Utena seemingly transform into a younger version of the prince. Utena defeats Juri, but Akio's hidden grave is found, showing him to have been dead for some time. A second tape produced by Shiori to frame Anthy for murder shows that Anthy was awake during the rape, possibly even having consented to it. This disturbs Akio, who starts to frantically search for his lost car keys. Akio stabs Anthy in horrific realization and, after panicking, accidentally falls out of the window.

Utena runs to find Anthy and ends up confronting Touga in an elevator. She remembers that Touga was the one who jumped in the river to save a girl, who later turned out to be Juri. After kissing Utena, who tearfully thanks him for really being her prince, Touga descents into a dark, watery void.

Utena ascends the elevator and stairs to meet up with Anthy in the rose garden and claims that the two of them should go "to the outside world". Happily grabbing Anthy's hand to lead her, Utena is then inexplicably swallowed by a sporadic car wash, and, inside, she is metamorphosed into a pink car. Anthy takes seat in the car and drives towards the promised "outside world". Shiori, now in her car form, berates the viewer for assuming that only Utena could transform into a car and states that she is a car as well. She then attempts attacking them on the highway but fails miserably and crashes.

Though initially in the clear, Anthy is eventually chased by hundreds of black cars. Being close to be crushed by a tank-like car, Anthy is saved by Juri, Miki and Saoinji in their own car, dubbed "Wakabacar". The trio says that they have been inspired by Utena and Anthy to take the same path as them, leaving the academy for the "outside world". After they part, an enormous castle drives into the highway and tries to crush Anthy beneath it but Anthy manages to make it through.

After passing underneath the castle, two giant tankwheels manage to trap Anthy in between them. A large apparition of Akio appears on the road, saying that Anthy and Utena should stay in his world, as princesses. Anthy rebukes his suggestion and, together with her Utena car, drive through him as he explodes into roses. Utena and Anthy emerge naked, riding on the remnants of the Utena car. They kiss as they drive into a grey wasteland, into the unknown "real" world.

Cast[edit]

Character Japanese English
Utena Tenjo Tomoko Kawakami Rachael Lillis
Anthy Himemiya Yuriko Fuchizaki Sharon Becker
Touga Kiryuu Takehito Koyasu Crispin Freeman
Shiori Takatsuki Kumiko Nishihara Lisa Ortiz
Akio Otori Mitsuhiro Oikawa Josh Mosby
Juri Arisugawa Kotono Mitsuishi Mandy Bonhomme
Miki Kaoru Aya Hisakawa Jimmy Zoppi
Kanae Otori Ai Orikasa Kerry Williams
Kyoichi Saionji Takeshi Kusao Jack Taylor
Wakaba Shinohara Yuka Imai Roxanne Beck
Shadow Girl C-Ko Kumiko Watanabe Roxanne Beck
Shadow Girl E-Ko Maria Kawamura Lisa Ortiz
Shadow Girl F-Ko Satomi Koorogi Mandy Bonhomme
Kozue Kaoru Chieko Honda Roxanne Beck
Art Teacher Kunihiko Ikuhara Tony Salerno

Reception[edit]

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".[3] THEM Anime gave the movie three stars out of four, saying it impressed more than it disappointed.[4] Silver Emulsion gave a favourable review but admitted the film would have a limited appeal.[5] The Artificate described the film as "anime on LSD" and commented that the film only worked as a companion to the show and not on its own. In the end the film received a 3.5/5 score.[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]