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]

Utena Tenjo, a new student at Ohtori Academy, is given a tour of the campus by her classmate Wakaba. As Utena observes a fencing match between students Juri and Miki, she notices her former boyfriend Touga is also in the audience. She comments on Touga's rose-engraved ring, presuming it to be an engagement ring, though he replies that the ring made him seek out the academy. After he departs, Utena finds a white rose, which opens to reveal a ring identical to Touga's.

Utena enters a rose garden where she meets Anthy, who introduces herself as the Rose Bride. Saionji, who claims he is Anthy's fiancé, sees Utena's ring and challenges her to a duel. Anthy attempts to interrupt the duel but is slapped by Saionji, enraging Utena. Lacking a sword, Utena fights with a stick of bamboo, but is outmatched by Saionji's real sword. Anthy throws herself at Utena and kisses her, which causes Utena to magically drag a sword out on Anthy's chest that she uses to defeat Saionji.

Touga has an encounter with Shiori, Juri's childhood friend, who tells him her prince died when a girl fell off a boat and he drowned attempting to save her. That night, Anthy enters Utena's dormitory and attempts to initiate sex with her, though Utena rejects her advances. She questions Anthy about the duels and the rose rings, to which Anthy responds that she is betrothed to whomever wins the duel.

Touga and Shiori receive a phone call from an unidentified man, who says that his sister[a] is a witch who made the lord of the flies into a prince, but when her magic faded, the prince turned into his true self again; the duels are organizated in an attempt to re-activate her magic. Through a flashback, it is revealed that Touga was sold to an older man and raped as a child.

Meanwhile, Juri and Miki walk through a garage that Juri claims leads to the "End of the World."[b] Miki notices an apparition of Anthy's prince standing next to one of the cars, but is interrupted by Shiori, who manipulates Juri into duelling Utena.

The next day, Utena and Anthy are tasked with drawing each other in art class. A reticent Utena agrees to be drawn nude, but asks that Anthy also disrobe. Anthy obliges and reveals a gaping hole in her chest, and tells Utena that whoever possesses the Rose Bride has the power to revolutionize the world. Meanwhile, the school's broadcasting club shows a video tape that implies that Akio, Anthy's brother and the school's headmaster, has drugged and raped Anthy on several occasions.

Utena defeats Juri in their subsequent duel, when Juri witnesses Utena seemingly transform into Anthy's prince. Immediately afterwards, Akio's hidden grave is found, shocking the school with the revelation that he has been dead for some time. Shiori produces a second video, which shows Anthy lucid during her rape; the realization prompts Akio to stab her in horror and accidentally fall out of a window. Utena rushes to find Anthy, but finds Touga. She recalls that Touga was the boy who saved the girl from the river, who later turned out to be Juri. After kissing Utena, who tearfully thanks him for being her prince, Touga descends into a dark, watery void.

Utena finds Anthy in the rose garden, and tells her they should go "to the outside world." Utena is then inexplicably swallowed by a car wash, and is metamorphosed into a pink car. Anthy enters the car and drives it away from the academy, though a large fleet of black tanks and Shiori – also in car form – attempt to thwart her.

Anthy is saved by Juri, Miki and Saoinji in their own car, dubbed "Wakabacar", who say they have been inspired by Utena and Anthy to also leave the academy for the "outside world." Anthy becomes trapped between two giant tank wheels, where an apparition of Akio appears before her, and tells her that she and that Utena must remain in their world. Anthy rebukes Akio and drives through him, causing him to explode into roses. Utena and Anthy emerge riding the remnants of the Utena car; they kiss as they drive into a grey wasteland, the unknown "real" world.

  1. ^ Revealed to the audience to be Anthy.
  2. ^ The alias of the villain in the anime series.

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]

  1. ^ "CPM Acquires Utena Movie". Anime News Network. 2001-01-31. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  2. ^ "I.G: Right Stuf Has Utena Movie". Anime News Network. 2010-07-03. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  3. ^ "SPJA awards". Anime News Network. July 6, 2000. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
  4. ^ http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=467
  5. ^ http://www.silveremulsion.com/2013/05/01/stephen-reviews-revolutionary-girl-utena-the-movie-1999/
  6. ^ http://the-artifice.com/the-adolescence-of-utena-1999-review/

External links[edit]