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Revolutionary Girl Utena 

Shôjo kakumei Utena (original title)
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A tomboyish schoolgirl finds herself forced into repeated duels for another girl who has a role in a world revolution.
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1997  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Nanami Kiryuu (1 episode, 1997)
...
 Wakaba Shinohara (1 episode, 1997)
Sharon Becker ...
 Anthy Himemiya (1 episode, 1997)
James Carter Cathcart ...
 Miki Kaoru (1 episode, 1997)
...
 Dios / ... (1 episode, 1997)
Yuriko Fuchizaki ...
 Anthy Himemiya (1 episode, 1997)
...
 Female Teacher / ... (1 episode, 1997)
Aya Hisakawa ...
 Miki Kaoru (1 episode, 1997)
Yuka Imai ...
 Touga's mother / ... (1 episode, 1997)
Tomoko Kawakami ...
 Utena Tenjô (1 episode, 1997)
Takehito Koyasu ...
 Touga Kiryuu (1 episode, 1997)
Takeshi Kusao ...
 Kyôichi Saionji (1 episode, 1997)
Satomi Kôrogi ...
 Chuchu / ... (1 episode, 1997)
...
 Chu-Chu / ... (1 episode, 1997)
Kotono Mitsuishi ...
 Jury Arisugawa (1 episode, 1997)
Yuri Shiratori ...
 Nanami Kiryû (1 episode, 1997)
Jack Taylor ...
 Kyôichi Saionji (1 episode, 1997)
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Storyline

This series is about a girl called Utena who was helped in a difficult time by a handsome prince. She was so impressed with him that she vowed to become a prince herself. She is attending a boarding school where she stands out with her gender bending ways and boy's uniform and makes friends with other students in school, most notably a bizarrely submissive Indian girl called Anthy. When one of her friends is publically humiliated by her crush, Utena protests and is called out on a duel by the boy at a bizarre arena. With some difficulty, she wins and finds that Anthy is now "engaged" to her as the "Rose Bride" that is the key to a world revolution. Now, she finds herself forced to fight repeated challengers for Anthy, face similar rivalries in her personal life and tries to help Anthy gain some will of her own. All the while, the duels she must fight are leading her to a goal of world revolution that has implications she is not yet aware of. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@rogers.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

revolution | prince | school | rose | kendo | See All (38) »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

2 April 1997 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Revolutionary Girl Utena  »

Company Credits

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, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(39 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chu-chu is a monkey. This is easier to see in the manga, where he has more hair. Also, in episode 8, when Saionji and Chu-chu switch places, he is seen in a tree eating a banana. See more »

Goofs

In episode 8, the thick white stripe on the bottom of Nanami's skirt disappears when she is hugging Touga. It re-appears in the other scenes. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Touga Kiryuu: If it cannot hatch from its shell, the chick will die without ever truly being born. We are the chick; the world is our egg. If we don't break the world's shell, we will die without truly being born. Smash the world's shell, for the Revolution of the World.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan: Tsuioku Hen (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Rinbu - Revolution
by Masami Okui (eps 1-38) (Opening Theme)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bizarre? Yes. Smart? Most definitely.
23 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think people get too caught up in attempting to understand something foreign to realize that many elements in Revolutionary Girl Utena are not meant to be taken literally and at times, seriously. Yes, it is strange, but, the strangeness is purposefully achieved as a method of storytelling. If one can look past or even appreciate the strangeness, one can find a worthwhile story that's both entertaining and insightful.

The main character, Utena Tenjou, is a student at a boarding school. She meets Anthy Himemiya, a shy girl who is the Rose Bride, the key figure in a mysterious plot by the Student Counsel to "revolutionise the world". The main storyline revolves around Utena and her journey, through different trials and obstacles, to uncover this mystery. To support the main story, there are many subplots and filled with colourful supporting characters, who add drama, humour, and complexity.

The Student Counsel members often recite a poem with portions borrowed from Herman Hesse's Demian. Like the Demian, Utena is about the antagonist's personal journey uncovering truth within their world and within themselves, through the transitional periods of youth. Unlike in Demian, the hero's journey in Utena is highly metaphorical. Despite seeming childish and simple at first, this series is actually incredibly dark with themes that are both adult in nature and adult in meaning. It uses many traditional archetypes – like the charming prince, the wicked witch, the naive hero – but changes these elements' relationship with each other and within the story as the vehicle to drive these progressive elements. Some of the ideas touched upon are the meaning of gender, gender roles, the meaning of self, etc.

Revolutionary Girl Utena is one of my favourite television series. Both the plot and the characters are highly developed. I actually greatly enjoy the surrealism, with over the top drama that both pokes fun of itself and other series within the shoujo (manga and anime for women and girls) genre. The fantastic story components along with highly stylized visuals full of symbolism paint an almost dream-like setting. It's a post-modern fairytale that's indefinitely unforgettable. You'll either love it or hate it, there's no in between.


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