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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 publicly 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 (email@example.com)
Some folks may find this show "bizaar", but I found this a deeply moving, thought-provoking, and at times absurdly hilarious show worthy of a watch by anyone who desires something a little bit more cerebral and twisted.
Set in a school covered in a rose motif, Utena is the tomboy protagonist, beloved by all, who finds herself suddenly enmeshed in the secretive dealings of the student council, and finds herself suddenly "engaged", to a girl, no less! And there's an upside-down floating castle, swords that pop out of chests--Freud would have a field day with this show--and surfing elephants. And explosive curry! So, um, suspend your disbelief for this show, because it truly is worth it.
The characterization of this show is what really sells it. You have kids playing at adulthood, and if you see Utena as a coming of age show, you can see between the lines of how all the characters are not trying to achieve a "revolution of the world" in that they're gonna start a civil war, but that they are actually just trying to reach adulthood, pressing beyond the threshold to the other side, which all but the heroine are unable to do.
Sound cerebral? It is. And it's very enjoyable, tugging at your heartstrings and then making you unexpectedly laugh at something that, when you think about it or try to explain to someone else, makes no sense. The music is overall wonderful, especially the background music--The Sunlit Garden is perhaps one of the best instrumental pieces I have ever heard on a Tv show, and is worth a DL any day--and the voice acting is done well, even on the English dub, which I generally think are foul, cursed things, but Software Sculptors, the American distributor, did an okay job.
This is a worthy series. Watch it! It's coming out on DVD! Rewatch it! You'll find something new every time, and it'll still be enjoyable even on third and fourth watches.
Oh, and though the box might say it's rated PG or PG-13, and that it's from the director of Sailor Moon, don't think that this is for kids. Though the first 13 episodes are all right, beyond that the show gets a little too hard to understand--though when you're a kid all that stuff makes sense--and also has some undertones that some of the more conservative might not like their children getting hints of(i.E. homosexuality and incest). In my opinion, if they're old enough to even understand what's going on--because these undertones are indeed only subtly hinted at--then they're old enough to deal with it.
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