Posted on 2 April 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, Revolutionary Girl Utena



Revolutionary Girl Utena is one of those precious gems you rarely run into. There is just so much going on. The characters are just awesome and overflow with character development. The huge symbolism is overwhelming, and till each of these symbols has some kind of hidden meaning.

The story is about a girl whose parents died when she was young. She kept crying, until a prince was there to comfort her. He gave her a ring with a roze crest on it, and left. The girl was so impressed by this, that she vowed to become a prince herself. This girl is named Utena. Hence the title. When she grows up, she eventually ends up in a very strange high-school. In there, the members of a very eccentric student council fight over a girl called the Roze Bride, or Anthy Himemiya. The one who manages to eventually win her gets the power to revolutionize the world in the end. Utena then ends up winning a duel agains the current holder of the Roze Bride. Afterwards, the members of the student council keep trying to take Himemiya away from her. In order to defend Himemiya, Utena has to keep winning sword duels against them.

This anime is divided into three parts. Each of this parts features a special on Utena, but more importantly, each of the members of the student council. This means three opportunities for each of them to delve deeply into their characters, producing magnificent results. In the first part, Utena’s new, and each of the characters gets introduced, including their stories, resulting in a nice climax. In the second part, the story takes a side-road in order to show a side-story of the show, centered around the boys of the black rose. In there, we get to see the characters who are closest to the members of the student council. It’s their turn to get developed and explained. I like the way this starts out extremely serious, and ends more and more chaotic, also resulting in a very satisfying end battle. In the third part, the goodness really starts. The student council members develop even more deeply than before, resulting in amazing scenes. The battles for the roze bride get more amazing by the minute, until the ending really blows you off your chair.

One of the things I really loved about this anime is the amazing cast of characters, and especially the way they were used. The anime basically only plays in a high-school-ground. So everything and everyone should have close contact with each other. But for every arc, only a few characters are selected and we get so see some very in-depth scenes. The other characters, during these moments, are totally put out of the spotlights. Including even Utena at times. This has a great effect. You really focus on nothing else than the creators want you to, but still you long to see the other characters appear again. This was especially noticable at the end of the series.

There is an aweful lot of repetition in this show. For each episode devoted to the plot, you already know that certain things will happen, including numerous recycled scenes. At first, these scenes may become bothersome, but as the series progresses, the creators manage excecute these repetitions better and better. Here we come to another magnificent point of this series: there may be a lot of repetition. You know that certain scenes and events will be playing. Outside of these scenes and events, however, You absolutely WON’T be able to guess what will happen next. This series always leaves you guessing at those points.

The creators also managed to include an excellent taste of humour in the anime. It doesn’t even need funny faces to be brilliant. It makes brilliant use of the naiveness of the characters, of silly coincidences and characters just acting totally wacky and having brilliant, though insane ideas. I especially loved the Kashira girls, but also Nanami the use of symbols amused me more and more. The Kashira girls are some kind of drama-club, who perform very interesting shadow-plays. They return each episode, and each time their play is about some kind of moral issue debated about in the anime. Each of these plays is just horribly brilliant.

The music is another extremely strong point of this anime. Both in the duels between the characters as in very dramatic scenes, the background music is top-notch, certainly giving even more emotions to the already emotion-packed scenes, turning the fragments into total roller-coaster-rides. The battle choreography is brilliant in the beginning, then slows a bit down in the middle of the show, but then, around episode 25, it turns into some of the best ever. Not in terms of Jubei-Chan-fast-moving, but in the movement of the characters themselves. This is the first anime in which I could actually see the characters giving all they had in defeating the opponent. Other anime try to also create this effect, by making the characters be in pain, or extremely angry. But still, it doesn’t bring the best in them up. Utena, however, manages.

As the series progresses, the episodes get more awesome by the minute. Especially starting from episode 30, the episodes are just incredible to see. The ending episode was also among the best of its kind, which is an extremely good job. I totally loved it. This anime just screams out the word elegance. Starting from the character art, to the way they move, act, speak. Everything is so elegantly executed. This anime has style, and knows how to use it.

Even though the drama is awesome, at times, the show takes its time perhaps a bit too long. Some of the cases are dragging a bit on, even though they provide terrific results. This should be too great of a bother, but still, it might agitate some. Overall, this is just an amazing anime, dated from a couple of years ago. I totally recommend it.

Final rating: 95/100

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You see this a lot with good shows: they have awesome pre-ending-episodes, but the ending itself totally sucks.

I am SO GLAD that Revolutionary Girl Utena does NOT belong to this category. I can honestly say that I totally enjoyed the ending of this magnificent anime. The ending would so easily fall in my top-5 of best endings. It was beautiful. Truly beautiful. I’m glad to have seen such an awesome series.

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What the HECK!?!

Okay, that was just a horrible cliffhanger. This really, really was something you DO NOT expect… I mean… Utena will now…. omg.

I’d love to prepare some kind of summary on this episode, but it would just be filled with spoilers. All I can say is, that this was an incredible episode. The duel also was awesome to see. For some reason, Revolutionary Girl Utena always features some incredible battles, and this episode surely was no exception. Certainly with the awesome elegance, even more awesome background music, and even more awesome character development and interaction. Believe me. This episode was NO exception. It also had one of the best cliffhangers EVER.

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The last intermezzo episode before the grande finale starts. This one was mainly meant to get Utena out of her crisis, become more like a prince, and forgive Himemiya. I have to say, that these things worked out pretty well. It’s not the best episode of its kind, however (that credit goes mainly to Mahou Shoujotai), but still, it was enjoying to see. I’m curious about how this will end. The thing I loved most is the fact that Sayonji and Touga are still together. I have no friggin idea why I find the fact of the two of them being together so amazing. Actually, now that I think about it… it scares me a bit…

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WHAT. AN. INCREDIBLE. EPISODE!!!

Oh my god… I knew that this was supposed to be the end of the Touga-arc, but I never could have imagined the awesomeness it contained. First of all, they give a very nice variation to the car-theme, by suddenly showing up in a motorcycle with a side-car. Akio entirely stays out of the picture in this episode, and the only times he gets mentioned are when people talk or think about him. This alone made it into such an incredible episode, but I NEVER could have imagined to actually feel sorry for Touga. Firstly, he ACTUALLY confesses his love for Utena. Then we get to see his reason for duelling her. Really, if I were to see this after episode 10, I would not have believed it. I can hardly believe it even at this time.

Anywya, he and Sayonji make some plans, which actually made me dislike Utena more and more. Especially because of the mistrust she puts in Touga, even after all this. In the end, when the battle began, I actually chose sides for Sayonji and Touga. Which has probably been a first time ever.

Speaking of the devil, eh… battle. It was AWESOME! I so kept hoping for Utena to lose. But then again, after Touga’s reasons were revealed, how couldn’t I? The cars may have been a bit too much this time, especially after being followed up by the motorcycle, but the climax was great. Also the beginning of the battle had me glued to the screen. The elegance of all of the characters only added up to the awesomeness. The aftermath was amazing. I am SO wondering what will become of them in the last couple of episodes. Actually, I’m curious about every single one of the side characters. They all got their place in the spotlight. Only Utena, Akio, Himemiya and the Prince remain to have a conflict. What will the side characters do!?!

And if even this wasn’t enough, the cliffhanger of this episode just blew me off my chair. Okay, it had it coming for a long while, but still… OMG!

Overall, this was probably the best Utena-episode yet. I’m really dying to find out what the last couple of episodes will be about.

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An intermezzo. Still, one heck of an intermezzo. The focus lies mostly on Touga and Utena. The symbols are as existant as ever, the Kashira-girls are awesome again, and what the heck is up with Himemiya!?

Utena’s herself doesn’t have any problems at all. At least, in her opinion she doesn’t. She’s actually moving farther and farther away from her goal. She begins to act more and more like a woman, the opposite thing to do in order to save Himemiya. All because she loves that idiot of an Akio. Dammit! I want Himemiya to be saved!

The awesome part, however, comes from Touga. The next episode will feature the last of the rose-bride duels, with the third duel between Utena and Touga. That won’t be everything, however, as there are still four episodes left. Anyway, this episode, we finally see Touga himself struggle. Sayonji helps him brilliantly in this. I so love it when the two of them are together (except their Yaoi-ness, perhaps…). You can really see that they are good friends. Sayonji is probably the only real friend Touga has. Touga only lives using people as objects. He’s a playboy, and he never really loved anyone. Though, the upcoming battle with Utena sets him to think. I also was exremely surprised at seeing his relationship with Akio. On one side, he wants to be like him. On the other side, I can’t stand the look on his face once he saw Utena and Akio happy together.

Posted on 5 March 2006 with categories: Revolutionary Girl Utena



OMG. OMG. OMG!

Okay, let’s recap, what do we see in this episode: Utena’s history (OMG), the Shadow-Play girls (apparently their name is the Kashira-girls) actually PERFORMING a 10-minute-long play of goodness (OMG), Himemiya’s history (OMG), the Kashira-girls without the shadow-play (OMG), the largest amount of symbols and metaphors yet to be seen in any other Utena-episode (OMG), a horrible cliffhanger (OMG) and what the hell is wrong with Himemiya!?!!? (OMG)

When I look back at this, I’d have to say that this was an OMG-episode. So many things get revealed, so many things finally make sense. So many new misteries are introduced. This really was one of the best Utena-episodes yet.

Before this episode, I could rather precisely identify the good guys from the bad guys, and vice versa. Well, that also changed after this episode. I can’t possibly tell right now who the bad guy of this show might be, because so many hints are flying in all kinds of different directions.

Okay, five episodes left. I wonder when we’ll get to see the prince in his current form. And what will be the role of his mysterious companion, who only appeared at the recap episode after the first part? In fact, these are just two of so many things I’m wondering about this show.

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The third recap episode in this series. But not an ordinary one, as we’ll see a major event that’ll influence the plot. It’s not really a plot twist, as it had it coming for a long time, but still, it was perfectly executed, along with the numerous amounts of symbols as usual, all working together to make a great result.

But still, that doesn’t mean that that person is a total idiot. There were so many times that I wanted to hit him for the things he’s doing. But I think that the creators are aware of this, and try to make him look as evil as possible. Well, they succeeded.

That wasn’t the only thing revealed in this episode, by the way. We also learn the certain identity from a certain someone. At least, I think we did. The revealing of this information just goes against all of the laws of anime at once. Normally, a lot of time and emphasis is put on these kinds of things. But here, it just gets thrown at the table like it’s nothing. There has to be something more… but what?

Anyway, about the recap itself, I guess it was only meant to fill up the rest of the airtime for this big thing. The heavy battle-scenes certainly helped to strengthen the mood, although everything was seen before and Nanami was somehow left out of this.

As this was episode 33, we still have six episodes until the series ended. I may be totally mistaken, but this episode marked the beginning of the end of Revolutionary Girl Utena. Everything seems set for a grande finale. I’m really curious about how everything will develop.

(P.S. The “shadow-play” girls were awesome again)

Posted on 15 February 2006 with categories: Revolutionary Girl Utena

This episode shows the second half of this Nanami arc. After the things she saw and witnessed last episode, she really begins to fall apart. Touga, of course, helps her in doing this. Afterwards, it’s also her turn to see the end of the world. I really like what she manages to do afterwards. You could almost put a sign on her with the text: "don’t mess with me!" That’s the beauty of Nanami: she can be really poisonous at times, with beautiful results.

Anyway, during her fight, this was really noticable. I’m giving two thumbs up for the choreographers for this. The fight itself was short, with not much happening, for a standard Utena-fight anyway. However, the battle choreography-department seemed to extra their best this time. I don’t know how, but I could really see Nanami giving her utter best in this fight. I think the way she moved was different…

I’m also noticing that, the longer I keep watching the show, the faster I can be able to identify all of the different symbols used. And I realize that there were far more used than I would have imagined. The freaky thing is, that all of these symbols have some kind of hidden meaning, and they all relate to the main plot.

Posted on 13 February 2006 with categories: Revolutionary Girl Utena

My goodness… wow, just wow. These are some very, very, very interesting turns of events. I love it!

We first get the impression of a Nanami episode. This time a serious one, along with her brother playing the role of antagonist. A bit of Utena is shown, but mostly we see Nanami struggle. Then she (and we as well) realize something that was so incredible for the plot, that I don’t know how to describe it.

Anyway, if this wasn’t enough, we see tons of symbolism (I recognized the four Bremen city-musicians, or however they are called in English), smart dialogue, and funny tidbits. To top this all, we finally get shown what had been hinted for entire seasons. And it’s shown in an AWESOME way. I can’t wait for the next couple of episodes, as this was one of the best ones yet.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 10:47 AM)
    Now this is very very good news to me, dark horse is releasing more of Satoshi Kon’s manga in the west, seraphim and opus, I’ll grab anything this guy has worked on. Definitely excited for this.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 10:46 AM)
    Not bad at all not bad songs for the new jojo at all =3
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 10:14 AM)
    @Juno, you aren’t alone.
  • Juno
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:37 AM)
    Because as of this moment, my childhood could NOT be happier…
  • Juno
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:37 AM)
    I can’t be the only one FREAKING OUT OVER THE NEW JOJO ENDING THEME, right?
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:32 AM)
    And although everyone said already, the launch scene is gorgeous.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:30 AM)
    @Friend Man, you are something else. The chapter reeled me into the story. I didnt see any faults with it, except for one typo. The scenes are well composited, and like nyan said, the only “faults” are nitpicky things :)
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:21 AM)
    Yeah, I think this falls more into the category of typesetting than anything else and there’s plenty of different ways that can go depending on preference. If the readers don’t have an issue, then it’s fine.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:11 AM)
    A problem ve faced with american comics is that they usually dont contrast the speech bubble with the surroundings too well. That might be a factor, as large bubbles mean more visibility of the text itself.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:05 AM)
    ah well, I don’t really mean the amount of content, but a negative space thing. it’s easier on the eyes when there’s a bit of space around the bubble for me.

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