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

Posted on with categories: Revolutionary Girl Utena

Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket

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.

Posted on with categories: Revolutionary Girl Utena

Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket

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.

Posted on with categories: Revolutionary Girl Utena

Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket

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…

Posted on with categories: Revolutionary Girl Utena

Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket

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.

Posted on with categories: Revolutionary Girl Utena

Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by Photobucket

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.

Posted on with categories: Revolutionary Girl Utena



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.

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Vincent
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 10:01 AM)
    Watched Letters from Iwo Jima again. Ken Watanabe is a great actor.
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:32 AM)
    Note that it’s not just regular AIDS, which is definitely treatable if caught early, it’s some dtug resistant SUPERAIDS that the character in question got from a blood transfusion soon after being born
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:29 AM)
    It’s not that the disease being AIDS is really all that important. You could even replace with anything, even Sudden Moe Death Syndrome from Clannad and the emotional impact would still be as blunt and forced.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:02 AM)
    Oh for fucks sake sword art? You put HIV drama into your show?
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:57 AM)
    Pretty much looking forward to the next two episodes and hope it gets more seasons too.
    I also liked how bleak it was.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 AM)
    *how twisty
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    . I was told to stay away from story six. Story seven was the most developed and ambitious of the selection but I feel mixed on it and didn’t really get into it until midway or so.
    Still I do love weird tales anthology stuff and this all fit the bill for me.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    The first story even I have to admit was genuinely horrifying, uncomfortable and got under my skin and of the selection it still stands out as having the greatest impact. The second one was good social commentary but doesn’t really give me much I didn’t already know. Stories three and were the most emotionally investing for me. I thoroughly enjoyed who twisty, twisted, truly nasty and cruel story five was and it is my second favourite of the lot.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    I did however feel that some of the dialogue and acting could have done with some very very slight tweaking in parts/some segments.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:53 AM)
    Okay even though I don’t watch western tv shows all that much I finally properly spent whole day going through black mirror. For the larger part this is creative, unpredictable, well thought out/written, varied, I like the technological end of it, the stories manage to fit into the short film runtime without ever feeling like they needed more time and its clear that Charlie Brooker has a lot to say with this and is very intelligent man, some of it does ring fairly true.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Recommendation corner 02 – Light novels #1

Its very easy to disregard the light novel genre completely as it is responsible for the creation of quite a number of unoriginal, bad and shameless pandering anime in recent years. However there still are worthwhile stories within the genre. They are just a little less known.   Mushoku Tensei Description: A 34-year-old NEET otaku […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 10

Very nice start to the beginning of the episode with the Unlimited Bladeworks chant. Sure, it has been parodied to kingdom come but I still love it and all it’s broken engrish glory. But now I can say it with certainty. This series is not suitable for being watched weekly. In watching this episode I […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 10

Fights blew past fast this episode. We had four fights in one episode so my previous fears of this getting dragged look to be untrue.  Notables being the fight between a mystery girl and a holy knight whose head is so disproportionate from his body that you could swear someone took the head of a […]

Gugure! Kokkuri-San- 06-10

So I’ve been gone for a while partially because of work, school, and my political activities, but also because I wanted to try approaching how I review in a (hopefully) interesting way. I’d be interested in hearing your feedback on this, as I am trying to inject more of my own personality into the way […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 09

The pattern continues with another building up episode. Admittedly I find this somewhat disappointing. I feel that this show would be better marathoned than watched weekly as the wait for what is a essentially a build up to the next episode can hamper the experience a bit. As I said before, this show would work […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 09

The fight between explosives girl and the sins was ended quicker than I thought. When King entered the fight it was settled almost immediately.  King made short work of her as Elaine provided some supposedly badass exposition saying how King is originally known as the king of the fairies, harlequin. I say supposedly because it […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 08

Another episode has come and gone. This episode marking the first casualty of the holy grail war. Looks like Rider is out of the running. It is a bit sad to see her go so unceremoniously and even defeated off screen. Well, we shall see you again in the upcoming heavens feel movie, where you […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 08

There was a few questionable things here this episode. The episode starts with the new villain quite literally killing herself to enter the kingdom of the dead. Which is a big risk considering it was based on one sentence from a child she was threatening. True being a shounen show there’s likely some magical biology […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 07

As expected, this week we have another action filled episode. Queue the pretty explosions and fast paced fighting. It felt too short despite the episode length being just the same as the others. I often find that with a good episode of anime it makes you lose the concept of time as you watch. Making […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]