History Anime / RevolutionaryGirlUtena

29th Nov '16 2:41:46 AM Solle
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On the day of her parents' funeral, seven-year-old Utena meets a prince on a white horse. The prince gives Utena a signet ring and says it will one day lead her back to him. Utena, overwhelmed with emotion, decides that she too will become a prince. Seven years later, Utena (who now presents with a mix of male and female gender cues) has followed his trail to Ohtori Academy. When she attempts to defend her best friend Wakaba from an upperclassman, Utena becomes enmeshed in a swordfighting tournament with members of Ohtori's Student Council. The tournament's winner receives "The Power to Revolutionize the World" -- and the hand of the demure and obedient Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya.

Utena and Anthy [[LesYay slowly become friends]], and Utena learns that her new "bride" has a connection to "End of the World", the mysterious force behind the sword duels. In the show's second ("Black Rose") arc, acting school chairman Akio Ohtori takes an interest in Utena -- and everything, including Utena's relationship to Anthy, prompty goes to hell.

''Utena'' includes, describes, averts, inverts, and subverts a sizeable number of anime tropes, most notably StockFootage (Utena's OnceAnEpisode TransformationSequence) and ClipShow episodes (two of the three contain major plot twists essential to the story). The series has a striking visual design pieced together by director Creator/KunihikoIkuhara and influenced by Takurazuka, Noh theater plays, fairy tale imagery, and classic shoujo manga. It also features a lush soundtrack that mixes classical orchestral themes with outré choral harmonies and surrealist rock. The show draws on a number of symbolic, philosophical and literary allusions while beautifully and aesthetically portraying its DysfunctionJunction of attractive and troubled characters.

Underneath the visuals and references, ''Utena'' tells a coming-of-age story that explores two curious notions: Can someone stick to childish ideals in order to defeat an opponent who embodies adulthood? And can a girl made of frills and pink hair and flower symbolism break free of the expectation of becoming a princess, and instead take on the role of a prince?

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In contrast to the series' subtle approach, the 1999 film ''Shōjo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku'' (literally ''Adolescence Apocalypse''; known as ''The Adolescence of Utena'' or ''Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie'' to Western audiences) makes the romantic nature of Utena and Anthy's relationship explicit. The film changes most of the show's characters in drastic ways, both in terms of appearance and characterization. The storyline receives just as many drastic alterations; fans consider it more of a recreation of the series than an adaptation. ''Utena: The Movie'' became infamous for its GainaxEnding... as well as its [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible Gainax Beginning and Gainax Middle]]. One could see the film as an [[RuleOfSymbolism allegory on Mahayana Buddhism, a take on Jungian philosophy, or a look at gnostic belief]]... or it could just be [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory about lesbians]].

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CentralParkMedia originally released both the series and the movie in the United States. When CPM snagged the show's license, it dubbed the show's first thirteen episodes, but failed to secure a license for the remaining episodes until years later, which created a huge gap between the release of episodes. (They did eventually dub the rest of the show, and later released the series and the movie on DVD.)

In 2011, Creator/NozomiEntertainment re-released the series across three DVD sets, using the show's remastered Region 2 DVD as the video base and retaining the CPM dub. (Nozomi also re-released the movie; it was packaged with the third set.) The series also aired on Viz Media's Creator/NeonAlley streaming service. Creator/MangaEntertainment, who shares a distribution deal with Nozomi, made the whole series (dub and sub!) available in its entirety on both Hulu and YouTube; it also placed the movie (dub and sub!) on YouTube. Nozomi plans to re-release the series again, this time on Blu-ray, in 2016 -- marking Nozomi's first Blu-ray release and the first high-definition release of ''Utena'' in the United States.

Creator/VizMedia published the entire manga series and the manga based on the movie; those releases have fallen out of print. However, Viz will be re-releasing the manga in 2017.

At Kobe Animation '97, the anime series won the "Best TV Animation" award.

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On the day of her parents' funeral, seven-year-old Utena meets a prince on a white horse. The prince gives Utena a signet ring and says it will one day lead her back to him. Utena, overwhelmed with emotion, decides that she too will become a prince. Seven years later, Utena (who now presents with a mix of male and female gender cues) has followed his trail to Ohtori Academy. When she attempts to defend her best friend Wakaba from an upperclassman, Utena becomes enmeshed in a swordfighting tournament with members of Ohtori's Student Council. The tournament's winner receives "The Power to Revolutionize the World"--and the hand of the demure and obedient Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya.

Utena and Anthy [[LesYay slowly become friends]], and Utena learns that her new "bride" has a connection to "End of the World", the mysterious force behind the sword duels. In the show's second arc (the "Black Rose" arc), acting school chairman Akio Ohtori takes an interest in Utena--and everything, including Utena's relationship with Anthy, goes from good to bad to worse.

''Utena'' includes, describes, averts, inverts, and subverts a sizeable number of anime tropes, most notably StockFootage (Utena's OnceAnEpisode TransformationSequence) and ClipShow episodes (two of the three contain major plot twists essential to the story). The series has a striking visual design pieced together by director Creator/KunihikoIkuhara and influenced by Takurazuka, Noh theater plays, fairy tale imagery, and classic shoujo manga. It also features a lush soundtrack that mixes classical orchestral themes with outre choral harmonies and surrealist rock.

Somewhat like an animated equivalent to ''Literature/TheSecretHistory'', the show draws on a number of symbolic, philosophical and literary allusions while beautifully and aesthetically portraying its DysfunctionJunction of attractive yet troubled (and often malevolent) characters. The show features commentary on and references to existing works, including (but not limited to) ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'', {{Carl Jung}}, UsefulNotes/SigmundFreud, the House of Borgia, ''Literature/ParadiseLost'', Creator/WilliamShakespeare, Creator/{{Cicero}}, and [[http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses9.html#7 Ovid's Metamorphoses]]. It even has multi-episode obscure visual references to Manet and numerous nods to the existentialist German war novel ''[[Creator/HermannHesse Demian]]''. Underneath the visuals and references, ''Utena'' tells a coming-of-age story that explores two curious notions: Can someone stick to childish ideals in order to defeat an opponent who embodies adulthood? And can a girl made of frills and pink hair and flower symbolism break free of the expectation of becoming a princess, and instead take on the role of a prince?

The series also focuses on sex, though it doesn't use any explicit imagery. Incest becomes a major theme, and the series explores it from numerous perspectives; loss of innocence (sexual or otherwise) also becomes very important. But at its core, ''Utena'' follows the story of a friendship-turned-[[GirlsLove romance between two girls]] who never expected it. Ikuhara [[WordOfGay has even said]] that the love between the two is the most important thing of all.

------

In contrast to the series' subtle approach, the 1999 film ''Shōjo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku'' (literally ''Adolescence Apocalypse''; known as ''The Adolescence of Utena'' or ''Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie'' to Western audiences) makes the romantic nature of Utena and Anthy's relationship explicit. The film changes most of the show's characters in drastic ways, both in terms of appearance and characterization. The storyline receives just as many drastic alterations; fans consider it more of a recreation of the series than an adaptation. ''Utena: The Movie'' became infamous for its GainaxEnding...and its [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible Gainax Beginning and Gainax Middle]]. One could see the film as an [[RuleOfSymbolism allegory on Mahayana Buddhism, a take on Jungian philosophy, or a look at gnostic belief]]...or it could just be [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory about lesbians]]. The film's infamy earned it a nickname that doubles as a ShoutOut to [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion another]] infamous MindScrew of an anime film: ''The End of Utena''.

--------

CentralParkMedia originally released both the series and the movie in the United States. When CPM snagged the show's license, it dubbed the show's first thirteen episodes, but failed to secure a license for the remaining episodes until years later, which created a huge gap between the release of episodes. (They did eventually dub the rest of the show, and later released the series and the movie on DVD.)

In 2011, Creator/NozomiEntertainment re-released the series across three DVD sets, using the show's remastered Region 2 DVD as the video base and retaining the CPM dub. (Nozomi also re-released the movie; it was packaged with the third set.) The series also aired on Viz Media's Creator/NeonAlley streaming service. Creator/MangaEntertainment, who shares a distribution deal with Nozomi, made the whole series (dub and sub!) available in its entirety on both Hulu and YouTube; it also placed the movie (dub and sub!) on YouTube. Nozomi plans to re-release the series again, this time on Blu-ray, in 2016--marking Nozomi's first Blu-ray release and the first high-definition release of ''Utena'' in the United States.

Creator/VizMedia published the entire manga series and the manga based on the movie; those releases have fallen out of print. However, Viz will be re-releasing the manga in 2017.

At Kobe Animation '97, the anime series won the "Best TV Animation" award. A previous work by Creator/ChihoSaito, ''Manga/{{Kanon|ByChihoSaito}}'', may have served as the inspiration for several of the themes and tropes in this story.



* ShoutOut: Wakaba is seen reading and talking about ''Magnolia Waltz'', an earlier manga by Chiho Saito, in the second episode.

to:

* ShoutOut: ShoutOut:
** ''Utena'' features commentary on and references to existing works, including (but not limited to) ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'', {{Carl Jung}}, UsefulNotes/SigmundFreud, the House of Borgia, ''Literature/ParadiseLost'', Creator/WilliamShakespeare, Creator/{{Cicero}}, and [[http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses9.html#7 Ovid's Metamorphoses]]. It even has multi-episode obscure visual references to Manet and numerous nods to the existentialist German war novel ''[[Creator/HermannHesse Demian]]''.
**
Wakaba is seen reading and talking about ''Magnolia Waltz'', an earlier manga by Chiho Saito, in the second episode.episode.
** A previous work by Creator/ChihoSaito, ''Manga/{{Kanon|ByChihoSaito}}'', may have served as the inspiration for several of the themes and tropes in this story.
30th Oct '16 9:14:41 PM jedidarrick
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Creator/VizMedia published the entire manga series and the manga based on the movie; those releases have fallen out of print with no word of a reprint or relicensing.

to:

Creator/VizMedia published the entire manga series and the manga based on the movie; those releases have fallen out of print with no word of a reprint or relicensing.
print. However, Viz will be re-releasing the manga in 2017.
17th Oct '16 4:29:20 PM Katsuhagi
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Added DiffLines:

* AdaptationalConsent: The relationship between [[spoiler:Akio and Anthy]] is clearly unhealthy regardless of the medium, though the movie simplifies things considerably by showing it as thoroughly nonconsensual.
21st Sep '16 9:59:59 PM cpslck
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Added DiffLines:

* DecoyProtagonist: In the movie, Utena starts off as a main character [[spoiler: but it's Anthy's story and the mystery surrounding her that's the most important (with Utena's story serving as a foil). Then Utena turns into a car and the narrative focuses on Anthy's escape from Otohori.]]
17th Sep '16 11:51:10 AM notShemp
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Added DiffLines:

* AdvertisingByAssociation: The newest release announces on the box that it's from one of the creators of ''Anime/SailorMoon'': Creator/KunihikoIkuhara.
11th Sep '16 8:23:40 PM erforce
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* XMeetsY: ''TwinPeaks'' meets ''Anime/SailorMoon''.
** Or ''Anime/SailorMoon'' meets ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'' meets [[spoiler:TheShawshankRedemption]]. (Think about it.)

to:

* XMeetsY: ''TwinPeaks'' ''Series/TwinPeaks'' meets ''Anime/SailorMoon''.
** Or ''Anime/SailorMoon'' meets ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'' meets [[spoiler:TheShawshankRedemption]].[[spoiler:Film/TheShawshankRedemption]]. (Think about it.)
10th Jun '16 8:53:15 AM NativeJovian
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* ImplausibleFencingPowers: Utena tends to do this during the duels, particularly with the Soul of Dios powering her up.

to:

* %%* ImplausibleFencingPowers: Utena tends to do this during the duels, particularly with the Soul of Dios powering her up.
24th May '16 1:13:07 PM _____________
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* [[spoiler:BittersweetEnding]]: [[spoiler:Utena has disappeared and the entire campus will eventually forget about her. But the revolution ''did'' occur--Anthy is inspired to finally end her cycle of abuse, and go out into the world to find Utena again. And the rest of the Student Council seems to have, if not had their own revolution, at least resolved their issues.]]

to:

* [[spoiler:BittersweetEnding]]: BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Utena has disappeared and the entire campus will eventually forget about her. But the revolution ''did'' occur--Anthy is inspired to finally end her cycle of abuse, and go out into the world to find Utena again. And the rest of the Student Council seems to have, if not had their own revolution, at least resolved their issues.]]
15th May '16 7:13:25 AM CountMontoni
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Added DiffLines:

* RefugeInAudacity: You know how a lot of shojo anime romanticizes behaviors and traits that would be unacceptable in real life? Well, here those actions and character traits actually have consequences, because Utena subverts the ''hell'' out of this.
7th May '16 7:29:22 PM CountMontoni
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* DownerEnding: Most of the Black Rose episodes end with the Black Rose duelist happier off and with some CharacterDevelopment for their trouble; [[spoiler:Wakaba's]], on the other hand, [[spoiler:ends with her coming to see Saionji has left as she mutters an "I'm home" to herself.]] In short, it's implied she ''missed'' her {{Aesop}} - which is that being attracted to a person of [[BastardBoyfriend Saionji's character]] is ''really'' not a good thing.

to:

* DownerEnding: Most of the Black Rose episodes end with the Black Rose duelist happier off and with some CharacterDevelopment for their trouble; [[spoiler:Wakaba's]], on the other hand, [[spoiler:ends with her coming to see Saionji has left as she mutters an "I'm home" to herself.]] In short, it's implied that not only is she still discontent with her status as an ordinary person, she also ''missed'' her {{Aesop}} - which is that being attracted to a person of [[BastardBoyfriend Saionji's character]] is ''really'' not a good thing.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Anime.RevolutionaryGirlUtena