[[quoteright:286:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/UandA_Together_4522_4950.PNG]]
[-[[caption-width-right:286:[[FlowerMotifs You'll never see roses the same way again.]]]]-]

->''"Grant me the power to bring the world revolution!"''

'''''Revolutionary Girl Utena''''' ('''''Shoujo Kakumei Utena''''') is a surreal {{shoujo}} work commonly regarded by anime fandom as a DistaffCounterpart to ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. It deals with the trials of a girl named Utena Tenjou, her loss of innocence, and her struggle to bring on the world's revolution.

''Utena'' consists of:
* A five-volume manga; though chronologically the first version (serialization began in mid-to-late 1996), the manga and the anime were simultaneous projects.
* A 39-episode anime series that aired in 1997 from April to December; considered the "core" canon.
** A SegaSaturn game set in the middle of the anime's first arc, ''Four Days in Ohtori: Itsuka Kakumeisareru Monogatari''; it's a VisualNovel featuring two new characters -- the NewTransferStudent player character [[HelloInsertNameHere you name yourself]], and a FemmeFatale villain named Chigusa Sanjouin -- and [[NoExportForYou was never released outside of Japan]].
* An original animated feature film, released in 1999; considered an alternate continuity to the original series (and discussed in better detail below).
** A single-volume manga based on the animated feature; considered yet ''another'' alternate continuity, as it diverges from the movie's story.
* A pair of {{light novel}}s (one focusing on Miki, the other on Saionji) published in 1998; perhaps [[NoExportForYou the most obscure part]] of the ''Utena'' canon, these light novels make up another alternate continuity (though they bear the closest resemblance to the original manga).

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; overwhelmed with emotion, Utena 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 a classmate 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.

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

''Utena'' lovingly 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 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.

The show features commentary on (and references to) existing works, including -- but not limited to -- ''RoseOfVersailles'', {{Carl Jung}}, SigmundFreud, the House of Borgia, ''Literature/ParadiseLost'', Creator/WilliamShakespeare, Creator/{{Cicero}}, [[http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses9.html#7 Ovid's Metamorphoses]], multi-episode obscure visual references to Manet, and numerous nods to the existentialist German war novel ''[[HermannHesse Demian]]''. Underneath these themes, ''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, although it doesn't use any explicit imagery. Incest becomes a major theme, and the series explores it from numerous perspectives; the show also treats the loss of virginity as something tremendously important and symbolic. At its core, though, ''Utena'' follows the story of a friendship-turned-[[GirlsLove romance between two girls]] who never expected it; director Ikuhara [[WordOfGay has even said]] that the love between the two is the most important thing of all.

In contrast to the series' subtle and symbolic approach, the 1999 film ''Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku'' [[note]]literally ''Adolescence Apocalypse''; known as ''The Adolescence of Utena'' or ''Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie'' to Western audiences[[/note]] makes the romantic nature of Utena and Anthy's relationship explicit. The film changes most of the 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 notable for its GainaxEnding...as well as its [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible Gainax Beginning and Gainax Middle]]; one could construe the film as an [[RuleOfSymbolism allegory on Mahayana Buddhism, a take on Jungian philosophy, a look at gnostic belief]], or it could just [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory tell a love story centered around lesbians]]. That notability earned the movie a nickname that serves as a ShoutOut to that [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion other]] infamous MindScrew of an anime film: ''The End of Utena''.

CentralParkMedia originally released both the full series and the movie in the United States. When CPM snagged the show's license, it dubbed the show's first 13 episodes, but failed to secure the licenses to the remaining episodes until years later, which created a huge gap between the release of episodes. The DVDs for those releases have since fallen out of print due to CPM's demise, but remain easy to find (albeit expensive) if you know where to look.

In 2011, Creator/NozomiEntertainment re-released the series across three DVD sets; these new releases used the show's remastered Region 2 DVD release as the video base and retained the CPM dub. (Nozomi also re-released the movie; it came packaged with the third set.) The series will eventually air on Viz Media's Creator/NeonAlley streaming service. Creator/MangaEntertainment (who shares a distribution deal with Nozomi) made the whole series (dub only) available in its entirety on both Hulu and YouTube; it also placed the movie (dub only) on YouTube.

Creator/VizMedia published the entire manga series and the manga based on the movie, but those releases have fallen out of print with no word of a reprint or relicensing.

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

Oh, and one last thing you'll want to remember: {{Word of God}} [[TrollingCreator says]] ''all'' interpretations of ''Utena'''s symbolism hold true.

----

!! ''Revolutionary Girl Utena'' contains examples of the following tropes:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: A-E]]
* AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil: Almost every episode, the Council members ride in a fancy elevator to meet in a rose-decorated tower to discuss the upcoming worldwide revolution. Then they [[MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours swordfight]] for a chance to control said revolution. That's about as absurdly powerful as you can get. Beautifully subverted when it turns out that [[spoiler: Akio and Anthy created the Duels for for the sole purpose of benefiting Akio, and not even Utena really had a fighting chance to become the final Champion as long as Anthy remained the Rose Bride.]]
* AbsurdlySharpBlade: Anthy can power up the Sword of Dios/[[spoiler:Utena's soul sword]]; included in said power-up is this property, although it's only demonstrated during Utena's duels with Touga. [[spoiler:To put it into perspective, Utena's powered-up soul sword can easily split approaching cars without them losing velocity.]]
* AccidentalMarriage: Utena and Anthy, though it's more like an "engagement".
* ActionGirl: Utena, Juri, and the other female duelists.
* AdaptationDistillation: The movie-manga cuts out most of the actual movie's weirder symbolism (most notably the cars) in order to tell its story in a more straightfoward fashion.
* AdaptationDyeJob:
** Utena started in the manga as a blonde, but was given pink hair in the anime and later manga volume covers and illustrations. Her eyes also varied between being brown or blue in the early colored artwork, but stuck as blue after her hair changed to pink.
** Anthy also originally had dark brown/black hair in the manga, but it was changed to violet in the anime and later colored illustrations, while her eye color changes from brown to green. Other hair color changes included Juri going from being blonde to having orange hair (while her eyes changed from brown to blue), and Touga's hair changing from [[MulticoloredHair black with red bangs]] to red with one paler forelock. Miki's hair also was originally brown in the first color illustration of him, but quickly changed to blue to fit with the anime (as did his eyes).
** Utena's uniform was also originally pink in the manga (though she receives a black uniform as a plot point in the third volume), but Ikuhara vetoed the idea of it carrying over to the anime. Chiho Saito explained in an omake that he gave her the choice of having Utena wear black or red in the anime; while she picked red, he settled on giving her black.
** Anthy's Rose Bride dress was originally white with blue trim, but changed to red in later manga illustrations to match with Ikuhara's color choice.
* AdorablyPrecociousChild: Mitsuru Tsuwabuki.
* AgeAppropriateAngst: Played with. Though most of the cast are teenagers, reasons for angsting and levels of angst will vary depending on the personality and maturity levels of different characters. Then it's played straight with Akio and Anthy, [[spoiler: who've lived for what's implied to be centuries and have universal problems proportional to their humongous ages.]]
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Subverted.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Sadly lampshaded by Juri, who remarks that people would be much happier if they could simply change the objects of their affections.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Towards a certain MysteriousWaif... Don't expect her to take everything lying down, though. And Nanami would've fared better if she'd known that Anthy has faced [[{{Hell}} far, far worse]] than any bullying her little group of schoolgirls could've come up with.
* AllTakeAndNoGive: [[spoiler:Akio and Anthy]]'s relationship is a twisted and messed up play of this trope. [[spoiler:Akio]] has the position of ultimate power, not just in the relationship but in the whole Ohtori, while [[spoiler:Anthy]] is at the lowest buttom of the social power's pyramide and it's at [[spoiler:her brother]]'s hands; but he's powerless without her and she knows it and in exchange of the power she gives to him, she manipulates him to get attention and some kind of "affection" from him in a manipulative [[TheMasochismTango masochistic tango]].
* AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame: TheMovie might as well be called "That Anime Where A Girl Turns Into A Car"
* AlphaBitch: Nanami for most of the series. Juri in the manga.
* AlternateContinuity: The Movie.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: [[spoiler:The anime ends with Anthy departing on a quest to find the missing Utena.]]
* [[AnimalsHateHim Animals Hate Her]]: Nanami.
* AnimationBump: The StockFootage is stock footage, yes, but it's all ''very'' well-animated.
** The Movie too, for '''''[[BigBudgetBeefUp very]]''''' [[BigBudgetBeefUp obvious reasons]].
* AntiVillain: Nearly every character that can be considered a villain at any point in the story is this except for [[spoiler: Akio]].
* AnythingThatMoves: Touga (although he's mainly into girls) and ''especially'' Akio.
* ArcWords: "Revolutionize the world!" encompasses the entire series but each of the three (or four, [[spoiler: depending on whether you consider the third and fourth arcs distinct]]) have their own arc words.
** From the Student Council arc: "If the egg's shell does not break, the chick will die without being born. We are the chick; the world is our egg. If the world's shell does not break, we will die without being born. Break the world's shell!"
** From the Black Rose arc: "Deeper... go deeper..." and "the way before you has been prepared"
** From the Akio arc: "The ends of the world, I will show... to you."
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: "Snails in her pencil box... A mongoose in her desk drawer... A giant octopus balloon in her closet! And now shaved ice for dinner?! You're making me sick!"
* ArtisticAge: Type 1. It's easy to forget that Utena, Wakaba, and Nanami are 14 years old, looking about the same age as their 16-18 year old upperclassmen. [[spoiler: Makes for added Squick during Akio's seduction of Utena]]
* AscendedExtra: Nanami, a major secondary character in the anime, only appears in a photo in the manga, where Juri more or less takes her place. By that association, because Juri has some of Nanami's traits in the manga, Shiori as an ascension in the anime also counts.
* AscendedFridgeHorror: A good rule of thumb with this series is that if something, especially a relationship, seems a little fucked up at first glance odds are it's not only exactly as bad as you think it is, but ''worse''.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: Possibly [[spoiler:Utena, in the end of the series and manga]].
* AuthorAvatar: Chu-Chu. This ''is'' Ikuni.
* AutobotsRockOut: With OminousLatinChanting to boot. Try not to enjoy the Black Rose Arc songs.
* BackForTheDead: [[spoiler:Ruka.]]
* {{Backstory}}: [[CharacterDevelopment Everyone has one.]]
* {{Badass}}:
** Tsuwabuki, of all people. Sure, the main characters spend pretty much all their free time having sword fights to bring about the World Revolution (Whatever the heck ''that'' means), but all they ever really do is [[ClothingDamage try to knock something off each other’s shirts]]. Nine-year-old Tsuwabuki, on the other hand, gets jumped by ''three'' high-schoolers, and he takes them all. That kid has got ''spunk''.
** Hell, Utena herself. Even outside of the duels, she's a really tough chick both in personality and in physical ability. She can jump, she can punch, she's a demon on the basketball court, and she can beat trained duelists with broken swords, bamboo practice swords, and a ''pitchfork''. And let's not get started on the truly ''epic'' move she pulls in the last episode...
* BastardBoyfriend: Saionji, Touga and Akio are cold, and diffident to the Rose Bride, and to other women.
* TheBeautifulElite: Almost every major character (except, notably, Anthy) has a scene where they are being admired by a crowd of lovestruck onlookers (of [[EvenTheGuysWantHim both]] [[EvenTheGirlsWantHer genders]]). This usually happens when they're first introduced.
* {{Bifauxnen}}: Utena, particularly in the movie.
* BigBad: End of the World/[[spoiler:Akio.]]
* BigBrotherAttraction
* BigBrotherInstinct: Averted. Dios [[spoiler:ignored Anthy when he was too busy [[ChronicHeroSyndrome saving the rest of the world]]. Then [[FaceHeelTurn he became Akio]] and decided that he wouldn't mind having his sister stabbed by swords for all eternity.]]
** Subverted with Touga, who outwardly indulges Nanami but ultimately sees her as a toy like he does with most girls.
** Played with with Miki, who wants to have a relationship with Kozue, but no longer knows how he can do that.
* TheBigDamnKiss: [[spoiler:Between Utena and Anthy at the end of the movie.]]
* BigNo: Kanae at the moment of her defeat
* BigOlEyebrows: Chu-chu has them. And he's supposed to be ''cute''.
* {{Bishounen}}: Roughly the entire male cast.
* [[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.]]
* BloodlessCarnage: There aren't any injuries that would be accompanied by noticeable blood until the final episodes, but none of them feature the puddles of blood that they should.
* [[BloodBrothers Blood Sisters]]: Utena vows to protect and support Anthy no matter what the cost, but being a MindScrew show, just getting there is half the battle...
* BookEnds: The very last episode features a montage of "everyday" scenes paralleling events that happened to Utena and the other characters throughout the last year. As Anthy points out, the ending is not as [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]] as it initially appears -- [[spoiler:the character dynamics that Utena changed are things that can't be undone]].
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: More or less literally -- the asparagus sandwich may never be the same.
* BreakTheCutie: EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses? [[SubvertedTrope I don't think so.]] Weaklings in ''Utena'' either stay weak and get into severe trouble, or they try to seize power in incredibly unscrupulous ways.
* BreakTheHaughty: Everyone's haughty to some degree, but no matter how it seems from the outside, Akio does ''not'' live a happy life.
* BrickJoke:
** One of the shadow plays features a scientist and her robot, [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment which every now and then mutters some nonsense about catching monkeys.]] A few episodes later, there's an entirely unrelated skit with talking animals, and it ends when a robot appears out of nowhere [[CrowningMomentOfFunny and kidnaps the monkey.]]
** In the first episode, Utena asks Saionji why there's an upside-down floating castle in the middle of the forest. He says, "It's a kind of mirage. Think of it as a trick of the light." ''Thirty-seven'' episodes later, [[spoiler: Akio turns off the planetarium projector.]]
* BrightCastle
* BrilliantButLazy: Played with in Miki and Mikage. Neither are completely lazy, but they do not reach their full potential in the series.
* BroodingBoyGentleGirl: Wakaba and Saionji take on this role in her Black Rose episode. It goes horribly wrong, of course.
* BrotherSisterIncest: No! Don't be repulsed! The incest is for Deconstruction! Not FetishFuel! [[spoiler:Miki and Kozue, Nanami and Touga, Anthy and Akio. The first is implied and the second never gets explicit. Akio and Anthy, on the other hand...]]
* BrokenBird: An overt example is Juri. She's the reason Ruka comes back [[spoiler:for the dead]]. A more [[ManipulativeBastard unconventional]] example is Anthy. Also, Kozue and Shiori.
* ButterflyOfDeathAndRebirth: They're all over the place, especially in the movie.
* ButtMonkey: Nanami and Saionji, throughout the filler episodes.
* TheCasanova: Touga, Akio.
* {{Catchphrase}}: Goes with the stock footage.
* ChalkOutline: The arena during the Black Rose arc becomes filled with red silhouettes of dead bodies. Rather creepily, whenever a Black Rose duelist is defeated, they collapse perfectly into one of the silhouettes.
** Remember where Mikage gets his [[spoiler:Black Rose Seals...]]?
* CharacterDevelopment: Everyone gets some over the course of the series.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: You don't want to know what it did to Dios and Anthy...
* Literature/{{Cinderella}}: Subverted, of course. At first, Keiko seems to follow this tale straight to the point of parody, Nanami being a sorta "evil stepmother". [[spoiler:But then her attitude to her "prince" appears to be much more "rose-bridish" than "cinderella-esque". And as she gets close to Touga at last, she switches roles with Nanami, starting to humiliate her. To crown the subversion, she ends up beaten and "princeless".]]
* ClingyJealousGirl: Nanami, Kozue, Shiori, and tragically [[spoiler: Anthy]].
* ClipShow: Episodes 13 and 33 summarize the first and third arcs, respectively, while surrounding the clips with intrigue, surrealism, and plot twists. Episode 24 is a humorous version, and compiles all of Nanami's ButtMonkey moments as [[FramingDevice diary entries written by Tsuwabuki.]]
* CloudCuckooLander: Anthy sometimes appears to be one, mostly near the beginning of the series.
* ClothingDamage: During the second duel with Touga. Also happens in Utena's duel with Saionji in the movie.
* ColourCodedCharacters: Each major character has a color associated with them. [[RuleOfSymbolism Each color, in turn, represents the biggest emotional problems they face.]] Similarly, Utena's white rose when she faces Black Rose Duelists is a classic case of White Hat Black Hat.
* ConspicuouslyLightPatch: Utena's locker in the Black Rose arc.
* ContinuityNod: The shadow play girls talk about a monkey-catching robot in episode 22. It makes later appearances in episodes 24 and 31.
* CoolCar: The movie has a hypertrophied pink Batmobile-like vehicle with two modes. [[spoiler:It's actually Utena, after she's transformed in the world's most intense car wash.]]
* CryForTheDevil: [[spoiler: Akio]] is as much of a victim as anyone else in the series [[spoiler:despite being the BigBad]]. Though it's debatable whether [[spoiler:Akio or Dios]] was the victim.
* CrystalDragonJesus: The series really toys with this trope. There's the deity Dios, a literal prince on a white horse, who occasionally comes down from the heavens to give Utena his strength. The antagonist is [[spoiler:Akio ("Morning Star", as in, Satan)]], who clearly defines himself as Dios' evil counterpart. It turns out [[spoiler: they were once the same person, who was worshiped as a god in a medieval society, but unable to listen to everyone's prayers and fulfill his duties as a deity. His sister Anthy took the blame and was symbolically crucified as a Jesus-figure, still to this day feeling the pain of her punishment, but absolving the people of their sins]].
* CustomUniform: The duelists' uniforms are in non-standard colors, with custom tailoring and military decoration like braid and epaulets. Utena's NonUniformUniform gets pimped out to the point of Custom Uniform when dueling. The transformation is part of the standard duel intro sequence.
* DamselInDistress: Subverted. Anthy is introduced as one[[spoiler:, but it is eventually shown that there's more to her than it first seems. Different characters shoved her between the different stereotypes until it ''finally'' occurred to Utena that her personality didn't have to be so flat.]] Meanwhile, Utena is in constant danger of becoming one herself, and everyone else has deep psychological problems which they must either be saved from or save themselves from. Failure in either is [[spoiler:is what Akio counts on to keep them in the Duels.]]
* DancesAndBalls
* DarkMistress: Kanae. Poor, poor Kanae.
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:Mamiya and (maybe) Mikage; Touga in the movie]]
* DepravedBisexual: [[spoiler:Akio]] is the manipulative kind who will seduce AnythingThatMoves as long as it will help his cause.
* DespairEventHorizon: [[CrapsackWorld ''Everyone will suffer'']]. Only some will [[TenMinuteRetirement survive]], [[spoiler:and [[FallenHero Akio is not among them]].]]
* DiscretionShot: We are mercifully spared seeing Nanami wearing a nose ring.
* DisposableFiancee: Kanae is either a hilarious invocation or an inhumanly cruel straight example of the trope, depending on how you watch the show.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Done several times throughout the series, though a particularly notable example is the filler episode "Nanami's Egg," a metaphor for the onset of puberty.
* DomesticAbuse: Saionji and [[spoiler:Akio]] are particularly abusive to Anthy. TheMovie features a particularly disturbing scene of incestuous rape [[spoiler:involving Touga and his adoptive father]].
** The case with [[spoiler:Akio]] is more complex than it seems at the first glance. It's not physically abusive (in the conventional sense, at least), and emotionally, the two torment each other bitterly, even as they share shallow expressions of affection. [[spoiler:Akio]] is in the position of power, but on the other hand he's utterly dependent on Anthy, and she knows it. It's a crazy, messed up relationship of passive aggression and emotional cruelty. [[spoiler:It's Anthy who ultimately desires to break the chain of abuse, and Akio who tries to cling to it, however; Utena is the impetus for Anthy finally breaking free and leaving Akio behind.]]
* DownerEnding: Inverted. Most of the Black Rose episodes end with the Black Rose duelist happier off and with some CharacterDevelopment for their trouble. [[spoiler:Wakaba's ends with her coming to see Saionji has left as she mutters an "I'm home" to herself.]]
* TheDragon: The Student Council, and later Mikage.
* DramaticIrony:
** The entire Black Rose Arc. [[LoveHurts Especially for Wakaba]].
** [[spoiler: Akio's plan to open the Rose Gate hinges on Anthy taking the Swords of Hate in his place so he can gain world revolution.]] Let's just say he's doing it wrong.
* DrivenToSuicide: Seems to be the case with [[spoiler: Akio]] in the movie and the movie manga. [[spoiler: Anthy]] also attempts this in the series.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler: Akio in TheMovie]].
* DudeShesLikeInAComa:
** Kozue to Miki, when he's fallen asleep at the piano.
** Subverted in the movie, where [[spoiler: Anthy]] is pretending to be asleep.
** Miki does this to Utena in the manga, when she's taking a nap on his couch.
* DuelsDecideEverything: But like everything else, it's subverted.
* DysfunctionJunction: '''Yes''' like whoa.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: The ultimate goal of all the Duelists is to literally gain the power to "bring the world revolution". [[MoralDissonance How and why]] is an entirely different matter, but the Student Council model sums it well enough.
--> '''Touga:''' If it cannot crack its eggshell, a chick will die without being born. We are the chick. This world is our egg. If we cannot crack the world's shell, we will die without being born. Smash the world's shell!\\
'''All:''' FOR THE SAKE OF REVOLUTIONIZING THE WORLD!
** This could be one of the interpretations for the ending of the movie.
* ElaborateUniversityHigh
* ElevatorSchool
* EmotionlessGirl: Anthy, although the trope is twisted and subverted in every possible way the way. After all, this is ''Revolutionary Girl Utena''.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer:
** Utena's got a ''legion'' of fangirls at Ohtori, and Wakaba goes so far as to call Utena her "boyfriend".
** Juri seems to have this effect on female fans.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: [[spoiler:Akio]]'s Super Seduction Skills lets him seduce most of the major cast... [[FauxSymbolism unless it really is just a ride in his car]].
** Just a ride in his car? Oh, come on. [[TheCasanova It's]] [[MagnificentBastard Akio]].
* EveryoneIsBi: Most everyone is canonically or [[HoYay hinted at]] being bisexual, although lip service is paid to heterosexuality as being the norm ("I'm a totally normal girl who wants a totally normal guy!"). Hilariously lampshaded when Touga, who is sleeping with Akio, tells Nanami, his sister, that only boy/girl romance is normal. [[spoiler: And proceeds to make out with her.]]
* ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl: Utena. Anthy, and to a lesser extent Juri, [[spoiler:are implied to have the potential.]]
* ExtremeDoormat: Anthy. [[spoiler:Subverted when we find out that her [[EmotionlessGirl emotionless personality]] is just a cover for her collusion with her brother, [[DoubleSubversion double subverted]] when she actually ''is'' an ExtremeDoormat to ''him'', though she passive-aggressively rebels every step of the way. In any case, she's ''far'' from emotionless to the point where [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation some fans consider her worse than Akio.]] She theoretically ''can'' rebel against her destiny as a fallen princess / WickedWitch, but has to choose between eternal torture and returning to the outside world which brought about her torture into the first place.]]
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted.]] Since when is being a [[DamselInDistress helpless waif]] better!? [[spoiler:When the alternative means being stabbed by a million swords, that's when! And what's worse then that? When the princess in question is so psychologically traumatized and resentful of the experience that she'd rather be tortured for all eternity than re-enter the outside world!]]
* EvilLaugh: Saionji does this a few times. His English voice actor makes it [[DissonantSerenity rather crazy]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: F-K]]
* FaceHeelTurn: Look at all the entries on this page, then guess who...
* TheFaceless: The shadow-play girls, and the few parents shown; also affects some "faced" characters when they appear in flashbacks.
* FairytaleMotifs: First appears to be played straight, and then subverted down to its core.
* FallenAngel: [[spoiler:Akio]], depending on how literally you chose to interpret his backstory. [[spoiler:Metaphorically speaking, he's definitely one. His name even roughly translates as "Lucifer"]].
* FallenHero: Series Metatropes - [[KnightInShiningArmor What makes a prince?]] [[StartOfDarkness And what causes said princes to fall?]] [[spoiler:Just ask Dios...turned Akio!]]
* {{Fanservice}}: Played straight with all female characters due to uniforms and attractive body structure. Played straight with all the guys due to many bishonen performing [[FauxSymbolism dramatic and meaningful]] shirtless poses. Then there's the Akio Car, not to mention the movie ending...
* FanDisservice: ''A lot'' of the sexuality takes on this aspect when you think about the other aspects of it, and it's pretty much a given that almost every sex scene in the series and movie has [[QuestionableConsent something]] [[MoreThanMindControl twisted]] behind it, most notably the ones between [[spoiler:Akio and Anthy]] and [[spoiler:Touga and his father]] in the movie.
** For a show with a fair amount of Fan Service, the only bona fide nudity ends up being rather disturbing.
* FeministFantasy: Right up there with Miyazaki movies in terms of female-centered stories with themes around personal growth and liberation.
* {{Filler}}: Pretty much any episode that prominently features Nanami without actually having her duel, although even most of the filler is still full of allegory. "Tsuwabuki's Secret Diary" is the only really skippable episode.
* FiveBadBand: The Student Council isn't really "bad" per se, but definitely functioning in an antagonistic role for most of the series:
** TheBigBad: Touga; also effectively TheDragon for [[spoiler:[[TheManBehindTheMan Akio]]]].
** TheDragon: Juri.
** TheBrute: Saionji, with a large dash of TheStarscream; while his Council position would seem to qualify him for TheDragon, his temperament is much more in line with this role.
** EvilGenius: Miki, although temperament-wise he is much closer to TheSmartGuy.
** DarkChick: Nanami.
** ManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:Akio]], naturally.
* FlowerMotifs: [[TheTragicRose Roses]], [[SomethingAboutARose everywhere!]] Of every color! In your architecture! In your teacups! In your jam!
* FlowersOfRomance: Considering the constant and fundamental presence of flowers in the series, it's quite amazing that the truly romantic moment involving roses only happened in the movie, when we see [[spoiler:the BigDamnKiss]]. Although one could say that they also play a relatively important part in the series, just more subtly.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Blink and you'll miss it, but one of the paintings shown during the sketching scene in the movie is of [[spoiler: the prince falling headfirst from a tower]].
** From the final episode of the anime: [[spoiler: Juri Arisugawa tells the other duelist a story about how a boy tried to save her sister from drowning in a river. The boy didn't succeed and drowned himself, while someone else saved her sister. The tragedy was that the sister soon forgot the boy. Juri was upset by this, until she admitted to the duelist that she also forgot about the boy and his name. Not long afterwards, Utena fails to save Anthy, and all the students and her friends forget she ever existed. Akio and Anthy remember her however, and Anthy uses her memory of Utena to finally free herself from Akio's control.]]
* ForgottenFirstMeeting: [[spoiler: Utena met Anthy for the first time right after her parents died.]]
* FreakyFridayFlip: Don't eat Anthy's curry.
* FriendlyEnemies: Miki to Utena. [[spoiler: As the series moves towards its close, eventually most of the other Student Councilors follow suit.]]
* GainaxEnding: To the movie. As [[BrowsHeldHigh Oancitizen]] put it, '''''"Why is this pink-haired bitch [[spoiler: a car]]?"'''''
* GambitPileup: Played with. Though all of the characters have their own agendas and minibosses Touga and Mikage would like to imagine themselves as {{Manipulative Bastard}}s, only Akio's machinations truly drive the force of the whole story.
* GambitRoulette: Avoided. The Myth of the Prince and Rose Bride is shown to have existed in a time where swords were the main weapons, implying that Akio has been trying for centuries to achieve his goals and is not just relying on some one-shot, throwaway gamble.
* GeodesicCast: Each Duelist has their own Black Duelist counterpart. [[spoiler:Even Akio, though Kanae isn't shown drawing his soul sword.]] Hmmm....
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion: There are changes to the animation and sound editing for the remastered editions. The most noticeable are the addition of [[spoiler: bodies resembling the Black Rose duelists]] to the coffins in the Nemuro Memorial crematorium, which were originally empty in the older versions, and the removal of the decaying rose in the background of the flashback when [[spoiler: a younger Utena follows Dios and is shown Anthy's fate as the Rose Bride.]]
* GenderBender: [[spoiler:"Mamiya" is really Anthy in disguise... sort of.]]
* GenkiGirl: Wakaba.
* GenreBusting: It's a complex, metaphorical coming of age story seen through the lens of Buddhism, Gnosticism, and Jungian philosophy. It also uses deconstructionist theory to tackle issues such as gender roles, the incest taboo, and binary principle. It also a complex look at the dark side of tropes and imagery associated with European fairy tales, such as the prince, the princess, and the wicked witch. It also is a surrealist dramedy observing the complicated interpersonal relationships between the students. It also is about lesbians. But TV Tropes likes to say it's a {{Shojo}}, and back away slowly. Pretty impressive for a TV series that states "From the Director of SailorMoon!" on its American DVD release.
* TheGhost: "End of the World", at least at first.
* GiantPoofySleeves: The female student uniforms of Ohtori Academy.
* GirlInABox: The coffin scene.
-->[[spoiler:Scene''s''.]]
* GirlPosse: Nanami's three-girl clique.
* [[UsefulNotes/{{Gnosticism}} Gnosticism]]: Mentions of the Gnostic god Abraxas make the influence explicit, but the overall tone of the series reflects perennial Gnostic themes
* AGodIAmNot: Anthy.
* GrandFinale: Should go down in history...
* GratuitousEnglish: From time to time. The first ending theme as well:
-->''Missing truth and forever\\
Kissing love and true your heart''
** And the opening theme:
-->''Take my revolution''
* GratuitousFrench:
** The {{eyecatch}}es and soundtrack [=CDs=] translate the title as ''Utena: La Fillette Révolutionnaire''.
** The first clipshow episode gives Utena's seven duels up to that point French names: ''amitié'', ''choix'', ''raison'', ''amour'', ''adoration'', ''conviction'', and ''soi''.
* GreyAndGreyMorality: Even the bad guys have their reasons, vague as they may seem. The fact that [[spoiler: everybody lives]] for the most part also tends to dull the seemingly malevolent natures of Touga, Nanami and Saionji later on in the show. The [[spoiler: only actual villains]] are Mikage and [[spoiler: Akio]], and even then they're just a darker shade of grey (albeit a ''very'' dark shade in the latter case). However, no character in the series truly is entirely pure, despite how they may seem.
* GreekChorus: The shadow-play girls, with an assist from Utena during the second arc.
* GrowingUpSucks: At the heart of all the [[MindScrew symbolism]] is the notion that growing up is inevitable and trying to avoid it has negative consequences. It takes a big effort for the student council to move beyond their problems/complexes, but by the end, it's clear that they either did move on or cope with their problems in some effective way. [[spoiler:One could make the argument that Utena refusing her romantic feelings for Akio and the final duel, and [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence fading away]] is a metaphor of Utena stubbornly refusing to accept her issues, grow up, and perhaps change her ideals to fit in the adult world.]] Even before the Apocalypse arc, it's clear that how mentally childlike Utena is, seeing how she cannot comprehend or accept both the student council and other students' emotional problems - a big example is her inability to understand Juri and Shiori's issues and her conflicted feelings towards Touga (and later Akio) and her loyalty to her Prince.
* HalfIdenticalTwins: Miki and Kozue.
* HannibalLecture: Utena herself gets this from way too many people. Her usual response: ShutUpHannibal.
* HardLight: [[spoiler:Akio's planetarium projector can project it, if episode 38's duel is anything to go by.]]
* HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday: Utena states in the second episode that she is still a normal girl and only wants a normal boy, [[EveryoneCanSeeIt despite the ambiguous relationship she shares with Anthy]]. Again, in the last arc, Utena lamely denies that her feelings for Anthy are similar to [[SchoolgirlLesbians Juri's feelings for Shiori]].
** In the second episode, the only person Utena has eyes for is the dream-like prince who saved her from her DespairEventHorizon. Everyone else, female or male, is only peripheral to her. By the last arc, [[spoiler:Utena loves Anthy, but isn't sure if she wants to continue fighting for a girl who is [[BrotherSisterIncest less than what she imagined her to be]]. Juri throughout most of the series loved and defended Shiori no matter how badly Shiori treated her, and the above quote refers to when Utena tells Juri that she doesn't want to become a LoveMartyr like Juri once was.]]
** However, Utena and Anthy's relationship in the anime [[IfitsYouItsOkay can be]] [[BloodBrothers interpreted]] [[HeterosexualLifePartners in different]] [[RomanticTwoGirlFriendship ways]]. In the [[AlternateUniverse movie]], it's more [[SchoolGirlLesbians straightforward]].
* HeelFaceTurn:
** [[spoiler: Touga in the manga.]]
** It's implied that [[spoiler: neither Miki nor Juri have much interest in the End of the World]] since, after their personal problems are resolved, they stop being antagonistic to Utena (and in [[spoiler:Miki]]'s case, they're overtly friendly). Even [[spoiler:Saionji]] is not really evil, just an easily manipulable jerk. Only Akio and [[TheDragon Touga]] [[spoiler: in the anime]] remain villainous until the end, [[spoiler: though Touga has his reasons...]]
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:A battered, exhausted, and freshly-stabbed Utena saves Anthy's soul by opening the Rose Gate with her bare hands, but ends up getting the stabbing from the Million Swords in Anthy's place; Utena's willingness to do everything possible to help her friend is ultimately the key to helping Anthy break free of her relationship with Akio and leave Ohtori.]]
* HotForStudent: Do you really wanna know how many students Akio sleeps with? Does anybody really know?
* HumanResources: [[spoiler:The Black Rose Circle's plot is apparently powered by the corpses of the 100 boys who died in a fire at Nemuro Memorial Hall.]]
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: They're called Duels (even the ones without an actual duel in them).
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Saionji, Wakaba.
* IKissYourFoot ... [[SubvertedTrope So I Can Sinisterly Manipulate You Into Submitting To My Every Whim!]]
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: What the medieval townspeople do to [[spoiler: Anthy]] in flashback UpToEleven.
* ImpossiblyCoolClothes: Everybody, but especially the Rose Bride outfit. Utena's is famous for its visuals. Averted somewhat with Utena herself, as she has a perfectly reasonable outfit underneath the jacket -- a tank top and bicycle shorts. It's just the jacket that makes cosplay very hard.
** [[http://hawkesdesign.com/NimueCatalog/Products/Costumes/military_jacket.htm Yes,]] it is made out of [[FetishFuel Latex]].
* ImprobableAge: Utena's supposed to be ''14''?
* ImplausibleFencingPowers: Utena tends to do this during the duels, particularly with the Soul of Dios powering her up.
* InTheBack
* InTheNameOfTheMoon: Played straight several times with Utena as part of her KnightInShiningArmor persona.
* IntertwinedFingers: Utena and Anthy do this quite a bit. Used at the end of the series for dramatic effect. [[spoiler: It's the final frame of the anime.]]
* IfItsYouItsOkay: Touga is implied to be a variation on this trope: it seems he likes girls for meaningless sex, and guys for emotional affairs -- Utena and [[spoiler:Nanami]] being an exception to that rule -- although Akio is the only guy he's really implied to sleep with. One could also make a case that this trope summarizes Saijonji's feelings for Touga, but just the same, it's possible to argue that it's purely platonic.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: This is Akio we're talking about!
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: Akio has many of those moments.
** The moment where he's first implied to be [[spoiler: sleeping with Anthy]] is a defining one. As is the part where [[spoiler: Anthy is revealed to be a witch, with Akio as her 'jailor'.]]
** In his ''debut episode'', if you really pay attention to TheStinger, [[spoiler: the fact that he set his incredibly self-conscious girlfriend up to be MindRaped for the purpose of testing Utena.]]
* KeepCirculatingTheTapes: It started out this way, with literal tapes back before the show was licensed. Then when it was picked up, it turned out that Central Park Media had only bought the rights to the first 13 episodes, so fans continued doing this for the remaining episodes until the rest of the series was finally picked up years later. When CPM went out of business in 2009, the show fell into legal limbo, and fan distribution became the only way to see it outside Japan again; eventually, [[http://www.theanimenetwork.com/Anime/Revolutionary-Girl-Utena/Watch the Anime Network]] started airing the series online. And, as pointed out above, Right Stuf has begun rereleasing both the series and the movie in 2011.
* KnifeOutline: Touga on Miki. During a ''student council meeting''.
* KnifeThrowingAct: One of the Student Council meetings had Touga and Miki doing this with Touga as the knife-thrower.
* KnightInShiningArmor: Played with in our leading lady knight.
* KnightInSourArmor: [[spoiler: Utena. By the last arc, Utena loses faith in her own goodness because she realizes that she only became a prince in order to find something to live for after her parents died. She loves Anthy, but is not sure whether she wants to continue fighting for a less than pure girl who sleeps with her brother. In the end, though, Utena realizes that no matter what Anthy does, she'll always get the short end of the stick as long as she stays in Ohtori. She can manipulate as many students as she wants, but at the end of the day, she'll still be the Rose Bride openly stepped on by every Duelist she comes across, and the only one in the world who is perpetually impaled by a swarm of animated swords.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: L-P]]
* LadyAndKnight: A big theme. Also what Anthy and Utena are to each other.
* LadykillerInLove: [[spoiler:Touga]], but it depends on whether you think he's really in love with [[spoiler:Utena]] or not.
* LethalChef: Anthy, who cooks up not poison but ''explosives'' with magical side effects. Unless she's making shaved ice, which is safe. Subverted with Akio, [[spoiler: whose magnificent cooking skills only belie his BigBad status.]] In the comic, it's Chu-Chu's fault.
* LetsGetDangerous: The Black Rose arc is pretty much comprised of the supporting cast bucking up and trying to kill the Rose Bride. Many a jaw dropped when this included [[spoiler: Tsuwabuki]] and even ''[[spoiler: Wakaba]]''.
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Miki and Juri's friendship has some hints of this; {{Fanon}} and fanfiction have been known to take this in [[CrackShip non-platonic directions]].
* LiteralMetaphor: "Utena is the vehicle through which Anthy escapes from Ohtori". Then the movie came along...
* LongHairedPrettyBoy: Akio, Touga, and Saionji.
* LoopholeAbuse: Ain't no rule a girl can't wear a boy's uniform! This is given more detail in the manga, where the exact rule Utena is manipulating states that a student must wear a uniform from the school's designer. It may not be the usual boy's uniform, but it's by the same designer, all right.
* LoveDodecahedron: *Deep breath*:
** Utena [[spoiler:idolizes Dios and loves Anthy but gets tempted by Touga and sleeps with Akio, who is engaged to Kanae and sleeping with Kanae's mother.]]
** Anthy [[spoiler: mourns Dios, has love/hate feelings towards Utena, sleeps with Akio, and is pursued by Saionji and Miki.]]
** Saionji[[spoiler:, who may-or-may-not return Wakaba's feelings, also may-or-may-not love Touga.]]
** Touga [[spoiler:may-or-may-not love Saionji back, but seduces hordes of schoolgirls anyways, attracts both Keiko and Nanami and appears to fall in love with Utena. Also, Touga sleeps with Akio, and Miki in the light novels.]]
** Wakaba [[spoiler:loves Saionji and maybe Tatsuya, who definitely loves her. She also develops a schoolgirl crush on Akio later, and she may-or-may-not love Utena in more than a platonic way]].
** Tsuwabuki [[spoiler:loves Nanami, but Nanami has feelings for Touga, who has no problem with kissing her.]]
** Mari [[spoiler:is jealous of the attention that Tsuwabuki pays to Nanami and Tsuwabuki may-or-may-not like Mari back. Interestingly, Nanami seems to be jealous of Tsuwabuki's friendship with Mari, in spite of being in love with Touga.]]
** Kozue [[spoiler:fools around with lots of boys, sleeps with Touga (and quite likely Akio as well - at the very least, she goes on a date with him and rides in his car) and kisses Anthy at one point, but actually loves Miki]]; meanwhile, Miki [[spoiler:may-or-may not also be attracted to Kozue, and loves Anthy at least in part because he thinks of her as an idealized version of the person Kozue once was. Miki is also implied to be molested by his piano teacher, at least until Kozue pushes him down a flight of stairs.]]
** Mikage [[spoiler: nce loved Tokiko, who was seduced by Akio, and now loves Mamiya, who is Anthy in disguise (kind of).]]
** Meanwhile, Juri, Shiori, and Ruka [[spoiler: ave their own love triangle all to themselves, but Juri also has lots of subtext with Utena, and Juri may-or-may-not love Miki in the movie, and Akio manipulates the emotions of all of the above to keep them in the Duels.]]
*** In summary: Akio sleeps with half the cast.
* LoveRedeems: [[spoiler:Anthy to a huge extent, and Touga to a lesser extent, though whether or not the latter makes a full HeelFaceTurn is [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation up for debate]].]]
* LoveTriangle: Juri-Shiori-Ruka and Utena-Anthy-Akio are the main ones. Then they're the smaller canon ones, and the smaller non-canon ones, etc... The Juri-Shiori-Ruka one is a particularly messy one for being about a non-titular character. None end well, though that observation is extremely debatable.
* LovingAShadow: Everyone but Akio. Let's see..there's [[spoiler:Miki-to-Kozue, Juri-to-Shiori, Shiori-to-Ruka, Saionji-to-Touga, Nanami-to-Touga, Touga-to-Utena, Utena-to-Dios, Utena-to-Anthy, Saionji-to-Anthy, Miki-to-Anthy, Mikage-to-Anthy, and finally Utena-to-Akio and Anthy-to-Akio for a time. Had fun reading that? Fortunately, all of the relationships are examined and have well-developed backstories to keep them from being repetitive. Not to mention that no two of them evolve the same way. Utena/Anthy is especially unique.]]
* MadonnaWhoreComplex: Deconstructed. [[spoiler: "Women who cannot become princesses have no choice but to become witches."]]
* MagicalGirl: [[spoiler:[[DefiedTrope defied]]. The defining trait of all SuperSentai MagicalGirl series is that [[ThePowerOfLove altruism and unconditional love will always save the world]], but the biggest prince in the story is the series' BigBad, and all of Utena's strength and purity can't save one DamselInDistress if said DamselInDistress won't break away from centuries of habits to save herself.]] Also, Utena is more of a Magical Warrior than a conventional MagicalGirl.
* MalevolentArchitecture: In the movie, [[spoiler:the castle. It's actually all [[BaseOnWheels on wheels]] which constantly move and try to crush whatever is going through them.]]
* ManOfWealthAndTaste: [[spoiler: Akio]]
* ManipulativeBastard: Akio, also a MagnificentBastard. Touga aspires to be like him, Ruka tries to be like him for [[spoiler: moral]] reasons, and Mikage believes himself to be one and succeeds for the entire second arc.
* MementoMacguffin: The Rose Signets, Juri's locket.
* MentalWorld: The arena takes on aspects of this during the Black Rose arc; it becomes filled with school desks and atop each one are identical copies of some item important to Utena's opponent.
* MindControlEyes: Black Rose duelists.
* MindRape: With everyone. Even Akio suffers.
* MindScrew: Everything in the series can qualify if you think about it.
** The movie. It ''is'' called [[FanNickname End of Utena]].
** Let's just say that the series becomes more and more of a MindScrew with each arc. It starts pretty normal, starts losing it in the Black Rose arc, and becomes a metaphor/symbolism storm in the final arc--and the movie is a mental trainwreck, plain and simple.
* MonochromaticEyes
* MoodWhiplash: The filler episode with ''the boxing kangaroo'' is followed by an episode where an EnsembleDarkhorse agonizes over her sexuality. This is followed by a FreakyFriday episode, which is followed by a flashback [[spoiler: where eight-year-old Utena hides in a coffin and begs to die.]]
* MoreThanMindControl: The Black Rose Saga, and [[spoiler: Akio does everything in his power to keep doing this to Anthy.]]
* MrsRobinson: This is just [[spoiler:Akio's AnythingThatMoves at work, but he and his mother-in-law-to-be definitely get it on. Poor Kanae.]]
* MundaneMadeAwesome
** Surreal shows are full of dramatic flourishes and objects suddenly appearing in thin air. Touga, Saionji, and Akio are particularly found of this kind of {{Fanservice}}, and Utena loves dramatic poses to show her powerful, princely nature.
** In episode 21, Keiko hands out party invitations by whipping them like throwing stars.
** Virtually every [[BreatherEpisode Nanami episode]] will have this to some extent.
* TheMusical: A one-off musical was made.
* MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours: Played with. Fighting ability varies depending on the user's motivation, but having superior sword skills definitely still helps.
* MysteriousWaif: Definitely Anthy, nobody else will ever be as complex.
* NeverGrewUp: [[spoiler:Ohtori Academy is apparently a twisted version of [[PeterPan Neverland]]. Akio, Mikage, and (possibly) Anthy chose to stay, and the metaphor for "growing up" is "graduating".]]
* NoblewomansLaugh: Nanami.
* NoExportForYou: Zigzagged with the show and movie, as explained above under KeepCirculatingTheTapes. Played straight with the Sega Saturn game and the light novels, although fan translations do exist for those to one degree or another.
* TheNondescript: Played for drama with Wakaba, who is notable because she's pretty much the only "normal" person in the main cast. Over time, this causes her to feel very unhappy with herself, and she becomes desperate to break out of that role and become someone [[TheBeautifulElite "special"]].
* NonHumanSidekick: Chu-Chu.
* NonuniformUniform: Utena wears a version of the boys', not the girls' uniform. She justifies this with [[LoopholeAbuse a loophole]] in the student handbook: technically, the only dress code requirement is that students buy items from school-approved lists. [[AintNoRule There is no written requirement]] that all the pieces come from the ''same'' uniform set, nor is there any rule against custom dyeing or tailoring. The standard boys uniform is a light-green jacket and pants; Utena's jacket (with darts and nipped waist) is dark blue, and she wears it with tight red shorts ''from the gym uniform''. In the manga her uniform was originally bright pink top and bottom.
* NoodleIncident: What, indeed, were Tsuwabuki's strategies for winning Nanami's heart? Especially Plan 24...
* NoodlePeople
* NotBloodSiblings: Nanami is crushed after finding out she and her brother Touga are both adopted and not blood related after all. [[spoiler: This is then subverted when it turns out that Touga was just playing with her head -- while they ''are'' adopted, they were adopted from the same family and thus actually ''are'' blood siblings. For the record: This is the DoubleSubversion of the inversion of a trope -- a prime example of how {{Mind Screw}}y this show is.]])
** Even further subverted in that [[spoiler:Nanami never finds out the truth (or if she does, it's never shown onscreen)]].
* NotJustATournament: The winner of the Rose Duelists' tournaments will hand over the godlike power of Dios to Akio, then be promptly disposed of.
* OddlyVisibleEyebrows
* TheOjou: Nanami.
* OminousLatinChanting: Voices chanting "aaah-aaah-aaah-aaah" in the "Nectar Knife" song is beyond creepy.
* OminousPipeOrgan: [[http://youtu.be/rCJZ4ufr_Pc "Idea of Memory"]] and [[http://youtu.be/7Vw6_ARIC0I "Legend: The God's Name Is Abraxas".]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Nanami get's one [[spoiler: when she dropped the box with the kitten she gave to Touga in the river. She tries to justify it to herself by claiming that it was stealing her brother's affections from her, but she does not seem to be able to convince herself at all.]]
* OneDialogueTwoConversations: In the episode "Nanami’s Egg", Nanami and Touga have a conversation where she asks him if he would prefer a boy or a girl. Nanami talks about a kid (which she thinks will get hatched from an egg she got...ItMakesSenseInContext); Touga thinks she's talking about boyfriends and girlfriends, so when she says she would like a girl, Touga ends up thinking she's a lesbian.
** Really, that entire episode is OneDialogueTwoConversations between Nanami and everyone she talks to.
* OnTheNextEpisodeOfCatchphrase: "The absolute destiny, apocalypse."
* OntologicalMystery: In a loose sense.
* OrphansPlotTrinket: Utena's ring.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: [[spoiler:Mikage may be one. Touga, and possibly Akio, in the movie.]]
* OutOfClothesExperience: [[spoiler:Anthy is in the nude as she takes the swords of hatred.]]
* PaletteSwap:
** The first ending credits sequence gives Utena a pink version of Anthy's dress, [[spoiler:which she actually wears in episode 38. The third arc gives a blue dress to Kozue and a purple dress to Shiori.]]
** [[spoiler:Akio and Anthy wield a black version of the Sword of Dios/Utena's soul sword during the endgame.]]
* ParentalAbandonment: Utena herself, the Kiryuu siblings and the Kaoru siblings. The parents that are not dead or absent are simply not mentioned.
** And then there's Kanae's mother, who, even though she's one of the only parents to appear, manages to show in one short scene that she's abandoned her daughter in a way more heartbreaking than the rest of the casts' families put together.
* PersonalityBloodTypes: Discussed by Nanami and her GirlPosse, and later by Nanami and Utena.
* PersonOfHolding: Anthy initially, but [[spoiler: Utena and the other duelists also become this.]]
* PimpedOutDress: A few, like Anthy's dress for the duels, and the dress Utena wears in the introduction.
* ThePornomancer: Akio, and to a lesser extent Touga.
* PostModernism: You think a story like ''Utena'' could have been written any earlier?
* PrincessClassic: Anthy as the Rose Bride is a deconstruction.
** She has no control over her future and it's passed to the current winner of the duels.
** When she confesses a desire of learn to cook like Wakaba, Touga laughs at the idea of the Rose Bride cooking and that her only priority is taking care of the roses. Like a princess who it's just there to be pretty.
* PrimalScene: Nanami walks in on [[spoiler:[[BrotherSisterIncest Akio and Anthy]]]].
* PrinceCharming: Series Metatrope: The Prince is the term given to the ''Utena'' KnightInShiningArmor equivalent. He ''always'' has to save the day; he has to be perfect. If not...
* PunBasedTitle: The FreakyFridayFlip episode is titled in Japanese as "Curry-''naru'' High Trip"; the "curry-''naru''" ("''karē-naru''") is a play on "''karei-naru''" ("magnificent").
** The [[AuthorAppeal curry episode]] of Ikuhara's recent series ''Anime/MawaruPenguindrum'' uses the exact same pun in its title.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Q-S]]
* QuestionableConsent:
** The relationship between [[spoiler:Akio and Anthy]] plays with this by having us believe that the relationship is fully consensual -- at first. See RapeAsDrama.
** ''Very'' apparent when [[spoiler:Akio takes Utena's virginity]] in episode 33, making it an infamous and very controversial scene. Also falls under RapeAsDrama by many people's sensibilities.
** Because only two of [[spoiler:Akio]]'s various "conquests" are adults, most of his sexual relationships would qualify as statutory rape in real life.
** And in the movie, [[spoiler:Akio has a FreakOut when he realizes that Anthy -- who'd he'd thought was unconscious -- was awake for at least part of while he was raping her after [[SlippingAMickey slipping her drugs in her drink]]. Anthy tries to calm him down and tell him that she's okay with it, but he stabs her in the chest before [[DrivenToSuicide throwing himself out the window]].]]
* RapeAsBackstory: [[spoiler:Touga]] in TheMovie.
* RapeAsDrama: The true nature of [[spoiler:Anthy and Akio's]] relationship goes from squicky FanDisservice to flat-out heinous when, at the end of episode 25, [[spoiler:Akio rapes Anthy when she hesitates to "come to him" as she usually does. It is later '''heavily''' implied that he has used force on her during their nighttime meetings more than once.]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Delivered [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome quite satisfyingly]] [[spoiler:from Anthy to Akio]] in the finale.
-->[[spoiler:By all means, stay in this cozy coffin of yours and continue to play prince. But I have to go now. She isn't gone at all, she's merely vanished from your world.]]
* Really700YearsOld: [[spoiler:Both Akio and Anthy. Mikage, meanwhile, is merely [[OlderThanTheyLook older than he looks]].]]
* RecapEpisode: Surprisingly relevant to the story.
* RedStringOfFate: Shiori steals the boy she thinks Juri likes. The actual string appears in flashbacks to these events.
* RefusalOfTheCall: Utena tries to lose her second duel on purpose. [[spoiler:It proves too difficult.]]
* RetGone: Sort of. [[spoiler:When Utena defeats Nemuro, it appears that Nemuro wasn't erased from history, but all signs of the plot he carried on after his death were.]]
* RichBitch: Nanami.
* RoyallyScrewedUp
* RuleOfCool
* RuleOfSymbolism: Omnipresent in the show, but especially in the flashbacks and the Tale of the Rose. This trope goes UpToEleven in the movie.
* RunningGag: In episode 16, whenever someone says the word "cowbell" or points out [[CaptainObvious what wears cowbells]], a silhouette of a cow mooing or a still of a farm with yodeling playing over is shown.
* SadisticChoice: Really, can you blame how [[spoiler: Anthy]] turned out when her choice is between [[spoiler: angry mobs with fire and ''freaking magic swords'']]?
* SamaritanSyndrome: Inverted in the most horrific fashion. Ever heard of [[ShootTheShaggyDog Shooting The Shaggy Dog?]] [[spoiler: No wonder Dios becomes [[FallenHero Akio]].]]
* SamusIsAGirl: In the movie, Saionji initially thinks Utena is a boy.
* SaveThePrincess: The basic idea turned on its head.
* SayMyName: Utena and Anthy in their last duel with Touga.
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Anthy, which serves to underline [[spoiler: when she's being complicit with her brother's manipulative plans]]. Also when she's ''pissed'' with him - once he even snaps at her with something almost approaching fear when she does this to him (along with a seemingly innocuous goodnight wish that really clashed with the scene).
* SceneryPorn: Seriously, just ''look'' at the movie.
* SchoolgirlLesbians: Juri; possibly Anthy and Utena in the series, though it's canon in the movie. Tons of girls also fawn over Utena and in one episode (and only one episode), Anthy.
* SchoolPlay: The Shadow Girls' rendition of the Tale of the Rose.
* SexAsRiteOfPassage: The concept more than the usual trope, and half the point of the show is to tear it down.
* SexIsEvil: Or at least is portrayed in a very negative light for the most part.
* {{Sexophone}}: ''Akio Car''. Very yes.
* ShadowArchetype:
** Utena/Mikage (the name is a clue); Nanami/Utena; Akio/Dios; Akio/Utena; Anthy/Nanami. Just about every character has one.
** In the movie, it's not totally implausible to see Shiori as Utena's "shadow".
* ShaggyDogStory: [[spoiler: Maybe not to everyone, but definitely Akio.]]
* ShapeShifting:
** [[spoiler:Anthy, as the finale of the Black Rose arc demonstrates.]]
** Shiori in the movie.
* [[SharpDressedMan Sharp-Dressed Students]]: The student council wear pristine military-style uniforms, all decorated with their trademark colors. Utena's regular outfit also gives off this feel.
* ShirtlessScene: The later arcs are chock-full of this kind of scene. Two words: Akio Car.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler: The Myth of the Rose Bride was wrong on several different levels. Can you ''guess'' how many lives Akio must've ruined [[FaceHeelTurn since then?]]]]
* {{Shotacon}}: [[spoiler: Touga and his father]] in the movie. In the series, there's Touga flirting with Miki in the music room (which Miki understood fully, as his ImagineSpot indicates). Finally, in [[AlternateContinuity the light novel]], [[spoiler:Touga has sex with Miki(!!)]].
* ShoutOut: Wakaba is seen reading and talking about ''Magnolia Waltz'', an earlier manga by Chiho Saito, in the second episode.
* ShowerOfAngst: Juri indulges in this.
* ShrugOfGod: Director Ikuhara is infamously unhelpful -- and sometimes [[TeasingCreator deliberately infuriating]] -- when it comes to explaining things about the show and even more so regarding the movie. Don't expect much in the way of straight WordOfGod.
* ShutUpHannibal: Utena several times per arc.
* SiblingYinYang: Miki and Kozue.
* [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is For Kids]]: ''No'' character is innocent. Even Utena herself is far from ideal. [[MindScrew And yet...do they have to be?]]
* SingleStrokeBattle: Some Duels.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: The series plants itself in the middle of the spectrum, refuses to budge, and lets the characters and plot (and audience) fight over it to whatever extremes they please.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] with the Black Rose duelists, discounting Mikage himself; all but one are female, with the Elementary school boy Mitsuru being the only male to be lured into the duels (Tatsuya, another boy, was lured in, but rejected).
* [[SpoilerOpening Spoiler Ending]]: [[spoiler:The first ending shows Utena with the Prince, in a pink version of Anthy's Rose Bride dress. Utena wears the dress when Akio draws a sword from her in episode 38.]]
* SnotBubble: An exaggerated version by Chu-Chu.
* SpikesOfVillainy: Game antagonist Chigusa's shoulders in her dueling uniform, and the pommel of her sword.
* StartOfDarkness: How does one completely corrupt the [[AllLovingHero strongest]] and [[WideEyedIdealist purest]] [[KnightInShiningArmor Prince]] in the world? Hint: [[spoiler: Just ask Dios... turned Akio.]]
* StepfordSmiler: [[spoiler: Anthy.]]
* StockFootage: Utena climbing to the arena (and several of her signature moves), Akio's highway scenes, and many others -- it may hard to believe, but Utena's budget wasn't that much higher than {{Evangelion}}'s.
** Of course, it wouldn't be Utena if it didn't subvert even this. The story about the little girl who lost her parents and met a prince that opens several episodes is repeated enough that most viewers will have memorized it... [[spoiler:except it is eventually revealed to be only partially truthful]].
* StockShoujoBullyingTactics: Girls jealous of Saionji's attention to Anthy pretend to be her friends, and persuade her to wear a special dress to a ball, which falls apart when they "accidentally" pour water over it. Good thing Utena saves Anthy's dignity with a dress made from a tablecloth.
* SuckMyRose: Everywhere.
* SurpriseCreepy: To the point that the first company to license the show marketed the first batch of episodes as a bog-standard MagicalGirl series... they wisely changed their approach from the second arc on.
* SwissArmyTears
* SympathyForTheDevil: [[spoiler: Anthy displays this towards Akio. It's not entirely clear how much say she has in the matter.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: T-Z]]
* TakeMyHand: The ending.
* TakeOurWordForIt: Steadily less of the action of the fights are actually shown during the third arc.
* TakeThat: In the movie, Akio referred to the [[PrincessClassic Princess role]] for Anthy as being a "living corpse" which is actually the ''perfect'' way to describe that trope in general. Most princess are described unflatteringly as nothing more than waiting for [[KnightInShiningArmor a Prince]] to come and save them but in the movie, Anthy defies her role beautifully. More subtly, the Castle in the movie looked a ''lot'' like a Disney-esque castle.
* TechMarchesOn: Akio's omnipresent car includes a car phone. Back in 1996, this luxury helped emphasize how rich and important he is. Now... not so much.
* TeenGenius: Miki, also Mikage.
* TemporarilyAVillain: In the Black Rose duelist arc, some of the people Utena has to fight are her brainwashed friends.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: The car chase scene in the movie.
* ThemeNaming:
** In French, but the themes overall are more complex than usual.
** Lots of references to flowers and botany are made. "Utena" (萼) means "calyx", which is the part of the flower that ''protects'' the petals. This is a role that Utena attempts to fill, with doubtful success at the end of the series. "''Ánthos''" (Anthy) is Greek for "flower".
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Holy cow...
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Utena with Anthy and Utena with Nanami.
* ToTheBatpole: Goes with the StockFootage.
* TournamentArc: The whole series. [[TropesAreNotBad But don't you dare try calling it cliche!]]
* TragicHero: [[spoiler: Utena, Anthy, Dios, Ruka, Juri, and Mikage can all be argued.]]
* TransformationSequence: Changes slightly between the first and second arcs; the third arc has a completely new one.
* TravelCool: With Akio and his car, it's played way too straight in the series, yet subverted in the movie [[spoiler: where he has [[FreudWasRight lost his key]] and takes a taxi]].
* TroubledButCute: Saionji. Kozue is a rare female example.
* {{Twincest}}: No! Don't be repulsed! The Twincest is for Deconstruction! Not for FetishFuel! Also only ''really'' present in the movie.
* TriumphantReprise: The very end of the show, when Baiser slams into "Rose & Release", which is Okui Masami scatting to the tune of the opening theme. After everything that has happened, it is incredibly joyous.
* TwoTeacherSchool: Akio's the only authority figure who really matters.
* UmbrellaOfTogetherness: Between [[GirlPosse Keiko]] and Touga in episode 21. Obviously Nanami will have none of it and [[spoiler:expels her from all extracurricular organizations and has the rest of the GirlPosse ostracize her, which drives Keiko over the edge and causes her to become a Black Rose duelist.]]
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: While most of the student body has a touch of this, it's most obvious in Utena herself, who spends almost zero time investigating the supernatural events that are happening to her regularly. She appears to believe that the best way to handle her classmates trying to kill her and Anthy, in the midst of physics-defying weirdness, is to simply go about her regular routine. A normal person would be interrogating the Council, talking to the principal, or calling the cops.
* ValleyGirl: In the English dub, an unnamed Ohtori student never really seen onscreen speaks with an exaggerated valley girl dialect. Most of the time she's relating gossip about Shiori and Ruka. Apparently, "the whole school's talkin' about it."
* VillainousBreakdown: Averted somewhat in that instead of going AxCrazy upon [[spoiler:losing his second duel against Utena]], Touga simply sits down in a chair. And stays there. For ''thirteen episodes''.
** RealLifeWritesThePlot. His voice actor temporarily left to work on other series. Plus, it made his re-entry into the third arc all the more dramatic.
* VillainousIncest: Take a good guess who.
* VillainsOutShopping: Happens with the student council members in the filler episodes, and to the point of eeriness with Akio near the end of the series.
* VoicesAreMental: In the FreakyFridayFlip episode.
* WhamEpisode:
** For the first part of the series, you can almost convince yourself that the whole show is going to be interesting, but mostly fun and lighthearted. Then during Episode 9, [[spoiler: we have a flashback to Utena more or less trying to kill herself when she was eight, the Upside-Down Castle nearly coming down and taking Anthy with it, and Saionji attempting to kill Utena and Anthy both]]. [[CaptainObvious And then you can't.]]
** Episode 33, a ClipShow episode, which by its nature lulls the viewer into a false sense of boredom. [[spoiler: And then Akio has sex with Utena, and you've missed it if you blinked.]]
** Episode 34, in which the Shadow Girls interact with the main cast for the first time and casually reveal ''the entire real plot thus far''. And it's ''horrifying''.
* WhamLine: In the movie, Miki asks [[spoiler: who Touga is, while Touga is ''right behind him.'' We soon find out why Miki would ask that: Touga's been dead for years.]]
* WhatTheHellTownspeople: Sure, townspeople! Go ahead and [[spoiler: [[ColdBloodedTorture stab your Messiah with a million swords]] just because he [[ChronicHeroSyndrome worked himself sick trying to help you ungrateful bastards]]! What, he's hidden away? No worries! Just stab his sister with the million swords instead!]] They represent us. Think about that.
* WickedWitch: Series Metatrope - [[spoiler: Anthy is implied to be either a WickedWitch or a DamselInDistress.]]
* WideEyedIdealist: Utena. And Dios before [[spoiler: [[DespairEventHorizon he became Akio]].]]
* WilliamTelling: Episode 11 features the GreekChorus playing out William Tell, albeit with the "son" pointing out that it's the 37,919th time in a row the apple has been shot, with the "father" saying that they'll keep going until somebody stops them. There's some point about being [[ViciousCycle trapped in a destined eternal horror]].
* WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter: The bamboo training sword Utena uses to win her first rose duel.
* WordSaladLyrics: The soundtrack has a bit of a problem with this.
-->''Astrologic eras, primeval oceans, erosion, deposits\\
Three billion years, birth of life, geologic eras\\
Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian\\
Stromatolite, bacteria, collenia\\
Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous''
** The duel songs for the first two story arcs (except for [[spoiler: Mikage's]] duel) weren't written specifically for the show, and most of the ones that were manage to be even more obtuse than the ones that weren't.
* WorldOfSymbolism: RuleOfSymbolism is really the only unbreakable rule in this story.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Ruka sees himself as PrinceCharming in a series that has an ambiguous relationship with the concept.
* XMeetsY: ''TwinPeaks'' meets ''SailorMoon''.
** Or SailorMoon meets Franchise/{{Highlander}} meets [[spoiler:TheShawshankRedemption]]. (Think about it.)
* {{Yandere}}: Nanami towards Touga, Anthy towards Akio, Kozue, Shiori etc.
* YaoiGuys: Mikage and Mamiya, [[TheReveal though it gets complicated]]. Akio and Touga (and ''maybe'' Saionji as well) get into it later on, but most interactions like that aren't exactly lovey-dovey.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Other than Wakaba (reddish-brown hair), Keiko, Tokiko (both have brown hair), and Tatsuya (dark brown hair), all of the characters that are majorly involved at some point have outrageously colorful hair:
** Utena, Souji: [[RoseHairedGirl Pink]]
** Anthy: Purple
** Akio, Mamiya, [[spoiler:Dios]]: Lavender
** Touga: Red
** Saionji: Green
** Juri: Orange
** Nanami: Canary yellow
** Miki: Light blue
** Ruka: Dark blue
** Kozue: Indigo
** Shiori: Raspberry
** Kanae: Pale green
** Mitsuru: Dark yellow
** [[GodCreatedCanonForeigner Chigusa]] (from the Sega Saturn game): Teal
* ZettaiRyouiki: Shiori in the movie. Nanami's duelist uniform also features it.
[[/folder]]