In the earliest sketches from the manga, she was blonde with hazel eyes (although some illustrations also had them blue). After the anime came out, the manga followed suit and gave her pink hair and blue eyes.
Her uniform was also originally pink in the manga (though she receives a black version in volume 3), while the anime depicts it as black.
Composite Character: In the anime, as a child Juri witnessed her older sister nearly drown, causing a boy to attempt to save her but drown in the process; however, Juri's sister is saved by an adult. This back story is given to Utena in the movie, but instead of an older sister, the drowning girl is a stranger (actually Juri, according to Word of God), and the boy is Touga.
In the movie-manga, Utena is the girl who nearly drowned.
And in the original manga, Utena is the "boy" who jumped into the river to save a girl and nearly drowned. This is the one continuity where the rescuer actually survives.
Compressed Hair: In the movie, which leads to a dramatic Letting Her Hair Down moment in the first duel with Saionji. There are actually sketches in the art book showing how she could manage to braid it tightly enough to fit it under her hat.
Conflicting Loyalty: To her prince, and her desire to be a prince herself. Some of the less scrupulous characters in the show exploit her through this.
Utena: "At the end, I couldn't become a prince. I'm sorry Himemiya, for pretending I was a prince. I'm sorry.
First Kiss: After hearing Wakaba talk about this, she muses that hers must have been from Dios. In the manga and light novel, her Sacred First Kiss is stolen by Touga early on. In the anime, her first kiss is Akio.
Godiva Hair: In the movie-manga during her sex scene with Touga.
Go-Getter Girl: What Utena starts out as. Events force her to confront what, exactly, achievement means to her.
Good with Numbers: According to Wakaba she does quite well in math. Her grades start to slip, however, once she starts dueling.
Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Every time she gives her routine about wanting to be a prince so she can rescue princesses, she reiterates that she's still "Just a normal girl who wants a normal guy!"
Heroic Sacrifice: 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 Swords of Hate 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.
Horrible Judge of Character: A more subtle case than most, but her most prominent flaw throughout most of the series is that she tends to assume she completely understands the emotions someone is feeling after just a few seconds, and then tries to impose her own sense of what the solution would be, typically just making things worse. Juri nails it by calling her "cruelly innocent."
Hypocrite: Something Akio uses as Breaking Speech. She uses Anthy as her personal Damsel in Distress to be her prince, so she has a reason to live for after her parents's death and never cared enough for Anthy to try to understand her suffering. She gets better, says Shut Up, Hannibal! to that and grows to really wanting to free Anthy.
Innocent Inaccurate: She witnesses Anthy's torment when she's only five or six and doesn't understand what's going on, except of course that it's horrible and she wants to save Anthy from. Over time, this just becomes a desire to make herself into a prince.
Knight In Sour Armour: 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.
Morality Pet: To some extent, Touga's. She seems to be the only person that he comes to genuinely care about.
Naďve Newcomer: At the very beginning, which doesn't make much sense since she's been attending Ohtori for at least one term prior. (Then again the first chapter or two of the manga has her at her old school before deciding to go to Ohtori, so it fits a bit more there.)
Once Upon a Time: "...there was a princess grieving over the deaths of her mother and father."
Power Makes Your Hair Grow: In the movie, she normally has short hair. When she transforms into her dueling outfit her hair also grows out.
The Promise: Invoked with Akio, manipulating her in the form of Dios, to save Anthy in her past.
Proper Lady: She's not one, but once tries to act like one to cope after Touga defeats her and she temporarily loses Anthy. Wakaba immediately realizes that she's miserable trying to act like something she's not, and manages to snap her out of it and get her back in the arena. Once the deal is resolved, Utena reverts to her natural tomboy self.
Rapunzel Hair: In the movie, which also has her hair being wavy as opposed to straight. It is also Compressed Hair, as she keeps it under a hat when she's not dueling.
Selective Obliviousness: She seems to put a veil over her eyes when she's facing the true meaning of certain things; like in Wakaba's duel, she was confused about why she was dueling and seems to doesn't hear Wakaba yelling at her face how envious she is of her and all the "special people".
However that scene in particular could have been Utena not understanding how Wakaba could see herself as not special when she considers Wakaba really special to her as a best friend. A more clear showing of this trope is Utena not always understanding the situations at hand due to her obliviousness like Juri and Shiori's full situation and when Nanami tries to tell her straight up that Anthy and Akio are sleeping with each other.
Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Played for Drama in Utena's case. Episode 12 straight up shows that a tomboy Utena is a happy Utena and when she's getting girly, something's wrong with her. The only time she wore the female uniform was after losing Anthy to Touga and she believed she losed her right to be a prince. Later on she starts to slip from her male uniform to more girly clothes after being seduced by Akio who almost got her to slip out of being a prince to turn her into a princess.
Tragic Hero: It turns out that her prince was really the Big Bad and the encounter that saved her from despair was one of his manipulations, the person she's trying to save is so deep in torment that she'd rather kill Utena than face life without it, and in the end Utena sacrifices herself, vanishing from Ohtori Academy and the memory of her friends.
Underwater Kiss: In the movie-manga with Touga. The actual movie has a variant; Utena and Touga are separated by a glass wall when they kiss, and only Touga's side is flooded, symbolizing the fact that he died by drowning.
White Knight: Utena rushes in to save a "damsel in distress" at the start of the series, while the rest of the series is essentially Utena trying to "save" Anthy, but seemingly with the selfish intention of boosting her own ego so she can resemble her idol, the prince who saved her all those years ago. This childish behaviour proves to be her downfall in the end.
Adaptation Dye-Job: In the manga, she originally had very dark brown hair, brown eyes, and wore a white dress. When the anime attained popularity, her colour scheme in the manga was retroactively changed.
Broken Bird: At first it just seems like she's friendless and a prize in the Student Council's fights, which is bad enough. Then we find out she's been tormented and caught in an abusive relationship with her fallen princely brother for centuries after being stabbed by a mob of townspeople for trying to save him.
Brother-Sister Incest: Although it at first appears to be consensual, it's made clear a few episodes later that Akio does not accept refusals, or even hesitation.
Driven to Suicide: When she sees the effects of Akio's manipulation on Utena (blaming herself because she MUST follow his will no matter what) she tries to throw herself off the roof of the dorm. Utena stops her, though.
And in the movie, it's heavily implied that she was about to do this before Utena shows up in the Rose Garden before their dance.
Hope Is Scary: One of the possible reasons why she ends up stabbing Utena.
Human Pincushion: As a little girl, she was stabbed by dozens of townspeople for hiding Dios from them. As the Rose Bride, she's stabbed with a million swords in place of Akio while he tries to open the Rose Gate.
Lady in Red: Her Rose Bride attire. Anthy doesn't behave in a particularly sexual manner, but she is an object of desire for a few males in the cast. And she's far more sexually experienced than any of these kids, but not by choice.
Woman in White: Her original Rose Bride attire in the manga - changed once the anime eclipsed the source material.
Passive-Aggressive Kombat: One of her specialties. Also deconstructed in how it's the only real way she can fight back against the abuse she suffers as the Rose Bride, after having been emotionally anesthetized by years of emotional and sexual manipulation by her Manipulative Bastard brother Akio. She does have an occasional opportunity to manipulate someone when she can't directly get revenge which hints at a much darker personality underneath her perpetual smile.
Rapunzel Hair: It's down to her thighs when it's out of the updo.
Really 700 Years Old: It's never clarified just how old she really is, but it's definitely way over 14.
The Scapegoat: She became this unwillingly when the enraged town people stabbed her for blocking their pass to reach her sickly brother. After this, she became the scapegoat for Akio by taking the Swords of Hate again and again actually meant for him. Being this trope is the real purpose of the Rose Bride.
Silent Scapegoat: Subverted. Utena's treatment and friendship started to make her realize she didn't want this life but she has no other option as long she continues to be the Rose Bride.
Shrinking Violet: What she appears to be on the surface... appropriate, considering her hair color.
Stealth Insult: "Take it easy, Saionji... senpai." Note that Anthy had been using the very respectful suffix "-sama" all this time, but after Saionji loses the duel, she only uses "-senpai."
Utena: Himemiya, you're type-AB, right? Let's see, type-ABs are elusive and seldom reveal their true feelings, huh? Anthy: And you're type-B, right, Utena-sama? Type-Bs are self-centered and prone to misconceptions... Utena: Yeah, sorry, okay.
Stepford Smiler: At first seems to be a type B, then is later revealed to be a type A and at least partially a type C, though that aspect is downplayed.
What The Hell, Townspeople?: After trying to protect her brother, who was pushing himself to the point of sickness in order to save everyone, the townspeople impaled her with all their swords at once. Keep in mind she was a small child at the time.
Wicked Witch: Subverted, again! She does have supernatural powers of some kind. This would seem to resign her to the role of a wicked witch in any fairy tale (as one of the Shadow Girls notes, a prince's sister can never becomes his princess, so she must become a witch). Nevertheless, Anthy desperately plays the helpless princess role out of love for her brother. Too bad her brother lost all hope, gave up that whole "protect people in need" thing and ultimately became a power-hungry bastard who uses his "princess" as a pawn.
Zero Approval Gambit: Combines this trope with The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask. It turns out she's an ancient Goddess-Princess who watched her brother, the God-Prince, being responsible for all the evil on earth. As a child, she decided to take the blame and let herself be punished by the world for all eternity. She subsequently spends the entire series serene and calm, while suffering the anguish and hatred of the entire world... for her now evil prince and the fear to change.
Broken Ace: He once was the most generous and sweet person as Prince Dios, but his terrible experiences left him completely disenchanted and embittered. Now he's a Manipulative Bastard who manipulates everyone and everything — including Anthy, his little sister, who is pretty much trapped in a Fate Worse than Deathand he keeps her there.
The Casanova: Basically anyone who's female and meets him is soon infatuated with him, which he invariably takes advantage of.
Chivalrous Pervert: Very deconstructed. During his seduction sequences appears to be a perfect gentleman, but turns out to be the Enemy Without of a prince deity whose little sister Anthy has to suffer for his inability to cope with being divine. His seduction of Utena (including taking her virginity) is presented by him as the gentlemanly thing to do - kissing her feet, making her feel like a lady - it turns out it's all a ruse to make her into a very feminine, yet also completely passive bride for him to use in his cosmic plans, instead of her becoming a prince who could conquer him, and just like he did to Anthy.
Dead All Along: In the movie. It's even taken one step further when it's suggested that his idealized self Prince Dios was never even real in the first place, but was just a creation of Anthy's magic..
Dirty Coward: What he is deep down. Beneath the manipulations, seductions and duels is only a selfish child, refusing to grow up, who makes others suffer for his own amusement and desires. The moment he thinks the swords are going to get him, he starts sweating cold.
Domestic Abuser: The entire series could be seen as a case study in how domestic abusers of all kinds (spouses, parents, caretakers, etc.) systematically destroy any resolve their victims have, eventually rendering them to the passive husk Anthy is at the beginning of the series. He undermines her confidence, treats her like property, cuts her off from any meaningful relationships, passes her around to any (potentially abusive) student that wins the duel, and rapes her weekly. Take out the duel aspect, and you could find the same behavior in a lot of domestic abuse cases.
Karma Houdini: Downplayed. Even if Akio got to keep his place in Ohtori and Utena was gone, Utena herself had the last laugh as she finally managed to free Anthy from his control, so Anthy ultimately says "But Now I Must Go" and goes Walking the Earth with Chuchu despite his pleas. Keep in mind that it's implied Akio has no magic of his own, so with Anthy gone he's completely powerless, and this is one of the worst things that could ever happen to him.
Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Usually he keeps it in a ponytail. When he lets it out, it's more obvious that it's a mullet.
Master of Illusion: Uses the planetarium to create all the weirdness of the dueling arena.
Samaritan Syndrome: As Dios, he constantly put the needs of the villagers before himself. Because of this, he grew weak to the point that he was on the verge of death. Anthy stepped in, and she was pretty much condemned to a Fate Worse than Death...
Adaptation Dye-Job: Had black hair with red forelocks in the manga. In the anime and later illustrations, his hair is red with the exception of a slightly lighter forelock. His eyes also changed from brown to blue.
Always Someone Better: Just as Saionji feels inferior to Touga, Touga is envious of Akio's power (at least partly because he's glimpsed far more of that power than any other duelist).
Anything That Moves: Touga is mostly into girls, but he also hits on Miki in an early episode, has quite a lot of subtext with Saionji, and sleeps with Akio. And with Miki, in the light novels. Sex is less about sexuality for Touga and more about power; as long as he gets something from the person he's sleeping with, eh.
Also, in the Akio Arc: "If your soul hasn't given up entirely, then you should be able to hear this sound, running about the Ends of the World. Now, come with us, to the world which you desire!"
Chivalrous Pervert: Subverted. Touga seduces any girl he wants — three or four at a time — but cares for Utena, his sister Nanami, and his friend Saionji. And yet, that doesn't stop him from being a Manipulative Bastard to them if he thinks he can gain something from it. See the ending of Nanami's duel in the third arc for a truly horrific example of this.
Crying Wolf: Tries to warn Utena about End of the World and the Rose Bride but is ignored.
Of sorts late in the anime. He duels Utena one last time in an attempt to prevent her from falling into Akio's hands, and tells her to be wary of End of the World and the Rose Bride. Of course, she doesn't take hisword.
I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Touga falls in love with Utena because she seems to be the one girl who doesn't immediately fall under his charm. Getting his ass kicked by her at the end of the first arc seemed to help, too.
Karma Houdini: With regards to his treatment of Nanami in the third arc. He never gets any comeuppance for the crap he pulls on her, nor does he even show remorse for it.
Love Redeems: Somewhat in the anime. Played straight in the manga.
Manipulative Bastard: He manipulates Utena into thinking he's her prince, he sets Saionji up for a major fall early on, and he plays all sorts of mindgames with Nanami, even letting her believe they're Not Blood Siblings near the end.
Multicolored Hair: In earlier manga illustrations, he has black hair with red bangs; this was later changed to red with a lighter front lock to match with the anime.
Not Blood Siblings: Nanami is crushed after finding out Touga is adopted and therefore not really her brother after all. This is then subverted when it turns out that Touga was just playing with her head — while he is adopted, Nanami was also adopted from the same family and thus they actually are blood siblings. For the record: This is the Double Subversion of the Inversion of a trope — a prime example of how Mind Screwy this show is.
Parental Abandonment: He and Nanami are both adopted kids (see Not Blood Siblings above) and it's never said what happened to their birth parents. Made considerably more disturbing in The Movie, in which it's stated that his birth father sold him.
The Pornomancer: To a lesser degree than Akio, but we still see a lot of him with his shirt open behind pink curtains.
Rape as Backstory: In the movie, and at the hands of his adopted father at that. If a certain statement from Youji Enokido is to be believed, this had been intended for his series self as well, but was left out for reasons unknown.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Toyed with. On one hand, Nanami's childhood memories of him paint him as a much kinder big brother than he is in the series' present. On the other, the flashback he shares with Saionji portrays him as something much closer to a Creepy Child; he casually plays with Utena's hair, has virtually no reaction to her situation, and already shows signs of becoming the Manipulative Bastard he is as a teenager. Later, it's strongly suggested that even his past kind behaviour towards Nanami was an act, as he claims that he never really loved her and only pretended to care because his father wanted him to. Finally, Word of Enokido is that he really was a sweet kid a very long time ago, but changed drastically soon after he and Nanami were sent to the Kiryuus.
Wounded Gazelle Gambit: To gain Utena's sympathy in the first arc, he takes an attack meant for her from Saionji and plays up the injury; as a result, Saionji is kicked out of school and Utena takes Touga's side. This lets him play on her feelings during their duel when he pulls another WGG by pretending to give up when she is about to attack him; she hesitates, and he strikes.
Bifauxnen: Juri's typical attire is gender-neutral, and she does model gowns when not wearing the Student Council uniform, but her cool, icy bearing and fierceness lead to her giving off this impression.
Broken Bird: She's been carrying a torch for Shiori for a long time, even though Shiori has deliberately hurt her out of envy.
Clingy MacGuffin: Subversion — she throws her locket into a lake in one episode; by the end of that episode, it's back with her again. However, she ends up finding it because the locket was planted there, not by sheer chance.
Not So Stoic: Whenever the situation starts directly involving Shiori.
The Ojou: Implied to possibly be even richer than the Kiryuus, based on the way she casually one-ups Nanami at the beginning of episode 16.
Poor Communication Kills: Some of the problems between her and Shiori are caused by Juri's own inability/refusal to communicate properly with her. It's understandable that she Can Not Spit It Out with regards to her feelings for the other girl, but the fact that she makes no effort to have a proper conversation with her doesn't help Shiori's inferiority complex at all.
Slave Collar: Her locket is a necklace variation of this. Its breaking at the end of her story symbolized her finally being free of her self-destructive, one-sided relationship with the person found inside the locket.
Innocent Inaccurate: When he sees Utena in the coffin, he doesn't really understand that she's trying to commit suicide.
Irony: A major part of his motivation involves having met a young girl who was suffering from a massive Despair Event Horizon as a result of her parents' death. While we never learn the girl's name, the fact that she had pink hair is enough to confirm that it was young Utena before her prince pulled her out of her stupor. The irony lies in the fact that he wants to achieve eternity based on her despair-filled words and not having been able to help her, but he winds up despising her years later for having defeated him.
I Was Beaten By A Girl: Being the current betrothed of Anthy inflated his ego to dangerous levels...then Utena beats him. Upon requesting a rematch, she beats him again. After that he starts to have serious issues.
The Masochism Tango: He does have some sort of unrequited attraction to Anthy, but his claims that she should be head-over-heels for him fall short when he backhands her every couple of scenes. You could probably also make an argument for him and Touga.
Only Sane Man: He certainly isn't in the beginning, but some time after he loses his third duel with Utena, he's the only one in the council who senses that something is awry with the End of the World and Anthy, and he's also the only one who questions Touga's odd, power-driven behavior. He even stops chasing Anthy (impressive, given how driven he was to pursue her). Nanami eventually joins him after she finds out that Anthy's in a incestuous relationship with the school's director.
Pet the Dog: When he's rooming with Wakaba in episode 20, especially when he makes a little hairclip for her. Too bad he botches it by taking up Mikage's offer and giving the hairclip away in exchange for being able to return to Ohtori. Thus, the hairclip goes to Anthy instead, and poor Wakaba goes Cute and Psycho.
Uke: A Deconstruction of one. A lot of his problems stem from a mix of his love/hate relationship with Touga and the feelings of inferiority of always being second best and in his shadow. Ultimately, he wants to seek eternity to preserve the equal friendship he and Touga once shared. This also leads to him asserting his masculinity in very unhealthy ways, notably his abysmal treatment of Anthy.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The younger Saionji we see in episode 9 wasn't halfway as horrible as the teen Saionji we met.
Adaptation Dye-Job: Had brown hair and brown eyes in an early color illustration for the manga, but Saitou quickly modified him in later artwork to match his anime color scheme (blue hair, blue eyes).
Brilliant, but Lazy: Deconstructed and played with; he's certainly not lazy with his academics, but he doesn't have that much resolve when it comes to duelling.
Character Tics: Timing his stopwatch. NOBODY KNOWS WHY, especially with Ikuhara's habit of leaving his answers vague or deliberately off-base. A good theory, though, is that he is timing the length of the dialogue from whoever spoke right before.
Even the Guys Want Him: Besides his fangirls, Touga hits on him as early on as the fifth episode, and his piano teacher is implied to have a less than savoury interest in him. The light novels (which are an Alternate Continuity) take this to another level, in that Touga flat-out sleeps with him.
Like Brother and Sister: His friendship with Juri has some hints of this; fanon and fanfiction have been known to take this in non-platonic directions. (It doesn't help that at one point in the movie she seems to hit on him, though she may have been teasing him.)
Lonely Piano Piece: He often plays "The Sunlit Garden" alone, remembering how he used to play it with Kozue.
Loving a Shadow: At least in the beginning, his feelings towards Anthy stem from the fact that she reminds him of Kozue when she was younger - or rather, how he remembers Kozue.
Nice Guy: Miki is one of the few genuinely good-natured characters, and is certainly the Student Councilor least inclined to use others as punching bags for his own issues. This being Utena, he doeshaveflaws, but he is one of the few characters that never slaps Anthy.
Parental Abandonment: His and Kozue's parents are not only divorced, but it also seems that they are rarely in contact with the twins. Not to mention it's heavily implied that Anthy is their father's mistress, or at the very least manipulated their father into calling Miki to push him into a duel.
Baleful Polymorph: Is tricked by Anthy into putting on a "fashion bell" that gradually turns her into a cow.
Big Brother Attraction: Deconstructed. She feels something sexual for him (such as when she watches him shower), but when she sees a real case of Brother-Sister Incest, she is so traumatized that all her feelings vanish and she learns to see Touga in a healthier light.
Break the Haughty: Oh boooy, does this girl have a bad day: After discovering that her brother, whom she loved ever since she was a child, was not her blood sibling, she feels like the connection she had her whole life was a lie. After that, she runs away from home, into the house of a pair of close, happy siblings... only to walk in on them having sex. And after that she walks in on her brother making out with a member of her old gang, to hear that her brother said he not only never loved her to begin with, and to have her ex-friend claim she has no connection to her anymore. And then after that she gets the Akio Car treatment, where her brother attempts to rape her, much to her horror. Her proceeding duel ends with her breaking down in tears, claiming that she doesn't have any connection to the brother she loves, and is horrified at being just like the other girls he sees absolutely nothing in. It's very hard not to feel sorry for her after all that, even if you thought she was a raging Rich Bitch.
Crying Wolf: Tries to warn Utena about Akio and Anthy after accidentally learning exactly what their relationship is like, but because no one trusts Nanami it comes to no avail.
Demoted to Extra: In the movie, Nanami only appears in a single scene... as a cow. In the manga it was even worse, as she only ever shows up in one photograph and doesn't even make an actual on-panel appearance.
Dual Wielding: Both a sword and a knife. She only has the sword during her duel in the third arc, however; if you think of the sword/dagger combo as representing Touga and herself, then it makes sense as her relying purely on her own strength in that fight.
Egg Sitting: For the egg that she apparently laid. She gets really attached to it.
Imagine Spot: When Nanami is trying to embarrass Anthy [and win Miki's affection) by planting weird stuff in her room. She envisions each ploy going off without a hitch, only to have them fail because Anthy is already keeping weird stuff in her room. And Miki finds it cute.
Inferiority Superiority Complex: Has surprisingly low self-esteem under her Rich Bitch exterior, which becomes apparent when Touga (who just about all her feelings of superiority hinge on) starts screwing her over.
Jerkass Has a Point: Like Saionji, by the end of the series Nanami has actually figured out a lot of what's going on, but given how she acted earlier no one is inclined to believe her. See also Crying Wolf.
Mistaken for Gay: When she takes care of an egg in the anime, she asks Touga if he prefers boys or girls (she's talking about the gender of whatever is inside the egg). He believes that she is talking about his sexuality and answers "Girls, obviously," which then Nanami replies with "Really? Me too." Cue a lecture about "Homosexuality is wrong" by Touga.
Minor Injury Overreaction: And it's not even her own! When Touga gets hurt in the Student Council arc, Nanami is quick to blame Utena and Anthy for her brother's injuries.
My God, What Have I Done?: As a child, she is implied to have not realised the full implications of what she did with Touga's kitten until it was too late, and she was horrified to the point of tears when she did realise.
So Beautiful, It's a Curse: In one episode, she thinks that someone is trying to kill her: "These attempts must certainly be the result of someone being jealous of my cute looks, my popularity, and refinement!"
I Just Want to Be Special: A deep analysis of her character reveals that, as she's conscious that she's just an average girl, she can only feel special when around special people. As Wakaba is an innate nurturer, she feels special when special people, like Utena, rely on her. When Saionji was freeloading in her room, it was her dream come true: the troubled special guy was relying on her and appreciating her. When she believes that Anthy steals him away, her elevator confession reveals that she felt she was close to becoming special herself but her chance was foiled.
Murder the Hypotenuse: The trigger Mikage used to break her was having Saionji give him the handmade hairpin he was planning to give to Wakaba and instead giving it to Anthy. Thinking Saionji gave it to her, Wakaba became a Black Rose duelist and was the only one who actively tried to kill Anthy in the dueling arena before the duel even started.
Ascended Extra <- -> Demoted to Extra: From the manga to the anime, where she gets more fleshed out and a near total personality overhaul, then back to extra in the movie.
Attention Whore: Deconstructed; her inferiority complex with regards to her brother makes her think that negative attention is the only kind she can get, hence her promiscuous behaviour.
Bi the Way: Kisses Anthy in the middle of Miki's second duel and goes on a date with Chigusa in the Sega Saturn game, though it seems to be more about pissing off Miki.
Character Exaggeration: Kozue in the manga was a very different character from Kozue in the anime, to say the least. Basically, she was just bratty and overprotective of Miki, and she certainly didn't act promiscuous or shove anyone down flights of stairs.
Damsel in Distress: Becomes one of these in the manga and light novel, forcing Miki (who, in these versions, had been completely opposed to the dueling game beforehand) to duel against Utena in order to save her.
Freudian Excuse: When Miki was unable to attend their recital, not only was it revealed Kozue was a sub-par player on her own, but being alone in front of the crowd clearly traumatized her. And while Miki is the series' Nice Guy, he hasn't treated her with the same affection since she stopped playing the piano and projects her childhood self onto Anthy. No wonder the girl has issues.
Defiled Forever: It's heavily implied that she and Ruka had sex while in Akio's car and because of this and her low self-esteem, it's implied that her over-the-top begging for Ruka to not dump her is because she feels thay now nobody would ever want her.
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: She rejects Juri's attempt to console her after Ruka dumps her. She's also convinced that the only reason Juri was friends with her in the first place was because she felt sorry for her, which has made her extremely bitter.
Drives Like Crazy: In the movie. While trying to ram Anthy off the road, she doesn't seem to notice that she's about to crash into a fork in the road.
Green-Eyed Monster: Believes that Juri was always better than her at everything, and that she was only pretending to be friends with her in order to look down on her.
Incompatible Orientation: Truthfully, this is the least of the problems between Juri and Shiori. Actually subverted; it's strongly hinted that she has her own romantic feelings for Juri, and this has been confirmed by the director. Their relationship also appears to have improved by the end of the series.
Inferiority Superiority Complex: While not exactly acting "superior" she certainly acts a lot more confident than she actually feels, mostly to hide a horrible self image.
Innocently Insensitive: Juri calls her "cruelly innocent", referring to the fact that Shiori hurt her without realizing that she was the person Juri was in love with. Even so, she is willing to do deliberately harmful things because of her inferiority complex.
It's All About Me: In the movie, when, after she becomes a car, she rants to Anthy that the only who deserves to escape from Ohtori is "beautiful me. Me. Me. Me! Me! Me, me, me, me, ME!!!"
Macabre Moth Motif: In the movie. She technically becomes a Cabbage White butterfly, but the disturbing context of the scene as well as what the butterflies represent (mainly parasitism and cruel innocence) are more in line with this trope.
The Nondescript: Considers herself to be plain in comparison to the beautiful Juri.
Poor Communication Kills: Granted she does try to communicate once and Juri isn't the easiest person to talk to but a lot of her and Juri's relationship issues could be eased if they talked to each other. Shiori's tendency to bottle up her bitter feelings to a festering point really doesn't help her case.
Selective Obliviousness: When Juri tries to warn her away from Ruka because she's worried about her, Shiori misinterprets her words as jealousy and thinks she's awful for it.
Self-Deprecation: To the extreme; she calls herself "useless" and cannot believe that anyone could genuinely like her.
Self-Serving Memory: In the movie, as she's recounting her so-called relationship with Touga before his death, she mentions that "my Prince and I were going to go steady". Considering he was still in a relationship with Utena at the time, chances are she's either lying or that's how she remembers it. (On the other hand, Touga could very well have been two-timing, even at that young age. This isTouga we're talking about, after all, and we only get so much insight into his character in the movie.)
Everything's Better with Princesses: Deconstructed like whoa. Kanae is implied to fit the true princess archetype in this series, being very kind-hearted and sweet... but also very passive and lacking any control over her own future. This is not portrayed as a good thing.
How Do You Like Them Apples?: In the third arc, Akio and Anthy feed a BSODing Kanae an apple pin-cushioned by forks. It is strongly implied that they're poisoning her, and the apple also obviously stands for Anthy's swords of hate. One of the background music tracks, which normally plays during Akio and Anthy's familial bonding is called "Fruit of Sin", as well. Make of that what you will.
Meal Ticket: The only reason Akio is with her is so he can stay as the acting chairman and have the planetarium for his personal use.
Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: Eventually turns on Nanami after Touga feeds her a horrible pack of lies, most prominently the "fact" that he and Nanami aren't related.
Cinderella Circumstances: Subverted. At first, Keiko seems to follow this tale straight to the point of parody, Nanami being a sorta "evil stepmother"... 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".
The Nondescript: Taken to new heights when the audience realizes that Utena doesn't even know her name until after she duels her and Anthy mentions it to her. The other two members of her Girl Posse have similar names as she does also.
The Chew Toy: His horrible luck is played for utter comedy, even in his Black Rose episode.
Combat Pragmatist: In his Black Rose episode he attacks Utena before she can even draw the Sword of Dios; he also puts to good use the intrinsic advantages of dual-wielding against someone with a single weapon.
Creepy Child: Has a cheerful demeanor, but initially places Nanami in a series of deadly situations so he can rescue her, apparently not realizing that this is very bad. Also qualifies during his tenure as a Black Rose duelist where the amount of stress and frustration he was dealing with most likely led to that destructive desire.
Dogged Nice Guy: Tsuwabuki is practically Nanami's lackey, but he's happy with just being by her side and being useful to her. In his Black Rose episode, he wants to be more than that and snaps.
Dual Wielding: Wields Nanami's sword and knife as a Black Rose duelist.
Bait and Switch: He was sure that Wakaba still had feelings for him like he still has for her, and the ambiguous conversation they have about "being true with your feelings" make it look like they're going to end up together. Then Wakaba hopes him to found someone special as she thanks him for his advace and goes to see her true prince, Saionji.
Embarrassing Nickname: "Prince Onion", since in Japanese referring to something as onion-make means it's shoddy or second-rate.
Dogged Nice Guy: To Wakaba.Upon hearing him confess, Mikage rejects him for the Black Duels and sends him home. And immediately afterwards, he uses said knowledge to put Wakaba as the next Black Duelist in line.
Green-Eyed Monster: Over Wakaba. But curiously, he's rejected for Mikage as a Black Duelist, despite having a genuine load of issues with him, like the other duelists.
Nice Guy: A theory says that, unlike others, Tatsuya wants a healthy relationship with Wakaba instead of forcing her into be with him, and that's why Mikage said that he's truly a nice person.
Despair Event Horizon: Weaponized, sorta. He approaches young people who are in their lowest emotional states with promises of a chance to change their worlds and end what's making them suffer by defeating Utena: it's specially obvious in the cases of people like Kanae, Wakaba, Keiko, or Tsuwabuki. And then we learn that Mikage himself also went past the DEH in his backstory, and is pushed even further in the last episode of the Black Rose arc.
Disproportionate Retribution: All the duels he enables are this, and usually for a small or perceived slight. Mikage himself was guilty of this in the past, too; he burned down Nemuro Hall, killing a hundred people in the process, just because he saw the woman he liked making out with another man.
Driven to Madness: Seeing his beloved Tokiko seduced by Akio made him crack big time, and Mamiya's death made things even worse.
Elaborate Underground Base: Nemuro Memorial Hall. He does his thing in an elevator decorated with pictures of butterflies (in different stages of development) and a leaf, which leads to a massive underground mausoleum where the bodies of a hundred duelists are stored.
Expy: Of Fiore from the Sailor Moon R movie, which Ikuhara also directed. In addition to their appearances and role in the narrative, they also have the same seiyuu, Hikaru Midorikawa.
Fake Memories: His memories of Mamiya and what really happened to Nemuro Hall.
Foil: To Utena, pink hair and all. Utena is straightforward and well-meaning; he is manipulative and cruel. They have some similarities, too-see Shadow Archetype and Spear Counterpart below.
The Glasses Come Off: This is reversed with him, who is unable to clearly perceive things after he loses his glasses.
Mind Rape: How he manipulates the Black Rose duelist candidates, via making them tell him their deepest traumas and frustrations and using said knowledge to recruit them to his side. It's a frighteningly good use of the "Mundane" methods.
Not So Different: With Utena, and their similar coloration intentionally highlights this.
Sanity Slippage: In the final episode of the Black Rose arc. He's run out of duelist candidates, he realizes he's been Akio's pawn, Utena sees through his bullshit, and he starts hallucinating that she and Tokiko are the same person.
Shadow Archetype: Of Utena. Both of them are living their lives to memory whose details are so far-off that they've grown blurry and idealized (Mikage's love for Tokiko, Utena and her Prince). It opens up the question of how healthy Utena's desire to be a prince is and if she's in danger of slipping down a dark path for her pursuit of the past.
There Are No Therapists: Man could really have used one. He also functions as a twisted version of a therapist in the Black Rose arc, urging the students who visit him to confess their psychological problems... Of course, having Mikage listen to your issues is really not a good way to solve them.
Small Role, Big Impact: She's on screen for about a minute and a half total, but what she does then ties in heavily to the overall themes of the story. Also given that Word of God says she poisoned her husband at Akio's prompting much of the series occurs because of her.
Wicked Stepmother: She acts in this fashion, cavorting with Akio and caring very little about her ill husband's health or Kanae's well-being. And according to the screen writer, she was the one who poisoned her husband at Akio's prompting, just to put the icing on the cake.
Your Cheating Heart: Something Akio passive-aggressively reminds her of constantly when they're on screen together.
A former member of the student council who left due to a severe illness. After the Black Rose Duels end, he returns to Ohtori with a plan in mind: to free Juri from her self-abusive affections for Shiori before he dies.
Green-Eyed Monster: It could be argued that he treated Shiori in the way he did seducing her etc., and then breaking up and humiliating her in public the way he did. Was because he was jealous that Juri loved Shiori in a way she would never love him.
Jerkass Façade: In retrospect, every action he took was to free Juri from her unhealthy bond to Shiori, and there's a good chance he was making Juri hate him on purpose. Even so, he made this happen by publicly humiliating Shiori, which was definitely not necessary. He even forcibly kisses Juri after the incident happens.
Manipulative Bastard: Toyed with. At first we're led to believe he's another manipulative prick just like most of the other males, but by the end of Juri's duel it's revealed that every cruel he did was to discredit Shiori and free Juri from her self-destructive obsession with the girl. And then he's back in this when we recall what kind of actions he pulled, like borderline/straightforwardly molesting Juri and sexually humiliating Shioriwhich was not needed at all.
Thanatos GambitKnew that he'd die and had his days numbered, but he still used this to his advantage to force Juri out of her vicious cycle.
Dead All Along: Unlike Mikage, whose status was ambiguous, Chigusa is explicitly stated to have died in the fire at the fencing hall 15 years ago.
Disproportionate Retribution: Teacher you love chose your friend over you and then are going to have a Shotgun Wedding? Guess you should burn the fencing hall down with yourself inside it!
Even the Girls Want Her: Gets her share of squealing from fangirls when she's in class, and Kozue is even seen dating her at one point.
Everything's Better with Princesses: Completely averted in her mind. Chigusa hates passive girls that she perceives to be "princesses," in contrast to commanding girls like her whom she believes to be "queens."
Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: If the protagonist asks her if she has a girlfriend at one point, Chigusa says that she only likes regular boys. Then she goes on a date with Kozue a few scenes later.
Informed Attribute: Chigusa is supposed to look very masculine, to the point where she feels the need to specify her gender when she introduces herself to the class, but it doesn't show at all in her character design.
No Guy Wants an Amazon: The fencing team's sponsor, Masaomi, chose girly Koto over cold, powerful Chigusa. She never recovered from that rejection, and thus hates all girls who act passive and feminine - especially the player character, who is Masaomi and Koto's daughter.
Onee-sama: Plays herself up as this as she tries to entice your player character into her trap. The Non-Standard Game Over if you lose all your nobility points shows the two of them wrapped in a nude embrace, a pose that would look completely appropriate for a standard yuri series.
Combat Commentator: In the movie, the Shadow Girls broadcast live footage of Anthy's car chase to the outside world, providing commentary on "who's in the lead", and actually being able to communicate to her through the car radio.
Even Nerds Have Standards: They're not actually nerds, but A-Ko and B-Ko have the nerve to say that C-Ko is "a little strange" compared to them, and that she has no friends. In C-Ko's words, "you guys are ones to talk".
The Faceless: When they finally appear in person, they're only shown from behind.
Faux Symbolism: Invoked. Several of their plays are perfect allegories of the events of the episode. Then there are the plays that involve a monkey-catching robot and a wife who thinks you can eat tires for dinner.
Planet of Hats: If Word of God and fan interpretation is to be believed, the Shadow Girls come from a planet called Kashira. The movie supports this, somewhat, with the reveal of an entire news studio of shadow girls.
Voiced by: Emi Motoi (Yuuko) and Naoko Takano (Aiko, JP); Elizabeth Tarpin (Yuuko) and Carol Jacobanis (Aiko, EN)
Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: After Nanami finds out she and Touga may not be blood siblings, Keiko and the others gladly turn on her and bemoan all the time they "wasted" kissing her ass. It doesn't last long however, as Nanami gives them an epic beatdown back into her servitude before her second duel.
Terrible Trio: Alongside Keiko the three of them are Nanami's devoted henchmen.
Those Two Guys: They're able to qualify as this given that Keiko is the only one given any substantial focus. Their last names are barely known by the fandom, and until Keiko's focus episode it was difficult to distinguish which was which.
With Friends Like These...: In Keiko's episode, Nanami has her banned from all clubs and associations after she sees her sharing an umbrella with Touga. When Keiko goes to Aiko and Yuuko for support, the two just blankly stare at her before they wonder aloud if they heard someone talking.