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Characters: Revolutionary Girl Utena
The following are the characters from Revolutionary Girl Utena. If you have not seen the entire series, beware of spoilers!

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    Utena Tenjou 

Utena Tenjou

Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (JP), Rachael Lillis (EN)

  • Accidental Marriage: More like accidental engagement, though.
  • Action Girl: Her duels take place almost Once an Episode, and she's extremely athletic.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: 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.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Possibly, in the end of the series and manga.
  • Badass
  • Beginner's Luck: She has no experience in swordfighting but manages to beat Saionji, who's practiced kendo since childhood.
  • Bifauxnen: In The Movie.
  • Blithe Spirit/Rookie Red Ranger: She has no idea about the plot that the student council is involved in but gets involved in their lives (and tangled interpersonal issues).
  • Blood Sisters: With Anthy.
  • Bokukko
  • Break the Cutie: Utena only wanted to become the prince she admired. It didn't happen.
  • Character Tics: Stretching, exercising — even in the middle of a conversation.
  • Clothing Damage: in her second duel with Touga.
  • 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.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: It's in the show's prologue!
  • Cool Car: Becomes this in the Gainax Ending of the movie.
  • Covert Pervert: Very subtly in the "Freaky Friday" Flip where she sneaks a peek of Saionjis's bare chest.
  • Custom Uniform: She says that she wears the boy's uniform, but no one in Ohtori has an outfit like hers.
  • Determinator/Plucky Girl: In the last episode, she forces herself back up with her bare knuckles.
  • Deadpan Snarker: With the Shadow Girls in the Black Rose Arc.
  • Dreaming The Truth: In episode 34.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Well, sort of... but definitely awesome.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Is stabbed by Anthy in the penultimate episode.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: And HOW. She used to provide the picture for that page.
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: Combined with Implausible Fencing Powers.
  • Famous Last Words:
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Averted.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes
  • 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.
  • In the Name of the Moon: "Grant me the power to bring the world revolution!"
  • Girl in a Box: At her parents' funeral. She finds a third coffin and hides in it, hoping to be buried herself.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: In the second ending sequence with Anthy.
  • 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.
  • Lady and Knight: With Anthy.
  • Magic Knight: Whenever she gains the power of Dios in a duel, or when Anthy powers up the sword.
  • Meaningful Name: "Utena" translates to "calyx", a set of specialized leaves that protect the petals of a budding flower. Note that Anthy's name means "flower".
  • Memento Macguffin: Her ring!
  • 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."
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Her Rose Signet, which she received few after being orphaned.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her parents died when she was very young, leaving her an orphan.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: She alone can beat a whole basketball team.
  • 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.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Wakaba and Anthy.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Not so much "sweetie" as "chivalric". That's what she wants to be.
  • Save the Princess: What she thinks she's doing where Anthy is concerned.
  • 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.
  • She's Got Legs: According to Ikuni himself, the reason why she wears Daisy Dukes.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Her duels frequently end like this.
  • Take My Hand: To Anthy in the final episode.
  • Talking in Bed: She and Anthy frequently converse in their adjacent beds after they move into the planetarium tower.
  • Tomboy to Anthy's Girly Girl
  • 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.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: The most naive character in the show.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Brings one to her duel with Saionji. He shears it off, but she beats him anyway.

    Anthy Himemiya 

Anthy Himemiya

Voiced by: Yuriko Fuchizaki (JP), Sharon Becker (EN)

  • 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.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Nobody at Ohtori is friends with her. In the first arc, we saw her getting cornered (usually by Nanami's gang), berated, and slapped almost Once an Episode.
  • Ambiguously Brown: She has dark skin and wears a bindi, but her surname is Japanese and her given name is Greek. Her ethnicity is never actually specified.
  • Back Stab: Quote Oscar Wilde: "The coward does it with a kiss, the brave man with a sword!" Anthy does it with both.
  • Barrier Maiden: Subverted.
  • Blood Sisters: With Utena.
  • 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
  • But Now I Must Go: The happiest moment in the entire damn series.
  • Catch Phrase: In the next episode preview: "Absolute fate apocalypse."
  • Compressed Hair: Partially justified in that she does keep her hair bound most of the time, but it's hard to believe that such a large volume of hair can roll up so tightly.
  • Damsel in Distress: Downplayed she has potential to fight back, but her role as the Rose Bride doesn't let her do this directly.
  • Defiant Captive: Her role as the Rose Bride hinders this. While physically she can pull this off, her emotional/psychological damage is way too serious.
  • Designated Victim: In the first arc, you could start a drinking game based on how many times she gets slapped.
  • Detached Sleeves: Her Rose Bride outfit is a sleeveless dress with detached cuffs.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Dios and Anthy crossed this in their back stories, which is what shaped them into Akio Ohtori the Magnificent Bastard and Anthy Himemiya the Rose Bride.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Something that creeps out a lot of the people around her, especially her soon-to-be sister-in-law Kanae.
  • The Dragon: Of sorts, to her brother.
  • 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.
  • Emotionless Girl: Subverted.
  • Extreme Doormat: Guess what!, subverted.
  • Facial Markings: Wears a bindi.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The swords.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Downplayed. The only foods she can make safely are children's snacks like shaved ice.
  • Flower Motifs: With all the characters, but especially her.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Not in any over-the-top way, but she clearly has an affinity with animals, more so than with humans.
  • Girl in a Box: Twice.
  • Girly Girl to Utena's Tomboy
  • The Glasses Come Off: When she sleeps with Akio.
  • A God I Am Not: She has the power of the Sword of Dios and is immortal and/or undying. She'd really rather be an ordinary girl, though.
  • Godiva Hair: Though the circumstances are of the Fan Disservice variety.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: She ends up being both and varies between them. In the end, she decides to be a "good witch" and throws off her brother for good.
  • Green Eyes
  • The Hecate Sisters: She can be seen as all three depending on the situation: the maiden in her role as the Rose Bride, the wife for the duelists, and the witch/crone as Akio's "partner".
  • Heel-Face Turn: Thanks to Utena' determination to save her, Anthy finally frees herself from Akio's endless quest for power via the dueling game and leaves him forever.
  • Hidden Depths: Oh, so much.
  • 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.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Looks quite young, has actually been alive for God knows how long.
  • I Will Find You: At the very end.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: She's long since given up any hope of escaping her fate as the Rose Bride, and thus Utena's continued efforts to free her cause her either consternation or shock.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: In the second ending sequence with Utena.
  • Lady and Knight: With Utena.
  • 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.
  • Language of Magic
  • Lethal Chef: Her cooking has... interesting side effects though this may be intentional.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: We see her wearing her hair down more often (usually at night) as she and Utena become closer. Also when she's in bed with Akio.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Wakaba basically describes Anthy as this in the first episode.
  • Love Martyr: To Akio, and how.
  • Love Redeems: Utena's love redeems her and gives her the courage to leave Akio.
  • Meaningful Name: "Anthy" is derived from the Greek word "ánthos" for "flower" and is an epithet for the Greek Goddess Hera. (Also note that Dios is another name for Zeus, Hera's brother-husband.)" Himemiya" means "princess shrine".
  • Meganekko
  • Mysterious Waif
  • Neutral Female: For roughly 90 to 95 percent of the series. Subverted: she has very good reasons to do it.
  • One Note Cook: Limits herself to shaved ice and children's snacks; see Lethal Chef for why.
  • 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.
  • Perpetual Expression: A mild, emotionless smile. Except when it's not.
  • Person of Holding: Saionji and then Utena draw the dueling sword from her body.
  • Purple Is The New Black: Her hair is black in the manga, but the anime series and movies render it purple.
  • 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 but she has no other option as long she continues to be the Rose Bride.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: These pop up whenever she's being complicit in Akio's manipulations.
  • Shape Shifter: Could be an Empathic Shapeshifter.
  • 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.
  • Talking in Bed: With Utena.
  • Tears of Remorse: Near the end for letting Utena get entangled so far and then stabbing her in the back.
  • Tragic Hero: All she was trying to do was protect her exhausted brother from the demands of people who wouldn't fight for themselves.
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: To the point that Kanae compares her to an alien and Nanami thinks she's the scariest person she knows.
  • Vocal Dissonance: A minor case, but Yuriko Fuchizaki sounds noticeably older than many members of the high school cast. Utena being Utena, this was probably deliberate.
  • Walking the Earth: With Chu-chu, after the Grand Finale. To search for Utena and for her real place in the world.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask
  • 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.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Played straight and subverted, which tells you something about her character.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Horribly subverted. She seems like a caricature of one crossing into Extreme Doormat, until you learn her motivations and backstory...
  • 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.

    Akio Ohtori 

Akio Ohtori/End of the World/Dios

Voiced by: Jurota Kosugi (JP, series), Mitsuhiro Oikawa (JP, Movie), Crispin Freeman (EN, episode 13), Josh Mosby (EN, series and movie)

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Originally had black hair and brown eyes in Saitou's early illustrations, but his hair changed to lavender in the color images produced after the anime.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Anthy.
  • Affably Evil: He comes off as a Reasonable Authority Figure to the students in the Academy and is quite friendly and charming to most people.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Like Anthy.
  • Anything That Moves: If he can get results from sleeping with you, anything goes, and anything will go.
  • Badass
  • Bastard Boyfriend: To his fiancee Kanae. And to Anthy.
  • Big Bad: He's End of the World, the one who's been organizing the duels, forcing Anthy to be a prize in them, for the purpose of gaining her power. He ruthlessly manipulates Utena and his sister.
  • Bigger Bad: Of the two first arcs of the TV series.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: ... Poor, poor Anthy.
  • 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 Death and 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.
  • Celestial Body: Used symbolically at the end of episode 25.
  • 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.
  • The Chessmaster: He's been directing the duels for who-knows-how long.
  • Cool Car: Or as fans dub it, the Akio Car.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: As Dios.
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive
  • 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..
  • Deal with the Devil
  • Despair Event Horizon: His reaction isn't shown, but it's when the mob of irate townspeople impaled Anthy for wanting to let her older brother recover from the strain of saving people all the time.
  • 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.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Just ask Touga.
  • Evil Sounds Deep
  • Fallen Angel: Depending on how literally you chose to interpret his backstory. Metaphorically speaking, he's definitely one. His name even roughly translates as "Lucifer".
  • Fallen Hero: He used to be a really nice guy.
  • Green Eyes
  • Hot for Student: Do you really wanna know how many students Akio sleeps with? Does anybody really know?
  • I Banged Your Mom: Turns out he's sleeping with Kanae's mother.
  • Instant Seduction: Have you met Akio? Congratulations, you're going to be having sex with him very soon.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: We don't see it, but evidently he did at some point in the past.
  • 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.
  • More than Mind Control: His relationship with Anthy.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates Anthy, manipulates Utena, manipulates the Student Council, manipulates a guy from fifty years ago so hard he creates an illusive reality.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: He's got an undoubtedly expensive muscle car, a home in a planetarium, and a fiancee in an influential family.
  • Meaningful Name/Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Tells Utena he's named after Venus, also known as the Morning Star, also known as Lucifer.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: With anyone he tries to seduce.
  • Not So Different: In his speech to Utena in the penultimate episode.
  • The Pornomancer: If you made a drinking game of how often his shirt flies open....
  • Really Gets Around: One of his defining traits.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Like Anthy, he seems to have been around since at least the Middle Ages.
  • Renaissance Man
  • 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...
  • Shirtless Scene: Played for fanservice and laughs.
  • Situational Sword
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome
  • Tragic Hero: As Dios.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Oh Prince Dios, how low you have fallen.
  • Villainous Incest
  • The Wise Prince: As Dios.
  • White Hair, Black Heart

    The Council members 

Touga Kiryuu

Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (JP), Crispin Freeman (EN)

  • 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.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Would you wish a brother like him on anyone?
  • 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.
  • Big Fancy House: The Kiryuus are very wealthy.
  • The Casanova: He has many multiple girlfriends.
  • Catch Phrase: "If the egg's shell does not break, the chick will die without being born. We are the chick; the egg is the world. If the world's shell does not break, we will die without being born. Break the world's shell! For the sake of revolutionizing the world!"
    • 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.
  • Dead All Along: In the movie.
  • Disc One Final Boss: He's the main antagonist of the first arc and even defeats Utena in their first duel.
  • Even the Guys Want Him
  • Evil Redhead
  • False Friend: Saionji is an asshole, but he still doesn't deserve what Touga pulls on him.
  • The Hedonist
  • Heel-Face Turn:
    • In the manga.
    • 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 his word.
  • Hypocrite: In one of the fillers, he mistakenly believes Nanami to be a lesbian and gives a lecture that homosexuality is wrong; at this point, he is sleeping with Akio. Touga's hypocrisy goes far beyond this one example; put simply, he's no prince.
  • 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.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: In The Movie, though this may or may not be Utena's idealization of her deceased childhood sweetheart.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: One of the Student Council meetings had Touga and Miki doing this with Touga as the knife-thrower.
  • Ladykiller in Love: With Utena. Also a Deconstruction. His "love" for Utena doesn't keep him from trying to control her anyway, and in the end she doesn't love him back.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy
  • 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.
  • Pet the Dog: Or more accurately, the kitten.
  • 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.
  • Really Gets Around: He will sleep with any girl, it seems.
  • Student Council President
  • Shirtless Scene: Played up to the point of parody, and comes in both Fanservice and Fan Disservice flavours.
  • Sexy Man, Instant Harem
  • Smug Snake: He is very handsome, charming, and manipulative — but ultimately, he's a horrendous Jerk Ass even to his sister, and he can't hold a candle to Akio.
  • Something about a Rose
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome
  • 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.

Juri Arisugawa

Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (JP), Mandy Bonhomme (EN)

  • Action Girl: She's the captain of the fencing club and gives Utena a really hard time in their duels.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Had blonde hair and brown eyes in Saitou's earliest color illustrations, but orange hair and blue eyes in the anime and later manga illustrations.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Lesbian in the anime, straight in the manga. Of course, considering this is Utena...
  • Alpha Bitch: Mostly in the manga until after her deal with Utena, but she has her moments in the anime as well.
  • Badass: Just based on her performance against Utena, and contrasting that with everyone else's, one could argue that she's the best fighter in the whole series.
  • 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.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Miki, at least.
  • Death Glare
  • Defrosting Ice Queen
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Very popular with fangirls, both in-story and in the fandom. And unbeknownst to her, Shiori was in love with her all along as well, as confirmed by Ikuhara.
  • Expy: Of Oscar from Rose of Versailles, for a start, and several aristocratic, Regal Ringlets-wearing characters from Chiho Saito's other series.
  • Gray Rain of Depression
  • Her Story Repeats Itself
  • Hypocrite: Begrudges Shiori for not knowing her feelings for her, but doesn't try to understand Shiori's own feelings in general.
  • It's All Junk
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Refuses to believe in miracles to try and hide her emotional weaknesses. She's pretty pissed when Utena wins their first duel with an insane coincidence.
  • Lady of War: Her elegance and maturity elevates her to this rather than Action Girl.
  • Letting Her Hair Down
  • Loving a Shadow: Seems to be more in love with an over-idealised mental image of Shiori than with the actual person.
  • Memento Macguffin: Her locket.
  • 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.
  • Rapunzel Hair: In the movie.
  • Redemption in the Rain
  • Red String of Fate: Shows up in her flashbacks.
  • Regal Ringlets
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: For Shiori.
  • Shower of Angst
  • 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.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Juri/Jury.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Depending on whether you see her locket as a link to the happy days Juri shared with Shiori and the Nameless Boy, or as a reminder of Shiori's betrayal.

Kyouichi Saionji

Voiced by: Takeshi Kusao (JP), Jack Taylor (EN)

  • Always Someone Better: No matter what he does, Touga just seems to be one step ahead of him.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: He claims to love Anthy, but his behavior is more in line with this. In fact, he abuses her physically before Utena defeats him.
  • The Chew Toy: In fillers, and it's cathartic.
  • Domestic Abuser: In every continuity, his physical abuse of Anthy is what spurs Utena to try to save her.
    • Troubled Abuser: Is hinted to have issues with self-loathing, and his inferiority complex with regards to Touga drives him to overcompensate and assert his masculinity in horrible ways.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: His relationship with Touga is defined by this.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Just wanted to a) beat Touga once and b) find something eternal.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: It's hard to figure out how sympathetic he's supposed to be. But when your best friend makes it look like you violently assaulted him and gets you expelled to further his own goals, that's a clear sign your life sucks.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Acts arrogant in his duels and with regards to Anthy, but he's an insecure guy undeneath that.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass: And how.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: He's actually one of the more perceptive members of the main cast, but it's not like people listen to him (for understandable reasons)...
  • Kendo Team Captain
  • Last Name Basis: Everyone calls him by his last name. Yes, even his "best friend" Touga. The sole exception is Nanami.
  • Loin Cloth: His Shower Scene in the Sega Saturn game reveals that he wears fundoshi.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Usually let down, but he puts it in a ponytail while training.
  • 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.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Reacts with utter dismay when he inadvertantly slashes Touga across the back.
  • 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.
  • Perpetual Frowner
  • 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.
  • Purple Eyes
  • Shirtless Scene: Near the end — clearly he's been taking lessons from Touga.
  • Slasher Smile: Tends to give a lot of these - he easily has the most deranged expressions of any duelist when he gets pissed off. They're downright scary in The Movie.
  • Smug Snake: More obviously than Touga.
  • This Cannot Be!: His reaction when Utena wins the first duel.
  • Troubled, but Cute
  • 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.

Miki Kaoru

Voiced by: Aya Hisakawa (JP), Jimmy Zoppi (EN)

  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Despite being the resident Nice Guy, he has a lot of these moments, especially with Nanami.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: In the manga only, he kisses Utena while she's taking a nap.
  • 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.
  • Friendly Enemy: To Utena.
  • Half-Identical Twins: With Kozue.
  • Hypocrite: Looking closer to his characterization.
    • He was at first against the dueling system for Anthy, yet at the end he dueled to possess her and when he loses he promises to Utena he'll win the next time.
    • He says he found his "shining thing" in Anthy but what he sees in her is a replacement of Kozue's past self.
    • He doesn't want to be a "dirty adult" like the father who abandoned him and his sister for a woman, yet in Akio's car he has an Imagine Spot of Anthy in a very suggestive pose.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Mickey".
  • Innocent Innuendo: In the Black Rose arc.
    Nanami: Hey, hey, by the way...how did it feel?
    Miki: How did what feel?
    Nanami: You know what I mean...did it hurt?
    Miki: * goes beet red*
  • Just Friends
  • 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.
  • Luminescent Blush: Tends to do this when embarrassed or talking to Anthy.
  • 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 does have flaws, 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.
  • The Piano Player
  • Shy Blue Haired Boy
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Kozue.
  • Signature Song: "The Sunlit Garden". invoked It serves as more than that, though; it's a leitmotif of the show, and played during key scenes that invoke certain memories, whether real or imagined.
  • Teen Genius: Taking college classes in seventh grade! He's also a brilliant fencer on a technical level.
  • Theme Twin Naming: "Miki" means "trunk" while "kozue" means "treetop".
  • Twincest: Implied, particularly in the movie; while it comes more from Kozue, the fact that Miki essentially projects an idealised version of his sister onto Anthy is just a tad suspicious.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Also very innocent, albeit not quite as naive as Utena.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair

Nanami Kiryuu

Voiced by: Yuri Shiratori (JP), Leah Applebaum (EN)

  • Alpha Bitch
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: To Touga in episode 31, right before telling him to go away, as she no longer wants to live with him after becoming convinced that they're Not Blood Siblings.
  • Animals Hate Her: Might be due to a curse laid by Anthy, the local animal lover.
  • Animal Motifs: In one episode, she thinks she's turning into a cow. In the movie, she actually is a cow.
  • Badass: Keiko, Yuuko, and Aiko decide to stage a coup and firmly put Nanami in her place since they feel they don't need to rely on her status anymore. She shows them that she did NOT need said status to keep all three in line. The next scene shows them having learned their lesson quite thoroughly.
  • 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.
  • Big Fancy House
  • 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.
  • The Chew Toy: In fillers; even moreso than Saionji!
  • Children Are Innocent: Subverted: She kills the kitten she gave her brother because she thought it was taking away too much of his attention.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She's rather merciless to anyone she feels is getting between her and Touga.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Her braid gets cut when she breaks her sword after her first duel.
  • 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.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Nanami's Egg" is an extended metaphor about puberty...in a show that is itself an extended metaphor about puberty.
    • Aside puberty, "Nanami's Egg" is more about Teen Pregnancy and her own abandon issues.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!
  • 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.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry
  • Evil Phone
    Nanami: What time do you think this is, moron?
    Nanami: Who is this? At least give me your name.
    Akio: The Ends of the World. Kiryuu Touga is waiting for you.
  • Expy: She seems to be one of Hanako Kidouin, a character from Chiho Saito's earlier work Waltz wa Shiroi Dress de who also had an Alpha Bitch streak and older brother complex.
  • Fallen Princess: Becomes this in the third arc.
  • Foil: To Anthy. They're actually Not So Different in the end.
  • Girl Posse: Aiko, Yuuko, and Keiko.
  • 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.
  • Innocent Innuendo: See above, with Miki.
  • 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.
  • Large Ham
  • 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.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: When she takes over as Student Council President she gains a new, yellow, military-style uniform.
  • The Ojou
  • Parental Abandonment: See Touga's section. The flashback in episode 10 implies that Nanami didn't get a lot of love from their parents.
  • Pet the Dog: It's overlooked a lot, (not surprising, considering her character) but she actually has a few moments of insight and care for others scattered throughout the series.
    • She does put herself in danger to save Tsuwabuki from a rampaging kangaroo in his premiere episode, and later tells him not to beat himself up so much over being a kid because she likes him the way he is. The last one kind of backfired though...
    • She chooses to fill in for her brother as Student Council President while he spends most of the second arc in a depressive state, and later tries to cheer him up by throwing a party.
    • "Nanami's Egg" consists almost entirely of this. She comes to really care about that thing.
  • Purple Eyes
  • Rich Bitch: Oh yes.
  • Skintone Sclerae: It's a bit inconsistent, however.
  • 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!"
  • Spoiled Brat
  • Third-Person Person: Does this sometimes around Touga, likely to make herself look cutesy.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: When things get especially bad.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Played straight and then subverted. She did genuinely adore her brother as a kiddo, but then we see what she did to a certain kitty...
  • We Named the Monkey Jack: Anthy named a cow and a hen after Nanami. This is obviously not meant to be flattering.
  • Yandere: She's so obsessed with Touga that as a child she killed his cat out of jealousy.

     The Black Rose Duelists 

Wakaba Shinohara

Voiced by: Yuka Imai (JP), Roxanne Beck (EN)

Kozue Kaoru

Voiced by: Chieko Honda (JP), Roxanne Beck (EN)

Shiori Takatsuki

Voiced by: Kumiko Nishihara (JP), Lisa Ortiz (EN)

  • Ambiguously Gay / Ambiguously Bi: It's unclear which one, but she has repressed feelings for Juri.
  • Ascended Extra: She was only ever really important to the episodes focusing on Juri. She graduated to one of the villains in the movie.
  • Attention Whore: Shades of this in her character, though it's more like she just wants positive attention from someone who can actually make her feel good about herself.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Due to her cripplingly low self-esteem.
  • 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.
  • Disturbed Doves: When she loses her Black Rose duel.
  • 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.
  • Purple Eyes
  • 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.
  • Red String of Fate: As seen in Juri's past memories of her in episode 7.
  • 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 is Touga we're talking about, after all, and we only get so much insight into his character in the movie.)
  • Zettai Ryouiki: In The Movie.

Kanae Ohtori

Voiced by: Ai Orikasa (JP), Elizabeth Tarpon (EN)

Keiko Sonoda

Voiced by: Akira Nakagawa (JP), Mandy Bonhomme (EN)

  • 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".
  • Cute and Psycho: After snapping.
  • False Friend: Only pretended to be Nanami's friend so that she could get closer to Touga, and wastes no time in ditching her when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Girl Posse: A member of Nanami's posse, along with Aiko and Yuuko.
  • Girlish Pigtails
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Does this once after Nanami makes her miss out on seeing Touga at a party.
  • 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.
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: She shares an umbrella with Touga, which enrages Nanami.

Mitsuru Tsuwabuki

Voiced by: Akiko Yajima (JP), Ted Lewis (EN)

  • Adorably Precocious Child
  • Badass Adorable
  • 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.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: He first saw Nanami when she was his age and he was at kindergarden.
  • Indirect Kiss: His chocolate bar, which had a bite taken out by his friend Mari.
  • Just a Kid: His Black Rose episode make him realize he's still a kid, so he desperately wants to be an adult to be at the same level as Nanami.
  • Let's Get Dangerous
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: When the object of your affection is Nanami of all people, you have issues.
  • Stalker with a Crush
  • Yandere: Once he snaps over Nanami.

Tatsuya Kazami

Voiced by: Ryōtarō Okiayu (JP), Frank Frankson (EN)

  • 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
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Wakaba.

Souji Mikage/Professor Nemuro

Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (JP), Dan Green (EN)

  • Big Bad: Of the Black Rose's arc.
  • Bury Your Gays: Manga only. Or maaaaybe, Bury Your Bisexuals in the anime.
  • The Chessmaster: Of the Black Rose arc. He poses as a counselor to make vulnerable students into opponents for Utena.
  • Dead All Along: Possibly.
  • 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.
  • The Glasses Come Off: This is reversed with him, who is unable to clearly perceive things after he loses his glasses.
  • I Am What I Am
  • Indirect Kiss: Tokiko's Lipstick Mark on his cup.
  • I Reject Your Reality
  • Loving a Shadow: "Mamiya" is actually Anthy in disguise.
  • MacGuffin
  • Manipulative Bastard: How he creates Black Rose duelists.
  • More than Mind Control: His entire shtick with the black roses.
    • 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.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Maybe.
  • Playing with Fire: The reason Nemuro Hall burned down.
  • Ret Gone: After the Black Rose arc, everyone but Akio and Anthy forgets he was ever there.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Inverted Trope.
  • Sanity Slippage
  • Shadow Archetype: Of Utena.
  • Signature Move: He's ambidextrous.
  • Single Tear
  • Spear Counterpart: To Utena.
  • Spooky Photographs
  • The Stoic: Was described as being akin to a "human computer".
  • Teen Genius: A professor at just 18.
  • 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.
  • Tomato Surprise
  • Tragic Villain.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Akio

Mamiya Chida

Voiced by: Maria Kawamura (JP), Liam O Brien (EN)

Tokiko Chida

Voiced by: Noriko Hidaka (JP), Tara Jayne (EN)

  • Armor-Piercing Slap: To Nemuro, once she sees him burn down a certain building...
  • Beauty Mark
  • Expository Hairstyle Change At the end of episode 22, we see her as an older woman. Her formerly short hair has grown much longer.
  • Hot Scientist: She became one to try curing her little brother's life-threatening illness. She failed, and Mamiya ultimately died when Nemuro Hall was burned down.
  • Only Sane Man: It's safe to say that Tokiko is probably one of, if not the, sanest person ever to grace the hallowed halls of Ohtori Academy.
  • Promotion to Parent: Towards Mamiya.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Despite being married to who she says is a gentle and kind man, it's implied that, besides visiting Mamiya's tomb, she went to Ohtori to "pay a visit" to Akio.

     Other characters 

Mrs. Ohtori

Voiced by Yoko Soumi (JP)

Kanae's mother, the chairman's wife, and yet another person in the series sleeping with Akio.

  • Christmas Cake: A harsh deconstruction of one.
  • Fallen Princess: In a series that loves playing with princess tropes, she represents what happens when the princess grows up, gets older and is still unfulfilled.
  • Hidden Eyes: We never see her eyes while she's on screen.
  • Mrs. Robinson: An almost textbook version of this trope, since she's an older woman trying to reclaim what's left of her girlhood in the worst possible way.
  • Ready for Lovemaking: It's very subtle, but a close look at what she's wearing shows this.
  • 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.

Ruka Tsuchiya

Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki (JP), Wayne Grayson (EN)

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.

  • Back for the Dead: He's terminally ill when he returns to the school.
  • The Casanova
  • 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.
  • Hands-On Approach: He corrects the fencing students in a very suggestive way.
  • Ill Boy
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: To Juri, even if it means making her hate him.
  • Incompatible Orientation: With Juri.
  • 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.
  • Love Triangle: Between him, Shiori, and Juri.
  • 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 Shiori which was not needed at all.
  • Thanatos Gambit Knew 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.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair

Chigusa Sanjouin

Voiced by: Maya Okamoto

Shadow Play Girls

Voiced by: Maria Kawamura (A-Ko and E-Ko), Satomi Koorogi (B-Ko and F-Ko), Kumiko Watanabe (C-Ko, JP); Mandy Bonhomme (A-Ko), Sharon Becker (B-Ko), Carol Jacobanis (C-Ko, EN)

From left to right: C-ko, B-ko and A-ko.
From left to right: E-ko and F-ko.

Chu-Chu

Voiced by: Satomi Koorogi (JP), Rachael Lillis (EN)

Yuuko Oose and Aiko Wakiya

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.
  • Beauty Mark: Aiko has one under her bottom lip.
  • Bit Character: They only exist to pine after Touga and kiss up to Nanami.
  • False Friend: They only hung around Nanami so they could lust after Touga without worrying about Nanami making them miserable.
  • Girl Posse
  • The Nondescript: See Those Two Guys below.
  • 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.


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