Utena Tenjou | Anthy Himemiya | Akio Ohtori | The Student Council Members | The Black Rose Duelists | Other Characters
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Voiced by: Hiro Yuuki (Japanese); Crispin Freeman (English)A wandering prince on a white horse who comforted Utena when she lost her parents. During the duels, his ghost falls from the sky to give her his powers.
- Ambiguously Brown: Like Anthy and Akio, he has a dark skin tone. His depiction as the typical European fairy tale prince makes it even stranger.
- Born of Magic: In The Movie, it's revealed that Anthy created him using magic.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Deconstructed. He feels compelled to save every damsel in distress. This is taken to such an extreme extent that he utterly ruins his relationship with his younger sister by constantly neglecting her in favor of everyone who "needs him", and physically exhausting himself almost to the point of death.
- Foreshadowing: In the third arc, his face during the duels looks like that of Akio. The finale reveals that Akio is at least partially what has become of him.
- Greater-Scope Paragon: He is the primary source of Utena's inspiration, as his appearance following her parents' death led to her deciding to become a prince herself.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Downplayed. While he never outright hates women, he does consider them to be powerless on their own. When Utena swore that she would become a prince to save Anthy from her Fate Worse than Death, he warned her that she would eventually become a woman and thus become unable to fulfill her goal. In the Grand Finale, his ghost tells Utena that a girl is too helpless to handle power.
- Knight in Shining Armor: The Tale of the Rose depicts him as the Rose Prince who rescues every damsel in distress.
- Light Is Good: He's a sparkly, beautiful prince often portrayed with Holy Backlight, dresses in immaculate white regalia and lives in a shining palace. His Cool Sword is likewise shiny and brightly colored, and he has a glistening rose Flower Motif. To a lesser extent, Ohtori Academy is itself is a massive, brightly-lit landscape where marble columns and European architecture feature heavily. NOT. All the above is a thin veneer covering a very ugly, sordid reality. And most of the "light" elements are just illusions anyway.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Implied. In every continuity, all the audience initially learns of him is that he resides in an unreachable floating castle, that Anthy the Rose Bride can summon his Infinity +1 Sword, and that Utena can either summon or channel him to grant her victory. Beyond this, information is vague, but all evidence points to him being both powerful enough to bring the world revolution and a benevolent, selfless savior of the weak prior to his current imprisonment. This being Utena, this gets several subversions depending on the version:
- Manga: Nearly played straight - Dios is indeed imprisoned, but only his power and his "good" side; his Enemy Without (End of The World, aka Akio Ohtori) is unfortunately free as a bird.
- Anime: "Dios" (as well as his castle) were illusions all along. Dios himself is real and free - he just cranked Fallen Hero Up to Eleven in the intervening centuries and became Akio. His power, on the other hand
- This is one of the many potential interpretations of the ending.
- Movie: Dios was never real to begin with, born from Anthy's need to see her brother as a hero and protector, instead of the weak, perverted rapist he really was.
Voiced by: Yoko Soumi (Japanese)
Kanae's mother and the chairman's wife.
- Abusive Parents: She poisoned her father and is sleeping with Akio, and doesn't care at all about what her daughter, Kanae, might feel about this.
- Christmas Cake: Deconstructed. She is married, but her reasons for sleeping with Akio are tied to wanting to feel like she's still young and desirable as an adult woman.
- Evil Matriarch: She's poisoning Kanae's father and sleeping with her fiance. She tries to pull this act on Akio by reminding him that his position at the Academy depends on her family, but he completely turns the conversation around and reminds her who's really the dominant 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.
- It's All About Me: She doesn't care if her husband is dying (thanks to her) or that she's sleeping with the man Kanae is going to marry, but Akio seems to enjoy going out of his way to passive aggressively remind her that she's hurting both of them.
- 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.
- 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: Even though she's Kanae's mother and not 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.
Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki (Japanese), Wayne Grayson (English)
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.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Taunts Utena and reminds her of the illness he's just getting over...while effortlessly evading her strikes before parrying her next attack and shoving her from behind.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's a former member of the student council as well as Juri's former fencing captain, and the only character to defeat Juri outright. Given the latter's performance throughout the entire series, that has to say something. He also gives Utena a good amount of hell in their duel, but in an odd case, he loses, though Utena's finishing strike actually left her lethargic and Anthy has to help her stand.
- Back for the Dead: He's terminally ill when he returns to the school.
- Borrowed Catch Phrase: Says Touga's current catchphrase in one episode, and even asks Touga to finish the phrase, saying it was his line.
- 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.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: 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.
- Ill Boy: Had to leave school prior to the events of the series due to a deadly illness. He never recovered.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: To Juri, even if it means making her hate him.
- Incompatible Orientation: With Juri, which he seems to be aware of.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He describes Shiori as a shallow, lying, two-faced manipulator when explaining to Juri why he doesn't want her back as a girlfriend. He's not wrong on any of these points given she IS a liar and a manipulator who's done some pretty awful things to hurt Juri. Not to mention she only showed an interest in Ruka when he everyone else did and when she noticed how focused Juri seemed on him.
- Kick the Dog: Three times in a span of two episodes.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The above said, it's honestly hard to feel too sorry for Shiori given how much she really hates Juri and has gone out of her way to hurt her due to jealousy and internalized homophobia when Juri never did anything to hurt Shiori. Ruka basically gave Shiori a taste of her own medicine.
- 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 thing he did was to discredit Shiori and free Juri from her self-destructive obsession with the girl, though that still doesn't make his actions completely palatable nor excusable.
- Mr. Fanservice: Shows up a bit of skin in Episode 28.
- 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.
- Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: He comes off as a decent guy when we first see him, but eventually he makes it clear that's not the case.
Voiced by: Maya Okamoto
The antagonist of the "Someday My Revolution Will Come" Sega Saturn game. Chigusa is very masculine and hates the idea of girls being passive, as she prefers strong and powerful girls.
- Arc Villain: Of the video game, if you count it as an arc.
- 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.
- Dark Action Girl: An antagonistic female fencer who opposes Utena.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The teacher you love chose your friend over you and then they decide they are going to have a Shotgun Wedding? Guess you should burn the fencing hall down with yourself inside it!
- Driven to Suicide: Burned down a building with herself 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."
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Chigusa identifies with the Evil Queen from "Snow White". That symbolism appears several times, such as the calendar by her locker and the poisoned apple she leaves for the protagonist.
- 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.
- Huge School Girl: Based on her height next to Touga, Chigusa is at least 6'1".
- 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.
- Lady of War: In contrast to her masculinity she's an elegant fencer.
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: The fencing team's sponsor, Masaomi, chose the girly Koto over the 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.
Shadow Play Girls
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); Claudia Motta and Norma Iturbe (A-Ko and B-Ko, Latin American Spanish)
A group of girls who only appear in silhouette and shadow, they enact plays Once an Episode that serve as intentionally obtuse metaphors for whatever's going on in the plot at the time. Vaguely implied to be aliens.
- Adaptational Badass: In the movie. A whole news studio full of them, and they're all working towards helping Utena and Anthy escape Ohtori.
- Adapted Out: A-Ko and B-Ko get replaced by E-Ko and F-Ko for the movie, althrough C-Ko remains.
- Big Good: At the climax of the movie, as they support Utena and Anthy with escaping Ohtori. Might be this in general, since they seem to operate above even Akio.
- Canon Immigrant: C-Ko is the only one of the Shadow Girls to be transplanted into the movie, with A-Ko and B-Ko being replaced by E-Ko and F-Ko.
- Catchphrase: "I wonder, I wonder, do you know what I wonder?" Lampshaded in that their school group is the "Kashira Playhouse", a pun on their catchphrase.
- 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."
- Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: In the Black Rose arc: "Gogai! Gogai! Gogai!" aka "Newflash, newsflash! Newsflash!"
- The Faceless: As they only appear as shadows. 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.
- Funny Background Event: Either this or Meaningful Background Event.
- Genki Girl: What they're trying to say is sometimes ambiguous, but they're always very enthusiastic about it.
- Greek Chorus: They comment on the duels and/or act out allegorical plays that reference events in the episode.
- Human Aliens: Assuming they really are aliens, this is very likely, and eventually becomes confirmed when they appear physically. Averted with the girls in the movie, though, whose bodies actually end up looking like shadows.
- Leitmotif: "Aliens from the Planet Kashira" and some variations.
- Man Behind the Man: In a half-joking meta out-of-universe sense - Ikuhara's Word of God claims that he talks to these characters through radio waves "almost every day". Assuming these are the same aliens he's mentioned elsewhere, then if we pretend like this Word of God is actually supposed to be taken seriously at all, the Shadow Play Girls are directly responsible for getting Ikuhara to create Revolutionary Girl Utena.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: They certainly are more insightful and omnipresent than ordinary schoolgirls should be, even in Ohtori, appearing in the Chairman's residence, a radio quiz show and a hospital just as effortlessly as in the school grounds to put up their plays. The one time they appear in the flesh they seem to vanish to thin air after giving Utena a ticket to their play, and afterwards Wakaba notes that she didn't think that the school even has a drama club — and sure enough, no-one shows up to watch the show, except Utena, Anthy and Akio.
- Once an Episode: Their shows.
- Planet of Hats: If Word of God, their UFO motif, and some of their songs' names on the soundtrack are anything to go by, 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.
- Put on a Bus: A-Ko and B-Ko "leave" Ohtori on a space ship at the end of the first season, and are replaced by C-Ko for the Black Rose arc. Then all three of the Shadow Plays Girls are together for the third and fourth season.
Voiced by: Satomi Koorogi (Japanese), Rachael Lillis (English)
Anthy's Only Friend prior to the events of the series. He's a monkey, not a mouse.
- Demoted to Extra:
- In the movie, he only appears on the Nanami cow tape.
- In the movie-manga, Anthy doodles him on her sketchpad, and he also appears with her in the outside world.
- Empathy Pet: A very subtle example. Anthy's Dissonant Serenity is usually an impenetrable mask, so it's easy to dismiss Chu Chu's antics as being Rule of Funny. Once you understand Anthy's character a bit better, most of said antics either directly serve her purposes, hint at her underlying emotional state, or allow her a pretext for the rare displaying of real emotions.
- Extreme Omnivore: He'll try to eat anything.
- Familiar: He seems at first to be a cute Cool Pet for Anthy. Scratch the surface a bit, however, and this is much closer to the role he plays.
- Gass Hole: Starts showing digestive distress from his overeating as the show goes on. It gets so bad his Balloon Belly inflates, forcing Utena to hold onto his tail like a balloon.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: He wears a necktie and nothing else.
- Non-Human Sidekick: To Anthy, and Utena to some extent.
- Plucky Comic Relief: One of the very, very few characters to never really graduate to having a serious role.
- Pokémon Speak: All he ever says is "chu."
- Shoo Out the Clowns: He is almost entirely absent in the final —and darkest— arc of the anime.
Yuuko Oose and Aiko Wakiya
Yuuko Oose and Aiko Wakiya
Voiced by: Emi Motoi (Yuuko) and Naoko Takano (Aiko, Japanese); Elizabeth Tarpin (Yuuko) and Carol Jacobanis (Aiko, English); Adriana Casas and Isabel Romo (Latin American Spanish)
Members of Nanami's Girl Posse.
- 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.
- Fair Weather Friends: 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. By the end of the episode though, after Keiko makes up with Nanami they're all back together again as a posse.
- False Friend: They only hung around Nanami so they could lust after Touga without worrying about Nanami making them miserable.
- The Nondescript: See Those Two Guys below.
- Theme Naming: With Keiko, their names are all ___ko. Bizarrely, this actually doubles as the same Theme Naming as the Shadow Play Girls, as their names sound just like K-ko, I-ko and U-ko.
- 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.
Voiced by: Chinami Nishimura (Japanese), Carol Jacobanis (English) noteA friend of Mitsuru's constantly trying to get him to understand that Nanami is using him.
- Bit Character: She only appears for one episode, despite having purple hair.
- Distaff Counterpart: Her arguing with Mitsuru about Nanami's treatment seems very similar to how Utena would often talk to Anthy about the latter being the Rose Bride, although she at least tries to talk about what Mitsuru is doing.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She can be rude, but she does care about Mitsuru.
- Older and Wiser: Subverted. She's a year older than Mitsuru, so she thinks that makes her more experienced, but she does have a point that Mitsuru is going about this "Learning to be an adult" situation incorrectly by just watching movies of people kiss.
- Only Sane Man: Alongside Tokiko Chida, Mari is by far one of the more rational characters in the show, and she's always trying to get Mitsuru to stop being Nanami's lackey.
- Satellite Character: To Mitsuru, hence why she never appears again.
- Tsundere: To Mitsuru. After discussing with him about having the experience of an actual kiss, Mitsuru tries to do it with her. She slaps him because she's not exactly thrilled over A: the lack of subtlety, and B: that he's only trying to kiss her just for the sake of kissing. That being said, it's clear that they do like each other. Mitsuru just isn't fond of how snotty she's being, and Mari's not fond of him acting stupid. But the end of the Black Rose episode, they seem to be on better terms.
- Unknown Rival: A subversion. While it seems she may have feelings for Mitsuru, she's not jealous of Nanami. She just hates the way Nanami uses him. When Nanami finally learns about Mari and sees her hanging around Mitsuru, she is the one who starts getting jealous. But they never actually interact face to face.
Yamada, Tanaka, and Suzuki
Yamada, Tanaka, and SuzukiThree guys in glasses who pop up from time to time.
- All Love Is Unrequited: They have crushes on Nanami but she can't be bothered to ever remember them. In the last episode they try giving love letters to Keiko, Aiko, and Yuuko. They get shot down again.
- Expy: The three of them are based off some guys Ikuhara knows in real life, and versions of them tend to appear in his other works.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Mitsuru completely flattens them when they demand to know why Nanami won't go out with them.