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Ho Yay / Revolutionary Girl Utena

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Where does one start with the amount of Les Yay and Ho Yay in Revolutionary Girl Utena? The whole premise of the plot is Utena's desire to be a "Prince" to Anthy's "Rose Bride", and Akio's manipulations to make sure that he milks Utena's dreams for his own benefit. Then couple all of that with the fact that just about Everyone Is Bi.

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  • Chiho Saito (the mangaka and one of the writers) has said that people should consider Utena and Anthy to be like a married couple. This becomes especially noteworthy when you consider that Saito had originally been against the idea of Anthy/Utena being a romantic couple.
    • While Saito is heavily maligned by the Utena fandom for her initial stance on Anthy/Utena, her manga still has its share of Les Yay at times. In the third volume, Wakaba starts to become jealous of Utena's closeness to Anthy, so Utena has to reassure her that she still considers her to be a dear friend. Wakaba then asks, "Then what about Anthy Himemiya?!", to which Utena says that she's kind of like family... which doesn't please Wakaba at all, because she thinks that's something married people would say!
    Wakaba: If that's how you want it, fine! I'll be the mistress. And I'll just fight the legal wife over you!
    • Wakaba also has a loud and public crush on Utena, which she mainly expresses by glomping Utena and going for rides on her back later on.
  • The titular Utena has an obvious Even the Girls Want Her status, give that she's swooned over by several members of both sexes from the very first episode — including hordes of fangirls. She elicits these reactions whether dressed as a boy or wearing Ohtori's female uniform, as proved by the episode coming after her loss at the hands of Touga, which she tried to cope with by acting like a princess instead of a prince. Yes, the other girls were still seriously wet for her.
  • Chigusa Sanjouin from the Utena Sega Saturn game gets her share of fangirls squeeing over her when she appears in class, and Kozue is even seen dating her at one point.
    • The Sega Saturn game is similar to a dating sim game. The player character is female, so depending on how you play it, she can get Les Yay with Juri and/or Utena. And then there's the secret Anthy scenario where the player character challenges Utena to a duel for Anthy and wins. Afterwards, the player character and Anthy end up taking a bath together and it's heavily implied that they had sex.
    • The female player character and Chigusa Sanjouin have some Foe Yay/Les Yay and there's even art in the game of the two of them naked together.
  • Juri seems to have quite a few fangirls in the series too. And then there's her secret obsession with Shiori, which consumes her entire life. Nearly all of Juri's angst comes from her being a closeted lesbian.
    • If you want more Juri/Shiori Les Yay, then watch episode 17, but especially that scene when Shiori rips that sword out of Juri's chest.
    • Shiori herself is hinted to be secretly in love with Juri, though she's in heavy denial over it for a number of reasons. This was ultimately confirmed by Ikuhara in one of the booklets that came with Right Stuf's rerelease of the series.
  • And while Utena often claims to be totally straight, she clearly develops some manner of romantic feelings for Anthy by the end of the series. Here’s some general examples:
    • Utena is surprised to find herself engaged to Anthy, the Rose Bride, after winning a duel against her previous fiancé, Saionji.
    • Utena frequently comes to Anthy's aid whenever she is slapped around by others and wants to save her from her secret pain.
    • Utena also acts quite upset when she sees Saionji mistreating or making advances on Anthy.
    • Utena does share a questionable relationship with Anthy, going so far in the latter episodes to sleep facing each other, hands clasped.
    • Utena and Anthy gaze at each other adoringly during the opening credits and have scenes where it almost looks like they're about to kiss. They also hold hands.
    • There's also when Utena and Anthy draw the sword from one another (people who do this tend to have a sort of relationship with each other) and Utena holds Anthy in her arms.
    • The official art of the two together and the second ED are pretty yuri-tastic as well. In fact the official art has plenty of yaoi too and can be viewed here:
  • Here are some episode-specific examples for the Utena/Anthy pairing:
    • In episode 3 Nanami tries to embarrass Anthy, by giving her a dissolving dress and having a boy spray her with champagne. Utena rejects Touga and makes a dress for Anthy after her dress dissolves, then dances with her.
    • In episode 9 Utena expresses visible concern when she learns Anthy has been kidnapped and goes to find her and wants to save her. When she saves her she screams her name and holds her in her arms until she wakes up. They tenderly say each other's names while looking in each other's eyes and Utena acts relieved to find that Anthy's alright.
    • In episode 10 Anthy tries to keep Nanami from being so angry at Utena but Nanami slaps her. Utena comes to Anthy's aid again.
    • In episode 11 Utena runs to Anthy and Touga telling the latter to get away from Anthy when she sees him hitting on Anthy. Also, she vows again to protect Anthy, thinking that she won't give Anthy to the other duelists, not even to her prince. When Utena gets to the dueling arena to duel Touga she also places her hand in Anthy's. Once Utena loses the duel against Touga and Anthy leaves her Utena is shown to fall to pieces and think about all the past moments she spent with Anthy.
    • In episode 12 Utena goes into a bad Heroic BSoD after losing Anthy and only snaps out of it when Wakaba starts giving Anthy a hard time. Utena also gives Anthy her handkerchief and Anthy stares at it happily later on. Also Anthy imagines Utena sitting across from her at a tea table after Touga leaves (one of the only times in the series we get any kind of clue about Anthy's internal feelings). Utena remembers moments with Anthy again and duels Touga again saying she wants to take back something important to her.
    • In episode 13 A-ko and B-ko hang a Bilingual Bonus lampshade on it after Utena and Anthy's reunion by saying the look like a lily.
    • In episode 37 Utena and Anthy state that they'll still be together in ten years and tenderly intertwine their fingers together. Utena also won't let Anthy commit suicide and tells her "I thought we agreed to have a date with tea and laugh together ten years from now!" Also, Juri comments on how Utena loves Anthy and Utena says its not like Juri's love for Shiori but pure. Then Utena pauses for a second and says that she supposes that Juri's love for Shiori is pure too.
    • In episode 38 Utena and Anthy go to meet Akio together and hold hands before doing so. Utena also expresses much concern when Anthy disappears. Upon becoming Akio's princess and being told she will live with Akio forever Utena can only worry and think about Anthy. We also see a flashback where Utena saves Anthy from committing suicide and Anthy expresses regret that Utena was caught up in the whole business with the Rose Bride.
    • Pretty much all of episode 39, where Utena tries desperately to save Anthy from a rather horrible fate, in spite of Anthy having stabbed her in the back. Utena also tells Anthy that the only time she’s ever been truly happy was when she was with her.
  • The movie is straight-up Yuri, complete with on-screen kisses, a more sexually forward Anthy, nude sketching, a romantic dance scene, and of course, a naked make-out in the end. Kunihiko Ikuhara (also responsible for much of the later seasons of Sailor Moon) was given full creative control for this movie, which would certainly explain a lot.
  • Aside from Utena and Anthy, who toe the line between subtext and actual text, there's Utena and Wakaba, Utena and Juri (like in episode 7), Juri and Shiori, and Anthy and Kozue (episode 26). Oh, and the Shadow Girls, every so often.
  • Nanami's Girl Posse gets some with each other, once sharing Intertwined Fingers in an episode.
  • Nanami and Utena actually seem to have some in episode 32 and beyond. After Nanami finally gets over feelings for Touga it's Utena that she's the most civil towards bordering on Tsundere. Specifically, after Nanami tries to distance herself from Touga the person she ends up living with is Utena and sleeping in Anthy's Utena-facing bed. She even hangs around after walking in on Akio and Anthy having sex.
    • There's also the time when Utena feels Nanmi's forehead to check if she's feverish and that makes Nanami's temperature go up.

  • This series has plenty of yaoi too, especially between Mamiya and Mikage, who are sort of like the opposite-sex versions of Anthy and Utena respectively. Their relationship even gets lampshaded by Mikage's secretary in episode 23, where, as part of a long monologue she delivers to him, she comments that the person she fell in love with "wasn't a boy younger than me". However, in the anime the relationship turns out to be a bait-and-switch, as Mamiya was actually the little brother of the woman Mikage loved as Professor Nemuro and the current "Mamiya" is actually Anthy in disguise.
    • The manga makes the relationship even more blatant, as Tokiko does not exist and Mamiya is implied to have been a student of Mikage/ Professor Nemuro. Mikage even refers to him as his "beloved" and the two are seen tenderly embracing. In the end, Utena breaks Mikage's hourglass, which has kept him alive for years, and Mikage/Nemuro is able to "rest" with Mamiya in the afterlife.
  • Episode 5 had some Ho Yay between Touga and Miki. Touga essentially seduces Miki into dueling Utena. Touga sleeps with Miki's twin sister Kozue and then tells Miki that his sister is just as cute as him. Then Touga makes a speech about how if Miki doesn’t protect the things that are important to him, then other people will take them away. Miki’s later Imagine Spot about Touga’s “advice” involves Touga rolling around with his shirt open on a bed, which did not actually happen when Touga made his speech; a few fans have actually taken that to be implying that Miki had some sort of previous sexual encounter with the guy.
    • The light novels take the Touga/Miki Ho Yay and send it right through the ceiling, in that they're shown to be sexually involved.
  • The episodes in the third arc of the series take the yaoi Up to Eleven, when Alpha Casanova Akio becomes the focus of the duels. This arc is positively rife with subtext, all of it being very clear and blatant. Symbolism be damned; when boys roll around in bed together shirtless, it only means one thing.
    • Akio has subtext with Anything That Moves and that especially includes Touga.
    • If even rolling around in bed with open shirts and unzipped pants is too subtle for you, there's a certain silhouetted shot of Akio and Touga on the bed together that basically goes beyond subtext and into outright radar-dodging. The audible sigh in Touga's voice during this scene just seals it all the more.
  • There's also Touga and Saionji (to the point that Saionji draws Touga's sword in the latter's last fight with Utena — keep in mind that everyone else who's done this has had some kind of relationship with the actual duelist).
    • Their sword draw sequence is also significantly more touchy-feely than any of the other pairs who went up against Utena.
    • It's interesting to note that Touga, a character who spends so much of his time going through women like tissue paper, is involved in the bulk of the show's male/male Ho Yay; to put it into perspective, he's only seen interacting with three other males in the entire series, and he has substantial Ho Yay with all of them. Bisexual, much?
    • Additionally all of Saionji's numerous issues seem to be because of Touga in some way and Saionji spends much time angsting over his unequal friendship with Touga. In fact, Saionji's motive for dueling is to get "eternal friendship" with Touga.
    • Oh and there was that one time when it was implied that Saionji, Akio, and Touga had a three-way.

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