what is revolutionary girl utena?

revolutionary girl utena (often shortened to utena or rgu) is a revolutionary (pun intended) series created by the group be-papas. it has a few parts to it. first there is the anime and manga both called revolutionary girl utena, they were created at the simultaniously and thus have quite a lot of diffrences in plot and art direction. the anime is the more iconic and heavily praised of the two however the manga still has its own merit and some very pretty art. next comes the sega saturn game Story of the Someday Revolution. i personally havent played it however its supposedly pretty intresting. then we have the movie Adolescence of utena (or the much more metal translation adolescence apocalypse) which is a retelling/sequel to the anime (its complicated). there are also the light novels which are "the little brothers" of the original rgu series and are a retelling. finally we have the much more recenty released after the revolution which takes place after the movie. as for the actual plot Rgu is about a girl named utena who wants to be a prince dueling the student council of her school for the hand of the rose bride named anthy who grants the power to revolutionize the world. except its not about that at all really most of the series is wild and trippy and half metaphor and weird sequences that make no sense. its hard to explain and on your first watch through you just have to accept you will understand max 50% of whats going on but its great. the core themes in my opinion are about trauma, Misogyny, and queerness

why I like rgu

essentally for all its flaws (and it certainly has them) rgu is the combination of everything i gravitate towards in media. i love how it explores its themes and how weird and sureal it is while still having a distict idea of what it wants to comunicate. the characters are all so much fun and the music is so banger, i will never walk up stair the same again. my favorite character is probably juri though i flip flop quite a lot. specifically her toxic ass relationship with shiori makes my brain go brr. i also really like her friendship with miki, lesbian and her emotional support twink.

rgu references in other media

utena has been revolutionary (get it) in a lot of ways and that means its been referenced in a lot of other media. here are some of the ones ive found if you know any send them to me id love to add them in.

the pokemon sun and moon anime

this one is pretty straight forward lilly and mallow are dressed like utena and anthy. its super cute though :).

she-ra and the princesses of power

in the final episode of she-ra catra pulls adora out of her dream referencing the last episode of utena where utena atempts to pull anthy out of her coffin (though in she-ras case catra is sucsessful) the shots are almost identical and the story beats are quite similar. (image credit to r/shojokakumeiutena).

there are a few other utena refrences in she-ra notably in save the cat where adora is holding catra in the same pose utena holds anthy after she pulls the sword out of her chests (its the most popular utena pose so it makes sense that it was included).

gundam the witch from mercury

witch from mercury has so so many utena parallels woven within its story. this is probably because Ichirou Ookouchi wrote the show and he also wrote the rgu light novels , its super fun to try and spot them and draw parallels. the whole enitial setup of dueling for a bride was very utena. i also really like the second ending having gundam aerial (or maybe calibarn?) doing the classic utena sword in chest.

Neat rgu things

some awesome rgu websites, posts, and videos for your enjoment

the entire anime! if you havent already watched it all of utena is free on youtube! this links to the sub which i highly recomend but the dub is also on youtube free as well

the entire movie! while its not ideal the dub of adolecence of utena is on the internet archive (as is the unsubed japanese version if you happen to be fluent) you can also find the sub pretty easily on piracy websites.

Empty movement! a phenomenal website for all things utena they have so many cool things. particularly if you want to read the light novels this is where you can find a good fantranslation of them. also they have tons and tons of rad fanmade content compiled.

The nanami problem! A wonderful video by noralities diving into nanamis character. the thumbnail art is also just really cool. also check out their other utena video while your at it

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