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Revolutionary Girl Utena
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 09/17/2001

Synopsis:
Utena Tenjou's parents died when she was a little girl. At that time, a prince appeared to her and gave her a signet ring with a rose crest. He told Utena to keep the ring and promised that they would meet again someday. Utena was so impressed by him that she decided to become a prince herself! Utena is all grown up now. She studies at the Ohtori Academy and wears her own version of the boys' uniform. She still looks forward to finding her prince, but in the meantime, it's up to Utena to save damsels in distress and cross swords with Ohtori Academy's top duelists. When Utena unwittingly wins the "Rose Bride" in one such duel, she finds herself in the middle of something else... something that just may lead her to her prince.
 
Review:
For one to appreciate Revolutionary Girl Utena, one must take things in its own unique context. Everything that happens is dictated by Revolutionary Girl Utena's set of realities, which is quite different from what we're used to.
 
Revolutionary Girl Utena gets plus points for being highly innovative from plot to execution. Utena Tenjou is a very charismatic character, appealing to both males and females. She's more beautiful and talented than most girls, and she treats girls better than most guys. For the record, Utena Tenjou and Anthy Himemiya are not lesbians. There have been speculations that Utena and Anthy are a homosexual couple but this will be disproved during the course of the series. What Utena and Anthy do have is an unconventional relationship (Utena being a duelist and Anthy being the "Rose Bride"). They are really more of best friends rather than lovers. I mentioned homosexuality in my notes section above, but I was actually referring to another character.
 
In general, Revolutionary Girl Utena characters are superbly designed and portrayed. Everyone seems to have a psychological problem of some sort, but this only makes them more interesting and unpredictable. There are also a lot of comical situations that'll surely solicit laughter.
 
The art and animation are lovely to behold. There is a nice play of colors, and each character seems to have a particular set of hues assigned to him/her. Colors are also used to enhance certain scenes. There are a lot of embellishments where Revolutionary Girl Utena's cinematography is concerned. Some shots are framed with flowers, and seem almost rose-tinted. The characters all look tall and willowy, giving them a certain elegance. The duels are exciting and well-choreographed. It's never the same duel twice, really. Revolutionary Girl Utena's music is also quite indescribable. It's different, but it's fitting. The English dubbing is satisfactory, but I found the narrator's voice a bit dead and some Japanese pronunciations inaccurate.
 
Revolutionary Girl Utena is a shoujo series that breaks away from norms and old formulas. Truly refreshing!
 
Miscellanies:
Wakaba pisses me off for some reason.

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Revolutionary Girl Utena
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Review Title:
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Alternative Titles:
Shoujo Kakumei Utena
Type:
TV
Episodes:
39
Duration:
975 Minutes
General Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Aired:
1997
Suitable For:
Teens
Genres:
Drama, Fantasy, Psychological,
Shoujo
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