Shoujo Kakumei Utena (TV Series)
|Shoujo Kakumei Utena|
|Created by||Chiho Saitō|
|Years on Air||1997|
Japanese Title: 少女革命ウテナ
English Title: Revolutionary Girl Utena
Italian Title: La Rivoluzione di Utena
French Title: La fillette révolutionaire
Spanish Title: El Anillo Mágico
Russian Title: Юная революционерка Утэна
Chinese Title: 少女革命
The Utena television series can be divided into three distinct story arcs:
The Student Council SagaThis encompasses the first thirteen episodes from the series.
This saga introduces us to Utena Tenjou as she enters Ohtori Academy on the first day of school. Ohtori is a massive, baroque-esque complex that sits atop a large hill. Utena is extremely tomboyish, and wants to be "A handsome prince who rescues princesses." Her best friend Wakaba asks her about the mysterious ring she always wears, which bears a rose seal identical to Ohtori's rose symbol. Utena says that a handsome prince gave it to her when she was little, saying that "Someday, this ring shall lead you to me."One of the members of the Student Council, Kyouichi Saionji, insults Wakaba and hurts her feelings. Enraged, Utena challenges him to a duel (which is appropriate, considering that he is the captain of the Kendo team). Utena is surprised when Saoinji tells her to meet him in the dueling forest, a forbidden area for students. She is even more surprised when her rose ring opens the gates to the dueling forest, revealing a massive staircase that she ascends to reach the Dueling Arena high in the sky. Above the arena floats an upside down castle. Utena manages to defeat Saionji in the duel, but now finds herself engaged to his former girlfriend, Anthy Himemiya! Anthy explains that the rose ring marks Utena as a Duelist, one who must battle other Duelists so that she can possess the Rose Bride, the Sword Of Dios, and the power to bring the world Revolution. Anthy is the Rose Bride, and the Sword of Dios is pulled out of her chest before duels.
During this arc, Utena meets the other Duelists - Touga Kiryuu, president of the Student Council and every girl's playboy; Kyouichi Saionji, vice president of the Student Council and overly possesive of Anthy; Miki Kaoru, the gentle boy genius; Juri Arisugawa, the master fencer with a heart of stone; and Nanami Kiryuu, Touga's spoiled and clingy younger sister. Unknown to Utena is the fact that the members of the Student Council (Touga, Saionji, Miki, Juri) are recieving letters and instructions from an entity refered to as "End of the World," telling them what to do to bring about Revolution.
The Black Rose SagaThis saga encompasses episodes 14-24. After defeating all of the Student Council members, another obstacle appears before Utena with the opening of the Mikage Seminar. Presided over by Souji Mikage, it is seemingly a place for student counseling. But once people reveal their problems and inner turmoil to Mikage, he uses his powers to put them under his control, turning them into Black Rose duelists, and sending them to fight duels against Utena in the Arena. His objective is to kill Anthy and install a boy, Mamiya Chida, as the Rose Bride instead. His efforts are in vain, as not one of them can defeat Utena.
Mikage's victims included Kanae Ohtori, Kozue Kaoru, Shiori Takatsuki, Mitsuru Tsuwabuki, Wakaba Shinohara, and Keiko Sonoda.
After being forced to fight even her best friend to protect Anthy, an enraged Utena challenges Mikage in order to end his schemes once and for all. After she defeats him, Akio tells him his role in his plot was already fulfilled, and disposes of him. In the process, it is implied that Mamiya was somehow a disguised Anthy, helping Akio to manipulate Mikage.
The Apocalypse SagaThis encompasses episodes 25-39. After being expelled from the Academy for injuring Touga, Saionji is given permission to return to Ohtori, and he immediately challenges Utena to another duel. During the fight, Utena discovers that Anthy can pull an even stronger sword than the Sword of Dios from her body, and Utena uses it to defeat Saionji once and for all. Akio later appears before Touga and takes him to an unknown place he calls the "End of the World". The duo starts to take each one of the remaining Student Council members to that place, and after going there, each one chooses a "bride" to take a sword from their hearts in order to fight Utena; the eventual victor of the duels will be determined by the strength of the bond between the Duelist and the Bride - and if it can overcome the bond between Utena and Anthy. In this arc (as in the other two), the first challenger does not follow the rule of where he or she gets the sword from (Utena fights Saionji with a practice sword, Kanae fights Utena with a random sword, Saionji fights Utena with a random katana). Miki chooses Kozue as his bride; Ruka Tsuchiya, who returned recently to the academy, chooses Shiori; Jury brings Ruka; and Nanami brings Touga - however, even with their newfound strength, they all eventually lose their duels against Utena.
Akio warns Touga that his next match with Utena will decide the true champion, but before the duel, Touga and Saionji discover more about Utena's origin; little by little, the secrets involving Anthy, Akio and the duels start to unveil. Touga discovers his true feelings for Utena, and in order to protect her, he brings Saionji as his "bride" to fight her one last time, afraid of what could happen to her if she would become the final victor. After losing the duel, he tries to warn her about Akio and Anthy's true intentions.Despite Touga's warnings, Utena decides to go with Anthy once more to the duel stage in order to meet the prince from her past, only to discover it all was an illusion created by Akio to steal her heart's sword. Utena decides to fight Akio and tries to protect Anthy from him, but Anthy (literally) stabs Utena in the back, which allows Akio to take her sword. He attempts to use it to open the doors that could lead to his so-called "World Revolution", but the sword breaks and Akio gives up. When Utena see how much Anthy is suffering from her past deeds, she decides to open it up with her bare hands, despite Akio's warnings. After that, the entire duel stage crumbles and Utena is apparently ripped apart by the Swords of Hatred which had previously ensnared Anthy. After these events, it is revealed that Utena has disappeared from Ohtori Academy; a few days later, Akio decides to start the rose duels again, but Anthy informs him that she is leaving the Academy, the links that bound her to the Academy and her brother finally severed thanks to Utena's sacrifice. The series ends with Anthy leaving the Academy in search of Utena.