revolutionary girl utena
Been busy working the past few weeks. I started to watch Usagi Drop and Ikoku Meiro though I am much farther into Usagi. Both of them seem alright so far though I like I like Usagi Drop more for the drama, I’m not a huge slice of life person so Ikoku Meiro may or may not be my cup of tea for the long haul though I don’t mind watching it casually. Ao No Exorcist is coming to the part I read up to in the Manga and I can tell in the last few episodes they have changed a bit, but that’s alright since it is a Shounen running along side it’s manga release, so like with Fullmetal Alchemist and pretty much any other anime / manga pair out there it was to be expected.
Hanasaku Iroha is coming to a close soon, it’s basically what you’d expect with a slice of life, the occasional drama that’s solved by the end of the episode. It’s not a bad show, I think it’s the first of it’s kind I really watched extensively. I’ve fallen behind on Nichijou but that’s no trouble to catch up on.. As for Mawaru Penguindrum, I can’t wait to see more. I loved Utena and Mawaru is finally picking up! I have a good feeling about this one. In the same vein as Utena, I never did get around to watching Rose of Versailles, I’ll have to pick that up later. ^^;
In the gaming world, I’ve been waiting to sort out some bank issues so that I can finally get FFXI up and running for my boyfriend and I. We’ve almost got it this time, I think we have to call his bank and clear it or something, oh well. I can’t wait to play together since while it’s fun alone, it’d be more fun to adventure in pairs. Also, I have been playing way too much Oblivion for my own good. Skyrim, I hope you can keep me this entertained. xD;
I started using MangaBullet again, I had an account once ages ago when it first started but never really did anything with it. I hope that it will eventually become bigger, as it seems a bit dead at times. DeviantArt has become the home to many things I cannot stand nor do I care to be involved in. All websites carry drama with them but sometimes I feel it’s probably better to pack up and move on. If you’re interested you can visit me. :)
On a non-anime / game related note, I’ve also watched way too much House lately. Up to Season 3 so far, though since that’s like the only season they ever seem to show on TV I’ve seen most of these episodes. Sometimes the cases get a little crazy or predictable but I’ve always liked the character aspect. Not sure what show to pick up after House. I do have Roseanne laying around but I am pretty positive I’ve seen every episode of that.
I’m rather new to the blog scene, they’ve been around for years but I’ve never found myself able to keep up with one. I spend most of my time drawing, playing video games, or watching anime, so I thought maybe I could share my thoughts here as an outlet.
Most recently I finished watching the series Revolutionary Girl Utena, a contemporary fairy tale with a twist, which I feel strays away from traditional shoujo archetypes. I’ve heard people refer to it as the Neon Genesis Evangelion for girls, and I can see where they got the idea. They both deal with psychological elements, NGE may be darker than Utena ever was, but the elements present in the later arcs definitely put you through a loop when contrasted with the start of the series. The biggest thing I loved about this series, is that while things start getting dark and serious, they always have a touch of lightheartedness so that you don’t spiral down into some deep depression mid series. That itself makes it stand out from NGE which, while I liked it, it weighed heavily on me when the series ended and frustrated me to no end when I didn’t ‘get it.’ When Utena ended, I felt good about what I saw. I was happy for it.
There are many themes, many of them dark such as manipulation, death, betrayal, and even forbidden love, but also many light themes, such as friendship, chivalry, and a sense of nobility. There’s a good balance of both and I think that they did a great job expressing the darker themes, in a way that’s almost tasteful. I never felt awkward or dirty watching the characters, nor did I feel it was ever trite and unbelievable. Utena is very much a coming of age anime, as its main heroine Utena grows and changes she comes to learn more about herself as she gets wrapped deeper and deeper into the story. Sitting at just 39 episodes, it didn’t take me too long to breeze through it, though after initially watching only seven episodes, I stopped for a short time to watch other things. For some, it may start off a bit slow, but by episode 15/16 things start getting more tense and emotional and honestly had me hooked. At first I may have had my doubts, but after finishing the series, I feel it was definitely worth the time I spent watching it.
The story itself revolves around the “Rose Bride” and the Ohtori Academy Student Council, as the Council members fight to obtain the her, as she is thought to be the key to a coming revolution. The current champion is constantly challenged for the right to possess her. The Main Character, Utena, a chivalrous, kind, and trusting individual, met a prince in her childhood. She was so impressed with him that she decided to become a prince herself, reflected in her choice of clothing and personality. She attends Ohtori Academy where she meets Anthy Himemiya, who she soon finds wanting to protect when she sees she’s in an abusive relationship with a fellow student. Utena fights to protect Anthy and is pulled into a series of duels with the Student Council. Unaware what she’s gotten into, she defeats her opponent and obtains the “Rose Bride”, Anthy Himemiya.
Overall, for the series, I’d say a 8.5/10. The music was great, I felt a real concern for Anthy’s wellbeing, and I will admit I got a bit teary eyed at the ending. ( Ok, maybe I cried. A little. ) The story may have felt a little slow at times, there are a few Nanami-heavy episodes that I would consider filler that I didn’t like too much but all around, it was a good watch and I would definitely watch it again in a few years. The music in the series is mostly done in what I’d call a… Choral Rock style and then there’s even some jazzy elements, but overall it’s very catchy. For such a short series, the OST is actually pretty big, the collection I have is like 10 cds. The opening, sung by Okui Masami is very nice, but picking just one version, that’s the hard part. It’s definitely up there with some of my favorite series, such as Sailor Moon.
Two years after the series finished, they released a movie titled Adolescence of Utena in 1999, which was a retelling of the original story. It definitely took a different route with the series, as some of the characters either had their personalities tweaked or they were removed all together. If you liked the series, I still say the movie is a good watch and even has some more great music, so to me, that alone is worth it. If you feel like you want more, Adolescence of Utena was good, even if a little short, as long as you view it as a retelling.
If you like a Shoujo series with drama, this series is definitely for you.