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Shoujo Kakumei Utena


Alternative Titles

English: Revolutionary Girl Utena
Synonyms: Shoujo Kakumei Utena
Japanese: 少女革命ウテナ

Information

Type: TV
Episodes: 39
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 2, 1997 to Dec 24, 1997
Premiered: Spring 1997
Broadcast: Wednesdays at 18:00 (JST)
Producers: TV Tokyo, Audio Tanaka
Studios: J.C.Staff
Source: Original
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Statistics

Score: 8.211 (scored by 25,889 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
Ranked: #3082
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #785
Members: 84,169
Favorites: 3,841

Reviews

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Preliminary
Jul 26, 2008
TrenchKamen (All reviews)
Admittedly, I'm biased when it comes to reviewing this anime. I started watching it at a very impressionable age, and the impact it had on me at that particular time in my life is astronomical. I also have a huge soft spot for anything surreal, gender-bending, absurd, existential, or psychological.

That being said, Utena fulfills all of those criteria beautifully. And it is enjoyable on multiple levels. I enjoy it as much now, at age 20, as I did at age 12. My understanding of the characters, the symbolism, and the message inherent in each episode has changed dramatically. At a young age I saw read more
Jun 7, 2008
Venneh (All reviews)
Warning: Epically long review ahead, mainly because I love this series so much.

Title: Revolutionary Girl Utena

Manga, Anime: Revolutionary Girl Utena was originally a manga with story by Be-Papas and art by Chiho Saito that ran in Shogakugan's Ciao magazine from 1996 to 1997. It has been licensed Stateside by Viz Media, and the final volume, which covers the movie, was released on December 3rd, 2007.

Revolutionary Girl Utena has two anime incarnations. One is the original TV show, which is made of 39 total episodes, and was produced by JC Staff (famous for their work on Honey and Clover and Potemayo), and directed by read more
Aug 21, 2011
kajia (All reviews)
First things first - "Revolutionary Girl Utena" (I'll just call it "Utena" for the sake of brevity from here on) is a weird anime. And I mean *really* weird. The surreal settings, the plethora of symbolisms that constantly assault the viewer, the sexual innuendos... the whole show is so bizarre that it's hard to know where to begin the review.

I'd heard a lot about "Utena" beforehand. Some say it's the shoujo version of "Neon Genesis Evangelion"; others say that Oscar from "Rose of Versailles" is Utena's spiritual grandmother; and many people consider it to be one of the greatest masterpieces in anime. Having seen it, read more
Feb 7, 2008
Twickers (All reviews)
It's been about five years now since I first saw this anime and still it's my definite favorite. I wasn't that interested at first, because it sounded rather pathetic with a bunch of people having secret meetings to duel each other over some girl. But I gave it a chance and watched the first four episodes, which ended with the first of a two part episode. Not really nice and the question "what happens next" haunted me quite some time and I was relieved when I got the DVD with episode five. I was satisfied afterwards and just didn't have enough time for the rest read more
May 29, 2016
Wyatt (All reviews)
Revolutionary Girl Utena, or Shoujo Kakumei Utena, is a 1997 anime series directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara that ran for 39 episodes. After the death of her parents, a young Tenjou Utena crossed paths with a handsome prince, who consoled her. As prince departed, he left her a ring, and the promise that they would one day meet again, with the young girl swearing to one day become a prince herself as a result. About a decade later, a now teenage Utena Tenjou meets the Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya, a young woman who is essentially being treated like a prize for winning a duel at Ohtori read more
Aug 14, 2007
elricbro15 (All reviews)
This series continues to flirt with the #1 spot among my favorites, and Utena stands high above any other female character in anime that I have seen. Her character is so strong and holds to her ideals of nobility so much that it's hard not to like her.

Some of the terminology took a little getting used to, as it takes normal ideas of gender roles and throws them out the window. Utena, for example, wants to become a prince. No, she doesn't want to become a man - she wants to be strong and noble and rescue princesses. Why can't a read more
Apr 20, 2011
thisiodfkln (All reviews)
Is it possible to stay noble forever? From birth onward, reality batters at purity: those who wish to fly are pinned down by gravity; those who wish for harmony are lied to in a world filled with hateful war; and those who wish for love are perhaps given it, only to be broken by death or betrayal.

Sometimes the pain is so great, that the victim begins to fear never-ending misery inflicted by a disappointing world - one all to lacking in miracles. This fear becomes a barrier between the victim and the world. The mere thought of intimate connections triggers very strong anxiety, resulting read more
Mar 5, 2011
Lindle (All reviews)
Revolutionary Girl Utena is routinely described as Neon Genesis Evangelion for girls, and not without good reason. However, I believe this may well be a series even greater than the benchmark Evangelion sets.

At the very start of the series, we are given a vague explanation of some of the events that lead to Utena becoming who she is today. When her parents died when she was only a child, she fell into a serious depression. In the midst of this, a strange, prince-like man approached her, presenting her with a rose-crested ring, and telling her the ring will lead her back to him one day. read more
Jan 23, 2009
Kotori (All reviews)
I had high hopes for this Anime at the beginning because of the high global score, but I was quickly disappointed.

Story: There is very little story. There is an event which you are told about in the first episode and remains through the whole 39 episodes, but after the show ends it's still unclear. There are other mysteries which never develop at all and are never explained.

Art: Art was very poor, specially the characters are poorly drawn with girls who sometimes look like guys.

Sound: The music was actually pretty good. It has several songs which switch every few episodes.

Character: Character development was really bad. They read more
Apr 2, 2010
ohtori_akio (All reviews)
Before you read this review, I would ask of you to please not judge it solely on the high rating. I have put a lot of work into this and I do address things like repeated footage and why I still give it this rating. Besides, what anime of this format does not have reused footage?

This anime is one of the best I have seen and, is arguably the best Shojo anime ever made - although it breaks away from that fold very fast. The show slowly moves into a darker territory that many shows do not dare approach. The biggest surprise is how subtlely read more
Nov 15, 2015
SanaeK10 (All reviews)
Shoujo Kakumei Utena is a difficult beast to review. On one hand, it has one of the more interesting and heart-wretching plots in an anime I've watched ; on another hand, it sure takes its own sweet time reaching the good parts. Let's dive in, shall we?

The major problem I had with this anime is its pacing. The first episode set up this incredible tale of action and drama with a lingering mystery as to Utena's backstory and the identities of her prince, the mysterious End of The World character and the Rose Bride as well as their relationships with one another. However subsequent episodes read more
Jun 6, 2016
sizest300 (All reviews)
Preliminary
Revolutionary Girl Utena is a thinking anime at its core. Director and original creator Kunihiko Ikuhara (worked on Sailor Moon) makes excellent imagery and allegory ridden anime to say the least, and has great prior experience in the shoujo genre. Working with the fairly new studio of J.C. Staff (Slayers), Utena would basically become a major starting point for both the director and studio. J.C. Staff still creates well received and popular anime today as well as Ikuhara.

The story of Utena on the outside is very basic. Our main character and tom-boy Utena, met a prince and bestowed her a ring with a rose symbol read more
Apr 29, 2010
Darkchao45 (All reviews)
Let me give you a fair warning when watching this anime, it is a complete mind juggler. There is an abundance of homosexual insinuation and incest. You may think you have the plot down by watching the first 2-3 episodes, but trust me when I say there is way more to the story.

Lets begin with the characters. Each character has their own time to shine. Some characters have their story retold throughout the show with some minor details added in every once in a while. There is a strong sense of hardship with each characters story. Place close attention to each character for it read more
Jan 13, 2008
Technetium (All reviews)
Preliminary
This is the first time I've ever felt compelled to write a review here. Revolutionary Girl Utena is possibly the most beautiful anime experience I've ever seen.

First, the characters are what carry the series. There is quite a cast of characters, but the show uses every episode (save some of the more humorous ones that tend to involve Nanami) to build and build upon each character. Utena and Anthy are two of the most fascinating anime characters I've seen, and the cast of the show delivers some of the most truly human feelings I've seen in this medium.

Second, the show has some of the best read more
Nov 25, 2014
Sorrow (All reviews)
Revolutionary Girl Utena is a hidden gem within hidden gems. A rather strange anime indeed but everything about this story just spews out greatness. There's just so much happening all at once, it's almost as if there are 6-7 different stories happening all at the same time, and then as the show progresses, each story intertwines with another. There's no doubt that this anime was highly influenced by Ikeda Riyoko's Rose of Versailles, one of my favorite tragedies ever; both have a strong female lead growing up as a male (focus on gender-roles), take place in a historical (royal) setting, are quite theatrical (Shakespeare-like almost), read more
Nov 26, 2009
Forion (All reviews)
Well, if I try to write a detailed review of my favourite anime series, I'm likely to end up with something more like a doctoral thesis. :) So, here's just a brief list of what may be found inside this anime:

• A surreal and philosophical piece of art, where each frame is tightly packed by symbols, where you may find new details and ideas with every rewatch;
• A very complex and thoroughly thought-out plot, with its unique rhythm formed by numerous through and recurring storylines, where every two lines either parallel or intersect;
• An ultimate deconstruction of the shoujo/romance genre, crushing/subverting/reducing to absurd each read more
Jul 20, 2009
DarkSun (All reviews)
Preliminary
Story: 7
Art: 3
Sound: 9
Character: 5
Enjoyment: 2


I must preface this review by saying that there is indeed a lot of depth to this anime. It is rich with symbolism and rife in philosophical and psychological intonations. I can completely relate woth anyone who enjoys Utena. However, that does not negate the fact that it is random, repetetive, repetetive, monotonous (lol :p) and painful to keep watching.

The story begins randomly with no clear explanation as to why highschool students are running around trying to bash each other with swords, and continues to introduce plot twists such as these which are never adequately explained -- even as the read more
Jun 12, 2008
DolorDecorus (All reviews)
Revolutionary Girl Utena is a strange and beautiful show. It's a wonder that I have not seen it when it first came out, a wonder that I barely gave it another glance that time when I first heard of it. However maybe it was a blessing: I understand it now more so than I would when I was younger. And with so much symbolism and such complicated characters with an equally complicated mythos and purpose.

Story: The fairy tale is torn apart. The idea of the princess being the helpless damsel, the witch being a cruel, jealous being, and read more
Feb 8, 2015
BlerdGirl (All reviews)
This review is based on a rewatch of the anime. Three years ago, I watched this anime for the first time and was totally confused from the first episode to the last. Now, perhaps due to some gained experience with watching and analyzing serious and meaningful anime, I've been able to understand this anime better and appreciate it more.

This anime uses a lot symbolism from various things including roses, Biblical stories, Greek mythology, shadow puppetry, and more. There are many interpretations of this symbolism as it relates to the story's main plot. I didn't figure all of it out, but I'd figured out enough read more
Dec 29, 2010
LadyReina (All reviews)
Spoiler upon spoiler; reviews aren’t supposed to have spoilers? Guess this will have to be the last spoiled one, then.…


With so much to love, where to begin?

The shadow play girls, A-ko and B-ko, lend a child’s simplicity to every episode, strangely deepening it as only children can; or maybe they really are aliens? Nanami with her cowbell, Nanami with her egg, Nanami crushed repeatedly by elephants: she’s a foil, rich with absurdity. Wakaba and Utena are true friends, and the student council members actually develop into individuals rather than remain as personality quirks; as individuals, they share in moments of intimacy with Utena that are read more