Utena Tenjou had a tragic childhood—her parents died when she was young, and she almost drowned, had it not been for her prince who came and rescued her. Because of the impact this prince had on her life, Utena strives to be just like him—to grow up to be a prince, not a princess, and to spread nobility, ultimately finding her prince and bringing revolution.
Shoujo Kakumei Utena is based on studio J.C.Staff's anime of the same title.
The series was published in English as Revolutionary Girl Utena by VIZ Media from January 9, 2002 to March 3, 2004 and ran in their Shoujo anthology magazine Animerica Extra. The publisher re-released the series in a deluxe box set on April 11, 2017.
"The book is better than the movie/series/whatever!" Yup, we've all heard it, and from my experience 99 times out of 100 rehashes, remakes and adaptations pale in comparison to their source material. Unfortunately the Utena manga fits into that rare, mythical 1% zone. In this case, the source material is indeed a mere shadow of its adaptation.
Not to say the manga is bad. It basically covers the first arc of the show and then jumps to the very end of the last arc, so you're getting what is generally considered to be the best parts of the series (I'm a bit of a black rose
hater myself). But where's Nanami? Where are the shadow girls? Why has the blatant homoeroticism been dialed back from a strong 8 to a light 3? Where are Shichiro Kobayashi's beautiful backgrounds? Where's the WEIRD?!
The problem with the manga is all the little extra things that make the anime so special and different just aren't there. You're left with a lot of the familiar plot points (with some twists here and there, including a pretty godawful and thankfully jettisoned opening involving Utena's aunt and some nerdlinger who disappears when the story gets going), but it's like reading an abridged version of a classic. You're left asking yourself what the point of reading the manga is when you can just watch a far superior version of the same story. Then of course there's the problem with the medium itself, namely no color and no sound (two of the anime's strongest points).
It's still Utena though, and there are definite flashes of the magic the series seems to have in spades. Utena is still a badass; Anthy is still a creepy weirdo; there's still speeches about chicks cracking shells; there's still revolutions to be had. I guess it just feels kind of inessential, and...tame, which is a shame when you're used to the surreal heights of the anime.
Recommended with some caveats and an insistence that you watch the series before judging the Utena universe as a whole.
An classic manga with lots of simbolism and fantasy. In order to understand all the story read the manga, after this, watch the anime and, in the end, watch the movie, they have important diferences but are related.
The story is very original and the progress of the characters and their past is very deeper.
The story is focused in each member of Student Council, their relationships and the quest of Utena to find her prince and became a prince herself. It shows like someone can fight for his own wishes, live the way he wants and the importance of friendship. A very good history that influencied
a lot of others that came after, great and memorable characters made this an unlosable history to anyone.
You have to pay a lot of attention to understand this. But basically Utena is a girl who was save by a guy when she was a child. Some years later, she is looking for this guy (her prince) and trying to be like him. She goes to a academy where she mets the rose´s bride, a girl that is traded in duels between the members of Student Council trying to obtain the power to make miracles from a place called something like "end of the world". Just read it and try to figure this yourself.
There´s nothing special about the art, it´s nice and clear, easy to understand.
Each character is special and have a deep desenvolviment. You can only 100% understand them if you watch the series too. The manga is too short to desenvolve them all, so the story don´t pay much attention to the secondary characters.
It´s a great manga and makes you want to know more about this world. Certainly
influenced many others titles.
All the Utena´s world is very complicated to understand, the manga is the easiest way to introduce you in this world, many things are more explained in the serie and the movie, so don´t miss them.
If inconsistent plotlines, sparkly-sparkle thou-shiney-light-side-effects-are-blinding-me, random love-triangles, unrequited love, molestation and occult ideology were to merge into one monster: it would be this monster.
No, ladies and gentlemen, I’m not lying. It was like being punched in the forehead repeatedly while watching random scenes take place, because that was what the story was, random scenes put together with the same characters starring them all.
The story was about how a depressed orphan was adopted by her Aunt while receiving stalker-esque letters from a stranger (who had a weird obsession with rose-scented perfume). This rather sad orphan tried to
commit suicide but was saved by a god (Dios) and was later initiated to ‘princedom’ when she was 14. If that made any relevant sense to you- No? I couldn’t find any connections either.
So unless, you readers want me to go through the step-by-step analysis of the freemasonry and occult related objects, images and wordings then I’ll be moving on to illustrations, whoohoo!!!!!
The illustration made everyone look feminine, the guys looked like chicks and the chicks looked like chicks and the cows looked like chicks and old McDonald looked like a chick, etc. You get the picture. This sucks-
Audience: why? Chicks=goooood.
No perverts, this sucks since you have to depend on whether the characters were wearing a skirt or trousers to tell them apart. Thankfully, the main character wore neither (for all I care, maybe she was confused herself) making it REALLY easy to tell her apart from everyone else.
The art was generally unnecessary. It did not incite emotions from the reader, nor did it portray efficiently the emotions of the characters (O Hot Roads (Manga), Hot Roads, wherefore art thou Hot Roads?), it took away any realism that could have been gained. I say ‘could have’ because if I were reviewing this for realism it wouldn’t have deserved a grade.
Have you read Billy Bat (Manga)? Did you understand ALL its symbolism and underlying ideas? If so, please read this and give me a detailed step-by-step article explaining what was going on!
Sure I understand where the story lead, and I understand the imagery but WHAT WAS THE POINT!
Readers for the sake of sanity and your peace of mind and anti-indoctrination sentiments, I urge you not to read this.
I’m surprised I’m the first to actually review this Manga on what it really is: a fungus-y crap story.
I will try not to allow my love of Chiho Saito to slant this review, but I can't promise anything. I'm one of the very few who enjoyed the Utena manga more than the anime, probably because I could relate to it more (and I like the ending better...not to mention it made more sense than the anime). The characters are more realistic. Touga and Akio actually appear to have some heart. Because it's much shorter than the anime, there is less time to go into secondary characters, so the story mostly focuses on the main triumverate (Utena, Anthy, Akio) and Touga. Definetly more symbolic
than most shojo, it's more theme driven than character or plot driven. Many are turned off by the metaphysical focus of the story, but anyone who likes kick butt girl power should find this story entertaining. Not for anyone who has issues with homoeroticism (although this version has nothing on the others).