This was such a let down I had to review it. For years i have been told that this manga was amazing. revolutionary even. That it really was a great story that defied gender norms and tackled tropes and stereotypes. But honestly i really don't see that at all.
The only different thing going on in this Shojo is that instead of getting with the guy in the end Utena...??? I'm not even sure!!! She wants to become a prince the entire time, break out from the princess trope yet she is constantly falling back into it. She falls in love with anyone she thinks
might be her "prince" and seems like she isnt even really aware of anything thats going on around her.
The first half of the first book we meet her school friend, her aunt and some college kid only to never see them again once she transfers schools. the new characters seem to come out of nowhere and it feels like they are two completely different stories. then the middle chunk feels pretty formulaic but at least like its building to something. But then the ending chunk feels again like what was the whole point of this book? You could read literally the last like three chapters and take away about the same as if you had slogged through the whole thing.
Some of the student council members seem interesting enough, but we never really get in to any of their stories, and then the story ends, with minimal character development and minimal explanation of the actual plot. Anthy's character on the other hand gets a ton of development right at the very end and seems forced? I dont even know it was so fast and unexplained... And her entire character, like what was the point? what was her goal? She seemed to have a goal but at the end her original goal seemed to totally contradict what it actually was she was after. All the other characters, random school friends, totally pointless. If they were not there the story would hae been a faster and probably easier read.
Maybe I dislike it so much because of all the hype I had going into it, but watching Utena fall in love with anyone who barely resembles her prince (or not) get old real fast. that and the discombobulated plot was IMO bad writing. The end was predictable but somehow did not mesh well with the rest of the narrative. I guess I went in thinking "yeah girl power" and ended up getting story driven by typical heteronormative romance (if you can call it that) with pretty much every character except for the main bad guy...
story- what story?
art- typical 90s shojo style, i gave it a 9 because i really like that style when done well and for the most part it was, tho not everyone will like it.
character- there seemed to be so much potential, but in the end they all fell flat on tropes, rushed development, no development, or were completely part of the scenery
enjoyment- I kept wondering when was it going to pick up? when would the story start to happen... and then it ended. i tried to enjoy it but was disappointed in the end.
overall- I wouldn't recommend. maybe the anime is better? Im still not sure if i will attempt it, but if it follows the manga I'm not about it. It's a real bummer.