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Once upon a time, there was a princess who was very sad for she had lost her mother and father. Before that princess appeared a traveling prince riding upon a white horse. He had a regal bearing and a kind smile. The prince wrapped the princess in a rose-scented embrace and gently wiped away her tears.
"Little one who all alone bears upon such deep sorrow, never lose that strength and nobility, even when you grow up. I give you this to remember this day."
"We will meet again, won't we?"
"This ring will lead you to where I am."
Perhaps the ring that she received from the prince really was an engagement ring. That was all good and well, but the princess was so impressed by the prince that she vowed to also become a prince herself.
Shoujo Kakumei Utena (or Revolutionary Girl Utena) is a manga created by Chiho Saito and anime directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. The manga serial began in the June 1996 issue of Ciao and the anime was first broadcast in 1997. A movie, "Adolescence of Utena" was released in theatres in 1999. A number of stage productions based on the franchise were also produced in the mid 1990s, including the "Comedie Musicale Utena la fillette révolutionnaire", staged by an all-female Takarazuka-style cast.
The story revolves around Utena Tenjou, a tomboyish teenage girl who was so impressed by a kind prince she met in her childhood that she decided to become a prince herself. She attends Ohtori Academy, where she meets a student named Anthy Himemiya, a quiet and mysterious girl who appears to be in an abusive relationship with another student. Utena ends up fighting in order to protect Anthy and is pulled into a series of sword duels with the members of the Student Council, all arranged by a mysterious person calling himself "End of the World". Within these duels Anthy is referred to as the "Rose Bride" and is given as a prize to the winner of each duel. As Anthy is thought to be in possesion of the mysterious power refered to as "the power to revolutionize the world", the current champion is constantly challenged for the right to possess the Rose Bride, as each of the duelists have their own personal reasons for wanting that power.
While the show at first might have the appearance of a magical girl series, it is also highly metaphysical, surreal, and allegorical. It contains a mix of borrowed visuals from Takarazuka theater, shadow puppetry, and classic shoujo manga.
The anime and manga were created simultaneously, but, despite some similarities, they progressed in different directions.
Note that all character information is based mainly on the anime version of the series and not so much on the manga or movie versions.
Age: 14 Years Birthday: December 29 Sign: Capricorn Blood type: B Height: 164cm (5'4") Likes: Sports, collecting rose teacups, dressing like a boy Talents: Giving piggyback rides, making friends Dislikes: Natto, clingy boys Sword: The Sword of Dios Rose Color: White or Pink Drive to Duel: The desire to protect Anthy Theme Song: Gakuen no Scarlet Voice Actor: Tomoko Kawakami
Utena is a tomboyish, courageous and naive character who lives to emulate the idealized prince figure from her childhood. She is forthright, honest, and friendly. Nearly all the girls in school idolize her. The series chronicles her journey to protect her friend Anthy and become a truly noble Prince. As the series passes, her nobility is continuously tested, until she is finally forced to confront her own hypocrisy.
Age: 14 Years...? Birthday: February 29 Sign: Pisces Blood type: AB Height: 157cm (5'1") Likes: Animals, playing cards Talents: Talking to animals Dislikes: Studying, cooking, making friends Theme Song: Bara no Tameiki Voice Actor: Yuriko Fuchizaki
A mysterious, shy girl whose vapid expression and superficial politeness mask a complex, darker persona. She is said to have no thoughts or desires besides that of what her master expect of her. Because of her "doormat" behavior, other characters tend to project their wants or desires onto her, and she's always the target of their eventual rage. However, Anthy only pretends to be so in order to keep them in the Duels, and often enjoys subtly taking revenge on those around her. Her past and current personality are simultaneously tragic and sinister, and her personality sifts between selfless love, passive-aggressive revenge, cruelty, and learned helplessness.
Age: 13 Years Birthday: May 28 Sign: Gemini Blood type: O Height: 160cm (5'3") Likes: Milkshakes, studying Talents: Fencing, playing the piano, composing Weak Points: His twin sister, being too unguarded Sword: Épée Rose Color: Blue Drive to Duel: To find "his shining thing" Duel Theme Songs: 1: Spira Mirabilis Gekijou, 2: Heizoku Uchuu ni Fumetsu no Koutei Duel Names: 1: Raison, 2: Tentation Voice Actor: Aya Hisakawa
Miki is an ingenuous and polite seventh grader who befriends Utena, despite their role as possible opponents in the duels. He is especially known for his skill with the piano. In spite (or because of) his genius, he is lonely, sheltered, and insecure, and seeks a person who is just as pure and talented as him. He is a member of the Student Council and the fencing club.
Age: 16 Years Birthday: December 1 Sign: Sagittarius Blood type: A Height: 169cm (5'5") Likes: Lilies, designer products Talents: Fencing, prior modeling, experience Weak Point: Too many secrets Sword: Rapier Rose Color: Orange Drive to Duel: To disprove the power of miracles Duel Theme Songs: 1: Tenshi Souzou Sunawachi Hikari, 2: Watashi Banbatsu Hyaku Fushigi Duel Names: 1: Amour, 2: ? Voice Actor: Kotono Mitsuishi
The captain of the academy's fencing team, Jury is one of Ohtori's most highly respected students, and even the teachers appear to be in awe of her. Her aloof, intimidating manner belies a dark secret. Of the Student Council Duellists, she is thought to be the most noble, and thus the one with the most potential to become a Prince, but her nobility and the strength that comes with it are constantly undermined by her desires and despair.
Age: 17 Years Birthday: June Sign: Gemini Blood type: A Height: 193cm (6'4") Likes: Flirting, cats, power Talents: Womanizing, kendo Weak Points: Losing, real love Sword: Longsword Rose Color: Red Drive to Duel: To gain power Duel Theme Songs: 1: Fuuin Juubaku, 2: Nanbito mo Kataru Koto Nashi, 3: Guui Guuwa Guuest Duel Names: 1: Conviction, 2: Soi, 3: ? Voice Actor: Takehito Koyasu
President of the Student Council and Ohtori's resident playboy, Touga is an arrogant and handsome young man whose desire to be powerful drives him to cruel and unscrupulous deeds. He is the only regular Council Member who deliberately involves himself in "End of the World"'s plans. Although he says that he wishes to be noble, he has little empathy towards anyone.
Age: 17 Years Birthday: August 25 Sign: Virgo Blood type: O Height: 193cm (6'4") Likes: Anthy Talents: Kendo, carving Weak Points: Losing, lacking power Sword: Katana Rose Color: Green Drive to Duel: To find "something eternal", to claim Anthy as his Rose Bride, and to finally defeat Touga. Duel Theme Songs: 1: When Where Who Which, 2: Nikutai no Naka no Koseidai, 3: Virtual Star Hasseigaku Duel Names: 1: Amitié, 2: Choix, 3: Relation Voice Actor: Takeshi Kusao
Vice-president of the Student Council and captain of the kendo team. He is temperamental, egotistic, prone to angry rages, and often cruel. His lack of self-control stems from insecurity, a lifelong rivalry against Touga from which he is always at the losing end, and the fear that everyone and everything he knows will eventually die. He is obsessed with Anthy because he views the Rose Bride as a mindless doll who will never disobey him, and thus be with him forever. He and Touga practice kendo together, but Saionji is clearly very resentful of Touga, and especially cannot bear to be humiliated by him.
Age: 13 Years Birthday: August 8 Sign: Leo Blood type: B Height: 159cm (5'2") Likes: Her brother, ordering others around Talents: Getting randomly attacked by animals Weak Points: Animals, her brother Sword: Scimitar and Dagger Rose Color: Yellow Drive to Duel: Her big brother's honor, her own self-worth, and validation of her relationship with Touga. Duel Theme Songs: 1: Last Evolution, 2: Tennen Douhou Kyuden Enkinhou no Sho Duel Names: 1: Adoration, 2: ? Voice Actor: Yuri Shiratori
Touga's overdramatic little sister, often used as comic relief throughout the series. Her love for her brother borders on obsession and incest, and she is often seen using devious scenes to punish the people who take her brother's attentions away from her. Though her motivations are considered the simplest and least ambitious out of all the Duelists, they are no less real to her, and she suffers just as much as all the other Student Council members.