Anonymous asked: would you recommend utena? i don't really watch anime but i want more women centered shows, and i've heard about that one a lot.
first off, sorry this took so long anon! hopefully you’re still around.
Secondly, yes! I would definitely recommend Revolutionary Girl Utena if you like:
- postmodern fairytales
- tropes being turned on their heads
- ladies who love other ladies in all the different ways they can be loved
- characters with generally fluid sexuality
- coming of age stories
- david lynch movies
- symbolism and lots of sex metaphors
- murder/incest/brothers (this is blatant tag-stealing nbd)
- outlandishly fabulous hair
Some info! The series takes place in a school and centers on a protagonist called Utena Tenjou, who’s dreamt of becoming a prince since she was a little girl. She goes to this school with the intention of finding and meeting the prince who inspired her. She meets another girl called Anthy Himemiya, and in trying to save her from an abusive student, she’s pulled into a series of duels with the student council. Things get complicated but long story short, the show centers around the relationship between Utena and Anthy, as well as these duelists/duels — what drives them to fight and why, and Anthy’s place in all of it. It’s about sacrifice and love and cycles of abuse. It also challenges gender roles and what femininity is or should be.
Now I will talk about what I think are the key things you should know about it so you can decide if it’s for you:
- it’s surreal and relies heavily on symbolism and allegory to get its themes across. There are some things about the basic premise that aren’t fully explained and never will be!
- it is, on its surface, a shoujo anime (even though it subverts a lot of traditional shoujo themes imo), so aesthetically it will remind you in some ways of popular shoujo like Sailor Moon, from the animation to the motifs to the musical cues. It was also made around the same time as that show.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: I think it needs trigger warnings for physical and sexual abuse and also incest, all of which are implied, a-bit-more-heavily-implied, and/or blatant at various points in the series.