One of the most complex and most over the top mellow dramatic shows in anime history even to this day people are still confused by it or call it one of the anime masterpieces of all time.
The story focuses around the main character is Utena Tenjou, a tomboyish teenage girl who was inspired by a kind prince in her childhood that she decided to become a prince herself, expressed in her manner of dress and personality. She attends Ohtori Academy, where she meets a student named Anthy Himemiya, a girl who is in an abusive relationship with another student.Wanting to stand up for the girl she fights to protect Anthy and is pulled into a series of complex sword duels with the members of the Student Council. Anthy is often referred to the Rose Bride and is given to the winner of each duel and after beating the abusive boyfriend of Anthy becomes the owner of the rose Bride and is constantly challenged by people so they can have the power to Revolutionize the world.
That the basics of the show but underneath that is 16 layers of different types of symbolism that gets crammed into this series. Which is the double blade of the series . There is so much symbolism in this show it clouds any general concept of the series . For example The student council has a quote whenever they meet The world is chick inside its shell . If they cannot break free of its shell it will die without being born.” now this is repeated at least 36 times over the course of the series. As well as random symbolism being thrown into the background like balloons going by while they talk. Its starts to lose value of what it meant the first time it was said
Now for animation its great for its time of animation borrowing on a lot of elements from the rose of versailles which has now become a typical shojo trope of bordering scenes with Flowers to convince its demographics it’s for girls. The battles are so melodramatic with operatic music it sucks its viewers into a world where even if you don’t die . Losing is worse than death .
Now the show on its own brings up a lot of serious issues in dealing with relationships ,rape, romance , gender roles , and friendship that to its credit not many other shows have given us in such a serious manner.
Sadly the biggest drawback I think this show had been Anthy the Rose Bride. She is quite possibly without any sympathy or relatable. She is the Blank Slate character . as she reflects the emotions , goals and ideal person who wins the games which in the beginning you think is due to her abusive relationships making her submissive nope it’s just because she vapid of any personality at all. this is brought up more so in the Movie where she will sleep with anyone who wins the game .
After the 5 battle I just wanted the story to completely drop her and deal with Uetna who has a pretty strong independent character. She’s friendly and just wants to do the right thing due to wanting to be with the prince who inspired her a long time ago.
Will I recommend it . yes despite its flaws it still stands to be one of the few genuine classic shows out there that despite gender,sex it’s still enjoyable and deep show.