Utena 21-24: The absurdity of it all

Revolutionary Girl Utena episodes 21-24 review

Utena 24

Sometimes you just need a recrap episode to set things right. That’s what happened here in Utena this week. After an episode of cookie cutter plot and then two episodes of increasing absurdity, a recrap episode of all things got Utena back on the right track.

This is what Utena has come to, but hey, I’ll take anything at this point. Episode 21 was the same cookie cutter stuff we had been dealing with last week, the same old plot, just with a new character dueling Utena. Then we had two episodes with such an absurd plot, I thought I was watching Tokyo Ghoul the square root of A for a second there. Finally we got a recrap episode, which seemed to finish off this week with an appropriate bang of mediocrity, but then the episode turned out to be the best episode since the cowbell episode.

This episode was all about Nanami, easily the best character in Utena. The elementary school boy who has a crush on her – Mitsuru – kept a diary on his adventures with Nanami, and she read them out loud. So it was a recrap, but here’s the catch: things were changed in the re-airing. Thus the already funny moments with Nanami got even funnier, like Mitsuru becoming a cow alongside Nanami in the cowbell incident. This is the right way to do a recrap, by the way. Make people think it’s just your ordinary recrap, then twist everything so that the viewers can’t even remember what they saw the first time. That was an excellent decision and made this recrap the best I’ve seen in a long time.

The other episodes? Mediocre and/or confusing. Hopefully things make more sense next week.

Episode 21 rating (out of four stars): **

Episode 22 rating: **

Episode 23 rating: **

Episode 24 rating: ***1/2

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