Adolescence of Utena

Adolescence of Utena review


This is it for Utena. I watched the movie, I’ve completed the series. Utena is in the front-running beside Attack on Titan and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood for the most overrated anime of all time. Seriously. I never found anything I liked about it besides the occasional Nanami humor episode. This movie had nothing entertaining except for the Nanami cow jokes about halfway through.

To say I hated Utena is not completely fair, but what’s more accurate is that I never understood it. Even this movie had no coherent plot. It all seemed like a 2-hour buildup to the inevitable yuri kiss. The kiss was so obvious, yet so stupid too because it wasn’t like Utena and Anthy actually fell in love throughout the movie. No, instead, bizarre thing after bizarre thing occurred, and then eventually Utena and Anthy just get naked and kiss. It’s all fanservice!

This movie was the perfect encapsulation of the Utena series. It was nonsensical, it was bizarre, it was bordering on the line of insanity. There was nothing about it that made any coherent sense. I’m still trying to figure out what the actual plot was. If such a series was made today, it would never have made it under the strict scrutiny of today’s anime fans. It survived because it had little competition at the time. Utena isn’t good, I’m sorry to tell you. Don’t waste your money on the Super Special Edition Totally Amazing that seems to be coming out.

Movie rating: *1/2

Overall series rating: **

Utena 37-39: Out with a whimper

Revolutionary Girl Utena episodes 37-39 review

Utena 39

These final three episodes of Utena made little sense and offered little hope. The way it ends, you’re left in almost total despair. There’s no revolution; there’s no resolution. Instead you get a big sour ending that leaves you wanting to sit on a folding chair and say negative things. The movie is the last chance for Utena to redeem itself, which I’ll review next week. If the move cannot redeem Utena, then Utena may very well go down as the most overrated anime I’ve ever seen. What a disappointment.

Episode 37 rating (out of four stars): *

Episode 38 rating: *

Episode 39 rating: *1/2

Utena 33-36: Trippy

Revolutionary Girl Utena episodes 33-36 review

Utena 34

Utena has gone off the rails of sanity. It is no longer coherent or capable of basic human understanding. It is much like Eric Matthews in Boy Meets World. Once able to function as a human being, Eric becomes utterly insane by the end of the series. The same is true for Utena. It has gone into what I call “The Evangelion Zone.” Like The Twilight Zone, Utena has crossed that barrier into stuff along the lines of Evangelion episodes 25 and 26.

Whether this is the result of low budgeting or simply the creator losing his mind, I have no clue. What is clear at this point is that there’s no coming back. It’s completely gone. Maybe someone can explain to me some of what goes on late in this series, because I’m at a loss for words. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and if it’s not being played for laughs, then I don’t know what the point of it is. I can’t explain to you what went on in these four episodes because I simply do not know. It’s almost as if someone tried to do a recap episode but randomly selected scenes from all over the series and just threw them together.

I’m not even rating these on a four-star scale. There’s simply nothing to review. They made no sense whatsoever, and I can’t recommend this series to anyone who’s sober. Maybe if you’re under the influence of something, you might make sense of this. Otherwise, it’s just… out there.

Utena 29-32: Siscon Week

Revolutionary Girl Utena episodes 29-32 review

Utena 31

This must be Siscon Week, because now in 3 out of 3 shows that I’ve watched, the subject of brotherly love or sisterly love has come up. First, in Eyeshield 21, it was Suzuna’s brother who had something for her. Then, in Baka & Test, it was Akihisa’s sister who wanted to kiss him. Now, in Revolutionary Girl Utena, it’s focused heavily on Nanami, who has a thing for her brother Touga. Or, should I say, her supposed brother Touga.

The first two episode were cookie-cutter episodes that I really don’t have much to say about. But the last two were interesting, as they focused on Nanami, who finds out that her brother Touga is not really her brother. Should make things easier, right? After all, she has an enormous crush on Touga. Now everything is free between the two, right? Well, actually, no. Touga rejects Nanami, and then Nanami gets furious at him, and then it’s off to the dueling arena again. Honestly, this show isn’t very coherent; lots of subplots have no resolution onscreen, they just kind of work their way out without us ever seeing how. But at least I enjoyed the two episodes focused on Nanami, as I seem to always do.

Now it’s time for this show to end. Not that it’s bad, just that time is running out. 7 episodes to go, plus a movie. Utena will be gone before you know it!

Episode 29 rating (out of four stars): **

Episode 30 rating: **

Episode 31 rating: ***1/2

Episode 32 rating: ***