Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Revolutionary Girl Utena - The Black Rose Blooms |
Actors: Tomoko Kawakami, Yuriko Fuchizaki, Takehito Koyasu, Kotono Mitsuishi, Aya Hisakawa
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
This 1997 transvestite high school romance-adventure suggests a stilted mixture of Rose of Versailles, Escaflowne, and Project A-Ko. As the characters all have long hair, emaciated bodies, and syrupy voices, it's not su... more »
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If the chick.....
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God's name is Abraxas." Does this speech sound familiar? Most Utena fans will recognize it as similar to the speech the Duelists speak as they ride up the elevator. Actaully, it is a passage from Hermann Hesse's novella, "Demian", which is about a boy coming to terms with his sexuality and God as he grows up. The novella was one of the series' inspiration, along with Rose of Versallies. In fact, the music as the Duelists ride in the elevator is called "A Prayer to Abraxas", demonstrating the depth to which the series was influnced by this classical literary work. Growing up and sheading the psyhcological shells and needs of childhood is one of the major themes of the series. Dealing with the psychological wounds of children who were injured when no one was there to protect them is another. These are only two of the themes expressed in this immensely complex series. Anyone who sees it as a melodramatic girlie anime first of all has not seen the entire series and secondly is only viewing it on the most narrow and surface level.Having said that, this volume is an introduction to the Black Rose Arc, and like all things in Utena it takes a little bit to get into it, and the comedy episode in this volume is particularly weird. But the episode that follows is very rewarding to the plot line once you get past the cow episode. Do stick with it, the series and the arc are well worth it as the story unfolds. The symbolism and the themes already touched on in the first arc deepen in the Black Rose. The end of this arc is particularly mind bending and symbolically complex.
Anger about the editorial review
starryhawk | DysLexington Kaintuckay | 11/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charles Solomon's review (the one under the product) for this edition of Utena is insulting to the people who would buy this item and I think you should take it off and replace it with another "Editorial review" because he clearly has no true appreciation of Utena and will not inspire *anyone* to buy it with his tactless, misinformed ideas about it. True Utena lovers will discard his review as nonsensical and a great heaping load of BS from an outsider who we should pity because he will never fully understand the compelling, scintillating and undeniable genius of Chiho Saito's Shoujo Kakumei Utena. I doubt he even watched this anime all the way through. He probably watched this edition only and didn't even bother with the other tapes in which case he is not qualified to write a proper review. Otaku's and anime enthusiasts pay no heed to his misinformed review. This next Utena is just as amazing as the rest and you MUST see the rest in order to fully appreciate this. As for the EDITORIAL REVIEW - SHOUJO means it's targeted for girls... young girls... How the heck would that 'guy' know what we think about this (Masterpiece of an) anime or what we feel about it?... because it's not Shakespeare doesn't mean it isn't a rich tapestry of emotions and drama. Hmph. Kiss my Revolution!Girls 13 and up - this anime is great but true it is not for everyone as I'm sure many other reviewers as have mentioned...
The characters are complex, the story is NOTHING like the movie, the graphic novels are awesome, but watch Utena in sequence if you want to get the most enjoyment out of it. The 'hokiness' of it is the best part about Utena. When Touga and Miki and Juri go onto the elevator and start to recite their end of the world theme it brings a smile to my face everytime I get on an elavator cause I just wanna recite his "We are the chick!" speech. Utena is not as bad as Sailor Moon. She's not ditzy, loud or obnoxious. She's actually a likeable and a STRONG female character.... obviously this editorial reviewer just couldn't handle the idea of a strong woman."
What I think the DVD will be like, and the series in general
starryhawk | 09/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Revolutionary Girl Utena, in general, is a brilliant piece of work. I have to warn any viewers who might want to watch this series for the first time that Utena is fairly post-modernist so not everything can or should be taken seriously. There are so many interpretations of the series, the characters, the morals of the series, and such, but I believe that Utena is a series that wants to stir up questions and make the audience really think about what they've watched. Yes, like a lot of people, I watched the series (and the movie) and was thinking, "What the heck?!?!?!?" at the first run, but the series grew on me, and I realized that this cartoon is not by any means your normal cartoon, but nonetheless a magnificent concoction of ideas.I looked at the technical information, and unless I'm mistaken (and I hope I am), I think the DVD will have only 4 episodes on it. It seems that Central Park Media wants to make more money, so...well, they only stuffed 4 episodes into the first Black Rose DVD. I have a feeling that CPM will try to get away with more of this, but hopefully I'm mistaken. Anyhow, this will cover the duels of Utena between Ohtori Kanae (Akio's fiancee), Kaoru Kozue, and Takatsuki Shiori. On the brighter side, this DVD also should contain one of the funniest episodes in the series, where Nanami slowly transforms into a cow during the entire episode. Also, the Black Rose series will introduce what is referred to as the "Industrial Remix" of Absolute Destiny Apocalypse (the song that plays when Utena ascends to the dueling platform).In short, buy this DVD, but let Central Park Media know about your complaints about having only 4 episodes on a DVD (if what I say turns out to be the case) and about their sluggishness with the series in general (that is, if you think it is a problem), plus other complaints if you've got any. New background music, new duel songs, and find out those psychological issues that plague other characters in the storyline.EDIT: In response to Charles Solomon's scathing review of the series, I must say this: there's much more depth to the series than he has described, and he's got, in my opinion, one detail about the series completely wrong. However, for the sake of not spoiling any less-than-knowledgable viewers out there, I'll keep silent about the detail.Also, Charles Solomon talks about "hokiness." If you REALLY want hokiness, go to the Sailor Moon series (especially the English dub), or many of the poor American cartoons being disseminated on network television at this moment.In the end, and please forgive my unprofessionalism in saying this, but disregard the words of Charles Solomon, who is, in my opinion, inexcusably unqualified to make any sort of critical review regarding this series. He carries with his review of Utena his disappointing close-mindedness and prejudice against the genres that include the series into their fold."
Accentuate the positive.
verbminx | Columbus, OH United States | 12/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On story, plot, etc, this dvd deserves a 5-star rating. I am a huge fan of UTENA and I was thrilled to see the release of this dvd, since it has been something like three years since the first storyline of the show was released to english-speaking audiences. It was worth the long wait. (and it is simply not true that all "true fans" will get fansubs long before the official release. some of us do wait, particularly for the higher quality and many options re dub/sub that a dvd release offers.)However. The first two UTENA dvds, which cost the same as Black Rose Blooms, had 6 to 7 episodes per dvd. This dvd has only four episodes. It looks as though the next dvd, due in a few months, will have only three episodes. In my opinion, four episodes is the bare acceptable minimum for number of episodes on a [price] dvd. And even this dvd felt expensive, though Amazon's generous discount definitely helped defray the cost!There are more than 20 episodes left for Central Park Media to release in the UTENA saga. Do the math: it's a trend I don't really like. They know this series is a fan favorite, and maybe they had to pay more for the rights to these later episodes - I know they had trouble getting them. I don't know if they're overpricing them or not. But I wish we were still getting 6 episodes per dvd.Oh, what's this about? The usual: duelling, identity, betrayal, etc. These episodes are, for the most part, psychologically darker than earlier episodes, exploring the indefinably nasty undercurrent inherent in many of the relationships at Ohtori Academy. They introduce an important character: Akio Ohtori, Anthy's elder brother, the school's acting headmaster. Be prepared for a few shocking moments in each episode. Also be prepared for "The Cowbell of Happiness", this storyline's token Silly Nanami Episode, where Nanami wears a cowbell simply because she believes it's a designer showpiece, and slowly starts to take on many cowlike attributes.Despite my discomfort with the reduced number of episodes on this dvd, it's really worth buying. UTENA is one of the most compelling shoujo anime series out there, and far less given to the plot-murkiness of certain other series. Fans won't want to miss this one, and people who aren't fans yet should check it out!"