Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Revolutionary Girl Utena - The Black Rose Saga DVD Collection|
Actors: Leah Applebaum, Sharon Becker, Roxanne Beck, Mandy Bonhomme, Crispin Freeman
Director: Kunihiko Ikuhara
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Utena is about to enter a life beyond her wildest dreams- a world of danger and mystery where her best friend is a trophy bride to any swordfighter who can win her. Armed with a magical sword and ring, Utena undertakes a m... more »
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Prepare yourself--this ain't Disney
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After reading the review below, I thought I'd better write in to clarify the sexual politics of Revolutionary Girl Utena. If you don't care one way or the other about this issue, read no further. If you do, I hope this will be a guide to help you think about the show.Revolutionary Girl Utena is 39 episodes long, but for several years only the first 13 episodes have been available in the States. There are three reasons for this. First, the sex. We see teenage characters who are sexually active in some way, even though we don't see what they do. Second, and more important, there are some pretty obvious displays of gay sexuality, including one character who is a lesbian and knows it. Third, there are open discussions of brother-sister incest, including a younger girl who has a hopeless crush on her older brother.Let's handle these three things one at a time.1. The sex. In terms of its frankness about teen sex, Utena is more graphic than any US-based cartoon for tweens but far less so than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So, if Buffy doesn't bother you, this show might not either.2. The gay themes. This show never judges people for being gay, and the entire series is clearly about finding out what you want and staying true to your own ideals and desires. The main character, Utena, seems to like only boys at first, but she also kind of wants to BE a boy--strong, assertive, and able to defend other girls who are being persecuted or pushed around. In short, this is not a show about traditional family values.3. The incest stuff. Incest is NEVER presented in a positive light in this show. Quite the contrary, is is portrayed as a tragic reality that is neither imaginary nor safe. The show's insights into the dynamics of family desire are very, very radical, and if you don't even want to THINK about these isues, don't watch the show. However, if you want to see a show that takes the issue seriously and will give you food for thought about what incest MEANS, you are in for a revelation.[Note--The Black Rose Saga also has hints of teacher-student sexual relations, and these are handled similarly. The reality of such relations is acknowledged, but there no sense of sexiness, much less of approval]This middle segment of the show, The Black Rose Saga, is the least interesting one. It's sort of a lengthy pause between the first arc, which handles the development of Utena as a "prince," and the last arcs, which deal with two basic questions: what does it really mean to be a "prince," and what would it take to revolutionize the world? However, even though it's a pause, it's still an interesting portrait of some minor characters and their own struggles, which are often different from Utena's.In terms of its overall take on sexuality and desire, Utena is more radical than ANY show in the US, including Xena, OZ, Queer as Folk, etc. In terms of its sexual politics it just might be the most radical TV show, ever. By the time the series is over, the show has pretty much completely revised the whole idea of how men and women are supposed to relate to each other and what it means for them to desire each other. From the simple image of a prince on a white horse, an entire new fairy tale emerges that suggests women, and men, are headed toward a very new future. I can't say more without spoiling the show.I write all this becuase US fans of Utena often attempt to downplay these issues and say that the characters aren't "really" gay, etc. Fine--but the characters aren't "really" straight, either. They are complex, powerful, and often tragic individuals who are trying to figure out what they want in life. I think we need more shows like this, both for teen viewers and for the rest of us. But make no mistake, this isn't just some adventure cartoon with cool fight scenes, and it will try to make you ask questions about your own desires."
A Black Rose is nothing like a Red Rose
B. S Wallace | Somewhere Over The Rainbow | 01/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was forced to watch the incredibly "pretty" Red Rose Saga of Utena. Berserk being my favorite anime, everytime a rose came up on the screen I wanted to throw something at the TV (which happened at least once every two or three minutes). However, I'd like to note that the first Juri battle is worth anyone's twenty minutes, despite that it's in the Red Rose Saga.
Then I got to the Black Rose Saga. In the first episodes a girl basically has a mental breakdown in an elevator and is stabbed in the heart with a black rose. The Black Rose Saga is DARK. This is when the creators of Utena finally start with all the deeper philosophical, symbolic, and psychological aspects that make Utena such an amazing anime. It goes from happy flowers flying through the air and petty high school crushes to incest, questioning one's sexuality, becoming an adult, and more obvious symbolism. The last episodes were so dark and depressing that I almost wanted to stop. If you like anime on any level, Revolutionary Girl Utena is MUST."
The second season of the greatest anime of all time.
Acid Dropper | Sulphur, LA United States | 05/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The release of the second arc/season of Utena is a big deal-a very big deal for us in the states. The Black Rose arc is far from being the best Utena series, but is still better than most series. It's fighting sequences are better than that of the first season, but it dosen't focus on character relationships the way the 1st does, but gives us a good insight on the secondary characters of the show, such as:: Kanae, Kozue, Shiori, Tswuabuki, Wakaba & her Onion Price, and Keiko. It also introduces us to the so called "villians" of Utena, Mikage and Mamiya. The relationship between the two has scared some off from this series but please, there aren't any real fruity scenes between the two. It never goes farther than Mikage kissing Mamiya's fingers- so if you're homophobic, you'll still enjoy this series. Mikage is a very interesting character with a dark past that will give this series quite a shocking season finale. Don't pass up the series that shocked Japan and is flying off the US racks.Contains episodes 14-26***Aside from the Black Rose, this also contains the first two episodes of the highly anticipated 3rd Saga- Akio.***"