utena 1

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Some older anime themed valentine cards for you to share digitally or print out! I had so much fun making ones last year, I decided to do it again. (And this year I even remembered to post them BEFORE Valentine’s day! lol). Click on each image to view them full size to save, or download the full sheet to print them out all at once! Enjoy! 😘

6

I decided on a whim to fire up the first episode of Utena again tonight, and something about this sequence struck me for the first time.

There’s no shortage of people pointing out just how obviously not a boy’s uniform that is.  We all see it.  The jacket is not the right color, what is with that skirt thing, no one else is wearing hot pants, etc. etc.  The jokes are too easy, and there’s also a good deal of very insightful meta about how Utena’s sartorial distinctiveness is part of what marks her out as one of the “special” “chosen” people whose position the show interrogates, or how her dress is less a “boy’s unifrom” and more of a “prince’s uniform” and the assimilation of “prince” into “male” in the narrative system, and that’s all good as far as that goes.

But I’m struck by a much more basic thought.  Utena asserts herself to be wearing a boy’s uniform, and the rando teacher agrees with her assessment.  At the same time this dialogue is happening, in some of the very same shots, the camera shows us actual Ohtori Academy boys, wearing actual Ohtori Academy boys’ uniforms.  And just so we know exactly what we’re looking at, this episode has also made sure to show us actual Ohtori Academy boys wearing actual Ohtori Academy boys’ uniforms since the credits, and in multiple shots leading up to this point that have multiple Ohtori Academy boys in them.

This was done on purpose, and there is no plausible way a viewer could miss this.  If you can see the screen, you can see that Utena is not in fact wearing the boys uniform of Ohtori Academy.  You can see that these two characters are saying things - appearing to believe things - that are just not true.  At four minutes and thirty seconds into the first episode of the show, you, the viewer, are presented with a contradiction, and a choice.  Whom do you believe?  The characters living in the world?

Or your lying eyes?

The joke is that, for all the wisecracks, nearly 100% of viewers will write off the obvious contradiction as a stylistic choice.  Yeah, that doesn’t look like the other boys’ uniforms, we’ll say, but I’m sure they just did that to make the character distinctive.  Because we’re familiar with that kind of maneuver, the artistic decision to make the main characters visually obvious by depicting them with implausible features or implausible clothing, we figure, eh, it’s a trope.  And we decide to ourselves that, artistic tropes notwithstanding, the character dialogue is basically trustworthy.  We note Utena from that point forward as a character who wears a boy’s uniform.  We describe the show’s protagonist as being a girl who wears a boy’s uniform.  Shoujo Kakumei Utena becomes famous as an anime about a girl who wears a boy’s uniform.

She isn’t.

It’s like the show is Police Chief Wiggum: “Listen carefully, and watch me wink as I speak, OK?  Here are the students of this academy, the girls wearing puffy-shoulder sailor suits, and the boys wearing puke-green jackets and white slacks.  And here’s our protagonist, a girl wearing a purple jacket and red hot pants.  And here is some dialogue where these two characters talk about the “boy’s uniform” she’s “wearing,” wink.  Yep, definitely a lot of character conflict all centered around this girl who “is” wearing a “boy’s uniform,WINK, WINK.”

The characters of this show cannot be trusted to describe to you what is happening in this show, on even the most basic level.  They are all eating so deeply from the trash can of ideology that narrative overrides even basic physical facts for them.  And so are we.  And that’s why the show can tell you the plain truth right from the start… and just count on you to ignore it.

2

I’m actually rewatching the first bit, since I didn’t get too far, and to get me back to where I was. Which brought me to this point, which is THEY AREN’T WEARING WHAT YOU’RE WEARING

THIS IS A SEA OF UNFLATTERING TURQUOISE LEISURE SUITS

SHOW ME THE BOY WEARING A MARCHING BAND JACKET AND BOOTY SHORTS

SHOW ME LITERALLY ANYONE IN THE WORLD WEARING THIS BUT YOU UTENA

Favorite Nostalgic Manga/Anime:

Note: I wasn’t allowed to watch much/any television as a kid but I could read as much manga as I wanted, but a lot of these have great corresponding Anime. Also I like Anime Gifs. 

In no particular order:

1. Nana

I loved the asthetic of Nana, see also Paradise Kiss.

2. Revolutionary Girl Utena

Underrated in my opinion.

3. Rayearth

Short and sweet, but beautiful manga. 

4. Yu Yu Hakusho

Loved this manga, has classic retro anime hair. 

5. Negima! Magister Negi Magi (or as I just call it, Negima)

Two of my favorite characters. Although this is slightly ecchi, the storyline is actually really good. 

6. Sailor Moon

Need I really say more?

7. Naruto

Read most of them, eventually I hope to finish the series. 

8. Hikaru No Go

I used to know how to play go, solely because of this. 

9. Ranma ½

Funny and Classic, also yay boob jokes. 

10. Inuyasha

This gif really explains why I like it, strong female characters with a fantasy story. 

OH MY GOD YES THIS THEME

HOLY SHIT I LOVED THIS

I remember when this came out, IT WAS LIKE ALL ANY OF US WERE LISTENING TO FOR SIX FUCKING MONTHS

Also I have to say, “Let’s live our lives heroically, let’s live them with style” is one of greatest, most overblown lines I have ever heard in my entire life. It’s as if a great puzzle piece of the world has settled in, now that I know I had no idea that’s what pounded in my ear ten thousand times in 1997.

12 Days of Anime Day 12: Adolescence of Utena

Reasons to watch the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie:

1. tHE HAIR

OH

Originally posted by lucyharai

MY

Originally posted by lucyharai

GOD

Originally posted by lucyharai

this next one’s my favorite are you ready

Originally posted by teamchivalry

*whispers* im so gay

Literally had to replay Jury’s intro scene multiple times back to back when I first watched this movie because me and my friend couldn’t stop flipping out about HER GORGEOUS LOCKS

How does she even fit it all in that mask??? Fuckin’ witchcraft

(why do I always start my posts about lesbians with a ton of gifs…)

2. Revolutionary Girl Utena is artsy and surreal. Adolescence of Utena is EXTREMELY artsy and surreal. It’s all of what the show had and more. Every scene is so beautiful and interesting to look at. And of course, being Utena, there’s a lot under the surface to analyze. The big difference here is that, being a movie, they unfortunately can’t really go over quite as much as a 39-episode show can. It still has a lot of the same themes as the show, but some are represented to a lesser degree and others have more focus than before. I feel like the anime was more about society and growing up while the movie is… more gay. No, really, there’s a lot more focus on Utena and Anthy’s relationship and the ultimate message of the ending centers around them.

I really like this movie. In fact, it comes close to being my #1 favorite anime movie now. I can’t really compare it to the original anime because they’re two very different tellings of the same story and they have different overall messages. I like them both for different reasons. 

This is a movie I highly recommend. But I can’t recommend it alone, you really have to watch the Revolutionary Girl Utena anime first to fully appreciate it.

Now, when I think of Adolescence of Utena, my mind can only go to one thing:

The dance scene.

Originally posted by their-eternal-apocalypse

THIS SCENE IS SO PRETTY

I really mean it: this part of the movie is so beautiful. The animation, the imagery, the music, oh my god, the MUSIC, it’s all just amazing. It’s really trippy and gorgeous at the same time. I love this scene so much it’s definitely my favorite scene of all time from any anime.

One of the things I like more about this movie than the show is Anthy and Utena. Like I said before, a lot more focus is put on the romantic aspect of their relationship. The anime had lesbianism as more of a subtext, but it’s one of the main focuses of the movie. And this is just one of many scenes that expands on their relationship in ways that the show didn’t. I like that that’s explored more.

Also “At Times, Love Is”, the song that plays during this scene, is the ultimate gay anthem. And that’s why as of right now on my computer it has over 1200 plays on iTunes.

I have a problem :3

(Shoutout to @robin-red-r because we watched this movie for the first time together. If I didn’t have someone to experience it and talk about it with me afterwards, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did. Thanks friend. Here’s to another year of watching gay anime together.)

4

Help, I can’t go on. They’re just too precious.

(promises to draw stuff but indefinitely delays doing so and just finishes draws of the girlfriends from weeks prior)


guess who survived her first week of classes? 😏