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> Meet the Characters of Utena








A formal introduction, with brief descriptions of each character as they appear in the television series. A good place to start analysis, if you're looking to examine names, birthdates, and so forth. Links to pages regarding the voice actor are also here, because...why not? The character heights are not official except for Utena. The rest of the cast has been measured in comparison to her 165cm on this chart. If I put an asterisk (*) next to the character's height, it's a character that isn't in the height chart, I've measured them against other characters in screencaps of the show, so give them an inch or so margin of error.

  • Tenjou Utena
  • Himemiya Anthy
  • Ohtori Akio/Dios
  • Kiryuu Touga
  • Saionji Kyouichi
  • Arisugawa Juri
  • Kaoru Miki
  • Kiryuu Nanami
  • Shinohara Wakaba
  • Takatsuki Shiori
  • Kaoru Kozue
  • Tsuchiya Ruka
  • Mikage Souji
  • Tsuwabuki Mitsuru
  • Sonoda Keiko
  • Ohtori Kanae
  • Everyone Else


  • Tenjou Utena
    天上 ウテナ
    Tenjou:"heaven above"
    Utena: "calyx"
    Date of Birth: 12/29
    Grade: 8th
    Utena Blood Type: B
    Height: 165cm (approx. 5'5)
    Japanese: Kawakami Tomoko
    English: Rachael Lillis

    The heroine of our story, a headstrong tomboy whose encounter with a prince in her childhood inspires her self-blueprint. Utena's attempt to seek justice for a friend throws her into a secretive dueling game played by the Student Council. Though skeptical of the game, disapproving of its design, and uninterested in the vaguely described reward for winning it, her efforts to protect the prize of the duels, The Rose Bride, nevertheless keep her fighting. The dueling game and the circumstances surrounding it become the means through which Utena develops her identity over the course of the story, and ultimately, how her success in this endeavor is tested.


    Himemiya Anthy
    姫宮 アンシー
    Himemiya:"princess shrine"
    Anthy: "flower (Greek)"
    Date of Birth: 2/29
    Grade: 8th
    Anthy Blood Type: AB
    Height: 152.5cm (approx. 5'0)
    Japanese: Fuchizaki Yuriko
    English: Sharon Becker

    The Rose Bride and Akio's younger sister. Her history is painted in broad but traumatic strokes by the series. Outwardly, she's a quiet and reserved person; less flatteringly, as the prize possessed by the current victor of the duels, she's timid and complacent. A paragon of domesticity, she tends to roses, likes animals, and cleans, though cooking is quirkily enough, not among her talents. Her nature under the fascade is still a question, even after we finish the story: is she helpless? Bitter? Underestimated?


    Ohtori Akio
    鳳 暁生
    Ohtori:"Phoenix"
    Akio: "dawn living"
    Date of Birth: 9/15
    Position: Chairman of the Board
    Akio Blood Type: A
    Height: 201.5 cm (approx. 6'7)
    Japanese: Kosugi Juurouta
    English: Josh Mosby

    Anthy's worldly older brother, fiance to Kanae Ohtori, and hier to the helm of Ohtori Academy. In his role as Chairman of the Board, he's flirtatious and intimidating, though the figure he cuts around Utena is friendly, and even unassuming. It's made clear from early on that he's a deplorable person; with each arc of the story he ups the ante on repulsing viewers with his cavalier attitude towards the mental health and sexual innocence of those around him. He largely succeeds.
    ...Except on Empty Movement! Visit The Long-Legged Older Man, a site about Akio, and how poorly Giovanna absorbed any of the lessons the story teaches.


    Kiryuu Touga
    桐生 冬芽
    Kiryuu:"paulownia living"
    Touga: "winter bud"
    Date of Birth: 6/4
    Grade: 11th
    Touga Blood Type: A
    Height: 193.5cm (approx. 6'4)
    Japanese: Takehito Koyasu
    English: Crispin Freeman

    The playboy president of the Student Council, Touga is the most coveted prize in the school, and behind closed doors, the duelist with the most access to Ends of the World. Both of these have their benefits and drawbacks, but Touga remains one of the more enigmatic characters in the story, as he keeps his motives and past concealed behind his facade. His attempts to woo Utena are met with little success, but her disinterest only drives his pursuit. She appears to be the only girl that's ever snubbed him, but is that explanation enough? Is it that he's drawn to challenge? Maybe it's love?


    Saionji Kyouichi
    西園寺 莢一
    Saionji:"west garden temple"
    Kyouichi: "pod one"
    Date of Birth: 8/25
    Grade: 11th
    Saionji Blood Type: O
    Height: 193.5cm (approx. 6'4)
    Japanese: Kusao Takeshi
    English: Jack Taylor

    Saionji is the Vice-President of the Student Council and Touga's closest (only) friend. The head of the school's kendo club and a talented swordsman, he rarely finds himself in the good graces of the other students; his violent temper and melodramatic ways make him both a bogeyman and comic relief. He adheres to what's portrayed as archaic Japanese values, where women should be timid, he should be obeyed, and status means everything. He claims to love Anthy, who coincidentally fulfills all his expectations for subservience and passivity. His obsession with recapturing the innocent past, rather than a glorious future with his obedient little wife, however, gives lie to his own belief system.


    Arisugawa Juri
    有栖川 樹璃
    Arisugawa:"existence live river"
    Juri: "tree glass"
    Date of Birth: 12/1
    Grade: 10th
    Juri Blood Type: A
    Height: 169.5cm (approx. 5'7)
    Japanese: Mitsuishi Kotono
    English: Mandy Bonhomme

    Student council member, captain of the fencing club, bowler, and fashion model. Juri wears many hats, and is content with none; her closeted lesbianism and lingering obsession with a childhood friend stay buried under a cool, cold fascade that makes her one of the more challenging duelists and contrarily one of the most popular girls in the school. Her coldness and her distance both play to her legend and isolate her, and her extraordinary strength of will is directed to swallowing her bitter pills instead of discarding them.


    Kaoru Miki
    薫 幹
    Kaoru:"fragrant"
    Miki: "trunk"
    Date of Birth: 5/28
    Grade: 7th
    Miki Blood Type: O
    Height: 160.5cm (approx. 5'3)
    Japanese: Hisakawa Aya
    English: Jimmy Zoppi

    The Student Council secretary, a talented student, genius pianist, and Juri's protege in the fencing club. He's a gentle young man whose impressionable age makes him easily used by those close to him. His preoccupation with finding 'a shining thing' leads him to Anthy, an interest tangled messily in his strange relationship with his twin sister, Kozue. His gradual understanding of his shining thing, masked first in the search for a fellow pianist of note, then later revealed to be his developing sexuality, creates the basis of his motivation to duel.


    Kiryuu Nanami
    桐生 七実
    Kiryuu:"paulownia living"
    Nanami: "seven nut"
    Date of Birth: 8/8
    Grade: 7th
    Nanami Blood Type: B
    Height: 159cm (approx. 5'2)
    Japanese: Shiratori Yuri
    English: Leah Applebaum

    Touga's younger sister, eventual member of the Student Council, and the token bully in the story. Her popularity, her minions, and her self-identity all come to her through her relationship with her brother, and the growing distance between them is a source of much of her inner torment and outer aggression. Her naivity, tendency to jump to conclusions, and determination to destroy Anthy (who she sees as drawing her brother away from her,) make her the butt of much of the comic relief in the series. Her lack of discretion with her own opinion, however, often reveals a deeper insight than she realizes.


    Shinohara Wakaba
    篠原 若葉
    Shinohara:"bamboo field"
    Wakaba: "young leaf"
    Date of Birth: 3/14
    Grade: 8th
    Wakaba Blood Type: O
    Height: 154cm (approx. 5'1)
    Japanese: Imai Yuka
    English: Roxanne Beck (aka Andie Pondel)

    Utena's eager and affectionate best friend, and Saionji's most adoring fan. Her obsession with him is the catalyst for Utena's joining the duels, and her need to keep and take care of him drives her own journey to the arena. Wakaba, despite her tragic taste in men, is perhaps the most 'normal' character in the show, but she lives in a world that doesn't value normalcy, and despite her bubbly exterior, she is very aware of this.


    Takatsuki Shiori
    高槻 枝織
    Takatsuki:"high Zelkova serrata" (plant name)
    Shiori: "branch weave"
    Date of Birth: 2/2
    Grade: 10th
    Shiori Blood Type: B
    Height: 163.5cm* (approx. 5'4)
    Japanese: Nishihara Kumiko
    English: Lisa Ortiz

    Juri's tormented past come to life, Shori's motivations are conflicted: she claims to be friends with Juri but then seems to want to steal what belongs to her. Her need for positive reinforcement drives her prematurely into the arms of another, and the mistakes she makes in matters of love and lust drive Juri's plot arc.


    Kaoru Kozue
    薫 梢
    Kaoru:"fragrant"
    Kozue: "tree top"
    Date of Birth: 5/28
    Grade: 7th
    Kozue Blood Type: O
    Height: 159cm* (approx. 5'3)
    Japanese: Honda Cheiko
    English: Roxanne Beck (aka Andie Pondel)

    Kozue is Miki's twin sister, and there the similarities end. Kozue has grown up before her time: she's discovered sex and power early, and wields both to ends perhaps even she doesn't understand. She's a dark foil to Miki's seeming innocence, but they come from the same place, and that contrast becomes the lynchpin of their relationship.


    Tsuchiya Ruka
    土谷 瑠果
    Tsuchiya:"soil valley"
    Ruka: "lapis lazuli fruit"
    Date of Birth: ??/??
    Grade: 11th
    Ruka Blood Type: ??
    Height: 197cm* (approx. 6'6)
    Japanese: Sasaki Nozomu
    English: Wayne Grayson

    The sickly former captain of the fencing club, he returns briefly during the Akio Arc to stir up trouble with Shiori and Juri. His motives appear to be genuinely good; with time ticking away for him, his manipulative efforts are focused on liberating Juri from the bonds of her own making. Whether that's true or not is left to us...prince, or villain, it's hard to say.


    Mikage Souji/Professor Nemuro
    御影 草時
    Mikage:"honorable shadow"
    Souji: "grass shadow"
    Date of Birth: 11/30
    Grade: 12th
    Mikage Blood Type: AB
    Height: 165cm* (approx. 5'5)
    Japanese: Midorikawa Hikaru
    English: Dan Green

    The enigmatic host of the Mikage Seminar, and puppetmaster of the Black Rose duelists, Mikage's history has been reduced to a school spook story. His love for Tokiko, a shadow of his past, and her sickly brother Mamiya, binds him to Ohtori Academy.


    Tsuwabuki Mitsuru
    石路 美蔓
    Tsuwabuki:"stone butterbur"
    Mitsuru: "beautiful one"
    Date of Birth: 7/10
    Grade: 4th
    Tsuwabuki Blood Type: O
    Height: 124.5cm* (approx. 4'1)
    Japanese: Yajima Akiko
    English: Ted Lewis

    Tsuwabuki is one of Nanami's minions. He's driven to be a "grown up", like Nanami's big brother, though he acts like a servant, and seems unaware of the irreconcilable difference between his goal and how he tries to attain it. His Black Rose duel is named "impatience."


    Sonoda Keiko
    苑田 茎子
    Sonoda:"garden rice field"
    Keiko: "stalk child"
    Date of Birth: 10/6
    Grade: 7th
    Keiko Blood Type: A
    Height: 152.5cm (approx. 5'0)
    Japanese: Nakagawa Akira
    English: Mandy Bonhomme

    One of Nanami's three henchmen (the other two being Aiko and Yuuko), Keiko's teen girl crush on Touga causes her to wait on his overbearing sister like a slave, in the hopes, small as they may be, that Touga will catch a glimpse of her. Her Black Rose duel is titled "dépendance".


    Ohtori Kanae
    鳳 香苗
    Ohtori:"Phoenix"
    Kanae: "scent sapling"
    Date of Birth: 4/2
    Grade: 12th
    Kanae Blood Type: AB
    Height: 170cm* (approx. 5'7)
    Japanese: Orikasa Ai
    English: Kerry Williams

    Kanae is the daughter of the Chairman of the Board of Ohtori Academy, and engaged to Akio. Anthy's passive-aggressive refusal to welcome her as a member of the family fuels a jealous hatred that may have within it more understanding of the relationship she's not part of than she realizes. This frustration comes out of her in the Black Rose duel "aliéation".


    Everyone Else
  • Mrs. Ohtori
  • Kanae's mother, Mrs.Ohtori, appears briefly in episode 30. I liked her enough, however, to give her a mini-shrine, Mother, Dearest. Do visit.

    Essays
    Personality + Relationship + Narrative + Miscellany + Music

    Context
    Introduction + Characters + Reference + Submission

    Go Home
    Analysis of Utena + Empty Movement

    Akio is no rapist, he is just an opportunist that makes his home a school full of emotionally compromised teenagers. This frame is actually pulled from the Metropolitan Museum of Art archives.
    I considered making this a time gif that would occasionally flash Dios as having a ponytail. Then I got lazy.
    I know this layout is sort of a spoiler, but so was the closing of the first season, so suck it.
    This is far and away the most complex layout I have coded, and I know it does not look like it.
    So are they waltzing or foxtrotting or what?
    Because according to Ikuhara, if it were Akio, they would be doing the lambada.
    These swords ended up looking like the crosses in Evangelion. I left it on purpose because hellz yeah.
    I wanted this layout to look like a fairy tale. It ended up looking like a French textile exhibit. Oops.
    Polly want some C4? Sorry, coding and Colbert do not mix.
    It is March. It is snowing. It is Canada.
    You know what is an awesome idea? Coding on your rag. That is smart.