Chapter 1

The Dueling Game

       I want to be a "prince." Not a "princess" who needs to be protected, but a cool "prince."

Since that time, that's what Utena had thought. That's why, even though she was a girl, she always wore a boys' school uniform. Of course the teachers at the school made a big deal over it, but there was nothing in the school rules that said "a girl can't wear a boys' uniform," so she just kept shrugging them off.

Basketball, soccer, baseball - she was better than the boys at every sport, and she got love letters from girls almost every day. Her personality was also boyish - she had a straightforward demeanor, always stood up for the underdog, and referred to herself as "boku."

The "prince" who was even cooler than a boy - that was Tenjou Utena.


There was a reason she wanted to become a "prince."

It was when Utena was six years old. Her parents had both died, and Utena was wandering aimlessly through the rain. Sorrow ruled her heart, so overwhelming that she couldn't even think.

She was all alone. She was sopping wet, and cold. She walked ceaselessly, tiring herself. And the girl, almost like she was dropping off to sleep, fell into a river.

Utena didn't even try to swim, but surrendered her body to the water. Her mind became blank, and she stopped thinking.

The next thing she noticed was the scent of roses wrapping around her.

Lifting her heavy eyelids, she saw light, and the figure of a man. In the glare, she couldn't see his face. He was slim, with broad shoulders, and had long fingers, like a pianist. He wore clothes as white as snow, and he held the cold and miserable Utena tenderly in his arms.

He gently kissed the tears from Utena's cheeks, and gave her a ring with a rose-shaped seal.

"Perhaps this ring will lead you back to me. If you don't lose your strength and nobility..."

"Nobility" - young Utena didn't know that word. But mysteriously, she understood what he meant.


Eight years later, Utena was again wrapped in the scent of roses.

       Where... am I...?

Her eyes were heavy. Her mind felt cloudy, and she couldn't really turn her head.

       I'm... that's right, I was duelling Saionji...

From the mists of her memory, Utena dredged up her memory of the duel.

       Right, he called it the Sword of Dios. It came out of Anthy's chest... And that castle was floating. It sparkled like a chandelier, and it was upside-down...

Slowly, Utena opened her heavy eyes. In front of her, she saw light, and the figure of a man.

He was slim, and had broad shoulders. In the glare of the light, she couldn't really see his face. To her surprise, she was in his arms, as if he was carrying her.

       I've felt this once before... that's right, back then.

That time - when Utena had fallen into a river, and been saved by a prince. He had carried Utena like this.

       Could it be... the prince...?

Forcing her heavy eyes open, Utena tried to get a good look at the man's face. But from this position, all she could see was his silhouette.

       Who are you...? Could you be the prince...? Have you saved me again...?

She couldn't form her questions into words. Once again, she sank into unconsciousness...

***   ***

"Good morning, Utena-sama!"

When Utena opened her eyes, Himemiya Anthy was standing before her.

She was a girl with glasses and coffee-colored skin. She definitely didn't look quite Japanese, but had beautiful features. A hint of sadness was visible behind her large eyes.

"Why... are you...?"

Utena knew of her. In fact, they were in the same class this year... though they'd never spoken to each other before. Why was this girl here? Utena glanced around the room, trying to understand the situation.

       Wait... where am I?

She was in an old-looking room. Or rather, the building itself looked old. That said, the room seemed to be well-maintained, and was suprisingly clean. There were two beds lined up under the windows, one of which Utena was lying on.

She'd never seen this room before - it didn't look like the nurse's office, but it certainly wasn't her own room, either. But -

"This is your room, Utena-sama," said Anthy.

"No way. My room is on the third floor of the South Dorm..."

"From today on, you'll live here, Utena-sama."

Anthy brought out a piece of paper. It was a notice from Ohtori Academy, and sure enough, it said that Utena was being moved to the East Dorm, Room 21.


", what, this is the East Dorm? The one they haven't used in over ten years, that they say is haunted?"

Ohtori Academy was a boarding school, and all its students were housed in dorms scattered around the surrounding area. Utena, who had transfered in half a year ago, was no exception.

"Utena-sama, you've been sleeping ever since you passed out in the Dueling Arena."

       The Dueling Arena!

As soon as she heard those words, it all came back to Utena.

"That's right! The Dueling Arena!"

She began to replay the strange duel in her head. The duel where Saionji Kyouichi had used a real sword. Where the castle had floated, and they'd said the prize was Himemiya Anthy...

       Who even won? Was it Saionji? And what about... the prince?

Someone had carried Utena after the duels. She wanted to know who it was. Could it really have been her prince who had held her close...?

But Anthy continued on, about a different subject.

"You won the duel, Utena-sama. Therefore, you may now do with me as you wish."

Utena stared at Anthy in disbelief.

       Is she kidding me...?

But Anthy didn't look like she was joking in the slightest. She just stared straight ahead at Utena.

"The Rose Bride is engaged to the victor of the duels."

"The Rose Bride... now that you mention it, Saionji called you that, too."

Saionji Kyouichi - the boy Utena had dueled. He was the vice-president of the Student Council, as well as captain of the Kendo Club.

"First off... I thought you were like Saionji's lover or something."

"Saionji-sempai is merely a Duelist."

"What, there are others? That's..."

"Other Duelists? Yes, all the members of the Student Council are Duelists."

"So these other Student Council guys are also trading you back and forth through duels?"

"It's all according to the rules of the Rose Seal. A flower to be passed between the bearers of the Rose Seal... that's who I am."

"And you're okay with that? You just let them use you as a prize?"

"Those are the rules."

Anthy answered calmly, in a flat voice. As if she understood something Utena didn't. But to Utena, it sounded like Anthy was just giving up on everything.

"That's wrong!"

Utena threw aside her sheets, and leapt to her feet.

"It's horrible for you to be treated like this!"

Utena was angry. At the Student Council, who used Anthy like a gambling chip in their Dueling Game.

"You think it's okay for them to do that kind of thing just because they're the Student Council? I don't care what big-shots they are... it's too cruel!"

But Anthy just continued to stare at Utena curiously, as if she couldn't understand why she was getting so upset.

"I'll be right back."

Utena strode away from the bed, towards the door.

"Utena-sama, where are you going?"

"To the Student Council!"

By the time the shout reached Anthy, Utena had already swept from the room. The door slammed shut behind her - a reflection of her feelings.

"Am I so pitiful?" Left alone in the room, Anthy murmured wonderingly to herself.

***   ***

The Student Council meeting room was located halfway up a large tower that stood in the center of Ohtori Academy. But the elevator that went there had a sign reading "Off-Limits to Non-Student Council Personnel."

       Like I give a shit.

Utena ignored the sign and entered the elevator. She was so angry, she wasn't paying much attention to her surroundings - it was a weakness of hers.

The elevator was strange. Usually, an elevator would have buttons for each floor, but she didn't see any. Utena hesitated, confused - but soon the doors closed on their own, and the elevator began to ascend.

       It goes there directly? How extravagant.

Then she stopped thinking about it. The elevator was going up, at least, and it's not like she ever planned on using it again.

Soon, it stopped and the doors slid open. As it did so, a wind blew into the elevator, making Utena close her eyes for a moment. When it died down, Utena opened them and saw... a vast vista of blue and white!

She was on an enormous balcony jutting out from the tower. It had no roof, and looked out onto the pure blue sky. She saw a table and chairs placed in the middle of the vast white tiled floor.

       This is... the Student Council room?

Utena tilted her head in surprise. 

       Man, Ohtori Academy really is weird. Utena thought, walking out under the open sky.

       I guess nobody's here...?

She looked around. Blue sky, white tiles. And a fashionable little table that looked like it belonged in a cafe. Other than that, nothing but the sky stretching out all around...

No, wait. Over there, by the edge of the balcony, where the blue and white met, she saw the shape of a person. It was clear at a glance that this wasn't a normal student - their uniform was pure white.

They had long hair, broad shoulders, and a tall, well-proportioned body. There was no way that it could be a woman.

       Could that be...?

He resembled the person who had carried Utena from the Dueling Arena.

       The prince... is he here?

Eight years ago. Ever since she'd been saved by the prince, Utena had received a letter marked with a rose-shaped seal every year. The envelopes carried the faint scent of roses - and the seventh letter had said "I'll wait for you here." Inside were photos of Ohtori Academy.

So she had transferred here. To meet her prince.

       I can meet him at last...

She slowly drew closer to her prince.

       My prince.... finally...

She was so close that she could see the luster of his hair, and even smell him.

"Welcome, Tenjou Utena."

The prince turned around.

His hair was a deep red, and he had clear eyes. No - one could go so far as to say that they were cold. A slight smile played about his lips. He would definitely be called a handsome man. Even extremely handsome.

"How... do you know my name...?" Utena managed to ask. But he merely gave a small smile, and didn't answer her question.

"I've been waiting."

He put his hand on Utena's shoulder. It was so warm, it almost felt like a clothing iron.

"Waiting for you to come here."


The memory of the letter welled up vividly in Utena's mind - "I'll wait for you here."

       Could he be...?

Surprised, Utena found herself frozen, unable to react. The boy's face came closer. And in the blink of an eye, his lips met hers.





For a few seconds, Utena couldn't move. She was being kissed. By a boy who might be the prince who had been waiting for her...

Several seconds passed while Utena became aware of this. It was such a sudden, unexpected kiss.

"What are you doing!?"

Utena pulled free of the boy. Sure, she thought he might be her prince, but she rejected his sneak attack with a certain girly squeamishness.

"We haven't even introduced ourselves."

The boy she had pushed away gave an audacious smile, and brushed stray bits of his long hair back over his shoulder.

"I'm Kiryuu Touga. I'm a member of the Student Council, and the one you've been looking for."

       Kiryuu Touga!

Utena had only been at the school for about half a year, but she knew that name. He was the president of the Student Council. He had excellent academics, was an all-around good athlete, and an object of affection for all the female students. He was also a notorious playboy...

"Just like they say, you're quick with the girls," Utena said, wiping the lips he'd kissed on her sleeve.

"Oh, I don't kiss just anyone. Only girls as charming as you."

       Yeah, right. Utena thought. There's no way this guy is my prince. My prince is more of a gentleman, more... more...

"What's wrong? Didn't you want to see me about something?"

       That's right. I came to make them stop these duels where they use a girl as a prize.

Utena turned to face Touga, with dignity. He was about a head taller than her, but she stared him down defiantly.

"I came to put a stop to the Dueling Game."

She plunged right into the subject - she hated beating around the bush.

"Unfortunately, I'm not the one who set the game up," he answered with a small smile. Rather than soothing her, though, it only grated on Utena's nerves.

"Then who's in charge of this cruel game?"

"It's all the doing of 'The Ends of the World.'"

"'The Ends of the World'...?"

       Is that supposed to be the name of a person? Or some kind of group?

"We don't know their true nature, either," replied Touga, as if reading her thoughts. "But one day, we suddenly started receiving letters from 'The Ends of the World,' marked with a rose seal. They contained the rules of the Dueling Game, as well as these."

Touga held up his left hand. On it glittered a rose signet ring, the same as Utena's.

"Hmph, that's a pretty lame excuse, Mr. President. 'You're just doing what the letters said.' Who on earth would duel because of that?"

"Of course we aren't just following their instructions for no reason. It's because we want the Power of Dios."

"Dios... that's right, the sword was called the Sword of Dios, too."

"The Power of Dios... its said that only the victor of the duels will receive it, and it has the power to revolutionize the world..."

"How dumb... do you Student Council members really believe such an outlandish story?"

Touga gave a smile that could be either agreement or disagreement. "A castle floating in the sky, the Dueling Arena, the Sword of Dios... quite a lot of effort for a mere joke, don't you think?"

       That's true... no prankster would be able to pull off magic tricks like that.

"You felt it yourself, didn't you? The power when you held the Sword of Dios?"

       Power... Utena remembered the power, and the rose scent that had flowed though her.

       There really was some kind of power. Strong, and noble...

"If they continue to win duels, the one engaged to the Rose Bride will ascend to the castle glittering in the sky. There, they'll receive the power to revolutionize the world - Dios' power. I only half believed it myself, but I've finally been convinced. During your duel with Saionji."

"You were watching us?"

"You, a participant in this Dueling Game, drew out the power of the Sword of Dios... I was quite surprised. That's what made me certain that the Power of Dios exists."

'The Ends of the World,' the Dueling Game, the Rose Bride, the Power of Dios... it was all so unbelievable. But Utena had seen the sword be drawn out of Himemiya Anthy's chest. As well as the upside-down floating castle. And...

       The Power of Dios... I felt it flow into me, along with the rose scent. I was filled with the same rose scent as the prince... The memory of that smell came back to her.

       The prince... I followed him to this academy. A letter with a rose seal, saying "I'll wait for you here." If that's the same as the letters that the Student Council members got, that told them to do the dueling game... then if I participate in the duels, maybe I'll be able to meet my prince?

Utena sank deep in thought, forgetting that Touga was there. He quietly drew up behind her.

"I'd like to find out. What kind of power do you have?" he whispered in her ear. A sweet murmur, like a sigh...




Over her shoulder, Utena struck Touga in the cheek. It made a lovely sound.

"Touch me like that again, and I won't hold back!"

His cheek swelling red, Touga stared at her in shock. But soon, the look in his eyes changed to something like intrigued interest.

The prince from her memories. And Touga, who she'd thought might be her prince. Utena was now certain that the two were completely different people.

       I can't believe I thought this guy might've been my prince. And to think, he was my first...

Utena tightly bit her lip.

"I'm leaving."

With just those words, Utena turned and ran from the room. Not even glancing back once, she left behind the place where blue and white met.

Watching her go, Touga touched his cheek. The place where she had struck felt hot.

"Now what got you so upset, Tenjou Utena?" The smile on his lips didn't reveal whether he was joking, or being serious.

He watched the doors of the elevator shut. A strong wind blew in Utena's wake, past the elevator and Touga.

***   ***

The second floor of the East Dorm -

Utena's new room was number 21, deep inside the building. Immediately upon returning from the Student Council room, Utena flopped down on the bed.

       I can't believe my first kiss was with that guy.

Lying on her back and staring at the ceiling, Utena wiped her lips on her sleeve.

       What a disaster. He just kissed me so quickly...

She could still feel the warmth of Touga's lips. It annoyed her.

       The rumors of him being a playboy were true after all. I'm sure he's involved in a bunch of other girls, too. Besides, anyone who'd try to win a girl in a duel has got to be kind of playboy-ish. He talked about letters from "The Ends of the World" and stuff, but I'll bet he actually just sent them himself...

       But wait, that would mean that he sent the letters that brought me here, too...

       No, that's ridiculous. My prince can't be a guy like that. Not an unscrupulous playboy like that...

While she was thinking, Utena rolled her body over. Lying on her stomach, all she could see were the white sheets and pillows.


Utena took another look at the bed she was lying on. Although she'd used it shortly before, someone had made it back up again.

"It must have been Anthy. Come to think of it, where is she? Did she go out?" Utena started to climb off the bed, when...


...she heard a strange sound by her feet.


It was a monkey.

There was a monkey below her, pulling on her foot with all its strength.

"Why is there a monkey here?"

It had very long ears, a red tie hung from its neck, and its gestures seemed somehow human.

       What a weird monkey...

It continued to tug at her foot.

"What is it? You want to take me somewhere?"

The monkey nodded its head at her... or at least that's what she thought it looked like.

       Does it understand what I'm saying...?

As soon as Utena rose to her feet, the monkey dashed to the door and made a "chuu" sound, like it was calling to her.

       Maybe it does understand me after all... well, guess I'll go check it out.

Utena hopped out of bed and ran down the stairs with the monkey. Ahead of them was the back door... no, the door to the central garden. It was hanging open. The sun was already starting to set, bathing the world in an orange glow.

"Woah..." Utena murmured, as she stepped into the garden.

The central garden was unexpectedly well-maintained. The paths were flanked by lines of short shrubs, behind which small flowerbeds were arranged. A few trees spotted here and there added to the view, and the wind carried their fresh green smell to Utena.

       I'd heard that this building was haunted and hadn't been used for ten years, but this garden is surprisingly pretty...

Forgetting about the monkey, Utena paused for a moment to take in the garden. She didn't know much about flowers and stuff, but she could tell that this garden was very high-quality.

       Does Anthy maintain it? Utena wondered, as she started to walk again. Just then, she heard -

"Why, Anthy?"

...a man's voice. It came from behind one of the trees. Without hesitation, Utena ran down the path so that she could see who was talking.

"Back then, didn't you say that you belonged completely to me?"

The boy was Saionji Kyouichi. Saionji Kyouichi - who served as the Student Council vice-president, and captain of the kendo club. Like the other members of the council, he was good at both academics and sports, and was quite attractive.

With his chiseled face, sharp gaze, and wavy long hair, the girls on campus were split between him and Kiryuu Touga. But unlike Touga, who was a known playboy, Saionji didn't appear to have any interest in dating. They said he was a stoic guy who never made a sweet face towards a girl. And, of course, this was the boy who Utena had dueled in the arena - the one who Anthy had been engaged to before Utena.

Anthy stood before him.

"Was our engagement nothing but a lie, Anthy?" he asked, gesturing dramatically to her. He looked completely different than the arrogant guy he had been in the Dueling Arena - you could have mistaken him for an actor in a tragedy.

"No. But that's over now."Anthy replied flatly, staring steadily at Saionji.

       Huh... Utena had thought that Anthy was a shy, retiring girl, so she was struck by the face she was making now.

Saionji stared at Anthy for a moment, and then....

"You're shameless!" Driven by some violent emotion, Saionji struck Anthy in the face.

       Again with this guy! Saionji had also hit Anthy the first time Utena saw them together. That time, Anthy hadn't resisted, but simply accepted the blow. She didn't seem to have any intention of opposing him this time, either. Her cheek burned red, but she made no move to flee.


"Stop it!" Utena shouted, without thinking. With that, she leapt out from the shade of the tree and interposed herself between Saionji and Anthy.

"Tenjou Utena!?"


They both exclaimed in surprise at Utena's sudden appearance.

"Stop it, Saionji. Anthy's just following the rules of the Rose Seal. You're the Student Council Vice-President, so if you've got a problem you should challenge me to a duel properly. I'll take you on anytime!" she said.

Whoops. Utena hadn't had any intention on participating in these duels to win a girl. But when she saw Anthy being hit, she made that defiant declaration without thinking.

"Tch..." Saionji looked like he wanted to say something, but in the end he bit back his words. He turned his back and strode away.

       I guess that guy was pretty serious about Anthy... Utena thought, watching Saionji's back as he left. Of course she couldn't forgive him for hitting Anthy, but strangely, Utena was sure she had seen some kind of love in Saionji's face, too.

"Thank you, Utena-sama."

Utena turned to see Anthy bowing deeply to her. It was a very proper, formal gesture, but somehow didn't feel tense or awkward.

"Nah, I didn't really..."

"Have you agreed to the duels?" Anthy asked, staring directly at Utena.

Utena hadn't wanted to participate in the Dueling Game. But if she didn't, did that mean that Anthy would become someone's plaything again?

       Would Anthy just be the possession of whoever won the duels? She doesn't even fight back when someone hits her. She just carries out this Rose Bride thing... Utena's heart was shaken as she imagined how the next victor might look upon this poor girl.

"Yeah, sure. Jeez..." Utena mumbled. She turned away from Anthy - if she was looking at her, she felt like she might blush.

"Even though you'll need to continue to duel from now on?"

"I guess since I've already come this far... Besides, I can't just abandon you."


"Yeah. You don't want Saionji to hit you again, do you?"

Anthy gave no answer. She simply lowered her eyes, as if bowing her head.

       Maybe it's a difficult subject for her... Utena felt a little bit awkward about Anthy's manner. No doubt it was too much to talk to her about it so soon after Saionji had hit her.


Utena felt something down at her feet. It was the monkey from before.

"Oh, yeah. This monkey..." Utena said, picking him up. This was the perfect way to change the subject. "He's the one who told me that you were here in the garden."

"My, Chu-Chu." A pleased glint suddenly sparkled in Anthy's eyes.

       Hmm, so he can make Anthy look so happy... The Anthy that Utena knew was always quiet and expressionless. Seeing her smile now made Utena happy, too. She'd already forgotten the awkwardness of before.

"Is he your pet?"

"No. He's my friend." Anthy answered, completely straight-faced. It didn't look like she was joking.

       I see. Maybe she's not good at communicating with people. So her only friend is... Utena felt like she understood Anthy a bit better.

"Will he be my friend, too?" She held out a finger to the red necktied-monkey.

Chu-Chu turned to look at Anthy. Then, seeing that she was smiling, he grasped Utena's finger with both hands - a handshake.


"Thanks, Chu-Chu."

Chu-Chu grinned at her... or that's what it looked like to Utena, anyway.



Cover & Translation Notes
Chapter 1 * Chapter 2 * Chapter 3 * Chapter 4 * Chapter 5 * Chapter 6



Translated by Dallbun, coded by Giovanna, and hosted on Empty Movement.