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> Events, Themes, and Symbolism in the Narrative

Revolutionary Girl Utena weaves a complex, strange, and physics-defying story. Symbols and themes are carefully curated and presented for us, and here you will find efforts to explore that narrative. What does it mean? What does it try to say? There are some absolutely mind-blowing essays here, where Utena is treated as a work of art worth discussing, instead of being penalized for being 'just anime.'

*NEW* No Choice But To Become Witches
The Bishōjo-Demonic Phallic Mother Dichotomy in Revolutionary Girl Utena
written by: Nicole Winchester
You've heard of the Madonna/Whore complex, but have you heard of the Bishojo/Demonic Phallic Mother one? Well, this extensively referenced university paper delivers a wonderful examination of Utena and the space it already occupies in the houses of academia. It's full of context and original sources, and maps out in a way I haven't seen before just how precisely Utena subverts the tropes that had defined the genre at the time. I feel smarter now.
Patriarchy & Entrapment in 'Revolutionary Girl Utena'
written by: Smash Genesis
Smash Genesis examines the challenges faced by a mostly adult male creative team trying its best to create an essentially feminist story while held back by their own internalized patriarchal views. Delicious food that leaves a lot to think about, as where they failed is just as, if not more, informative than where they (largely, imo) succeeded.
Id, Ego, and Superego: Freud and the End of Utena
written by: Yasha
Drudged up and forgetten until recently, this was an essay Yasha submitted in college, about, well, read the title. And then read the essay.
The Cozy Coffin (A Quick & Painless Observation)
written by: Spiral Artist
The coffin Anthy describes put under the magnifying glass! This essay explores how Akio's entire ploy to create a stand-in prince is deliberately self-defeating. Why would Akio do that? Is it by nature or lack of choice? How is the symbolism of the 'coffin' used in the series? A great examination of the less empowering themes in Revolutionary Girl Utena.
Killing (and Keeping) the Prince
written by: mistspinner
There's been an amazing rush of Jungian and psychoanalytic essays recently! And where there's Utena, feminism tends to follow. Staying with that almost unavoidable fact, this essay explores the themes and symbols that drift above, tied closely with Jungian models of psychology.
The Disciples of Abraxas:
Cosmopolitan Designs in Salman Rushdie's 'The Enchantress of Florence'
and Hermann Hesse's 'Demian'

written by: Meike Nederveld
Sometimes, I miss homewor-er no, actually I don't. But it does lead to some fascinating pieces of work on my website! Though primarily concerned with The Enchantress of Florence and Demian, this essay wraps its themes together with a lovely dose of Utena. Though many of us are already aware of Demian as an inspiration for the series, this essay proposes some new study material in Salman Rushdie's work, and is a great expression of the validity of Revolutionary Girl Utena as something work scholastic examination.
An Idealist Interpretation of 'Revolutionary Girl Utena'
written by: Ryan Haecker
Testing our limits for interpretation of the main text; let all ye who enter here beware! Originally posted on the forum, this essay explores the overarching themes in the show framed in Classical philosophy and the archetypal basis for the story. The rowdy debate this essay inspired can be found here.
For the Sake of Revolutionizing the World
written by: Maarika
Revolutionary Girl Utena as interpreted through the phrase "existence precedes essence." Whether you blame it on homework, or Sartre, or both, this essay explores the development of identity under the exceptional circumstances of the story we're presented with.
Playing Prince:
Dangers of Role Appropriation & Scripted Romance in
Revolutionary Girl Utena

written by: Catherine
You know, we should probably feel bad that it took thirteen years to get a personality essay about Utena herself. We have atrophied consciences, though, so we don't. Not to mention that this is definitely one worth waiting for!
Utena's Revolution
written by: Etrangere
Etrangere explores the correlation between relationships in Utena and the historical and political structures that Revolutionary Girl Utena references. Fascinating stuff!
Adolescent Apocalypse:
Coming of Age through a Depth Psychological Lens
written by: Danielle
Movie symbolism analysis! Not just movie symbolism analysis, Jungian movie symbolism analysis! It's so tempting to beat on the very savaged horse that is Freudian psychoanalysis, but a clear argument can be made here for Jung having just as much to say!
For The Garden Where All Love Ends:
A Discourse Upon The Black Rose Saga Page 1 - Page 2
written by: Clarice
The essay that schooled all of us on how it's done. This mammoth piece of work takes apart the Black Rose Saga, Mikage, the symbolism, and every subject therein. It has to be read; you try summarizing it in a sentence or two.
In Medias Res
written by: Cat
The fabulous Cat has given us an essay comparing Hinduism and Buddhism through the media of Utena. Philosophy students, take notice!
The Failing Revolution?
written by: Spiral Artist
Spiral Artist introduces some new analysis fodder-- could Utena really have been about the feminist struggle against the capitalist and patriarchal order?
The Prince Who Runs in the Night
written by: Celeste
An in-depth look at the past, future, and undercurrents of the duels, drawn from the time and events of Episode 33.
"Shoujo Kakumei Utena" Monomyth
written by: Rhyaniwyn
The storyline of Revolutionary Girl Utena explained in terms of Joseph Campbell's monomyth. For those out of the loop, Star Wars and The Matrix have been pointed out to fit his outline. They lack hot villains, though, and so are not discussed here.
Two Princes
written by: Ashnod
The possibilities for princes among the cast of Revolutionary Girl Utena prove very slim, but though Juri's introduction paints her unsympathetic, Ashnod maintains that she, too, could be a prince.

Personality + Relationship + Narrative + Miscellany + Music

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.