Manga Monday: Revolutionary Girl Utena.

Published on April 27th, 2009

After debating heavily on what type of manga this Manga Monday should focus on I decided that I should leave the yaoi manga for a little while longer and bring you something a little deeper. This manga was introduced to me very early on in my manga addiction and it’s another that has left a huge impression on me. It started in 1996 and ended in 1997 and only totalled 5 volumes (relatively short in the manga world) yet it still spawned a successful anime, a movie and even live theatre.

This manga brings together the simple themes of the prince protecting the princess but naturally it’s done with a twist. At a glance the ideas and themes are simple enough but when delving deeper the manga is known for having strong suggestion of yuri, or relationships between females.Bring on the power to revolutionize the world….Revolutionary Girl Utena.

utena

The manga follows Utena, a young girl who is saved from drowning as a child by a mysterious gentleman she calls her prince. As she grows up Utena vowed to find her prince and to grow up to being strong like a prince too. Her journey leads her to a very odd privet school where the student council partake in duals; whoever is the winner receives a very odd prize. That prize is a girl by the name of Anthy aka the Rose Bride. The manga possesses a strong focus on the deep relationship of love, dependency and chivalry between Utena and Anthy and while never explicit in a sexual nature, the bond between Utena and her rose bride Anthy is deep.

It’s typically a manga aimed at women with its distinct Shojo art style (as explained before women are often drawn as tall and elegant as opposed to sexual) and the ideas of fighting is a constant theme but it is by no means a focus as you would expect from more male orientated mangas.

Utena is defiantly an odd manga, its themes of love and power aren’t portrayed in the same feminine manner as many other shojo mangas. Thanks to this Utena has the ability to appeal to a much bigger audience, yet those of a more mature nature and those who are happy to ‘read between the lines’ will defiantly come away with a much more for filling experience.

Hollie ‘pheonix’ Bennett
Hollie@comicimpact.com