Wednesday, November 30, 2011
:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Revolutionary Girl Utena
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Official Sites: English
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video [Free]: YouTube
If you have paid attention to HD's Twitter feed on the side or read my post earlier in the year, you'll know that I am a very big admirer of the classic 1997 TV anime Revolutionary Girl Utena. Nozomi Ent./Right Stuf is, too, so they have been releasing the series across three superb box sets over the course of this year, remastered and featuring much of the same extras from the Japanese release. So with the release of the third and final box on December 6 (which, like its JP counterpart, includes the theatrical film remake!), Nozomi is commemorating it--and drumming up additional interest--by streaming the first twelve episodes of the series (comprising the first box set, "The Student Council Saga") on their YouTube channel.
Utena revolves around an athletic, pink-haired tomboy who aspires to be a "prince"--as she was once saved by one when she was little. Such an impression was made on her, that she even she wears a boy's uniform at the academy she attends and not a girl's one! However, everything changes when a love letter her best friend left for a crush is posted on a wall for everyone to see. Utena confronts the boy in question and challenges him to a duel, which she miraculously wins--but as the prize, she becomes the unwitting new "fiancee" of the "Rose Bride", a soft-spoken fellow student named Anthy, who is highly coveted by the members of the Student Council.
Utena is a very unique and eccentric series from every angle, whether it be in its sublime art design, its odd, yet catchy, duel themes, its mix of biting drama and slapstick gag comedy, or its multidimensional, memorable characters. It is a bold and daring series that isn't afraid to do something different (and that's putting it mildly), go certain places most others wouldn't (even more so), or make its characters less-than-perfect. Suffice to say, it may not be everyone's cup of tea (particularly when a very indecent relationship comes to the forefront later on), but Utena does so many things right in fitting its strange puzzle pieces together, that its whole makes for quite the satisfying viewing experience.
But hey, now is a better time than any to see if it is to your liking, as you can view its first arc for free at YouTube (in Japanese, with English subtitles) (and if you really like it, buy the well-priced box sets at RightStuf.com). The first two episodes have no expiration date, but the others do, which is listed in their respective descriptors (starting with the third and fourth episodes, which bow out on Dec. 19th). While no mention has yet been given of any additional postings past Ep. 12, past experience with other titles on Nozomi Ent.'s YT channel places its chances in a more positive range.
P.S.: Bonus Pic (for the occasion)!: