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The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 4 Juri Arisugawa

The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 4 Juri Arisugawa

Juri is the only woman in a position of true institutional power in Revolutionary Girl Utena. By all appearances, she has everything: she’s beautiful, treasurer of the powerful Student Council, captain of the fencing team, and she has the respect and adoration of not only the student body, but the faculty and administration as well. And yet, rage seethes and simmers just under her placid surface.

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The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 5 Touga

The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 5 Touga

Despite their positions of power, the members of the Student Council are largely self-destructive. Saionji has no control of his emotions, to the extent that it leads to his eventual downfall at the end of the Student Council arc. Miki is so idealistic and naïve that it poisons his relationships with those who don’t adhere to his views. Juri’s cynicism blinds her to the potential in others. Utena is able to defeat them not necessarily because of her own talent, but because of their fatal flaws.

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The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 3 Miki

The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 3 Miki

Miki, the secretary of the Student Council, is in seventh grade and the youngest member by far. He is also the most “normal” (as far as that goes in this series) and likable of the student council, and throughout the show usually treats Utena and Anthy with dignity and respect. He is highly intelligent and sometimes serves as the innocent, virginal foil to his compatriots. But innocence can lead to black and white thinking and one being easily manipulated, as is the case with Miki and his virgin/whore complex.

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The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 2 Saionji

The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 2 Saionji

We first see Saionji through Utena’s eyes. Unnoticed, she watches as Saionji and Anthy quarrel outside of Anthy’s rose garden, until Saionji slaps her across the face. Utena is horrified as Saionji prepares to strike her again, but Touga catches his hand before he can, ending the confrontation.

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The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 1

The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 1

Revolutionary Girl Utena is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite anime of all time. As a teenager, I fell in love with it for its beauty, its surreal story, and Utena’s incredible strength...I’ve come to realize that Revolutionary Girl Utena is one of the most honest commentaries on gender roles and agency I’ve seen in any medium, from any country.

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