Revolutionary Girl Utena: Adolescence Apocalypse

Japanese Title: Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku
Also Known As: The Adolescence of Utena, Utena: The Movie, Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie
Genre: Drama/Action
Format: 1 Movie
Allegiance: JC Staff
Director: Ikuhara Kunihiko
Vintage: 1999
Intelligence Agency Report by: Lady Sage
Tomboyish Utena is new to the bizarre Ohtori Academy, but not everything there is new to her. Not only does she meet her old flame Touga, who now bears a mysterious rose seal ring that seems to be a key to one of the many mysteries surrounding the couple and the school, but she also soon finds herself caught in a bizarre dueling scheme revolving around the Rose Bride Himemiya Anthy. But there is something desperately, desperately wrong at Ohtori something that could lead to the downfall of the entire school.

Field Agent Report by: Lady Sage
Overall 8.75

Excuse me while I lift my jaw up off the floor. Its a pretty safe bet that Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie will leave pretty much any viewer speechless, but less safe is exactly which of its qualities did it. It could be the remarkably bright and fluid animation, a seamless fusion of computer-generated and hand-drawn art. It could be the stunning imagery and the beautiful, confusing world that is Ohtori Academy. Or, it could be the sheer WTF-ness of the plot. It could be any of those three thingsbut Id hedge my bets on the last one.

First, I want to get this straight: the Utena movie is not the television series. Say that to yourself a few times, its important to keep in mind. While familiarity with the series may help to identify certain characters that didnt get much screen time, one must pick and choose with their background knowledge what to remember and what to forget, because a lot has changed. Characters personalities and motivations range from similar to practically opposite; while Miki is much the same, for example, Anthy is far more assertive and aggressive.

More importantly, Utena is not for those who found the television series confusing. The symbolic imagery is increased tenfold: many things make no sense at first, or even second, glance. There is a plot, but its nearly impossible to discern without very close examination of the symbolism and the directors commentary. The imagery is, like I said, very dense, but it is pure eye candy, with some of the most visually poetic scenes Ive seen in anime.

In the end, there will be two groups that enjoy Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie: those that like pretty pictures, and those that dont mind working a bit for their anime, because despite the seeming incoherence, theres really a lot of substance. You just have to do a little digging to come up with the buried treasure.