When Utena Tenjou was very little her parents died, and a prince comforted her in her time of loss, giving her a ring with a rose seal. He so impressed her that she decided to become a prince herself one day. Now, Utena is a teenager at Ohtori Academy who's athletic and notorious for dressing in a boy's uniform. When a member of the Student Council humiliates a friend of hers Utena challenges him to a duel, and he accepts only when he sees she possesses a rose seal ring. She soon discovers that this is no normal duel - it's a bizarre and ritualistic battle that the Student Council regularly conducts. In fact when she wins, Utena finds to her considerable chagrin that she gets to have Anthy Himemiya, a rather docile student, as her 'Rose Bride'. If she wants to keep Anthy she'll have to win more duels against members of the Student Council and others. What is the ultimate purpose of these duels and Anthy's role as the Rose Bride?
Since General de Jarjayes of France’s Royal Guard always wanted a son, he brings up his only daughter Oscar to dress, fight, and behave like a man. When Oscar’s excellent swordsmanship wins her the honored position as bodyguard to Louis XVI’s new bride, Marie Antoinette, the Jarjayes household believes it can finally be proud. However, what nobody realizes is the pit of thorns the royal court in Versailles has become – with all its excessive opulence, it attracts not just those with status and wealth, but also those with ruthless ambition. To confound matters, Marie Antoinette turns out to be an airhead whose selfish actions are turning the starving population against her. Amidst the sordid schemes and terrible tragedies, and with the tide of history sweeping against the nobles, can Oscar protect her new King and Queen whilst upholding justice for the oppressed peasants of France?
Rose of Versailles and Revolutionary Girl Utena bring to the front the issues of gender identity. The titular heroines in these series choose to take on traditionally male roles which create a tension in these characters as they struggle to conciliate feelings with duty. In both series there is a recurring theme of roses and sword fighting; they both deal with Revolutions albeit of a very different nature and are concerned with moral nobility. Rose of Versailles has a more social and linear approach while Utena spins into a heavy psychological study that renders narrative almost obsolete. Breaking through illusions, be them class based or emotional hang-ups, is at the heart of these two anime.
Shoujo Kakumei Utena and Versailles no Bara are two of the most influential anime shoujo series of all time, and they both MADE a difference. Although they are very different series and have a time gap of around 15 years, they have some common roots that will make at least some of the people who enjoyed one, enjoy the other. It's obvious that Versailles no Bara had a big impact on the concept of Shoujo Kakumei Utena.
The main characters of both Shoujo Kakumei Utena and Versailles no Bara have similar principles: one can say that Oscar is Utena's parent - even though being females, both of them dress as males and have quite the manly part in the series. They fight with swords and they look amazingly good in their uniforms. Other common points are the pointy and classy character designs, the amazingly complex love schemes, the troubled relationships, the gorgeous and short fighting scenes and, most important of all, the thousands and thousands of roses, everywhere.
If you watched one of these series, you might want to check on the other one. They're very different, but it's very obvious that one had a great impact on the other.
Although the creators of 'Revolutionary Girl Utena' claim not to have viewed 'The Rose of Versailles', this claim frankly lacks credibility, for the one owes much to the other. These two tales of free-spirited young women who embrace the spirit of masculine battle without giving up their identity as women challenge popular conception of gender and chivalry, often using roses as a symbolic motif. However, 'The Rose of Versailles' ('Berubara' to fans) focuses strongly on the historical aspect of its story, exploring such real-life events as the arrival of Marie Antoinette at the court of Versailles, the affair of the diamond necklace, and the French Revolution, while 'Revolutionary Girl Utena' is a frequently surreal trip through the psyches of its diverse school-based cast. Both are absolutely fascinating anime, and quite significant markers in the history of shoujo anime. The one is unmissable if you liked the other.
The seires are both about strong women who stand against adversity and both also have a theme of breaking gender bounderies. The director of Utena (Ikuhara) himself states that ROV was a great influence in making the series
Utena is a direct "successor" to Oscar - they are both honourable duelists who put their battles above men and don't let their gender keep them from doing what they want to. They even share a similar style. Both of these series have great duels and character interactions.
Rose of Versailles and Revolutionary Girl Utena share similar key themes of women cross-dressing to be heroes, struggling against their traditional gender roles, and trying to overcome the sexism of their peers. They also convey similar stylistic touches of shimmering eyes, limp-limbed bodies, and vibrant pastel colours.
Both have a unique character being females but dress and act like men. As for story Utena is a bit more fantasy as opposed to Rose of Versailles. But overall you can say that Utena is the daughter of Oscar with their similar traits.
Here are two anime with similar main characters (female dressing like a male) and similar flowery art styles. They have totally different plots, yet both heavily utilize jealousy as a driving force in the characters' actions.
Once there lived an eccentric author called Drosselmeyer who wrote grand tragedies - one of them was the tale of a prince who sealed away an evil raven by breaking his own heart into tiny pieces. However, before the story could be completed, the author died and the tale took on a life of its own. Now, in a town where fiction and reality meet, the story continues on its tragic course with Ahiru, a duck who transforms into the beautiful Princess Tutu in order to restore the prince's heart. But will Ahiru's act of love be enough to defy the story's terrible destiny and lead to a happy ending?
I've seen Revolutionary Girl Utena described as a ‘postmodern fairy tale', Princess Tutu as a 'meta-fairy tale', and after watching both series, I'd say those descriptions are about as close as you're going to get in trying to describe either series. Both have a certain surreal/fantastic quality to their stories, and continuously take and invert fairy tale archetypes. Even aspects of the presentation of the story are similar- the ‘once upon a time' segments present at the beginning of several Utena episodes and every Princess Tutu episode, or the role of the shadow play girls (in Utena), which is comparable to the role of Edel or Drosselmeyer (in Tutu). While Utena is the single weirdest show I've managed to watch all the way through, it certainly doesn't have the monopoly- a fan of one series would likely enjoy the other.
Princess Tutu and Revolutionary Girl Utena are fairytales that subvert archetypes even when they seem to reinforce them. In both there is much more than meets the eye and illusions abound. They are self-conscious narratives about finding one's own role and being true to it through thick and thin. Often surreal and increasingly dark, these two titles are a perfect match that push the limits of shoujo with great musical tracks and gripping visuals.
The plots in Utena and Tutu are both thought-provoking and mysteriously unraveled. There are duels in both that further the plot in a symbolically charged way. They both take a sort of symbolic look at valiant young women. Utena plays more with Hegel and Jung, and Tutu more with mythology and ballet/music, but both make you think and feel for the characters--and occasionally confuse you, but in a good way.
Both are series that start out a bit on the lighter more child friendly side but slowly transform to a darker and more sinister series than when they began. Both contain fairytale like elements and a general theme of wanting to protect/save someone. Both have strange and often sisnister narrirators, in RGU we have the Shadow Player Girls who's random before battle skits often offer deeper insight into the duel or duelist while Drosselmier plays the twisted writer commenting on his work as it plays out. A fan of one would and should watch and enjoy the other.
Both series explore gender stereotypes that are present in classic fairytales and turn them on their head by having a female as the hero.
The main characters in both of the series are both female, trying to be something they are not (a girl who aims to be a prince or a duck who wants to be a balerina) and they both have their own prince(s).
The stories takes place in a private academy, combining everyday school life with a deeper, fairytale-like story running next to it. The fun, everyday part is more dominant in the beginning, but it get's darker and more twisted by the end.
There is a lot of symbolic elements in both, some of whitch are hard to understand, but they spice up the story and give it even more depth.
Both series tend to repeat scenes, which can get annoying, but this actually gives a lot to the feel of a modern fairy tale and in most cases those scenes are meant to symbolise something.
Both animes also share an unexpected ending.
Princes, Princesses, and Fairytales... Princess Tutu and Shoujo Kakumei Utena cover them both beautifully. If you're looking for a story where things are never how they seemed and where everything is more complex than you thought, topped with gorgeous character designs, epic music, and dreamy settings, you will adore these two series.
Both Revolutionary Girl Utena and Princess Tutu take the mahou shoujo format and weave something sophisticated and refreshing out of it. Utena is bizarre ad heavy on symbolism while Tutu has more coherence and is more approachable, but both reveal a revelatory side to mahou shoujo we never thought was possible.
Revolutionary Girl Utena and Princess Tutu both take classical fairy tale elements and use them to make something unique, but recognizable.
Both begin with an almost monster-of-the-week type plot mixed with fun, school-life and move on to be quite a bit darker than one might expect.
Princess Tutu is definitely more approachable, since Utena is the type of show you need to pay proper attention to to enjoy. (Otherwise you might just end up mind-f***ed.)
Both of these animes portray the concept of 'Destiny' in a similar way and manner and in both of them the protagonists are fated to battle or compete with each other "for the bigger picture" in order to achieve a certain goal benefitial for their personal interests.The battlefield is set/the conflicts are caused by a mysterious figure with dubious motives whose true objective isn't clear until the very end.Plotwise they are almost identical.Another common trait they share is the dynamic and symbolic randomness which is used to give depth and impact to the psychological element prevalent in the story.Kunihiko Ikuhara directed both.
Aside from being directed by the same person, the concept of fate, its supposed inevitability and the ones who stand up against it and fight to change it, has a similar feel in it. Also it has a similar nice touch of absurdity one might remember from Utena.
Both of these series concern the concept of fate, play with shoujo tropes, have excellent characters/characterization, treat very serious subjects with an impressive amount of nuance and tact, and can go from goofy to dead serious at the drop of a hat.
Some series makes you think, they have plots that take cues from deep philosophical discussions. Some series take the philosophy and symbolisms one step further, forcing you to spend time thinking about what any of it actually meant. Mawaru Penguindrum and Revolutionary Girl Utena fits both of these categories. The nature of fate is mixed with vague backstories and large helpings of animations that obviously symbolise something. Both have interesting characters and lovely settings, if you like one of them you'll surely enjoy the other.
I think the plot/themes of both these shows get lost in excessive and obtuse symbolism, but both explore the workings of destiny and the power of humans to overcome their own fate.
No sooner has Nanako Misonoo started attending Seiran, the most prestigious girls’ school in Japan, when she is unexpectedly chosen to join its most exclusive club, the Sorority. Believing that she was given preferential treatment by the Sorority’s leader, the beautiful and intimidating Miya-sama, Nanako’s jealous classmates begin to bully her. Slowly, life at Seiran begins to unravel and Nanako wonders why the Sorority chose her over more eligible candidates. Not only that, what could lie behind Miya-sama’s mysterious smile? With only the letters to her ‘dear brother’ to help her make sense of it all, Nanako must try to find answers to these and many more questions.
Both anime feature likeable yet naive heroines, exclusive societies, and forbidden homosexual and/or incestuous relationships. Both heroines have perky, pony-tailed best friends whose ordinariness gradually precludes them from the encroaching melodrama. Both series also feature handsome, melancholic blondes who cling to pieces of gold jewelry that serve as painful reminders of their unrequited loves for other women. In both series, female characters are referred to as "princes," and roses play symbolic roles.
Both Revolutionary Girl Utena and Brother Dear Brother deal with the complexities of gender, sexuality and identity. While Utena is more fantasy-based, Brother Dear Brother is quite realistic, but the emotions that both shows draw upon are very similar. While the leads in both shows are quite different in their strengths, their core personalities are quite similar. The classical music component is shared between the two, creating similar musical themes too.
In a lot of ways, Brother, Dear Brother feels like a spiritual predecessor to Utena. Both have a classy private school setting, a large cast of primary, secondary, and tertiary characters, dark secrets, complex motivations, twisted relationships, and a unique atmosphere created by combining lush shoujo imagery and visual symbolism with music. Oh yeah, and lesbians.
If what you're looking for is more high school melodrama about female adolescence and maturing sexuality, psychological trauma, and a dash of bitshiness, then watch Brother, Dear Brother after Utena. The former has no fantastical elements and is arguably less surreal, but their stylistic approaches seem quite similar.
With the defeat of the Dark Moon clan, the future Crystal Tokyo is safe once again. As Usagi and Mamoru bid a sad farewell to their daughter from the future, Chibiusa, Rei senses a new danger lurking in the shadows. Along with the new monsters, the Sailor Senshi face two newcomers wearing similar Sailor Senshi outfits! Are they friend or foe? Will the two groups manage to put aside their differences to work together, or will the approaching silence destroy them all?
Kuniko Ikuhara, director of both Sailor Moon (parts) and Utena wanted to make a movie about Sailor Uranus and Neptune and a forcecalled the "End of the World." When he was relieved from his post with Sailor Moon without having made the movie, he and his Be-Papas team created Utena. The SM S Series features Haruka and Michiru, a lesbian couple who may have been a distant prototype, along with Rose of Versailles, of the heroines of Utena. Both SM S and Utena touch on gender roles and young women faced with a duty that throws thier plans for a "normal" life off track.
Sailor Moon S, being one of the most serious instalments of the franchise, has some of the same dark overtones of Revolutionary Girl Utena. Both are classic shoujo that handle lesbian relationships that develop in a magical battle of sorts. Sailor Moon S does not reach the level of depth and weirdness of Revolutionary Girl Utena but both anime add nuances to the magical girl genre.
Both from the same director and feature a similar atmosphere throughout. Ikuhara also commented that the Utena series started out from a concept for a subplot he had for Sailor Uranus and Neptune.