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?
Athletic Mato is excited to start middle school and meet new people, including Yomi, an artistic girl who doesn't open up easily to others. While awkward around each other at first, things change when the girls discover their mutual obsession for a fantastical picture book. But just as the pair becomes fast friends, they're torn apart by a cruel, wheelchair-bound girl who considers Yomi her personal possession and refuses to let anyone else near her. What's worse, Mato has recently begun to have strange dreams about girls brawling in bizarre colorful worlds that seem to parallel her personal struggles. With jealousy, insecurity, and foreboding dreams always getting in the way, can the two girls ever become true friends?
If you liked Black Rock Shooter or Revolutionary Girl Utena, you’d like the other one because some of the dramas are similar. These anime series have battles, in which the title characters fight with determination to help or protect others. Friendship and strength are thematic values in both series. If you enjoy the fantasy aspect in Black Rock Shooter, you will like the fantasy and magical girl aspects of Revolutionary Girl Utena, and vice versa.
The focus of these two are the same – close, important relationships and action. Futhermore, both are shows with heavy symbolism and the confusion that arises from that.
Albert de Morcerf had it all: wealth, loving parents, great friends. The only thing lacking in his life was excitement... until that fateful day on Luna. After a chance encounter with bandits and a daring rescue, Albert invites his newfound friend and savior, the Count of Monte Cristo, to his home in Paris. Little does he know what fate has in store for him and his loved ones. Just who is the mysterious Count, and what does he want? As tragedy touches the lives of those around him, can Albert’s only recourse be to wait and hope?
At first glance these two anime may not seem all that connected but at their core they are exceedingly so. In both we have strong stories of betrayal, love and of falling out of grace. The apparent stability of these worlds is deeply undercut by a profound darkness that a naïve lead must face in order to gain a true knowledge of reality. In terms of artistry the two anime offer a very fresh and original approach that only adds to the symbolism that is so embedded in them. Utena strays from plot conventions more than Gankutsuou does but the psychological scope is equal in both. As archetypical tales about revenge, passion, ambition and pain they are unmatched.
Utena and Gankutsuou showcase the darker facets of human emotion. Lust, Spite, Jealousy, the desire for revenge, all are touched upon as each series builds up to it's giant no-holds-barred melodramatic ending (Utena's I loved, Gankutsuou's... made me scowl).
Aesthetically, they're each very adept at getting across the wealth and sophistication of their casts across (in very different manners, yet each equally equisite).
Fujiko Mine: a woman so beguiling that the greatest thief on earth, Lupin III, has vowed to claim her as his most prized quarry. And while men lust after her, she only has eyes for one thing – all the beautiful treasures in the world that she can possibly steal. From the haunted opera houses of Japan to the boobie-trapped pyramids of Egypt, Fujiko uses both violence and sex to manipulate those who stand in her way. But with the tireless Lupin intervening in every situation to 'take' her, and the skilled rogues Jigen and Goemon entangling their own personal vendettas with hers, how is a woman to realize her wildest desires?
Two kickass and ultra-stylish series with poignant and nuanced takes on topics such as homosexuality, child abuse, and incest. The characters in each are largely free from all those pesky stereotypes, and the series themselves have a great blend of comedy, surrealism, action, metaphor, and a mature approach to sex and gender.
In both Revolutionary Girl Utena and Fujiko Mine female sexuality and empowerment are core themes. The female protagonist in both shows is a mystery, even to herself, and the 'plot' is to a large extent about exploring her identity. There is a quirky, seductive style to the animation and music in both. Utena is a more convoluted and abstract work, while Fujiko is understandably confined to the trappings of a Lupin caper. However, Fujiko is a natural modern evolution of Utena; conversely, Utena is the godmother for everything in Fujiko. Thus, a fan of one show will find lots of love about the other.
In the future, a devastating event known as Second Impact has destroyed Tokyo as we know it, giving rise to Tokyo III - a city under siege by mysterious lifeforms known only as Angels. Mankind's only line of defense are the Evangelions, a set man-made machines piloted by a trio of fourteen year-old teenagers, Rei, Shinji, and Asuka. The fate of Japan and the entire world now lie with these three children, though they might not have the power to save the most important thing of all: each other.
Evangelion has mess-with-your-mind moments that define the series and leaves you with a "WTF?" feeling. If you enjoyed those moments in Utena and want more, then watch Neon Genesis Evangelion.
I once heard Revolutionary Girl Utena described as "Evangelion for girls", and while I would argue against the assigning of demographic to each show based solely on gender, I'm inclined to agree with the general sentiment. Neither really starts off with much indication that it's gonna be REALLY WEIRD, but when that "What the dickens am I watching, and why is it so good?" feeling kicks in, it refuses to let up. Highly recommended, even if you don't think you'll like them, even if only because they're both "classics".
Star Driver and Revolutionary Girl Utena are gorgeous and twisted series about adolescents who attend enormous and complex autonomous boarding schools, where nothing is as it seems.
They share the same writer, and both have a knack for formulaic episodes that actually add to the experience, as opposed to making me think the animators got lazy.
There's also battles, innuendo, and a hyper little animal mascot that I think is supposed to be funny.
Both Star Driver and Utena share most of the same creative staff, and both have similar basic story ideas: a club based in the school is trying to gain possession of the maidens (albeit for very different reasons), both have battles that take place in secluded areas that seem to exist outside of time and space, and both have a main character that doesn't seem to fit in with what's going on.