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?
At the end of the 20th century a fierce war raged between the Monsters and the humans. The outcome was devastating for humanity -- as the Monsters had won -- and thus a new era of Monster-ruling began. These Monsters feed on children and can turn any human who sees them into either a puppet or stone -- except for the Melos Warriors who are the only ones able to fight them. Meet Bokka, a young aspiring Melos Warrior whose only goal is quite simple: to save the Melody of Oblivion and vanquish the Monster King, once and for all!
Guided by a star only they can see, a group of maidens known as HiMEs have begun to gather at Fuuka Academy. These young women have been endowed with dangerous supernatural powers that they can use to their heart's content, but there's a price: to wield them, they must put their most important thing on the line. Now, in the midst of school work and friendships, they find themselves caught in the midst of strange conspiracies seemingly related to the terrifying monsters that attack them. Is the power of the HiMEs strong enough to save themselves and the ones they love?
Many common themes between these two. Hime almost plays like a respectful reimagining of Utena, really. If you enjoyed the stylized action, gorgeous designs, and psychological melodrama of one, the other may work for you as well.
Awayuki Himeno is a normal schoolgirl who is in a bind: her father’s remarriage yielded two new cruel stepsisters, and to top it off, she meets seven men who call themselves Liefe Knights. They reveal to her that she's a Pretear, someone who can lend powers to them when their powers aren’t enough to defeat the evil creatures called mayouchuu. Now, she has to fight the ambitious Fenrir, whose only purpose is to leech the life force from all living beings. Can Himeno save the world and find a way to deal with her growing feelings for one of the Liefe Knights?
It’s never easy being a transfer student, especially when transferring in the middle of the year. Certain schools have their own traditions and ways of doing things – something Kouno Tooru discovers when the student council of the Fujimori high school insists that he dress like a girl! Along with two other boys chosen for their remarkable beauty, Kouno is given the task of brightening up the dull days of an all-boys high school. The rewards offered by the student council are great, but the life of a “Princess” turns out to be more work than Kouno had bargained for...
Revolutionary Girl Utena and Princess Princess are about schools with an odd tradition and cross dressing. In RGU, a girl dresses as a prince and fights in duels. In PP, students at an all boys school are dressed up as girls as part of school events. In both, the students use these opportunities to grow and move on from events in their past. Princess Princess is a little on the lighter side and Revolutionary Girl Utena is more dark and serious.
Ayato Kamina may seem like an average boy in a devastated world, but after being captured by TERRA, a military organization set on saving the world from the Mu, an alien race set on "tuning" the world, he realizes he is an instrument in deciding the fate of humanity and piloting RahXephon. Not only is Ayato the only person who can control the mecha, but he also has a terrible fate of his own. Holding onto memories of his old life and grasping to keep his own humanity, he must struggle in this new world and realize his true potential with RahXephon.
By-products of the post-Evangelion era, Utena and RahXephon make heavy use of surreal imagery to get their message across. But unlike other series that wait until the second half to go into the weird, wild stuff, these series push the viewer through the looking-glass from the very beginning. If there was ever an argument for anime as an artform, these two are it.