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REVIEW: Revolutionary Girl Utena - The Student Council Saga


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child of Lilith



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 137
Location: Egg of Lilith ( the black moon)

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:04 am Reply with quote
I haven't seen this show in years. I'm glad it's in print again.
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ArthurFrDent



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:09 am Reply with quote
so... does this mean I should buy it?
Razz
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jrnemanich



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 238
Location: Colorado Springs

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:18 am Reply with quote
ArthurFrDent wrote:
so... does this mean I should buy it?
Razz

It should already been pre-ordered. Laughing
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HyugaHinata



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 1849

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:19 am Reply with quote
Can't wait for my ten copies to arrive. Muwahahahahaha!

Twisted EvilTwisted EvilTwisted Evil
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Saturn



Joined: 08 Aug 2002
Posts: 417

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:22 am Reply with quote
Great review Smile I hope more people end up seeing Utena-- it's really something that shouldn't be missed, and younger/newer fans should be able to enjoy the story too. It really is timeless!

I'm sure I'll get this set eventually, but as I already own the original dvds for this arc and not the others, I'm planning to start collecting with the Black Rose arc. I LOVE the artwork on these boxes. They're gorgeous.

I do wish they'd redubbed though :\ I remember when I first got the dvd, popping it in, putting on the dub, snorting derisively, and then going back to subs forever and ever. It deserved better! I'm glad this review agrees, at least... I've seen an awful lot of people talking about how amazing the dub was >_> No, that's nostalgia you're feeling, not the memory of quality. The Sailor Moon dub makes me feel all nostalgic too, but that doesn't mean it would pass muster by today's standards.
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Rakkan



Joined: 28 Dec 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:52 am Reply with quote
It's kind of funny. The understated black box covers were used in the Japanese boxset releases as the individual volume covers and their box picture was a big pink mess with Utena leaning Himemiya back on the first (not too bad I guess) but the second was this ugly yellow thing with Utena, naked, on her hands and knees reaching out to an also naked Himemiya and a bunch of roses in the background.

Thank you whoever decided that those were not going to be used.
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PlatinumHawke



Joined: 02 Nov 2006
Posts: 200

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:08 am Reply with quote
The difference between CPM's old release and this one is unreal. It's almost like watching a completely different series. There's still a few moments of alien-face somewhere in the middle of the Black Rose saga, but this was before the era of "let's redo the whole show for the DVD." I don't regret double-dipping (for the first time, ever) and will be donating my old copies to a soon-to-be bewildered local library.

Also, I've been noticing a slight resurgence of popularity for Utena around when the remasters first came out in Japan. There's something about a gif of Akio and his car that just grabs peoples attention.
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GWOtaku



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 599

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:12 am Reply with quote
I got up to that ridiculous boxing kangaroo episode on Anime Network awhile ago, then decided to stop and wait for the remastered DVDs. This feels like a good decision given the apparent improvements made.

The appreciation & enthusiasm for the show is really palpable here in this review. Here I thought I couldn't anticipate the set more. Nope! Great stuff, especially regarding the observation about what makes Utena heroic in contrast to the very flawed student council. I can definitely see that based on what I've seen so far, especially in the case of the green-haired creep. Broken supermodels indeed.....
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CareyGrant



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 451

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:45 am Reply with quote
Heaven help me... Having seen the whole series I've never quite understood the high esteem in which people regard this truly uniquely bizarre series--like Hunter S Thompson got together with David Lynch to animate a surreal romp with the extras from a Duran Duran video.

Now, I'd label myself as progressive, possessing both wit and a good deal of intelligence (if I may be boastful), but I just never "got" Utena, nor the reverence with which its regarded (like it were some Kubrick-type anime).

That's not to denigrate it or detract from it (nor anyone's opinions or regard for it), only my... just not "getting" it.

But that's OK.

For fans of the series I hope they enjoy this re-release.
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Otaking09



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 613

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:57 am Reply with quote
Heh, heh... shoulda known Zac woulda reviewed Utena again.

Perfect A+'s.... no imperfections??? And "emotionally powerful"?

Only a few selects would transcend into shockingspoiler[Touga's sister's obsession with her big bro]. But nothing here that deserves A+
Still, if enthusiasm counts for something, Zac definitely has it.

Still, I wonder how Carl or Key would think of this series. I mean, let's not forget that Zac had this at #1 of his Top 10 from what he said on ANN Cast.
He said they're "loose lists"... but his burning passion for Alice in Wonderland felt... well, descriptive.

I do wonder how Zac feels about RahXephon now since he gave that one A+ too.
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GWOtaku



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 599

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:04 am Reply with quote
Otaking09 wrote:


Perfect A+'s.... no imperfections???


Come on man.

Quote:
That's not to say the series is without its imperfections. One thing many fans complained about when the show was just leaking out in the late 90s was the endless use and re-use of the sequence where Utena enters the dueling arena and ascends that giant spiral staircase, and frankly, it's still kind of annoying today. Roughly 4 minutes of each episode feels like recycled material, and it functions as a speedbump in the narrative every time they use it. There are plenty of obvious shortcuts in the animation, as is to be expected from really any TV anime series. This particular batch of episodes includes the 1998 CPM dub; it's a good thing they included it, as many fans who started watching this show way back when doubtlessly have fond memories of it and want to see the series as they remember it, but it's a stiff, amateurish production with some truly awful early performances from now-veteran voice actors. In a perfect world, this arc would've been redubbed, with the original track included as an extra. It's nice to want things. Frankly, the sumptuous Japanese 5.1 track more than makes up for the clunky old-school dub.


More importantly, does a show really need to be "flawless" to be a first-rate production? It seems to me this rules out too much.

Besides. At least the recycled footage is backed up Absolute Destiny: Apocalypse!
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1388

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:47 am Reply with quote
As much as I wouldn't consider myself to be an expert on the subject, Revolutionary Girl Utena is certainly a wonderful show and I've been looking forward to this release myself. Glad to see Right Stuf failed to disappoint and has in fact given the series the treatment it deserves. Undoubtedly, it goes without saying that the Japanese side must also be credited for all of their restoration work.

Now, I may not necessarily agree with Zac about a couple of secondary implications here and there, particularly concerning viewer expectations and suspension of disbelief, but that's to be expected for any number of reasons. I'll spare you the details since they are mostly unnecessary and dangerously unrelated.

What matters is the actual thrust of this review definitely rings true. Utena is a great example of what anime can accomplish when outstanding execution and large doses of creativity can effectively bring together a bunch of disparate concepts. A lot of effort, skill and quite possibly even luck contributed to making this show as memorable as it is. While I only saw the series for the first time a few years ago, it's managed to stay near the top of my personal rankings ever since then.
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Monster in a box



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 652

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:56 am Reply with quote
Am I the only one that really likes the recycled parts? I remember seeing someone complain about the elevator scenes in the second arc, and I couldn't be more baffled. And the car bit is the 3rd arc is amazing every time.
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luffypirate85



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 2642

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 3:03 am Reply with quote
Wonder how many people will procrastinate AGAIN on buying Utena, and then have to pay a ridiculous amount for it second hand when they sell out Very Happy

"$35 a DVD box!? I cry rip off!!" hahahaha
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1388

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 3:05 am Reply with quote
Monster in a box wrote:
Am I the only one that really likes the recycled parts?


No, you certainly aren't. Though, as previously suggested by GWOtaku, I'd say the catchy background music does a lot to help prop them up. Leaving that aside, it's hard to deny they're still more of an act of ritualistic protocol and a budgetary necessity than something artistically or critically correct. I can, however, give the staff points for trying to bring some variation to said sequences from arc to arc, but that's outside of the material covered by this review.
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