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20 Years of Utena Fandom with the Ultimate Superfans




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pi8you



Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 48
Location: Minneapolis
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:38 am Reply with quote
unmei.nu. Wow. I haven't seen that domain in forever. Gotta drop out of lurk mode to say hello from a fellow vanity shrine builder from a long, long time ago on a forum far, far away!
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Hawkmonger



Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 423
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:28 pm Reply with quote
Utena was a life altering experience. One of the very best anime i've ever had the privilege of being invested in.

Now, about a UK bluray release...
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utawoutau



Joined: 27 Feb 2004
Posts: 149
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:19 pm Reply with quote
I've been watching anime regularly since 1995 (raiding Suncoast Video, and watching Orange Road on 8th generation bootlegs) and Utena remains my number one favorite anime of all time.

My love for this show is at times a double edged sword. Mostly because I find it hard to offer as a suggestion when asked for an anime recommendation. As the article points out the show has some big flaws; the article did not include the repetition, the horrible English dub, or the fact that the first handful of episodes, in my opinion, are a poor I indication of how deep the show goes towards the weird and the dark.

It personally pains me to recommend the show to someone only to have them watch maybe three episodes and just shrug it off. Now when asked for a recommendation I'll say "12 Kingdoms" or "Hunter x Hunter". I know my friends will enjoy those shows. Meanwhile, I'll be curled up on the couch at home enjoying my annual Utena rewatch.
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A-Log



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14
Location: Staten Island, NY, USA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:24 pm Reply with quote
I don't care what any of you say: I still like the English dub. Sure it's in my home town of New York, but other than that, they tried their best. And besides, it was the 90's: people did care much before acting in anime was taken seriously.

Rachael Lillis' portrayal of Utena is still a great piece of voice work. When I told her at the New York Anime Festival how she did in the final episode, she was happy with the compliment. She's still Utena to me.

All I ask, if anyone still wants a redub, is that they only bring back the old cast to fix up a few messed-up lines. (Although the omitted hollering from Nanami and company during the run-ins with the elephants in the "Curry Rice" episode would just easily be spliced in from the clip show to the original. Just saying.)
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Clematis



Joined: 16 Feb 2017
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:28 am Reply with quote
I have recently finished watching Utena, and I have to admit my expectations were set much too high given the buzz around it, and the score it holds here on this very site.
I actually think that ep 29, Azure Paler Than the Sky, is the very best one of the entire show.
As for the rest ... well all Nanami-themed episodes are pure waste of time - being completely hung-up on Touga, she simply has no agency of her own to make any kind of impact in the story - and the endless magic-girl-transportation-styled repetitions of travelling to the dueling arena, as well as the duels feel like to be nothing more than means of filling up empty space. Not to mention the majority of male cast being self-absorbed ego-maniacs who don't display any kind of depth worth mentioning until the very end, which feels much like too little, too late. Also, wtf's up with those cars in the dueling arena, or Touga&Souji turning into exhibitionists soon after meeting Akio.
Perhaps times truly were different, and using same-sex themes was something out of the world back when the anime first came out... but looking at it now, I can't appreciate the show at all, bar for that one episode. If only more of the series were like it.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 1105
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:57 am Reply with quote
I have never cared for the term "super fan", especially in this case when the introduction referred to them "Two of the biggest superfans in the world. Absolutely not. Since when did operating a website for longer than anyone mean you were a super fan? Does that make those who have spent thousands of dollars on Utena production artwork (Nice Utena cels are very pricey) and merchandise the ultimate of the super fans? Operating a long term website just means that you have a lot of time on your hands that you're willing to dedicate to any project. In terms of differentiation your dedication to any series, it makes you no different than the handful of other fans who have dedicated thousands of hours and dollars into their hobby. Nor does it qualify you to be a spokesperson for the series. The article lost any relevance after that introduction. Had it had simply referred to them as "operators of the largest Utena website", I would have considered their opinion.

That being said, I've never thought that this series deserved the hype it received. I remember that when it first came out, people gravitated to this series as an anti-Sailor Moon. In terms of considering this series an artistic masterpiece, I think Princes Tutu did a much better job in pairing artwork to musical score. When the series initially came out, there was a lot of shock value in Utena and Anthy's relationship, as well as Utena and Anthy's relationship with Akio. It crossed the line for its time, but to me, it felt more like Ikuhara was simply trying to push the envelope with what he could do rather than develop the secondary male characters. I wanted to feel something for them, but it seemed like most of them were discarded after a couple episodes. None of the characters felt memorable to me, especially Utena, who seemed more driven to save Anthy than develop an actual personality. The Utena movie was especially odd (the ending), and I wondered just what Ikuhara was on when he supervised it.

To me, the only thing that Utena did was really put Chiho Saitou on the map. She's an excellent artist and it's a shame she hasn't been to a US convention in years.
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Clematis



Joined: 16 Feb 2017
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:55 am Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:
That being said, I've never thought that this series deserved the hype it received. I remember that when it first came out, people gravitated to this series as an anti-Sailor Moon. In terms of considering this series an artistic masterpiece, I think Princes Tutu did a much better job in pairing artwork to musical score. When the series initially came out, there was a lot of shock value in Utena and Anthy's relationship, as well as Utena and Anthy's relationship with Akio. It crossed the line for its time, but to me, it felt more like Ikuhara was simply trying to push the envelope with what he could do rather than develop the secondary male characters. I wanted to feel something for them, but it seemed like most of them were discarded after a couple episodes. None of the characters felt memorable to me, especially Utena, who seemed more driven to save Anthy than develop an actual personality.


My sentiments exactly.
I was on the verge of dropping it for several times, but chose to finish what I started. Not quite sure if it was worth it, however (post ep 29, at least).
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1252
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:33 am Reply with quote
A-Log wrote:
I don't care what any of you say: I still like the English dub. Sure it's in my home town of New York, but other than that, they tried their best. And besides, it was the 90's: people did care much before acting in anime was taken seriously.


Perhaps that explains the clip of Rinbu Revolution sung by Masami Okui set in New York?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxaBk-fgZNs
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DanQ



Joined: 07 Feb 2004
Posts: 90
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:36 am Reply with quote
utawoutau wrote:

My love for this show is at times a double edged sword. Mostly because I find it hard to offer as a suggestion when asked for an anime recommendation.

I totally understand, but when someone wants recommend anime, I just go with "Utena" everytime. It is not anime for everyone, and it's kinda difficult to describe its strong points without spoilers. Frankly, non-spoiler description "romance/comedy/surrealism/postmodern/coming-of-age/mystery/action anime with monkey-mouse sayin 'chuuuu'" isn't particulary convincing Anime smile.

utawoutau wrote:

It personally pains me to recommend the show to someone only to have them watch maybe three episodes and just shrug it off.

Yeah, happens to me last summer, friend of mine drop it after 3 eps. But then I recommend movie - he said that he probably will not watch series, and the movie wasn't his taste, but it was interesting, and he is glad he saw it cause it was unique experience for him. Well... partialy successful recommendation Anime smile.

utawoutau wrote:

As the article points out the show has some big flaws; the article did not include the repetition, the horrible English dub, or the fact that the first handful of episodes, in my opinion, are a poor I indication of how deep the show goes towards the weird and the dark.

I like first arc. Sometimes, under impression of the ending, I forgot that Utena is also - FUN. Like really, really funny, crazy and silly anime. Comedy and tragedy go hand in hand in beautiful harmony Anime smile.

Also - this show made me fan of Ikuni and Enokido. I really like their style.
(But probably bigger fan of Enokido, whos got more works under his belt ~_^.)
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1464
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:11 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Shiori gets more sympathy now than she ever used to

Oh good, it's not just me. She does bad things with no justification whatsoever, but I still can't bring myself to despise her like so many do.
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katscradle



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 320
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:22 pm Reply with quote
To be honest I've only ever seen 10 episodes of Utena. Nanami's character was a bit too disturbing when I was younger. I've never had the guts to try the series again over the years either. Which is probably a shame. I have been mulling over maybe getting the comic lately since VIZ is coming out with that nice hardcover set. I'm weak for special editions like that.
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Boyhime732



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:26 pm Reply with quote
You kidding me? Nanami was one of the best parts of the show. All of her episodes were hilarious, and between them there's so much going on that you get a really unique view of the events of the series. Nanami's Egg is a masterpiece.

Overall, that's my big takeaway from the series: it was hilarious. It's like it knew it would have this huge reputation for being deep and respectable, so it stuck in everything it could to spite that sort of elitism.

One of the few full 10s out there for me. Changes in the rhythm and routine reflects something about the plot. The shadow plays were sometimes amazing (episode 22, anyone?). It told so many stories using so many techniques. It has a huge mystery box, but the focus is rarely on the mystery - a huge part of the success of Gravity Falls, another favorite of mine.

I know the show's not for everyone, because when I watched it I wanted to show it to everyone I knew, but it's pretty depressing that I can't understand why. The article calls it "deeply flawed", but I don't see it as a deep flaw. The open ending landed perfectly. The declining variety in fight scenes reflected the trajectory of the series. There's only one filler episode I didn't really like (the diary). Also, the moment Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku came on, I knew we were going to be hearing that song again and again. It's a nice time to collect thoughts on the episode, or something to skip for a binge.

I watched the whole thing in a week. Practically my gateway anime.
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masaki-baby



Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 15
Location: usa, minnesota
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:25 am Reply with quote
aaa. ohtori.nu so nostalgic. I cant believe this site is still updating. I remember discovering it in the early 2000's when i was just geitng into Utena. I remember submitting a " Utena inspired dream" I had in one of there sections where you could do that. 20 years later and I still love the show to bits and pieces, its the only anime that's always been constantly in my number 1 spot for me. ( thought now Yuri on Ice is pretty close up there with it too)
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Clematis



Joined: 16 Feb 2017
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:21 am Reply with quote
Somehow I can't seem to find anything truly funny, let alone hilarious in nanami fillers, or the rest of the anime for that matter; having no impact on the overall story nor giving the impression nanami actually grew from her misadventures, they just felt completely redundant, and pretty stupid, too. Well, at least she got over her touga obsession (or simply fell out of focus).
Moreover, Juri is so wasted on Shiori, and her hopeless yet noble love make that all the more tragic in the light of the fate the kendo club captain met, and the sacrifice he made to see her again in his attempt to reach out to her. To me, that was the single episode with actual depth instead of Mr X or Ms Y abusing Anthy, and Utena playing the prince on white horse each time.
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DanQ



Joined: 07 Feb 2004
Posts: 90
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:00 am Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:

Oh good, it's not just me. She does bad things with no justification whatsoever, but I still can't bring myself to despise her like so many do.


Maybe it's because all her plans backfired really badly, and she did more harm to herself than anybody else… I pitty her… and little like her. Just for not being passive like somebody else (*cough cough Juri-senpai cough cough* ~_^).
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