Anime Blu-ray Review: Revolutionary Girl Utena Set 2

Revolutionary Girl Utena Set 2 includes 12 episodes of the series, which are commonly referred to as “The Black Rose Saga.” This set includes both the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Revolutionary Girl Utena Set 2
English Publisher: Nozomi Entertainment/Lucky Penny
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: November 7, 2017

After Utena defeats all the student council members in the duels, she encounters a new obstacle. Souji Mikage opens the Mikage Seminar, which is supposedly a place for student counseling. However, after people reveal their problems and inner turmoil to Souji, he uses his power to put them under his control. They become Black Rose duelists, and they are sent to fight duels with Utena in the Arena. Souji’s goal is to kill Anthy and make a boy named Mamiya Chida the Rose Bride.

When I first watched this portion of Revolutionary Girl Utena back in the late 2000’s, I really didn’t appreciate it all that much. Especially near the end, I felt as if so many concepts were being thrown at me that the information was simply washing over me and I felt as if I had more questions than answers. Not only that, the twist at the end of this portion made me go, “Ummm… what?” But now that I’ve revisited this section of Revolutionary Girl Utena nearly a decade later, I found that it was better than I remembered it. It probably helped that when Nozomi Entertainment and Lucky Penny released the series, they included episode 13 in the second set rather than the first. Also, when I first saw this series years ago, I was checking out DVD releases through the library and had a gap in between the first and second sets. With this viewing, I had all three sets in my possession, so I could watch all the episodes without any significant gap. I think this also helped me to better understand what was going on, because there were connections between the first and second arcs that I picked up on this time that I hadn’t the first time, due to the gap between watching the DVD sets.

Another thing that helped me to appreciate “The Black Rose Saga” a little more was the fact that my 21-year-old daughter started watching the Blu-ray sets with me at this point, and she was picking up on concepts and ideas that I hadn’t thought of before. I think having another person who had never seen the series before watching with me and bouncing ideas off me also helped deepen my appreciation for this arc. But I should say that the twist at the end still makes me go, “Ummm… what?”

The Blu-ray video for this set has 4.3/1080p High Definition, and the audio includes English and Japanese LPCM Stereo and Japanese LPCM Surround. I thought the video quality was good on this release, and I have no complaints about the audio quality.

There are several bonus features spread out throughout this set. The first disc includes a 28-minute feature labeled as, “Animated Art Boards Part 1,” as well as a Japanese promo for Revolutionary Girl Utena from 1997. The “Animated Art Board” is a slideshow set to music, and all the slideshow features is art of the backgrounds. To be honest, the “Animated Art Board” was boring to watch, and it’s a bonus feature that I’m planning to never watch again. The second disc has no bonus features on it, while the third disc includes a two-part interview with director Kunihiko Ikuhara and trailers for other releases put out by Nozomi Entertainment. The two parts of the interview only last for about two minutes each, and they are subtitled.

This Blu-ray release is worth it for fans of Revolutionary Girl Utena who want to have a Blu-ray version to include in their home anime video library.

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