Anime Blu-ray Review: Revolutionary Girl Utena Set 3

Revolutionary Girl Utena Set 3 includes the remaining episodes of the series, which are commonly referred to as “The Apocalypse Saga.” In addition, this set also has The Adolescence of Utena anime film. This release includes both the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Revolutionary Girl Utena Set 3
English Publisher: Nozomi Entertainment/Lucky Penny
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: December 5, 2017

These final episodes begin with Saionji being given permission to return to Ohtori Academy after being expelled earlier in the series for injuring Touga.. Upon his return, Saionji challenges Utena to another duel. When Utena discovers that Anthy can pull out an even stronger sword than the Sword of Dios, she uses it to defeat Saionji.

Akio, Anthy’s brother and the new head of Ohtori Academy, plays an important role in this section of the story. Akio appears before Touga and takes him to a place called the “End of the World.” Together, they take each one of the remaining Student Council members there. Each one chooses a “bride” to take a sword from their hearts in order to fight Utena. The victor of the duels will be determined by the strength of the bond between the Duelist and the Bride.

This section also sees Akio cozying up to Utena and becoming a little too friendly with her. It’s a little uncomfortable to see Akio, an adult, trying to become romantic with a 14-year-old. But it shows just how much of a sleaze he really is. There’s also the relationship he seems to have with his sister, which is also rather uncomfortable. Again, it shows just how much of a villain this guy really is.

The climax of the series is exciting, and the ending is surprising. The first time I watched Revolutionary Girl Utena, I was a little disappointed by how it ended. But watching it for a second time nearly a decade later, I realize that it had to end the way it did, and I’ve gained a much better appreciation for the conclusion of the series.

When I watched The Adolescence of Utena anime film the first time, it was before I had watched the entire series. When Central Park Media originally released the series on DVD, they packaged the movie with the first DVD set, which only covered “The Student Council Saga.” I didn’t appreciate the film the first time I saw it, and I think it’s due to the fact that I saw it before seeing the entirety of the anime series. When I watched the film for a second time nearly a decade later and seeing it after doing a complete re-watch of the anime series, I saw that it was a lot better than I remembered it being. My 21-year-old daughter also watched the movie with me when I saw it the second time, and she was coming up with ideas and interpretations that I had never thought of. Getting those insights from her also helped me to better appreciate The Adolescence of Utena.

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 contains two more parts of the interview with director Kunihiko Ikuhara. Each of them runs about two minutes, and they are subtitled. There is also a 36-minute feature labeled as, “Animated Art Boards Part 2.” This is exactly the same as the “Animated Art Boards” that appeared on Revolutionary Girl Utena Set 2, except this one runs for eight minutes longer. Watching a slideshow of background drawings set to music is about much fun as watching paint dry.

The second disc in the set includes interviews with director Kunihiko Ikuhara, two of the Japanese voice actors, and seven of the English dub actors. The interviews with Ikuhara and thr Japanese voice actors are subtitled. The interviews with the English dub actors are shot around Central Park, and they’re basically asked similar, if not the same, questions. These run anywhere from four to six minutes in length. While it’s nice to include these interviews as bonus features, I wish there was a little better variety in the questions. There’s also roughly two minutes worth of remastered U.S. trailers.

The third disc includes clean versions of the second, third, and fourth closings. Instead of being separated out, they play as one continuous feature. Outside of that, it’s what you would expect for a clean closing. “Dueling Themes Karaoke” has instrumental versions of the various dueling songs set to images from the show, and the text for the lyrics are in Japanese characters instead of being romanized. So, unless you know how to read Japanese, the text for the karaoke doesn’t really help. There is also about three and a half minutes of Japanese TV spots included on this disc.

The final disc of the set has a “behind the scenes” feature of director Kunihiko Ikuhara overseeing the English dub of The Adolescence of Utena anime film. There’s also a Japanese remastered DVD box set “movie spoiler spot,” as well as trailers for the film.

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

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