Crunchyroll to Add the Revolutionary Girl Utena Anime

Crunchyroll has announced that it is adding the Revolutionary Girl Utena anime to its service on November 3, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. PDT. The series will be available to users in the United States and Canada.

The story of Revolutionary Girl Utena is described as:

“Never lose that strength or nobility, even when you grow up.” When Utena was just a child and in the depths of sorrow, she found salvation in those words. They were the words of a prince, who bestowed upon her both a ring and the promise that it would lead her to him again. She never forgot the encounter. Now a teenager, Utena attends the prestigious Ohtori Academy; however, her strong sense of chivalry soon places her at odds with the student council and thrusts her into a series of mysterious and dangerous duels against its members.

Source: Crunchyroll

RetroCrush Announces Debuts for August 2021

Digital Rights Media has announced the new titles and release dates for the anime titles that will stream on its RetroCrush streaming service in August 2021.

The titles will launch on consecutive Fridays in August 2021:

  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: Adolescence of Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie) – August 6, 2021
  • Boogiepop Phantom – August 13, 2021
  • Boogiepop and Others – August 13, 2021
  • Martian Successor Nadesico – August 20, 2021
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: Gekigangar 3 – August 20, 2021
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: The Motion Picture – Prince of Darkness – August 20, 2021
  • Tetsujin 28 – August 27, 2021
  • Tetsujin 28: Morning Moon of Midday – August 27, 2021

All of the titles will stream in Japanese with English subtitles as well as with an English dub.

RetroCrush is a free, ad-supported video-on-demand service available in the United States and Canada. The service has apps on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and smart TVs, in addition to being available on browsers. The service launched in March 2020.

Source: ANN

Nozomi Entertainment to Bring the Revolutionary Girl Utena Anime to YouTube in High Definition

The Fandom Post is reporting that Nozomi Entertainment is bringing a high definition version of the Revolutionary Girl Utena anime to YouTube. Nozomi has set the first episode for a group watch premiere on November 17, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Availability for the series is set to viewers within the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

The story of Revolutionary Girl Utena is described as:

When Utena was just a child and in the depths of sorrow, she found salvation in those words. They were the words of a prince, who wrapped her in his rose-scented embrace and bestowed upon her both a ring and the promise that it would lead her to him again. She never forgot the encounter. In fact, she was so impressed that she aspired to be like the prince and also help those in need. Now a spirited teenager, Utena attends the prestigious Ohtori Academy. However, her strong sense of chivalry soon places her at odds with the school’s student council and thrusts her into a series of mysterious and dangerous duels against its members.

Source: The Fandom Post

Manga Review: Revolutionary Girl Utena: After The Revolution

Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution is a compilation that was put together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Revolutionary Girl Utena.

Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution
Written by: Chiho Saito
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 6, 2020

This release collects three short stories that were published in Flowers magazine in September 2017, March 2018, and May 2018. All three stories are set 20 years after the events of the original story.

The first story focuses on Touga Kiryu and Kyoichi Saionji, the president and vice president of the student council at Ohtori Academy in the original series. Both of them are now in New York, working as a galeriste. They run into each other on a regular basis at art auction houses to try to acquire artwork for their clients. They both receive a mysterious letter, which reads: “You who seek revolution… Return to the academy.” This missive comes after news comes out that a secret room was discovered under the manor at Ohtori Academy, which contained valuable furnishings and art pieces.

We find out what happened to Akio Ohtori in the intervening years, and the events that unfold when Touga and Kyoichi return to the academy are… interesting. At one point, they relive a memory that we saw during the original Revolutionary Girl Utena anime, which shows when Touga and Kyoichi first encountered Utena. We also get a throwback to the original dueling arena. As someone familiar with the anime, this was a nice throwback moment. But some otherworldly events take place that help bring this story to its conclusion. This story also shows that even though 20 years may have passed, the relationship between Touga and Kyoichi really hasn’t changed much during that time.

The second story focuses on Juri, another member of the student council. This story focuses on the crush she had on Shiori, another girl she knew during her school days. Juri has become an accomplished fencer, although she finds herself wondering if maybe she’s getting past her prime. But this telling changes some of the timeline and facts. Ruka Tsuchiya, who wasn’t introduced until the final arc of the anime, is presented here as being a fiancé for Shiori, and that they were betrothed at seven years old. In this story, Shiori is given a role serving as Juri’s manager. While it was interesting to revisit Juri’s unrequited love for Shiori 20 years later, it was kind of jarring as a viewer of the anime just how much the backstory for this unrequited love was changed.

The final story focuses on Miki, who had been the youngest member of the student council in the original Revolutionary Girl Utena. His twin sister, Kozue, has been in a coma for years. Miki discovers that she’s doing some kind of sleepwalking and catches her heading to Ohtori Academy. In the original anime, Kozue had an unhealthy desire to want to have a relationship with her brother. This plays a major role in Miki’s story in this volume. Of the three stories, I felt that Miki’s was the weakest. The best part of this story is what happens right at the end of it.

Utena, who disappeared right at the end of the anime series, plays a pivotal role in all three stories in this volume. At the end of the series, it was shown that everyone except Akio and Anthy had forgotten that Utena ever existed, and this is an important story element from the original that is utilized in all three stories here. Seeing Utena again reawakens some hazy memories of her. It should be mentioned that in all three stories, the characters encounter Utena when they are at Ohtori Academy. Perhaps this definitely tells us Utena’s fate, with my guess being that at the end of the anime, Utena somehow became part of Ohtori Academy itself, and has been lying in wait for the right time to summon the former student council members.

The art style captured the look of the characters from the original. The main character who looked noticeably different 20 years later was Miki. Considering he was the youngest of the group and still had a bit of a “baby face” on him, it’s not surprising that he would have looked like that he aged the most. The others have also aged, but the difference between the character designs for the original series and these set 20 years later are a lot more subtle.

While it was kind of nice to revisit the world of Revolutionary Girl Utena, I’m not sure these three stories were as strong as they could have been. I think the biggest disappointment is that we don’t truly learn what happened to Anthy. At the end of the anime, we see her leave Ohtori Academy to try to find Utena. At the end of the first story, it appears that Utena and Anthy are reunited in a picture, and in the final panels of Miki’s story, we see a younger Utena finding a younger Anthy, and Anthy has no idea who she is. It begs the question: have Utena and Anthy reunited or not?

After reading Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution, I really have a mixed opinion. On the one hand, it was an interesting idea to revisit the series and some of its characters. But on the other, I’m not sure that these stories truly added much to the franchise. If you’re satisfied with how the original Revolutionary Girl Utena series ended, you may want to avoid this volume if you don’t want to potentially be disappointed. But if you’re really eager to get more stories set in this world and to find out what happened to some of the characters 20 years later, then I would recommend reading this manga.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

VIZ Media Announces the Release of the Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution Manga

VIZ Media has announced that the company will be releasing Chiho Saito’s Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution manga on October 6, 2020. The volume will be released in paperback and will retail for US$12.99.

Utena has saved Anthy by defeating Akio in the final duel, but in doing so she has vanished from the world. Now the student council members at Ohtori Academy find themselves in their own revolutions.

Chiho Saito was born June 29th in Tokyo. In 1982 she debuted with Kento Mademoiselle. Some of her works include Green Apple Labyrinth and Waltz wa Shiroi Doresu De (Waltz in a White Dress). She won the 42nd Shogakukan Manga award for Kanon. In 1997, Revolutionary Girl Utena became a groundbreaking anime series.

Be-PaPas is a group of highly creative people founded by director Kunihiko Ikuhara and includes such storied members as master manga artist Chiho Saito and animator Shinya Hasegawa. Their collaboration produced the Utena TV series and the movie Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena.

VIZ Media Announces October 2020 Manga Releases

VIZ Media has announced the company’s manga releases for October 2020.

VIZ Originals

Fangirl Volume 1
Created by Rainbow Rowell
Adapted by Sam Maggs, Illustrated by Gabi Nam

On Sale Date: October 13, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$16.99

Cath doesn’t need friends IRL. She has her twin sister, Wren, and she’s a popular fanfic writer in the Simon Snow
community with thousands of fans online. But now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone.
There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing
professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome new writing partner… and she’s barely
heard from Wren all semester.

SHONEN JUMP

Chainsaw Man Volume 1
by Tatsuki Fujimoto

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Denji’s a poor young man who’ll do anything for money, even hunting down devils with his pet devil-dog Pochita. He’s a
simple man with simple dreams, drowning under a mountain of debt. But his sad life gets turned upside down one day when
he’s betrayed by someone he trusts. Now with the power of a devil inside him, Denji’s become a whole new man—
Chainsaw Man.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 17
by Koyoharu Gotouge

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

The Demon Slayer Corps plunges into Infinity Castle to confront Muzan. Shinobu engages in a fierce fight against Doma, the Upper Rank 2 demon. Poison doesn’t work on him, so she finds herself in an intense struggle. Will she be able to defeat the demon who killed her older sister? Then another demon appears before Zenitsu and blocks his way.

We Never Learn Volume 12
by Taishi Tsutsui

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Mafuyu Kirisu is a strict, no-nonsense teacher who has dedicated her life to helping her students in academics. She has
always been dismissive of what she considers hopeless dreams that hinder academic progress, but after meeting Yuiga, she’s slowly changing the way she thinks. What stymied her own childhood hopes and aspirations?

Naruto: Sasuke’s Story–Star Pupil
Story by Jun Esaka
Original Concept by Masashi Kishimoto

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Price: USA$10.99

When Sasuke is given the task of training Team Seven, Boruto is delighted, but he has trouble accepting his master’s
teachings. And then pop star Himeno Lily jumps in with a mission for them. What does it mean to be master and student?
And what does this mean for the future of the ninjas?

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 6
by Gege Akutami

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

During the Goodwill Event, the Kyoto School’s authorities order their students to assassinate Itadori. However, Mahito
and a horde of special grade curses and curse users complicate matters by attacking the students. The teachers move quickly to counterattack but find themselves cut off by a barrier. Can the students survive this demonic onslaught?

Moriarty the Patriot Volume 1
Storyboards by Ryosuke Takeuchi, Art by Hikaru Miyoshi
Based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$10.99

In the late 19th century, Great Britain rules over a quarter of the world. Nobles sit in their fancy homes in comfort and luxury, while the working class slaves away at their jobs. When young Albert James Moriarty’s upper-class family
adopts two lower-class orphans, the cruelty the boys experience at his family’s hands cements Albert’s hatred of the
nobility he was born into. He asks the older of the two boys—who has a genius mind and a killer instinct—to help him rid the world of evil, starting with Albert’s own family.

One-Punch Man Volume 21
Story by ONE, Art by Yusuke Murata

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

The curtain rises on the big battle between the Monster Association and the heroes. As the Class-A and lower-ranked
heroes engage in intense battle, the Class-S crew is able to take out a horde of monsters in one fell swoop before invading farther underground. Among them, Flashy Flash demonstrates splendid battle prowess against ninja turned monsters.

My Hero Academia Volume 25
by Kohei Horikoshi

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Since the terrifying incident when Tomura’s Quirk manifested, only the greatest villain of them all, All For One, has been able to speak to the broken young boy’s heart. The consequences of that fateful meeting play out in the present as Tomura and Re-Destro, the leader of the Meta Liberation Army, battle for supremacy—and if it takes leveling a whole city to sort out who’s on top, so be it.

SHOJO BEAT

Ao Haru Ride Volume 13
by Io Sakisaka

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Futaba Yoshioka has encountered her first love again in high school, but he seems different from the boy she once knew.
The hearts of Futaba and Kou have aligned, but are more of their friends pairing off? The journey of youth concludes.

An Incurable Case of Love Volume 5
by Maki Enjoji

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA$9.99

The Dark Lord Kairi finally falls for Nanase, the Valiant One. Regardless, they face another trial. Nanase became a nurse to chase after Dr. Kairi Tendo. Now the feelings are mutual, and they’ve become a couple. It seems their love should only deepen from here on out, but when Nanase tries to help a certain someone, it leads to a disruption in their romance.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 26
by Mizuho Kusanagi

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

After unleashing their powers to save Yona, the Four Dragons lose consciousness and collapse. Su-won and the Kohka army
arrive to participate in a summit with Xing, but members of Priest Gobi’s anti-war faction attack Princess Kouren. Can the nation of Xing achieve peace with all this infighting threatening its foundation?

Prince Freya Volume 3
by Keiko Ishihara

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Freya is determined to help the soldiers trapped in the besieged Fort Leren, but with reinforcements days away, the only thing she has to offer them is her presence and everything it represents. But how can she embody the Prince of Hope when she is consumed by anger?

Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution
by Chiho Saito

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$12.99

Utena has saved Anthy by defeating Akio in the final duel, but in doing so she has vanished from the world. Now the student council members at Ohtori Academy find themselves in their own revolutions.

The Demon Prince of Momochi House Volume 16
by Aya Shouoto

On Sale Date: October 6, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Himari Momochi inherits Momochi House, an estate which exists on the barrier between the human and spiritual realms.
Himari and Aoi’s summer together has passed by in an instant. When Himari wakes, she discovers that Aoi has been absorbed by Momochi House. The building begins to collapse as Aoi tries to release Himari and the shikigami. Is Aoi lost forever or can Himari save him?

VIZ MEDIA

Pokemon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 4
Story by Hidenori Kusaka, Art by Satoshi Yamamoto

On Sale Date: October 13, 2020
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA$17.99

The three Legendary Pokemon Suicune, Raikou and Entei are searching for worthy Trainers. Will each be able to find
someone powerful enough to fight by their side? Meanwhile, Crystal and Yellow have teamed up to find a mysterious flying Pokemon. Collects the original Pokemon Adventures Volumes 10, 11 & 12.

Transformers: The Manga Volume 3
Story by Masumi Kaneda, Art by Ban Magami

On Sale Date: October 13, 2020
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA$24.99

The final volume of Transformers: The Manga is here. This deluxe volume collects three classic stories and a beautiful art gallery. “Victory” is the tale of the legendary battle between Starsaber and Deszaras. In “Zone,” the Nine Great Generals run wild. And in “The Battle Stars,” Super Megatron attempts to feed on planet Earth, but Optimus Prime stands in his way.

Persona 5 Volume 4
Story and Art by Hisato Murasaki
Based on the video game by Atlus

On Sale Date: October 13, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Akira and the gang think they’ve stolen Madarame’s treasure, but before they can escape the palace, its master—Shadow
Madarame himself— catches up to them and reveals the true story behind Yusuke’s mother’s death. Back in the real world,
sinister agents have begun to investigate the strange events surrounding the Phantom Thieves. Will Akira and the gang be able to stay one step ahead of them?

The Art of Magic: The Gathering – War of the Spark
by James Wyatt

On Sale Date: October 13, 2020
Price: USA$39.99

“Even gods shall kneel.”—Nicol Bolas

Centuries of scheming have come to fruition at last. Meet Nicol Bolas: Elder dragon, Planeswalker, God-Pharaoh. He is the ultimate mastermind, whose plots for domination twist through the histories of countless worlds. Now those plots culminate on the shattered streets of Ravnica, with undead armies marching at his command and dozens of Planeswalkers marshaled to oppose him. In these lavishly illustrated pages, featuring art carefully chosen from more than two decades of Magic: The Gathering®, the full scope of Nicol Bolas’s plans is revealed at last.

It has all led to this. The greatest heroes of the Multiverse make their stand against the ultimate villain in the War of the Spark.

Radiant Volume 13
by Tony Valente

On Sale Date: October 13, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Attempting to corral a Nemesis threatening the city of Bôme, Seth crashes it into the garden of the city’s king, Herklès VII. Believing this an attack on the king’s life, Inquisition soldiers and the king himself try to take Seth down. Seeking escape, Seth relies on the aid of someone he’d once considered an enemy–and maybe still is. Meanwhile, facing certain death, Seth’s friends Mélie and Ocoho are at odds over how to save themselves, with Ocoho urging the use of a technique Mélie absolutely refuses to consider.

The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition Box Set
by Akira Himekawa

On Sale Date: October 20, 2020
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA$125.00

A deluxe box set of exclusive hardcover editions. Contains all five best-selling volumes of the The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition series.

The battle for Hyrule and the Sacred Realm has begun. A young boy named Link must defeat evil on his long, perilous
quest to find the spiritual stones that hold the key to the Triforce, and deliver them to Zelda, princess of the land of Hyrule.

VIZ SIGNATURE

B&N Exclusive
Tokyo Ghoul (Monster Edition) Volume 5
by Sui Ishida

On Sale Date: October 20, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$24.99

The long-standing conflict between Ghouls and the CCG comes to a head. Ken has sided with the Ghouls, but in choosing has he extinguished any hope of reconciliation between humans and Ghouls? Find out the shocking conclusion to Tokyo Ghoul in this final volume.

Blue Flag Volume 4
By KAITO

On Sale Date: October 20, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$12.99

Toma’s older brother, Seiya, asks Taichi to find out why Toma doesn’t want to go to college. On the day of Toma’s release from the hospital, Taichi still hasn’t found a way to broach the subject with Toma. Meanwhile, Futaba discovers Taichi’s birthday is coming up, and she decides to invite the group to a fireworks festival so they can all celebrate.

Ultraman Volume 14
Story and Art by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi

On Sale Date: October 20, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$12.99

After all that has come to light, Shinjiro now struggles with one question—is Ultraman good or evil? While he ponders
this, Rena also comes to him with another revelation. Meanwhile, an alien hunting party has arrived on Earth bent on
killing humans for sport. The police and the SSSP, along with another mysterious organization, begin to investigate.

Golden Kamuy Volume 18
by Satoru Noda

On Sale Date: October 20, 2020
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA$12.99

Sugimoto closes the distance between himself and Asirpa as she continues her journey north into the wilderness of Karafuto in search of the dark secret of her father’s past and the key to the hidden gold. Now, deep in Russian territory, Kiroranke has more to say about Wilk—Asirpa’s father and his former conspirator in the plot to assassinate the Russian Czar. Back in Hokkaido, Lieutenant Tsurumi ponders the coded tattoos himself as Hijikata and his group track down another violent escaped convict near Lake Akan.

Sneeze: Naoki Urasawa Story Collection
by Naoki Urasawa

On Sale Date: October 20, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$17.99

Urasawa’s characters confront fantastical elements ranging from psychic powers, to alien visitors to planet Earth, to attacks by giant monsters. On the flip side, the author philosophizes about his real-world experiences with the wild
and wacky international music scene. Plus, a classic, funny animal tale, in Urasawa’s inimitable style.

Tokyo Ghoul: re Complete Box Set
by Sui Ishida

On Sale Date: October 20, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$169.99

A box set that includes all 16 volumes of the original Tokyo Ghoul: re series, with an exclusive double-sided poster.

The Commission of Counter Ghoul is the only organization fighting the Ghoul menace, and they will use every tool at their disposal to protect humanity from its ultimate predator. Their newest weapon in this hidden war is an experimental procedure that implants human investigators with a Ghoul’s Kagune, giving them Ghoul powers and abilities. But both the procedure and the newly formed Qs Squad are untested. Will they become heroes… or monsters?

SHONEN SUNDAY

Case Closed Volume 76
by Gosho Aoyama

On Sale Date: October 13, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Detective Moore’s latest case comes from a client he’s never seen. Following a series of texts, Conan and the gang find a break-in, a bound woman and an apparent suicide. Conan is sure the woman knows more than she’s telling, but what’s her secret? Then the Junior Detective League witnesses a marital spat that ends in a death. Did one spouse kill the other in self-defense, or was it premeditated murder? And Detective Sato receives an unwanted gift: footage of her boyfriend, Detective Takagi, abducted by criminals.

Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 9
by Tomohito Oda

On Sale Date: October 13, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Valentine’s Day is a total minefield for people with communication disorders, but this year Komi has a secret weapon to combat the stressful holiday—friends. Armed with homemade chocolates, Komi is ready to give Tadano a Valentine’s gift. At some point. Before the day is over. She swears.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle Volume 13
by Kagiji Kumanomata

On Sale Date: October 13, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

The Demon King and his troops travel to a demilitarized zone bordering the demon world and the human world for some
intense physical training alongside their human counterparts. When one group mocks the other, Syalis is hell-bent on
revenge. While the Demon Castle recovers from their boot camp, the princess saves the day… and wrecks it even more.
Then, an integral member of the Demon Castle staff resigns and heads for home… with the rest of the demons and one
human in hot pursuit.

FUNimation Entertainment Announces the Addition of Nozomi Entertainment Titles to Its Streaming Library

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it will begin streaming the following anime from Nozomi Entertainment on February 18, 2020:

  • Astro Boy (1963)
  • Kimba the White Lion (1965)
  • Princess Knight
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena
  • The Adolescence of Utena anime film
  • Martian Successor Nadesico
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: Prince of Darkness anime film

The anime will stream in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, and Princess Knight will stream in English. The other anime will stream in English and in Japanese with English subtitles.

Source: ANN

VIZ Media Announces New Manga and Book Licenses

VIZ Media has announced the following titles for release in Fall 2020:

  • Naruto: Sasuke’s Story – Star Pupil (Sasuke Shinden) novel by Jun Esaka and Masashi Kishimoto (print, digital)
  • Chainsaw Man manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto (print, digital)
  • Fly Me to the Moon (Tonikaku Kawaii) manga by Kenjirō Hata
  • Moriarty the Patriot manga by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi (print, digital)
  • Tokyo Ghoul:re Illustrations: zakki art book by Sui Ishida
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution manga by Be-PaPas and Chiho Saitō
  • Mermaid Saga Collector’s Edition (Ningyo Series) manga by Rumiko Takahashi (print, digital)
  • Sneeze: Naoki Urasawa Story Collection (Kushami) manga by Naoki Urasawa
  • Junji Ito’s Remina (Jigokusei Remina) manga by Junji Ito

Source: ANN

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 the 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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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.

Additional posts about Revolutionary Girl Utena: