All In Good Storytime

category: Literature

Page Forty-Two--The Rose Bride


In these episodes, we meet Utena, the beautiful tomboy who really wants to be a prince, Anthy, the innocent and abused rose bride, and the secretive student council. Utena is drawn into their orbit when she challenges one of the student council members to a duel for disrespecting her friend and inadvertently becomes the reigning champion.

We discuss how gender is addressed in this series, primarily through Utena's character. She wants to be a prince and often acts "masculine", but she is steadfast that she is a girl, making obvious the distinction between masculinity and actually identifying as male. We continue analyzing the characters by examining Anthy, the so-called rose bride. While she is given some interesting character quirks, like her collection of animals, she is a mystery and rarely shares her thoughts. We discuss Miki, his quest for perfection, and his odd relationship with his sister. We compile a list of our most hated characters, with Touga and Kyouichi topping it off. Finally, we share our theory that Anthy may actually be the very prince that visited Utena when she was a child and our belief that Anthy may not even be a human but is actually a magical being.

CONTENT WARNING: Utena is not everyone's cup of tea. This show contains depictions of violence against women, sexual assault, pedophilia, incest, homophobia, sexism, toxic masculinity, abusive relationships, non-graphic violence, other general violations of autonomy, violence towards animals, and attempted suicide.


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