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Revolutionary Girl Utena: the movie in which lesbians turn into cars

By Dany Roth
revolutionary girl utena

There's an interesting phenomenon in anime where the story that a series tells is then retold but in a shorter form. Evangelion does this. Puella Magi Madoka Magika does it. And, yes, classic anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena does it as well.

The original anime adaptation of the manga lasted 39 episodes and takes a very long journey that explores the bond between Utena, the tomboy, and Anthy, the Rose Bride. There's duels, manipulative psychology, then more duels. It takes a while to sort through the complexity of the characters and what motivates them.

The 1999 Revolutionary Girl Utena movie, which is only 80 minutes long, is either a retelling or a continuation of the story depending on who you ask, and, spoilers, Utena turns into a car.

Sounds confusing, doesn't it? It is! It's also beautiful and existential and, for comic writer of Valiant's ongoing Livewire series, Vita Ayala, it represents one of the first times they saw something that helped them understand not only their own sexuality but also their feelings about gender. So we watched it together and then, as we do with our podcast, Every Day Animation, we talked about it.

And if you want to be prepared for tomorrow's episode, then get ready to keep the anime train rolling. This time it is the oft-forgotten film, Redline. Tomorrow, associate editor at Anime News Network, Jacob Chapman, tells us the story of how this "Wacky Races but for adults" got made, why it wasn't a massive success at its release, but also why this hand-drawn work of art has become an enduring and influential classic. So watch that and we'll see you right back here tomorrow.

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