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Shoujo Kakumei Utena~

Utena in Black and White: The Manga vs. Anime

This section is dedicated to what I think about the differences between the manga and anime. I finally have all five volumes of the Utena mangas (the ones used to create the TV series not the 1999 Movie). The anime follows the basic storyline of the manga but it is definitely a lot bolder than the manga (it has some subjects and themes that the manga only alludes to or don't even mension). Anyways, the anime and manga both have their highs and lows. The manga lacks key elements and characters that makes the anime much more fun and exciting. Believe it or not Nanami-sama (Touga's baby sister) doesn't appear in the manga. In fact, the only glance we get of Nanami is through a brief shot of a family picture in Touga's bedroom. Now, Nanami is one of my favorite characters (yes, even despite the fact she's a complete fruitcake and the biggest snob on the show) and without her the manga lost quite a bit of spice and humor. No Nanami also means no Tsuwabuki*sob!! However , I have to admit that the manga does have a few funny scenes (thanks to Chuchu :P and the infamous curry mishap, which differs a bit from the anime version). Also the manga is rather tamed compared to the twisted and sometimes over-the-top plots of the anime (especially the final eight episodes; I just have say one thing they are quite disturbing!)

Another difference about the manga is the absence of the Juri-Shiori-Ruka love triangle with a twist. To my great disappointment Juri's character is portrayed in a rather shallow manner. The manga does a poor job at conveying the depth of Juri's character and the magnitude to which her secrets torment her beautiful yet desolate soul; The Anime gets an A+ for inventing the love triangle that makes Juri an interesting and moving character. Her unrequited love for her bestfriend and her secret(s) makes her endaring to fans (atleast to me :P) That said, I absolutely despise Shiori (she is a cold-hearted,shallow,selfish b@#$@!$). Juri has bad luck with love in both the manga and anime. In case you don't already know,in the manga she's infatuated with Touga and perhaps in love with Ruka. Of the two she would probably have a better chance with Ruka,who loves her, but atlast fate would not have it so...Anyways, do yourself a favor and checkout "Arisugawa Locket" listed below. This site has a comprehensive and indepth analysis of Juri's story, love, secrets and anything else you would want to know about her. P.S. I don't know the the website owner personally but this site does justice to Juri Arisugawa. "

Another difference worth noting is the object of Miki-kun's affection. In the Anime his "shining something" was Anthy. However, in the Manga he is infatuated with Utena and even gets to kiss Utena. Speaking of kissing, Utena sure gets a lot of that in the Manga. Another major difference between the Manga and Anime involves the "Black Rose Saga" This part of the anime, concerning Mikage's plot to kill the Rosebride and attain eternity for Mamiya, was quite prominent in the anime. However, in the Manga it appears briefly as a side story after the manga's ending. I absolutely loved Mikage in the anime, (yeah I'm a sucker for Bishounens), so you can imagine how sad I was about the minuscule coverage he got. However, unlike the Anime which simply beats around the bush,the Manga makes it clear that Mikage is in love with Mamiya. Mamiya's sister, Tokiko(from the anime),is never mensioned so it's safe to assume she's not the object of Mikage's affection.

So what's so great about the Manga.....

The art and character design are excellent!!! Of course I intend on sharing my favorites with Minna-san. Click on the Link Below to Go to the Manga Scans. There are translational notes included. I can't say it enough but I absolutely adore Chuchu; he serve as a huge comic relief in the manga and his fights with Saionji are so Kawaii. The manga also gives a kinder perspective on Touga's character. Unlike the anime, he is not as involved in Akio sinister schemes to obtain the power of Dios. Also he goes out of his way on quite a few occasions to warn Utena about Akio true intentions. Therefore, this makes him only half the scum Akio is. Honestly compare to Akio's extensive womanizing and manipulation,not to mension the physical and emotional abuse he inflicks on his sister, Touga (in the manga) is actually a much more pleasant person.

Now, last but certainly not least, are Utena and Anthy. As I read through the manga I realized how deeply Utena cares for Anthy and would do anything to protect her. In her own words: "I don't care if I get hurt...the most important things are defending my pride and Anthy". Then again she also cares deeply for Wakaba, her bestfriend and the reason she became involved in the duels. Utena's affections for Wakaba and Anthy are based on friendship and a desire for a family (this is understandable since she's an orphan and an only child). Wakaba is her friend and Anthy has become an important part of her life. Also in the manga Anthy is definitely much less sinister than the anime and a lot more "innocent". Therefore it was easier for me to sympathize with her and believe that she genuinely cared for Utena (The anime, in my opinion, makes it hard to understand her motives or even to pity her;she comes across as cold,calculating, and scary**especially towards the end of the series**) Anyways, I wouldn't exactly say that these two are "in love" but they certainly love each other. On the other hand the Movie is a whole other story!! Well judge for yourself by looking at the Manga Scans. link listed below.

**Oh yeah, the first Link is a shameless plug for a shoujo manga I absolutely love. It's a mini-shrine/memorial dedicated to "Oshare Kozou ha Hanamaru" a manga by Azumi Tsueko. Most fans may know this story by means of the Tomodachi's fansub OAV entitled "The Fashion Boy is Cool". The Intro,character,Manga Gallery,manga summaries and Manga info are up; I'm currently working on the italian version. So check it out(ok!)**
*NEW* Hi, Just a brief UPDATE---I have decided to translate NY NY a shounen ai Manga by Marimo Ragawa (mangaka of Aka-chan to Boku)If you're opened amount about this type of stories please checkout my new link to this page. DOMO ARIGATO!

Hi Minna! For all those who like yuri (girl/girl romance) please check out my new site (HEN)!

HEN:Strange Love (yuri/shoujo ai Manga) *NEW*
NY NY English Translations (Shounen ai)
The Fashion Boy is Cool
Utena Manga Synopses
Arisugawa's Locket
An Excellent site on the Characters' Profiles

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since February 2000