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HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#1 | Back to Top11-28-2012 06:43:23 AM

Louchan
Rose Bride
Registered: 11-08-2006
Posts: 100

Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

I've seen quite a lot of sites where Magical Girl is listed as one of Utena's genres. I'm sure most of you are familiar with what that genre means, but in case someone isn't, Magical Girl anime are shows about girls who transform with magical powers, usually to fight evil. (Think Sailor Moon.) This has never felt quite right for me, while I'm a fan of that genre I've never seen Utena as part of it. But I find that I can't really properly explain why. It's true that Utena does have a sort of "transformation sequence" whenever she goes up to the Duel Arena, but... well, what do you guys think? Do you see Utena as a Magical Girl anime? Why or why not?

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#2 | Back to Top11-28-2012 09:49:57 AM

Raven Nightshade
Someday Shiner
From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
Posts: 2916

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

Well, if you're limiting the definition of "magical girl" to Sailor Moon-esque characters, then that's up for debate depending on how you define evil in the context of SKU.

The thing is that you have to look at magical girl series before SM. There were magical girl series that involved preteen girls who just wanted to be idol singers. There were series where the girl is a princess that came to Earth from a different world/dimension to learn about human nature or learn how to use her powers so she could go back and become queen one day.


Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again.
It's so far and out of sight.
I really need someone to talk to and nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight.

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#3 | Back to Top11-29-2012 09:40:51 AM

Louchan
Rose Bride
Registered: 11-08-2006
Posts: 100

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

Raven Nightshade wrote:

Well, if you're limiting the definition of "magical girl" to Sailor Moon-esque characters, then that's up for debate depending on how you define evil in the context of SKU.

The thing is that you have to look at magical girl series before SM. There were magical girl series that involved preteen girls who just wanted to be idol singers. There were series where the girl is a princess that came to Earth from a different world/dimension to learn about human nature or learn how to use her powers so she could go back and become queen one day.

Which is why I said "usually". Trust me, I'm well aware about the Magical Girl genre and what exists in it, as I said I'm a fan of it. I merely used Sailor Moon as an example since it's by far the most well known Magical Girl show, not to mention the one that started the most common form of Magical Girl shows today, which is girls transforming to fight evil.

Anyway, what do you think then? Do you think it is or isn't a Magical Girl show?

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#4 | Back to Top11-29-2012 05:09:48 PM

Raven Nightshade
Someday Shiner
From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
Posts: 2916

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

I think it's a magical girl series, by definition. The fact that there's magic in it at all keeps from being straight-up shoujo, I think. Then again, if you don't think that what Anthy does is magic, that could change your answer.


Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever gonna make it home again.
It's so far and out of sight.
I really need someone to talk to and nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight.

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#5 | Back to Top12-04-2012 12:18:06 PM

Louchan
Rose Bride
Registered: 11-08-2006
Posts: 100

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

Raven Nightshade wrote:

I think it's a magical girl series, by definition. The fact that there's magic in it at all keeps from being straight-up shoujo, I think. Then again, if you don't think that what Anthy does is magic, that could change your answer.

But that begs the question, is every anime that involves a girl with magic powers a Magical Girl anime? Wouldn't that mean, for example, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is a Magical Girl anime by that definition? (Now there's a funny thought...)

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#6 | Back to Top12-04-2012 01:15:54 PM

TheOnlyFlorence
Revolution Televisor
Registered: 09-16-2012
Posts: 454

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

Louchan wrote:

But that begs the question, is every anime that involves a girl with magic powers a Magical Girl anime? Wouldn't that mean, for example, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is a Magical Girl anime by that definition? (Now there's a funny thought...)

Duh. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt is a Magical Girl anime. They have ethereal powers. They get orders from an ethereal source. They fight monsters that come from an ethereal realm. They are rewarded with ethereal matter made material. Ethereal is the word of the day.


Stop thinking so hard about this. cool

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#7 | Back to Top12-06-2012 05:45:51 PM

Lurv
Pained Growlithe
Registered: 05-25-2012
Posts: 520

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

Well, I saw this tumblr post and it made me think of this topic. It sums up pretty well how Utena is a mahou shoujo anime.

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#8 | Back to Top12-07-2012 01:33:14 AM

crystalwren
Dark Whisperer
From: Brisbane
Registered: 04-21-2009
Posts: 1172
Website

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

Well, technically Evangelion is a robot anime, but that aspect usually gets glossed over in favour of the mind-fuck. Deconstruction of a genre is still participating/fulfilling that genre. Utena counts as magical girl, it ticks all the boxes, it just gets... um, mind-fuckery.

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#9 | Back to Top12-07-2012 10:26:13 AM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1312
Website

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

crystalwren wrote:

Well, technically Evangelion is a robot anime, but that aspect usually gets glossed over in favour of the mind-fuck. Deconstruction of a genre is still participating/fulfilling that genre. Utena counts as magical girl, it ticks all the boxes, it just gets... um, mind-fuckery.

On. Point.


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 3 as of Sep 26, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#10 | Back to Top12-07-2012 05:59:44 PM

Atropos
Atropos Turretslayer
From: Hampden College
Registered: 10-22-2011
Posts: 906

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

It's a parody of MG shows, in a way - you have to admit there are some parts that are just funny, and may have a deeper meaning but are also hilarious. It takes the typical magical girl setup and the iconography of classic shoujo manga and brings it all way farther than anything that came before.

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#11 | Back to Top12-09-2012 02:13:56 PM

Riri-kins
World's End
From: Cloud Nine
Registered: 09-22-2008
Posts: 2346

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

Louchan wrote:

But that begs the question, is every anime that involves a girl with magic powers a Magical Girl anime? Wouldn't that mean, for example, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is a Magical Girl anime by that definition? (Now there's a funny thought...)

To me, all magical girl animes are female superhero series: Pretty Cure, Sailor Moon, Magical Princess Minky Momo, etc.  Utena isn't a superhero. She's not trying to save the world. She's trying to become a prince. That's why I don't believe it can be classified as one.


Proud Saionji and Mikage fangirl
My Utena fanfiction: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2000115/Riri-kins

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#12 | Back to Top12-11-2012 05:15:18 AM

crystalwren
Dark Whisperer
From: Brisbane
Registered: 04-21-2009
Posts: 1172
Website

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

Riri-kins wrote:

To me, all magical girl animes are female superhero series: Pretty Cure, Sailor Moon, Magical Princess Minky Momo, etc.  Utena isn't a superhero. She's not trying to save the world. She's trying to become a prince. That's why I don't believe it can be classified as one.

Well, no. The whole point is that Utena's not a hero. It's the whole philosophy behind the series. A prince is a hero, only with marginally better manners and fashion sense, and an emphasis on chivalry. Utena wants to a prince; she wants to be an upper class category of hero. She wants to protect the meek and helpless, and to do this, she has a magic ring that symbolises her heroic-ness and she has a magic weapon for smiting the bad guys, she has a magic pet (Anthy) that is cute and mysterious and by a dramatic twist at the end, proves to be the source of her power. When she says the magic words she enters a magical arena to vanquish the enemy, and when she reaches out and called to her guardian spirit (Dios) she suddenly gains a whole new set of magical abilities, to wit, suddenly turns into a master swordsmen who can free her enemies from their terrible ensorcellment and enslavement by the bad guy (Akio).

Utena is a superhero, but on a smaller and more subtle scale, and she's definitely a magical girl. Sailor Moon in both the anime and the manga kicked up a hell of a stink over not wanting to be a hero, but that's what she ended up being. I honestly think that using the 'I wanna be a prince' thing to rule out magical girl the magical girl genre is really a case of splitting hairs.

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#13 | Back to Top12-11-2012 06:24:53 AM

Valeli
Thorn of Death
Registered: 12-05-2006
Posts: 481
Website

Re: Can Utena truly be classified as a Magical Girl anime?

It's probably important not to try and over-classify it  (or any other show) too.

Like when listening to music on Pandora, and you ask why this song was selcted for you, and the computer will pop up a paragraph saying we selected this song because it has a, b, c, d, and e qualities. A lot of songs can't get neatly typecast using just one of their aspects. Which is really similar to this discussion here. Utena certainly has MG elements in it if you care to see them. It's also got a ton of very different elements that blend together into a really unique show. You can try and focus on the elements in it that belong to X,Y, or Z, and you wouldn't be wrong in pointing them out and saying they're there. But to classify it exclusively as an MG show or a shoujo show or whatever is trying to box it in a bit too narrowly, I think.

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