No picture. Hmm.
I’ll have to remedy that when I’m not in the middle of traveling through foreign backwoods (as opposed to American, redneck-infested backwoods) and have an internet connection that is slower than a dead donkey. For the time being, though, this shall suffice.
Anyway, apparently some sorry souls out there are still unconvinced of the necessity of watching Revolutionary Girl Utena and the fact that it is a Very Good Thing. My connection sucks so I can’t watch anything (Shiki!) and apparently there are some religious gatekeepers out there preventing me from downloading pornographic manga or looking at Baka-Raptor’s blog. These are two of my favorite things to do, obviously, so I’m feeling a bit put-out. But, more importantly, I can’t do some grand post on Shiki or pornographic BL, yet I wish to assure my dear readers that I do, in fact, still exist (since I’m not Moe Sucks) (stop vanishing!). So here we go:
- It’s awesome. Self-explanatory.
- It’s a ‘holy grail’ type show, which is to say, one of those shows that serious fans will watch at some point – so you’d be well-served by watching it so you aren’t the idiot tipping your head and blinking your eyes in confusion when it comes up.
- Of relation to the above, it has been fairly influential on other shows – Ouran High Host Club took nods from some of it’s animation quirks, for instance, and Melody of Oblivion was essentially an attempt by J.C. Staff to replicate the whole thing with a male protagonist (it failed miserably). Many a debonair leading lady from shoujo has been molded in the vein of the princely Utena.
- Discussing it is the best parlor game ever. There really is no end to the speculations one can have about it, or the meanings one can parse from it. Even single scenes can be gone over time and again and still leave a lot of room for analysis. This of course, is especially helpful to a blogger – easy way to solve a writer’s block is to just pick a random aspect of the show and then go to town on it.
- The fandom isn’t crazy. To sound a bit biased, I think part of it is due to the fact that the fandom skews a bit older, and so some of the crazier stuff is out of folks’ systems by then (yaoi paddles, glomping, Death Note t-shirts, Naruto headbands, etc.). It is very hard to find an argument in a room full of RGU fans. Of course, there’s probably the fact that parts of it are so esoteric as to be impossible for anyone to say that what they think is the end all to be all.
- It just got re-mastered. So if you’ve been putting it off, there’s no time like the present. And, for region one folks, Nozomi is bringing out the remasters in three boxsets starting early next year.
- The music is incredible, and truly unique. J.A. Seazer, a man who doesn’t normally do anime soundtracks, was commissioned to do the soundtrack for RGU. He is best known for the music he composed in the 1960’s and 70’s, music that was extremely popular with student movement groups of the time. The lyrics are bizarre, as are many of the arrangements, and there’s been absolutely nothing like it since.
- Its like nothing else you’ll ever see. There have been imitators (Melody of Oblivion), and there have been shows that show its influence, but nothing has been quite like it, and based on trends, I’d be sincerely shocked if there is ever anything like it again. The closest things to it are Afterschool Nightmare and Princess Tutu – but while they are similar, it’s only relative to the fact that nothing really is. Princess Tutu’s got the shoujo deviating from the norm feel to it, while Afterschool Nightmare is the same kind of allegory.
- Its legitimately good. Joking aside with my first point, this is a solid show. Certain individuals shy away from things that even have a faint whiff of typical shoujo to them, but the roses here have thorns (hurr hurr). The first arc is closer to the average shoujo than the remaining arcs are, but even here there are hints at something more sinister afoot – witness the brutal treatment Anthy must endure, for instance, or what happens with Nanami and the kitten. Not many sparkles there. Hold your nose if you really must, but you will certainly have managed to let go before you’ve even noticed, and probably have zapped through all thirty-nine episode before you even know it as well. And be looking around desperately for the movie.
GO WATCH IT GO WATCH IT GO WATCH IT. And no one is ever allowed to drop it unless they watch the first twenty or so episodes first. And even then if you drop it, then you must be a freedom hating communist be the sort of person who thought Strawberry Panic was a piece of high art.
Oh, and while this was written up with someone in particular in mind, it is meant as a general litany of reasons for anyone to go watch it (especially that last bit; obviously I wouldn’t be using Strawberry Panic as an example otherwise). Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to freeze my ass off in the northern Atlantic now.