Fifty Shades of Pink: The ‘Revolutionary Girl Utena’ Rewatch, Part 2

The bird is fighting its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Whoever wishes to be born must destroy a world. The bird is flying to God. The god is named Abraxas.

—Herman Hesse, Demian

Revolutionary Girl Utena, episode 2: “For Whom the Rose Smiles.” Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. Character designs by Chiho Saito. Be-Papas, 1997 (Nozomi Entertainment, 2011). Approx. 24 minutes. Rated “16+.”


The 39-episode anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena is complex and weird enough that it admits probably several interpretations. After kicking around on the internet, I’ve decided that in spite of the large volume of ink already spilled, I don’t feel redundant for writing this series of essays, because after I read anything anyone else has written, I inevitably come away saying, “No, that’s completely wrong.” Continue reading “Fifty Shades of Pink: The ‘Revolutionary Girl Utena’ Rewatch, Part 2”

Art, Now with More Utena

Source: Chiho Saito (I think).

I’m working on the second essay in my series on Revolutionary Girl Utena, and I hoped to have it finished today, but it’s time to discuss Herman Hesse’s Demian, one of the most important inspirations for the anime, and if there is one thing I simply cannot do at 9:30 at night, it’s summarize a navel-gazing literary novel.

If I try to write that summary now, it’s going to come out as, “There’s this whiny little bitch, and he’s really into Jung and Nietzsche.”

But anyway, have you some Utena art instead. I think this one is actually from Chiho Saito, the manga-ka of the official manga, which is paradoxically both inspired by and the inspiration of the anime, because the studio broke the space-time continuum in making this thing.

(I’m kidding, sort of. Saito was in on the planning of the anime, but released the manga before the anime appeared, so the creators of the anime had the chance to make use of her work. At least, that’s how I understand it. It’s confusing.)

History of Magical Girl Anime, Part 14

Once again, we are obliged to skip ahead in SourcererZZ’s overview of the history of mahou shoujo anime due to copyright. This brings us up to the years 2005 to 2007.

This particular episode is slightly NSFW, about as NSFW as I can put on this blog.

The first title he discusses, UG*Ultimate Girls, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of, and it looks awful, a brainless cheesecake show.

Of most interest to me personally in this edition is Powerpuff Girls Z, which is bizarrely unavailable in the U.S. even though it’s based on an American cartoon. Cartoon Network needs to broadcast it as penance for what they did to the franchise in the reboot.

Notice that most of the titles SourcererZZ discusses in this episode are parodies or fanservice or both, with only two exceptions. That’s not a sign of a genre in good health.

Shut up, fanboy ... or stop shutting up ... or whatever.
Shut up, fanboy. Er, I mean … stop shutting up? Um … whatever.

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Now on Audio! Teaser and Chapter 1

It’s the near future, and most of the universe has decided that humanity needs to die! But fortunately for us, the forces of goodness have given us a small advantage in the war for our existence … by transforming random children into magical girls!

When the nefarious Dark Queen sends yet another of her weekly monstrosities to wreak havoc on the city of Urbanopolis, it’s up to magical girls Card Collector Kasumi, Grease Pencil Marionette, and Tuneless Ramona to stop the marauding mutant! Will they save the day, or are they destined to become pink and sparkly casualties?

Find out in Jake and the Dynamo Chapter 1, now with one hundred percent less eyestrain!

Big thanks to Unclever Hans, who put this together for me. I’m just glad somebody else is reading this. My written vocabulary is significantly larger than my spoken vocabulary. If I were reading this myself, I’d not only drone like a college professor, but mispronounce words right and left.

I Just Magical-Girled Your Steampunkish Sword and Sorcery Game

Well, I mean, I didn’t do it, but …

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a gamer, so this escaped my attention until yesterday. The hugely popular multiplayer online arena combat game League of Legends has gone magical girl.

So I saw an advertisement for something called “Star Guardians.” The ad consisted of a brief but intriguing video involving lush artwork and decent animation depicting a team of five magical girls fighting monsters, followed by a website address. I said to myself, “What is this?” Then I followed the link.

And then, about thirty minutes later, I said to myself, “No, seriously, WTF is this?” In spite of the probably expensive advertising campaign, they didn’t exactly make this thing accessible to outsiders. Continue reading “I Just Magical-Girled Your Steampunkish Sword and Sorcery Game”






Five blocks north of Jake’s house, the residences of Juban gave way to shops and strip malls. It was a tidy, modern section of town with wide sidewalks and glassed-in storefronts, and it even boasted several parking lots, since an unusually large number of Juban’s residents owned cars. At nine forty-five on Saturday morning, Jake walked up the street and, with his hands in the pockets of a blue windbreaker, loitered on a corner. He had a few loose coins in his pocket, the only money left after the night before.

He knew he was in trouble. Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 20”

‘Magical Girl Raising Project,’ Episode 3

Magical Girl Raising Project, episode 3, “Update Notice!” Directed by Hiroyuki Hashimoto. Studio Lerche. Produced by Genco (2016). Approx. 24 minutes. Rated PG-13. Available on Crunchyroll.

This third episode is still low key and maintains the deliberate pacing, but the premise, at least, is now fully established. It also appears that the most important players are already on the board, though we know one more magical girl will be added in the future; I assume that’s HardGore Alice, who was in some promotional material but hasn’t shown up yet.

This episode is fairly simple. We see a few vignettes of characters doing various things, but the most important part of the episode is the girls’ discovery that to cease being a magical girl is to die, which means one of them is going to die every week for the next seven weeks until Fav reduces their number to what he considers acceptable. Continue reading “‘Magical Girl Raising Project,’ Episode 3”