by Janelle Jimenez
The Rose Collection 1 is a dual-language DVD with the first seven episodes of Revolutionary Girl Utena (The Rose Bride, For Whom the Rose Smiles, On the Night of the Ball, The Sunlit Garden Prelude, The Sunlit Garden Finale, Take Care, Miss Nanami!, and Unfulfilled Jury.)
This Revolutionary Girl Utena DVD is definitely a must buy for DVD player owners and fans of the series. Unfortunately, this DVD doesn't have any fun extras. Interactive Menus and sneak peeks of other anime DVDs aren't exactly my idea of fun bonuses. The only real "extra" are the "music videos" which are really just the duel songs (and the duel animation). I suppose that it's nice that I don't have to skip around to find them.
Revolutionary Girl Utena is the brainchild of former Sailormoon director Ikuhara Kazuhiko and Be-Papas that was supposedly supposed to be a cry against cliché magical girl anime and sort of a dark satirical play on it. The series has lots of interesting sexual innuendo and lots of talk of "revolutionizing the world."
Revolutionary Girl Utena is about Utena Tenjou, a junior-high student at Ohtori Academy who has the memory of a prince on a white horse who comforted her after her parents' death. This prince told her to remain strong and gave her the Rose Crest, a rose signet ring. From that moment, Utena decided that she didn't want to be a Princess who needed to be saved, but a Prince. At Ohtori Academy, Utena decides to defend her friend who was ill-treated by one of the upperclass-men Student Council members and that's when all hell breaks loose. She discovers a strange dueling system amongst the Student Council and the mysterious "Rose Bride" Anthy Himemiya whom she becomes "engaged" to.
Revolutionary Girl Utena can really only be described by me as bizarre. I've seen a little bit farther than what has been commercially released by Software Sculptors and I don't think the first 13 episodes even begin to explain how weird the show becomes. For the most part, Software Sculptors did a good job with the sub and dub. Except, in the dub, the very irritating inability for the voice actors to say 'Tenjou' correctly. Also, in the sub, there seem to be a few parts which remain unsubtitled. But overall, it's a decent dub/sub of a highly recommended anime.