The 39-episode anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena is based on the manga of the same name by Chiho Saito.

Episode list

Student Council Saga

The Student Council Saga begins with Utena Tenjou challenging Kyouichi Saionji to a duel. He thought the love letter Utena's friend Wakaba wrote to him was stupid, and threw it in the trash. Someone, possible Saionji, posted it on the school wall. Utena, assuming Saionji the perpetrator, angrily confronts him about his behavior. She challenges him to a Kendo duel; he, seeing the Rose Signet on her hand, accepts a real duel. Each Duelist was given a rose crest ring by The End of the World. Utena also has a rose crest, but hers came from a prince she met when she was very young. By accepting the duel and defeating Saionji, Utena becomes engaged to Anthy Himemiya, the Rose Bride.

Anthy and Utena move in to a dormitory together. Saionji comes to the dorms, and physically abuses Anthy for "betraying" him. He demands a rematch against Utena, claiming that he was careless the first time. Utena thinks the duels are stupid, and declares to Anthy that she will deliberately lose. However, Utena is unable to stand the thought of Anthy being abused by Saionji. Motivated by the chance to protect Anthy, Utena wins the duel.

As Utena fights the Student Council members one by one, her relationship with Anthy strengthens. After Saionji, she duels against Miki, Juri and Nanami, defeating all of them. Before fighting Utena, Touga tries to use his charm and persuasion skills to make her start to doubt herself, thus being able to defeat her. After Utena regains her confidence, she wins a rematch against him, regaining her title as the rose champion.

No. Title Original air date
1 The Rose Bride
"Bara no hanayome" (薔薇の花嫁)
April 2, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Eight-year-old, orphaned Utena is rescued from her sadness by a mysterious prince who gives her a Rose Signet ring. He promises that the Ring will lead her to him again someday if she never loses her inherent nobility. Utena is so inspired by the unnamed prince that she decides to become like a prince herself. Six years later, 14-year-old Utena attends Ohtori Academy, where her noble aspirations lead her to accidentally enter the Dueling Game and become engaged to the cryptic Rose Bride Anthy.
2 For Whom the Rose Smiles
"Dare ga tame ni bara wa hohoemu" (誰がために薔薇は微笑む)
April 9, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
As the Rose Bride, Anthy is said to obey whomever she is engaged to without question. It is said that the one who wins the Duels and possesses the Rose Bride will gain the "Power to Revolutionize the World". Anthy moves in with Utena, much to the latter's chagrin, because despite the power possessing Anthy might give her, Utena cannot bear the thought of participating in a "game" where students fight for control over a fellow classmate's life. She resolves to lose her next Duel on purpose, but an encounter with Anthy's former Master causes her to question her decision.
3 On the Night of the Ball
"Butoukai no yoru ni" (舞踏会の夜に)
April 16, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Utena tries to convince Anthy to make more friends, and fights off Student Council President Touga's romantic advances. Utena and Anthy ultimately decide to go to the school's masked ball, but Touga's little sister Nanami has a trap for them there.
4 The Sunlit Garden - Prelude
"Hikari sasu niwa - Pureryūdo" (光さす庭・プレリュード)
April 23, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Miki, a 7th-grade genius who suffers from shyness, alienation, and a traumatic past with his estranged twin sister, falls in love with Anthy because he unconsciously connects her to the calm and innocent past that he lost. He and Nanami go to visit Anthy and Utena.
5 The Sunlit Garden - Finale
"Hikari sasu niwa - Fināre" (光さす庭・フィナーレ)
April 30, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Miki avidly denies wanting to duel for control over Anthy's life, but subtle manipulation from Touga and another surprising player make him greatly fearful for the traits he loves in her.
6 Take Care, Miss Nanami
"Nanami-sama go-youjin!" (七実様御用心!)
May 7, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Nanami is sure that someone is trying to kill her. Jumping to conclusions that its her brother Touga, Nanami is saved from a runaway horse by a young boy, whom she takes as boyfriend. However, she also uses him as both a servant and bodyguard.
7 Unfulfilled Juri
"Mihatenu Juri" (見果てぬ樹璃)
May 14, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Despite being the Head of Fencing Team and a Student Council member with one of the most feared and admired personalities in the school, Juri has become a very cynical and bitter person with little feeling of self-worth left. She resents and suspects Anthy of deceit and greatly denies the power of miracles. Utena's idealism comes in conflict with her still raw wounds.
8 Curried High Trip
"Karee naru Haitorippu" (カレーなるハイトリップ)
May 21, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
A mishap in home economics causes Utena and Anthy to switch bodies. In the Rose Bride's body, Utena fights off Anthy's bullies and Saionji's advances while Nanami goes on a long journey to find a cure.
9 The Castle Said to Hold Eternity
"Eien ga aru toiu shiro" (永遠があるという城)
May 28, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
A back-story depicting the origins of Saionji's controlling, depressed personality also reveals the dark nature of Utena's childhood. The End of the World and a surprising accomplice take advantage of his deep-seated issues to set up their own agendas.
10 Nanami's Precious One
"Nanami no taisetsu na mono" (七実の大切なもの)
June 4, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Nanami's desires and problems are the simplest and least impressive of all the Duelists, but to her, they are no less real and just as painful as the others. As Utena suffers over her inability to defend herself last episode, Touga's intentions become more sinister and Nanami is chosen by the End of the World to duel with Utena.
11 Graceful and Ruthless; the One Who Picks the Flower
"Yuuga ni reikoku - Sono hana wo tsumu mono" (優雅に冷酷・その花を摘む者)
June 11, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Touga plays upon Utena's dreams of her prince and her newfound insecurities in order to win a Duel against her and take the Rose Bride.
12 For Friendship, Perhaps
"Tabun yujo no tame" (たぶん友情のために)
June 18, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shattered over the loss of the Duel and Anthy, Utena goes to school dressed like a girl and falls into deep depression. When Wakaba persuades Utena to get back on her feet, she challenges Touga to a rematch and an unexpected reaction from Anthy leads to the Duel's outcome.
13 Tracing A Path
"Egakareru kiseki" (描かれる軌跡)
June 25, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Two men review Utena's duels, and the motivations of all the Duelists.

Black Rose Saga

After defeating all of the Student Council members, another obstacle appears before Utena with the opening of the Mikage Seminar. Presided over by Souji Mikage, it is seemingly a place for student counseling. But once people reveal their problems and inner turmoil to Mikage, he uses his powers to put them under his control, turning them into Black Rose duelists, and sending them to fight duels against Utena in the Arena. His objective is to kill Anthy and install a boy, Mamiya Chida, as the Rose Bride instead. His efforts are in vain, as not one of them can defeat Utena.

Mikage's victims included Kanae Ohtori, Kozue Kaoru, Shiori Takatsuki, Mitsuru Tsuwabuki, Wakaba Shinohara, and Keiko Sonoda.

After being forced to fight even her best friend to protect Anthy, an enraged Utena challenges Mikage in order to end his schemes once and for all. After she defeats him, Akio tells him his role in his plot was already fulfilled, and disposes of him. In the process, it is implied that Mamiya was somehow a disguised Anthy, helping Akio to manipulate Mikage.

No. Title Original air date
14 The Boys of the Black Rose
"Kurobara no Shounentachi" (黒薔薇の少年たち)
July 2, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Utena realizes that Anthy disappears every Saturday night to visit her brother Akio, the acting headmaster of the school---but the relationship between the siblings are far from healthy or even legal. Akio is engaged to high-school student Kanae, daughter of the ill headmaster. Kanae loves Akio deeply, but feels distant from him and cannot bring herself to like Anthy. Meanwhile, the Black Rose Seminar appears in Ohtori Academy, led by "high-school" genius Mikage as a front for creating Duelists capable of defeating Utena. Instead of winning Anthy, he wants to kill and replace her with an ill boy in her to save his life. Mikage preys upon Kanae's fears to create the first Black Rose Duelist.
15 The Landscape Framed by Kozue
"Sono Kozue ga Sasu Fuukei" (その梢が指す風景)
July 9, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Kozue dates and sleeps with many male students in order to keep the attention of her twin brother Miki. Her love for him borders on desperate obsession and is tainted by their troubled past. Mikage and Mamiya decide that the best way to defeat Utena is to create Duelists who have grasps on the different Student Council's hearts, enabling them to steal their respective Dueling swords from their bodies and use them to their full potential. Kozue and Miki become the first victims of this experiment.
16 Cowbell of Happiness
"Shiawase no Cowbell" (幸せのカウベル)
July 16, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Nanami receives a golden cowbell. Thinking that it's an expensive designer jewellery, she wears everywhere until she begins to turn into a cow.
17 Thorns of Death
"Shi no Toge" (死の棘)
July 23, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Shiori, the catalyst for Juri's broken state of mind, transfers back into Ohtori. The two of them have a tumultuous, love-hate relationship, and Shiori finds out the real reason why she can make Juri suffer. Both elated and traumatized by this revelation, Mikage easily takes advantage of her deep-seated insecurities, and Juri realizes that in spite of everything, she cannot get rid of her pain over Shiori.
18 Mitsuru's Growing Pains
"Mitsuru Modokashisa" (みつるもどかしさ)
July 30, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Elementary-schooler Mitsuru is desperate to become an adult so he may get close to Nanami. His fruitless attempts to explore the world of love and sex lead him to Mikage.
19 The Song of the Fallen Kingdom
"Ima ha Naki Oukoku no Uta" (今は亡き王国の歌)
August 6, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
When Wakaba was little, she had a friend who protected her from bullies. Now, Tatsuya has transferred back, and it appears that the two of them are in love. When it turns out that this romance is actually a misunderstanding, Tatsuya ends up in Mikage's Seminar, but Mikage treats him differently from the rest of the students shown visiting him.
20 Wakaba Flourishing
"Wakaba Shigereru" (若葉繁れる)
August 13, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
It turns out that Saionji has been staying in Wakaba's room ever since he was expelled. Saionji treats her uncharacteristically well, and Wakaba is elated at having Saionji all to herself. She has always dreamed of being "special", and can only feel "special" when taking care of others, so when Mikage and Anthy manipulate Saionji into thinking he could come back to Ohtori, Wakaba is tearfully driven into the Mikage Seminar.
21 Troublesome Insects
"Warui Mushi" (悪い虫)
August 20, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Nanami's lackeys Keiko, Aiko, and Yuko all have crushes on Touga, and that is the only reason why they submit to her every whim. When Nanami forbids Keiko from going to a school party, Keiko accidentally finds Touga in the forest and shares her umbrella with him. Nanami catches her in the act and ostracizes her in jealousy, sending a vengeful Keiko into the Mikage Seminar.
22 Nemuro Memorial Hall
"Nemuro Kinenkan" (根室記念館)
August 27, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
In a flashback, Professor Nemuro is an 18-year-old prodigy who, in spite of his intelligence, feels no emotions for anyone or anything. He is hired by Ohtori Academy to lead a research team of 100 boys on discovering the secret for "Revolutionizing the World", and "Finding Eternity". When he becomes close to his supervisor Tokiko and her terminally-ill brother Mamiya, Nemuro finally feels the value of human life and throws himself enthusiastically into his research, but events orchestrated by End of the World destroys everything he believes in and leads him to become Mikage.
23 Qualifications of a Duelist
"Duelist no Jouken" (デュエリストの条件)
September 3, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Now out of potential Duelists and down to a single black rose, the pressure of Mikage's situation and his tormenting memories hack away at his mind. He connects Utena to Tokiko and duels her in order to save Mamiya and conquer his painful past, but he cannot win when his loss was orchestrated from the beginning and he doesn't know the truth of his own mind.

Akio Ohtori Saga

After being expelled from the Academy for injuring Touga, Saionji is given permission to return to Ohtori, and he immediately challenges Utena to another duel. During the fight, Utena discovers that Anthy can pull an even stronger sword than the Sword of Dios from her body, and Utena uses it to defeat Saionji once and for all. Akio later appears before Touga and takes him to an unknown place he calls the "End of the World". The duo starts to take each one of the remaining Student Council members to that place, and after going there, each one chooses a "bride" to take a sword from their hearts in order to fight Utena; the eventual victor of the duels will be determined by the strength of the bond between the Duelist and the Bride - and if it can overcome the bond between Utena and Anthy. In this arc (as in the other two), the first challenger does not follow the rule of where he or she gets the sword from (Utena fights Saionji with a practice sword, Kanae fights Utena with a random sword, Saionji fights Utena with a random katana). Miki chooses Kozue as his bride; Ruka Tsuchiya, who returned recently to the academy, chooses Shiori; Jury brings Ruka; and Nanami brings Touga - however, even with their newfound strength, they all eventually lose their duels against Utena.

No. Title Original air date
24 The Secret Nanami Diary
"Nanami-sama Himitsu Nikki" (七実様秘密日記)
September 10, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Tsuwakubi's secret diary is discovered, chronicling recent events in Nanami's life and listing at least 24 of Tsuwakubi's plans to win Nanami's heart.
25 Their Eternal Apocalypse
"Futari no Eien Mokushiroku" (ふたりの永遠黙示録)
September 17, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Akio insists that Anthy and Utena move into his residence. Meanwhile, he and the recently-recovered Touga step up their plans of manipulating the Duelists to fight Utena. Their first target is Saionji, who has become suspicious of the nature of the Duels and has lost interest in Anthy because he suspects her of having free will. Akio and Touga take him on a midnight ride in Akio's car to persuade him that Anthy has no thoughts of her own, for only a mindless doll can fulfill Saionji's dream of "something eternal" because she'll never run away or disobey him. Saionji enthusiastically duels Utena, and the Sword of Dios disappears in the middle of fight, but Utena now has the inner strength to fight on her own---and Anthy has now become willing to help her discover it.
26 Miki's Nest Box (The Sunlit Garden /Arranged)
"Miki no Subako (Hikari Sasu Niwa /Arrange)" (幹の巣箱(光さす庭・アレンジ))
September 24, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
In spite of her outward delinquent personality, Kozue risks her life to save a nest of baby birds because she identifies with their loneliness and helplessness. Both she and Miki feel abandoned because their parents divorced when they were young, and her father is now getting married (to a strangely familiar person...) Akio and Touga trick them into thinking that winning the Duels will give them the power to protect themselves, but Miki, far shyer and less cynical than Kozue, doesn't truly accept that one needs to become dirty in order to survive in a dirty world.
27 Nanami's Egg
"Nanami no Tamago" (七実の卵)
October 1, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Nanami thinks she has laid an egg.
28 Whispers in the Dark
"Yami ni Sasayaku" (闇に囁く)
October 8, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Ruka, the former fencing team captain and Juri's mentor, comes back to Ohtori after a long illness and re-takes her position as fencing captain. As Juri secretly suffers from even more loss of identity, Shiori is quick to realize Ruka's popularity and Juri's pain and begins to date him. Ruka becomes involved with the Duels and picks Shiori to be his Rose Bride, but he has his own agenda that does not involve her at all.
29 Azure Paler Than the Sky
"Sora yori Awaki Ruriiro no" (空より淡き瑠璃色の)
October 15, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
After barely losing against Utena and dumping Shiori in front of the entire school, Ruka believes he has found the secret to winning the duels: the strength of the relationships between the Duelists and their respective Brides. He goes through a series of strategies to unleash the strength and selflessness Juri once had before her ill-fated love for Shiori distorted her self-perception and stopped her from growing.
30 The Barefoot Girl
"Hadashi no Shoujo" (裸足の少女)
October 22, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Utena realizes what she has denied for a long time: she has fallen in love with Akio. As Akio's courtship of her becomes both overt and subtly sinister, Utena agonizes over loving an engaged adult and feels like she is betraying her prince---and Anthy.
31 Her Tragedy
"Kanojo no Higeki" (彼女の悲劇)
October 29, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
When Nanami learns that she and Touga aren't actually blood siblings, what's left of her world crumbles because she's never loved anything other than her brother. She runs away and spends the night at Akio's, but is traumatized when sees Anthy and Akio together.
32 The Romance of the Dancing Girls
"Odoru Kanojotachi no Koi" (踊る彼女たちの恋)
November 5, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Nanami is terrified of what she saw last night and broken by Touga's betrayal. She cannot help but connect Anthy and Akio's relationship to her own feelings for Touga. Touga continues to manipulate her until Nanami can't take it anymore, and challenges Utena to a duel in order to be free from her own emotions.
33 The Prince Who Runs Through the Night
"Yoru wo Hashiru Ouji" (夜を走る王子)
November 12, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The Shadow Play Girls host a radio show which bears striking similarties to the events of the most recent duels. Meanwhile, Akio brings Utena to an amusement park, and she makes a decision which forever changes her feelings about Akio, Anthy, her prince, and herself.

End of World Saga

Akio warns Touga that his next match with Utena will decide the true champion, but before the duel, Touga and Saionji discover more about Utena's origin; little by little, the secrets involving Anthy, Akio and the duels start to unveil. Touga discovers his true feelings for Utena, and in order to protect her, he brings Saionji as his "bride" to fight her one last time, afraid of what could happen to her if she would become the final victor. After losing the duel, he tries to warn her about Akio and Anthy's true intentions.

Despite Touga's warnings, Utena decides to go with Anthy once more to the duel stage in order to meet the prince from her past, only to discover it all was an illusion created by Akio to steal her heart's sword. Utena decides to fight Akio and tries to protect Anthy from him, but Anthy (literally) stabs Utena in the back, which allows Akio to take her sword. He attempts to use it to open the doors that could lead to his so-called "World Revolution", but the sword gets broken and Akio gives up. When Utena see how much Anthy is suffering from her past deeds, she decides to open it up with her bare hands, despite Akio's warnings. After that, the entire duel stage crumbles and Utena is apparently ripped apart by the Swords of Hatred which had previously ensnared Anthy. After these events, it is revealed that Utena has disappeared from Ohtori Academy; a few days later, Akio decides to start the rose duels again, but Anthy informs him that she is leaving the Academy, the links that bound her to the Academy and her brother finally severed thanks to Utena's sacrifice. The series ends with Anthy leaving the Academy in search of Utena.

No. Title Original air date
34 The Rose Signet
"Bara no Kokuin" (薔薇の刻印)
November 19, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Utena can sense that she has forgotten something important, and knows that something crucial is about to happen for which she must make a decision. The Shadow Play Girls host a play telling the generally accepted myth of the Rose Bride, but Utena has a dream that night depicting the truth about Anthy, Akio, Dios, and herself.
35 The Love That Blossomed in Wintertime
"Fuyu no Koro Mebaeta Ai" (冬のころ芽ばえた愛)
November 26, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Akio's courtship of Utena was successful while Touga's was not, yet only Touga knows just how dangerous Akio truly is. Struggling with newfound emotions that he cannot describe, the Student Council's most infamous playboy realizes that he has fallen in love with the one person he cannot have.
36 And the Doors of Night Open
"Soshite Yoru no Tobira ga Hiraku" (そして夜の扉が開く)
December 3, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Touga may love Utena, but it is not a pure love. He loves her nobility, the power it gives her, and idea of being a powerful prince himself. Nevertheless, Touga and Saionji fight to defeat Utena so they may save her from a final, deadly duel against Akio. Utena wins the Duel, but when she sees Anthy and Akio together, she faces one final test of nobility to decide whether she truly is a Prince.
37 The One to Revolutionize the World
"Sekai wo Kakumei Suru Mono" (世界を革命する者)
December 10, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Betrayed by the events of last night, Utena resolves to stop risking her life for Anthy, but a talk with the Student Council reminds her that she is the only one able to save Anthy from her slavery. And when Anthy decides that she'd rather die than face the next morning's duel, Utena realizes that whatever pain she might feel is nothing next to the Rose Bride's never-ending suffering.
38 The End of the World
"Sekai no Hate" (世界の果て)
December 17, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Akio reveals himself as the "End of the World" and the orchestrator behind all the pain and suffering from the Duels. He tries to woo Utena into giving him her soul's sword; when romance fails, he shows her the Duel's harsh reality. Despite crushing any illusions she might have had about her unwavering nobility, Utena nevertheless chooses to fight, and she and Akio engage in the most dangerous Duel of the game. Utena amazingly backs Akio into a corner, but deep inside, Anthy still suffers from a great fear of the outside world.
39 Someday, We Will Shine Together
"Itsuka Issho ni Kagayaite" (いつか一緒に輝いて)
December 24, 1997 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Still reeling over Anthy's betrayal and the shattering of her soul's sword, Utena summons all her strength to reach the Rose Gate which would Revolutionize the World.

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