Shrub.com Article for January

January’s article, Gender Bending in Utena: the movie, is just what the title makes it sound to be: a look at the way the movie handles gender.

Note: Happy new year everyone! This is a journal article from a class on Japanese fiction that I took last Spring. If I was a good person, I’d revise and expand it (some of it’s a bit disjointed, ’cause I waited to the last minute to write it), but I’m not, so y’all have to deal with it it as-is. This article contains spoilers for those who haven’t seen the movie.

The first glimpse of Utena is of a woman in man’s clothing – and in more than just the literal sense; she has short hair, wears pants instead of the typical girl’s uniform, speaks in male language, and for all intents and purposes “passes” as a boy until her (gasp!) breasts are revealed in her first duel. But Utena’s gender bending does not end there; indeed, as her typical outfit implies, it extends to her role of Prince (both her self-assumed identity and later when she becomes engaged to Anthy, the Rose Bride), and later her transformation into a car (henceforth known as the Utenamobile).

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2 Responses to Shrub.com Article for January

  1. Buffy says:

    Niced article. I enjoyed it. I think you might enjoy watching the series rather than the movie. It goes into a lot more explanation (well, in its own way) and there is a lot of symbolism in it and more time to get a feel for what they are doing with Utena and the whole ‘prince’ thing.

  2. tekanji says:

    I watched the first 13 or so eps, but that was back before it was officially translated. I’ve always meant to rent the series and just spend a weekend watching it, but I’ve had so much going on my life that I haven’t had a chance.

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