Shadows in the Rose Garden:

Feminist Literary Discussion of
Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena)

What are we doing? We approach the Utena television series from a feminist literary perspective by examining the issues represented, speculating on the rich symbolism throughout, and sharing a little self-examination as well. We have found this kind of view mostly absent from fan sites and discussion boards about the series, which we feel is a pity. Utena is very nearly unique among anime in that it broaches a number of issues which deeply affect people - particularly women - of certain backgrounds and experiences.

If you find the frank treatment of topics like feminism, lesbianism, bisexuality, incest, abusive relationships, abuse survivor issues, or misogyny offensive, you should leave now. If you are a big fan of the male characters on the show and it pains you to see or hear anyone "diss" them, this may not be your favorite Utena site.

This site is not just a shrine to Utena and Anthy and Juri and the others, but it is a way of honoring all women by raising the awareness of the issues that Shoujo Kakumei Utena treats with such dream-like thoroughness and honesty. We hope that, as this site develops, other people will be interested in contributing to the body of analysis here.

Please note that most of these articles will contain spoilers for key events in the series.


What's Happening in the Poison Scene?
Is Utena a Tragic Hero?
Is Anthy a Goddess?
One Weird Scene in the Black Rose Saga Explained... A Little.
The Use of Names in Utena