Revolutionary Girl Utena was, at its core, always about the relationship between Utena Tenjou and Anthy Himemiya. We watched as the two grew closer together and developed a relationship, how Utena grew as a person, and the sacrifices we make for the people we love. Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution gives us more of that, only for the student council members who are still working through their own ordeals. We’re seeing the dynamics between other pairs of characters, how time has changed them, and the continuing influence the past has on their lives.
Editor’s Note: There will be no Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution spoilers below.
It’s more fitting to think of this as a collection of short stories by Chiho Saito than a straightforward “where are they now.” We see a series of vignettes in people’s lives. Yes, this means we do get to know how folks turned out after their time at Ohtori, which is interesting given what happened to Utena at the end of the the original story. But it’s more about seeing how people touch each others’ lives and that we are all in a constant state of flux.
Things begin with Touga Kiryuu and Kyouichi Saionji, the two student council members who were also childhood friends. They lead parallel lives, though the competitiveness and animosity remain. Especially since the events of the original story left them without the potential reconciliation there. Their story focuses on the differences the two share and distance, and how that could be worked through.
Juri Arisugawa’s tale is next, and we see how far her perfectionism and competitive nature have driven her. After all, that drive and excellence is what made her one of the more memorable fencers in the original story. But we’ve always known there’s been more to her, and this explores that and the relationships she has always held. It’s about dealing with the past and a possible future.
Finally, things come to a close with Miki Kaoru in a story focused on him and his sister. Of the three stories showcased, it’s the one with the most mature content in it. (As a trigger warning, there’s also discussion of abuse.) Spoilers aside, those familiar with the original series and movie will have some idea of where this is going.
In each case, Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution is an opportunity to see how these people change and grow even as adults. Its three stories take people through moments in the former student council members’ lives as they make some sort of change that will potentially change their lives. And, in so doing, we get to see it influence their relationships with others.
Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution will be available in English on October 6, 2020. A preview of the first chapter, which focuses on Kiryuu and Saionji, is available at Viz Media’s website.