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Main characters

Utena Tenjou

Utena Tenjou (天上 ウテナ Tenjō Utena?)
  • (romanized as Tenjou in the English manga and Tenjo in the English anime)
  • Translation: Tenjō > "Protection of Heaven". Utena > "Calyx" [Botany > a shell-like structure formed of tough green petals (sepals) that covers and protects the budding flower until it blooms].
  • Enoki Films's name: Ursula
  • Voice: Tomoko Kawakami / Rachael Lillis
  • Rose Color: White, Pink
  • Rose Bride: Anthy Himemiya
  • Sword: Shinai, Sword of Dios, Rapier
  • (Anime) Drive to Duel: (progressively) the desire to protect Anthy.

Utena is a tomboyish, courageous and naïve character who lives to emulate the idealized prince figure from her childhood. She is forthright, honest, and friendly. Nearly all the girls in school idolize her. She both subverts and conforms to the stereotypes she embodies as a noble warrior and a naive magical girl in danger of becoming a damsel in distress. The series chronicles her journey to protect her friend Anthy and become a truly noble Prince. Her Dueling Rose is white.

In the manga series, her parents died when she was six years old. On that day she was wandering around, lost, and she fell through a hole in a fence that enclosed a river area. Utena nearly drowned but was saved by a mysterious Prince who kissed away her tears and told her that if she did not lose her noble heart, they would meet again. He left with her a rose signet ring (the Rose Seal as it is called by the duelists). Later on, Utena receives picture cards that give her clues as to where her prince is. By following these clues, she finds herself at Ohtori Academy.

In the anime, the initial story the anime presents is almost identical to that of the manga, except with darker detail. Flashbacks show the young Utena climbing into a coffin upon her parents' deaths, seeing no point in living if all humans eventually perish. She is "saved" by Prince Dios, who instills in her a drive to become a Prince herself. Up until the end of the series, Utena believes that her thirst for selfless nobility springs from her desire to meet her Prince again.

In both the anime and manga, Utena accidentally becomes a Duelist and wins Anthy as the Rose Bride. Though critical of the Duels for objectifying Anthy, her desires to protect Anthy as well as a drive to act like a Prince lead her to become the Duels most prominent Champion. As the series passes, her nobility is continuously tested, until she is finally forced to confront her own hypocrisy.

In the anime's finale, Akio tries to convince Utena to become his princess, and despite being reminded of her own failings and her feelings for him, Utena goes against him in the duel called Revolution. Her revived dedication to become a prince shocks Akio, and causes the destruction of the illusionary castle above the arena, where Utena gets the upper hand- only to get stabbed in the back by Anthy. Her sword taken from her, Utena is forced to watch Anthy being impaled by the swords of hatred while Akio tries to open the Rose Gate with her sword. But, after being goaded by Dios, Utena drags herself to the Rose Gate and pulls it open with her bare hands. Behind the Gate is Anthy, inside a coffin, and pleads for Utena to not try to save her. Utena doesn't listen and begs Anthy to take her hand. Upon doing so, the coffin breaks off of the arena and falls towards Earth and Utena is pierced by the swords in Anthy's place, which then destroy the arena. Some time after, people are starting to forget that Utena was ever at the academy, with Akio commenting that she became "another side leftover to be pitied". But, Utena did indeed get her wish, and managed to free Anthy from her bonds to the school and Akio. The anime ends with Anthy leaving the academy to find Utena.

In the movie, Utena travels to Ohtori Academy after supposedly breaking up with her past boyfriend Touga. It is also assumed that after her separation from Touga she was in an emotional turmoil that led her to the academy. However, she sees him on her first day on campus. Her hair is cut short, giving her more of a male's appearance, causing Saionji to initially mistake her for a boy. Additionally, Utena is a more bisexual character in the movie being coquettish with Wakaba and does not seem to mind her more boyish appearance. She is extremely troubled by Touga's apparent abandonment of her, and her interactions with Anthy express a level of introversion not present in the anime series, though she also shows an unpredictable streak and is once physically violent towards Anthy in anger. This is said by fans to be Utena's adoption of a more masculine personality. Initially Utena's aim to be a prince is more subtle than prominent compared to the anime series. It is Touga's supposed abandonment of her that caused her to feel that she must be more independent and a "prince" by nature. Though she states that Touga was always the prince she wanted, the movie deals with her own metamorphosis in becoming a prince. Many fans noted that Utena and Anthy seemingly swap personalities in the movie, and that Utena is the one who must be saved by Anthy. Their physical appearances also seem to mirror their respective series incarnations (seeing that Utena has wavy hair and Anthy has straight hair, which was the opposite in the series).

Anthy Himemiya

Anthy Himemiya (姫宮 アンシー Himemiya Anshī?)

A mysterious, shy girl whose vapid expression and superficial politeness mask a complex, darker persona. She is said to have no thoughts or desires besides that of what her master expect of her. Because of her "doormat" behavior, other characters tend to project their wants or desires onto her, and she's always the target of their eventual rage. Her past and current personality are simultaneously tragic and sinister, and her personality sifts between selfless love, passive-aggressive revenge, cruelty, and learned helplessness. Like Utena, Anthy also subverts and conforms to the stereotypes she embodies as both a damsel in distress and a witch.

Anthy appears to house the Sword of Dios within her own body. At the beginning of a duel, she slips into a trance and the Sword manifests, protruding from her chest so that her champion may draw it from her. This Sword is said to be a key to reaching the goal of Revolution, and Anthy, in her position as the Rose Bride, is supposed to be the key to obtaining it.

Anthy exhibits other unusual abilities as well, including magically embellishing Utena's uniform before the duel. She seems to be able to completely alter her appearance, or at least induce others to see her for someone other than who she really is. Likewise, there is some indication that she has the ability to transform others as well (as in the episode "The Cowbell of Happiness").

According to the Adolescence of Utena manga, Anthy is in fact responsible for the dueling of which she is the prize. When her prince Dios (or Akio) died, she became reborn as the Rose Bride. When she took this role, the Dueling Arena appeared and the "game" was set in motion so another "Prince" could take Akio's place. In the anime series, the duels are a strategic game set in motion to restore Akio's former powers and open the Gate of Revolution. In both of the movie and manga (and sometimes in the anime), Anthy tries to make sexual advances towards Utena, but then she realizes that she's her real prince and that she loves her.

In the movie, she seems happier and is much more sexually aggressive towards Utena. Her physical appearance is also changed, as she does not wear glasses and her hair is loose (similar to her appearance in the last few episodes of the anime). The design of her dress is also different, being mainly white. Anthy seemingly saves Utena by encouraging her to move past her vice (Touga) and rescues Utena in a subversion of the damsel in distress archetype.

In the anime, she appears to be servile and obedient to all, especially her current victor, whose every wishes she must cater to. Because of this, many Duelists believe that she lacks a personality and thoughts of her own, and she is treated badly by them. However, Anthy only pretends to be so in order to keep them in the Duels, and often enjoys subtly taking revenge on those around her.

Both the anime and manga feature similar –but altogether different– circumstances wherein Anthy becomes the Rose Bride. In the movie, the world views her brother, Dios, as a prince. In reality, he is the tainted Lord of the Flies. He commits suicide when one of his most shameful secrets is revealed to Anthy, causing her to establish the Duels in order to find a replacement prince. Anthy later wholeheartedly accepts Utena as the prince she had been waiting for, but instead of staying, Utena decides that the two of them should travel to the world "outside" Ohtori, where they will not be bound by the ideas of princes and princesses.

In the anime, Dios is an actual prince who saves the girls in the world on a daily basis. The work eventually weakens him to the point of death, but the world still demands his services. Anthy ends up facing an angry mob alone in order to protect him, and is stabbed by a million swords. The swords quickly take a life of their own, eternally thirsting for a prince's blood. To combat the pain, Anthy splits herself in two, and seals the part of her containing the swords beyond the Rose Gate, becoming the Rose Bride. This incident shatters Dios' faith in the world, and he is also split in two. One part of him becomes an altruistic but powerless ghost, while the other part becomes selfish and manipulative Akio. No longer a prince, Akio loses most of his power, so he establishes the Dueling Game to regain it. Anthy accepts her role as the Rose Bride, despite the suffering it inflicts on her, because she does not want to live in a world which had tortured her and her brother.

Anthy appears to be an Asian Indian, probably Tamil. She is noticeably darker than the other characters and wears a bindi mark or jewel.

Akio Ohtori

Akio Ohtori (鳳 暁生 Ōtori Akio?)

Anthy's older brother, the acting chairman of the academy, and the closest character to a main antagonist the series has. Although barely present in the first season of the show, he later plays a pivotal role in the second and third seasons.

His given name, Akio, literally translates as "Beginning / Ending of Life". At one point, he makes a pun on his name that derives from ake no myoujou ("The Shining Star of the Morning"), the Japanese name for Venus, which is identified with Lucifer. His last name, Ōtori, refers to the Feng-Huang, or Chinese Phoenix, which symbolizes the dual balance of the Yang (male) and Yin (female) energies of the Tao and embodies the Five Virtues of Chinese medicine. The European Phoenix is a creature that is born in the morning and dies at night to be reborn at the next dawn.

His identity of Prince Dios refers to Dios, a Greek word meaning "Divine" or "God-like".

In his youth, Akio and Dios were apparently one and the same, but he became corrupted and lost his purpose as a "prince". Given the origin of his name and his role in the story, Akio may be compared to a fallen angel. In the manga, Anthy split the two intentionally; in the anime his fall is more vague; it appears to be catalyzed by Anthy, but likewise also by his own loss of faith in the world which tortures both him and his sister. In order to regain the power he lost when he lost his nobility, he creates the Dueling Game in order to create a Duelist with a sword noble and powerful enough to break the Rose Gate sealing his lost power. In the movie, "Dios" is merely an illusion created by Anthy to hide her brother's flaws so she can have a hero to believe in.

In the anime, Akio uses Utena's familiarity with his "better half" to his advantage and becomes her lover, in order to test whether or not her nobility is strong enough to choose saving her friend over being with her supposed-Prince.

Akio appears to dominate his sister Anthy both personally and sexually; their incestuous and power-driven relationship is key to Anthy's behavior in both the anime (where Anthy is, or pretends to be, held in thrall to her brother) and the movie (where events cause the balance of power to shift dramatically). However, the power is not completely held by Akio, as he is dependent upon Anthy for various reasons. In the anime, Akio appears to show genuine love for Anthy, and even feels her pain, but he is driven by his selfishness and very nature to continue his role in the duels. He grieves over his lost role of the Prince, but —as Anthy herself points out— he chose the path he walked down.

Akio is also a remarkable playboy with many and varied conquests. The list includes Kanae, Utena, Kozue, Tokiko, Touga, and even Kanae's mother; there are also insinuations involving Saionji and Wakaba. Akio's trademark symbol is his jazzy automobile, in which he invites friends, Duelists, and potential sexual partners to take a midnight ride. Creator Ikuhara has stated Akio's general appearance and presentations, as well as his car, are meant to represent the adult world and adult power.

Student Council members

If the egg's shell does not break, the chick will die without being born. We are the chick; the egg is the world. If the world's shell does not break, we will die without being born. Break the world's shell! For the sake of revolutionizing the world! – Ohtori Academy's Student Council oath (paraphrased from Hermann Hesse's Demian).

Ohtori Academy's Student Council play a vital role in the series. Moved by his or her own personal interests, their great objective is to bring "World Revolution" and in order to obtain it, a true champion must rise from their battles to obtain possession of the Rose Bride. Instructed by letters sent from an entity called "End of the World", each of them possesses a rose signet ring similar to the one Utena received from her prince, allowing them to participate in the duels. Some view Utena only as a threat to their plans, while others develop some sympathy for her. During the duels, they place on their chests a single rose that matches the color of their hair or clothing.

Juri Arisugawa (有栖川 樹璃 Arisugawa Juri?)
  • Also romanized as "Jury Arisugawa"
  • Enoki Films's name: Julie
  • Voice: Kotono Mitsuishi / Mandy Bonhomme
  • Rose Color: Orange
  • Rose Bride: Ruka Tsuchiya
  • Sword: Rapier
  • (Anime) Drive to Duel: To disprove the power of miracles.

The captain of the academy's fencing team, Jury is one of Ohtori's most highly respected students, and even the teachers appear to be in awe of her. Her aloof, intimidating manner belies a dark secret. Of the Student Council Duellists, she is thought to be the most noble, and thus the one with the most potential to become a Prince, but her nobility and the strength that comes with it are constantly undermined by her desires and despair. Her Dueling Rose is orange.

Behind her outwardly strong appearance, she is actually very vulnerable, as she has been hurt in the past by her friend Shiori, with whom Juri was secretly in love. While viewers are at first led to believe that Shiori stole Juri's boyfriend from her, it is later revealed that it was in fact Shiori who Juri cared about all along.

Juri adamantly insists that she doesn't believe in miracles, and wants the power of the Rose Bride to disprove the power of miracles. However, she desperately wishes for a miracle in order to resolve her situation with Shiori. Her hardened, bitter attitude often puts her in conflict with Utena because her naivete and optimism remind her of the person she once was.

She wears a locket with Shiori's picture inside, and in the Black Rose arc, Shiori learns of Juri's feelings after Mikage shows her the contents of the locket. In the third arc, Utena breaks Juri's locket during her final duel, prompting her to throw the match.

Juri is depicted in both versions as having learned all she knows about swordsmanship from an older student, Ruka Tsuchiya. In the manga, Touga reveals that Juri only became interested in him after Ruka disappeared. In the anime, Juri's true feelings are much more ambiguous, as she denies having any romantic interest in Ruka. In both versions, Ruka returns to the Duels despite serious illness in order to give Juri the power of miracles and save her from her burdens. Though they are unable to beat Utena, Juri is finally freed from her problems with Shiori by the end of her final duel. Juri and Utena's relationship then becomes more peaceful, with Juri jokingly asking for Utena's picture so she could put it in her new locket.

In the final episode of Utena, Juri tells a story about her elder sister, who nearly drowned. In her story, a boy dies trying to save her older sister; this was played upon in the movie (see below). Her final appearance shows her training her fencing club members, including the newly inducted Shiori.

In the manga, Juri is student council treasurer. Her nickname is 'The Beautiful Leopard' and she is the captain of the fencing club. In the manga, there is no Shiori; Juri is in love with Touga instead. Touga, however, is in love with Utena, and so Juri sees Utena as her arch-rival. Juri takes a far more actively antagonistic role against Utena in the manga, almost more similar to Nanami's role in the anime.

In Adolescence of Utena, Juri is the president of the Student Council (the Council's members are apparently Miki, Juri and Saionji). According to Wakaba, her nickname is "The Prince." She allows Shiori to manipulate her, but feels trapped by Shiori as well.

In the scene wherein a young Touga jumps into the river to save the drowning girl, leaving Utena behind on the land, we never see the girl's face or are told who she is. In the interview with Ikuhara in the extras included with the English release of the movie, Ikuhara reveals that the girl in the boat is, in fact, Juri herself (this is possibly why Juri plays "Prince" to Shiori, because she feels guilty for Touga's death; Touga apparently had a relationship with both Utena and Shiori). This is likely a play on Juri's story in the last episode of the TV series ("Someday, Together, We'll Shine" or "Someday, Shine With Me" as the closer translation of the original title), wherein it was her older sister who nearly drowned.

Juri's older sister never appears in the anime, movie or manga.

Miki Kaoru (薫 幹 Kaoru Miki?)
  • Enoki Films's name: Mickey
  • Voice: Aya Hisakawa / Jimmy Zoppi
  • Rose Color: Blue
  • Rose Bride: Kozue Kaoru
  • Sword: Épée
  • (Anime) Drive to Duel: To find "that which shines".

Miki is an ingenuous and polite seventh grader who befriends Utena, despite their role as possible opponents in the duels. He is especially known for his skill with the piano. In spite (or because of) his genius, he is lonely, sheltered, and insecure, and seeks a person who is just as pure and talented as him. His Dueling Rose is light blue.

A piano player par excellence, Miki has fond memories of playing songs with his twin sister Kozue in his childhood, but her refusal to play with him in the present — the symbol of a much deeper rift — gives Miki a sense of loss. His crush on Anthy in the anime (but on Utena in the manga) develops when he realizes that they remind him of his estranged sister. In both adaptations, his drive to duel stems from a desire to find something to replace Kozue in his affections. All the females of the school, even older ones, idolize him, but Kozue threatens any girls who attempt to get too close to him. Likewise he is very protective of her, and so she tries to make him jealous by dating as many boys as possible. He is a member of the Student Council, his position appearing to be the council secretary. He frequently appears with a stopwatch in hand. Miki is also a member of the fencing club. Letters sent to Miki from his parents hint at the fact that his parents are divorced.

In the movie, Miki is shown as having a stronger relationship with Juri, and he more clearly is beginning to resent his sister. He and Kozue bathe together in one scene, in which he tells her that they can never be as close as they once were and she presses a razor to his throat and accuses him of being a traitor. It is implied he has a part in turning her into a car like Utena or Shiori, though this is never elaborated on.

Touga Kiryuu (桐生 冬芽 Kiryū Tōga?)
  • Enoki Films's name: Tommy
  • Voice: Takehito Koyasu / Crispin Freeman
  • Rose Color: Red
  • Rose Bride: Kyouichi Saionji
  • Sword: Katana, Sword of Dios, Longsword
  • (Anime) Drive to Duel: To possess the power of the "World Revolution" simply for the sake of possessing power.

President of the Student Council and Ohtori's resident playboy, Touga is an arrogant and handsome young man whose desire to be powerful drives him to cruel and unscrupulous deeds. He is the only regular Council Member who deliberately involves himself in Akio's plans, and the only person besides Akio himself (in the anime's first arc, before Akio appears) who causes Utena to doubt herself. Despite his talent and intelligence, Touga eventually realizes that he's nowhere near as influential as Akio or as strong as Utena, and this causes him to change his ways as he tries to discover a new method to gain power. His Dueling Rose is red.

Although he says that he wishes to be noble, he has little empathy towards anyone, and his powers of manipulation are second only to Akio. He also shares his playboy attiude and has many female conquests. He is a childhood friend of Saionji, although their relationship took a turn for the worse at a point in their childhood that is the centerpiece of their respective personal journeys.

Toward the end of the series, however, Touga's facade of chivalry is replaced with an apparently truer concern for Utena, to the extent that he very subtly attempts to substitute his head for hers on Akio's chopping block. Arguably, this is also an example of Touga's inability to see Utena as who she really is, rather than in a stereotypical feminine role.

The Manga portrays Touga as taking a more obvious and definite personal love for Utena. He vows to serve her when she defeats him in their second duel, and tries his best to protect her from the machinations of Ends of the World. In the anime, this does not happen until the end of the series, and Touga's concern for Utena is far more ambiguous. Also, at the end of the Manga where everyone in the academy had forgotten Utena ever existed, Touga was the only one besides Anthy to have remembered Utena and wish Anthy luck hoping that she can find Utena and bring her back.

In the movie Touga's significance is amplified and his bad traits completely removed. He is not a flirtatious, over-confident playboy, but a man who sees and knows Utena, and loves her. He is her childhood love and a significant figure in Utena's psyche. His seeming abandonment of Utena is the reason for her wish to become a prince, but as the movie progresses, Touga is revealed to be a ghost, who died to save a young girl (Juri) while he was with Utena. There is also an apparent love triangle consisting of Utena, Juri, and Shiori, and is a major reason for the conflict between the three. Near the end of the movie, Utena's repressed memory of his death is uncovered and she accepts it, allowing his spirit to vanish from Earth.

In the movie adaptation only, Touga is shown to have suffered from child abuse, as he tells Shiori about having been “sold” to an older man for sexual purposes.

Nanami Kiryuu (桐生 七実 Kiryū Nanami?)
  • Enoki Films's name: Nanette
  • Voice: Yuri Shiratori / Leah Applebaum
  • Rose Color: Yellow
  • Rose Bride: Touga Kiryuu
  • Sword: Scimitar (main) and Dagger (as main-gauche)
  • (Anime) Drive to Duel: Her big brother's honor, her own self-worth, and validation of her relationship with Touga.

Touga's dramatic little sister, often used as comic relief throughout the series. Her love for her brother borders on obsession and incest, and she is often seen using devious scenes to punish the people who take her brother's attentions away from her. Though her motivations are considered the simplest and least ambitious out of all the Duelists, they are no less real to her, and she suffers just as much as all the other Student Council members throughout the series. Her Dueling Rose is yellow.

She is very fond of Touga to the point of their relationship having a semi-incestuous edge, at least on her part. Nanami often makes various malicious attacks on students she deems inferior (or worse, those she suspects Touga is paying attention to). After Touga is wounded in a duel with Utena, she temporarily takes over as Student Council President, adopting a bright yellow uniform. In duels, Nanami uses a style of dual-blade fencing.

A few filler episodes in the series are specifically dedicated to Nanami and are usually standalone-type situations, breaking the convention of a standard Utena episode. Each has a metaphorical theme exploring Nanami's character in a sympathetic light, but are otherwise "gag episodes", meant to be humorous and are especially notorious for their bizarre content.

In the third arc of the anime, her sibling relationship with Touga is compared to Anthy's and Akio's, with the implication that it is less incestuous and controlling because neither Kiryuu is as manipulative.

Nanami is not a main character in the manga and is only seen once in a picture with Touga. She is seen only once in the movie, in a reference to an episode in which she was transformed into a cow.

Kyouichi Saionji (西園寺 莢一 Saionji Kyōichi?)
  • Enoki Films's name: Kevin Simon
  • Voice: Takeshi Kusao / Jack Taylor
  • Rose Color: Green
  • Sword: Sword of Dios, Katana
  • (Anime) Drive to Duel: To find "something eternal", to claim Anthy as his Rose Bride, and to finally defeat Touga.

Vice-president of the Student Council and captain of the kendo team. He is temperamental, egotistic, prone to angry rages, and often cruel. His lack of self-control stems from insecurity, a lifelong rivalry against Touga from which he is always at the losing end, and the fear that everyone and everything he knows will eventually die. He is obsessed with Anthy because he views the Rose Bride as a mindless doll who will never disobey him, and thus be with him forever. His Dueling Rose is green.

He and Touga practice kendo together, but Saionji is clearly very resentful of Touga, and especially cannot bear to be humiliated by him (a fact which Touga shamelessly exploits). Saionji is less perceptive, intelligent, and skilled as Touga, and despite his best efforts can never seem to best him. He is regardless affected by this estrangement from his childhood friend.

Though he stays for a short time with Wakaba Shinohara (whose crush on him and subsequent rejection were the catalyst for Utena's first duel) after being expelled from school. His obsession with Anthy ultimately draws him back, setting off a chain of events in the Black Rose Arc. He also tries unsuccessfully to covertly continue his relationship with Anthy through an "exchange diary". Near the end of the series Saionji and Touga uncover parts of their shared past and seemingly reconcile their relationship by the end of the series.

In the movie, Saionji has a fairly small part. His personality is exaggerated on the negative side, making him appear almost psychotically angry in the beginning and delusively egotistical towards the end. He is also more blatantly abusive of the Rose Bride, treating her like a tool, and his love for her is never touched upon. His relationship with Touga is non-existent.

Ruka Tsuchiya (土谷 瑠果 Tsuchiya Ruka?)
  • Voice: Nozomu Sasaki / Wayne Grayson
  • Rose: Blue
  • Rose Bride: Shiori Takatsuki
  • Sword: Rapier
  • (Anime) Drive to Duel: To give Juri, the one he loves, the power of miracles.

A master swordsman, Ruka is the former captain of the fencing team and a former member of the Student Council. His cunning, manipulative behavior belies a hidden desperation to live, and his influence on Juri becomes one of the major turning points for her character.

In the manga, Anthy served as Ruka's Rose Bride on several occasions before he left the school due to an unknown illness. He reappears at the school after a prolonged absence, claiming that he has recovered, though still not well enough to duel. He pushes Juri to duel Utena once again, but she throws the match after overhearing what she thinks is Ruka discussing with Touga how he's manipulating her. When she refuses to duel, Ruka himself is forced to duel Utena, and the strain causes a relapse of his illness. As he lies on the dueling field, he confesses to Juri that he pushed her because he thought she was the one worthy of Dios's power. He is hospitalized and dies, to Juri's disbelief. Touga comments that Juri was in love with Ruka first, but when he left she switched her love to Touga. Ruka explains that he left Juri without saying goodbye to avoid the painful farewell.

In the anime, it is not clear whether or not Ruka was a Duelist before he returns. When he returns, he takes Shiori as his girlfriend, though it's made clear that he was simply manipulating her. He duels Utena once with Shiori as his Rose Bride and loses. He then dumps Shiori and begins to court Juri. From him we learn that it was Juri who told him, "If you believe in miracles, they will occur." Ruka says he is in love with Juri, and forcefully kisses her during a fencing match; he states that he believes she was in love with him before he disappeared. As in the manga, it is due to his feelings for her that he wants her to claim the power of Dios and defeat Utena in order to save her from her burdens. Juri denies she was ever in love with him. Ruka subsequently appears as Juri's Rose Bride in her final duel, after which he leaves the school. His "death" is reported by the Shadow Girls, though unlike the manga, the reality of his death is debatable.

Ruka does not appear in the movie.

Black Rose Duelists

Souji Mikage (御影 草時 Mikage Sōji?)
  • Enoki Films's name: Sonny
  • Voice: Hikaru Midorikawa / Dan Green
  • Rose: Black
  • Sword: Sabre
  • Drive to Duel: To make Mamiya Chida the Rose Bride. (Anime) To finally defeat Mamiya's sister, Tokiko.

Mikage is the pink-haired head of the popular Mikage Seminar at Ohtori Academy. Originally he was Nemuro, a professor at Ohtori Academy working a project to "obtain eternity". Emotionless and uncaring, he learned to feel when he fell in love with Tokiko, and threw himself into his research in order to save her ailing brother Mamiya and preserve their family forever. His dreams were dashed when Akio seduced Tokiko and Mamiya died, causing him to burn down the dormitory because he believed it to be the last step to opening the gate to "revolutionize the world", killing the 100 boys inside its walls. His refusal to accept Mamiya's death causes him to maintain his youthful appearance over the years as Akio took adaventage of it for his own agenda.

Mikage took up residence at the dorm now called Nemuro Memorial Hall, using the caskets that hold the corpses of the 100 boys, each of whom was a duelist in life, in his scheme to kill Anthy and install "Mamiya" as the Rose Bride to save him from terminal illness. To accomplish this, he created the Black Rose Duelists to carry out the plan in his stead. Mikage uses manipulation and psychology to uncover their inner turmoil as they ride down to the basement in an elevator resembling a confessional. He gives each duelist a black Rose Crest ring from a random casket while Mamiya stabs the duelist with the stem of the black rose. After using Kanae Ohtori to test Utena, Mikage started to control students close to the Council members in order to create a Duelist who can beat Utena, having them steal the sword from the body of a Student Council member or another person they are close to. Consumed by their darkness, the Black Rose Duelist has no memory of the experience once defeated, as the casket used in creating the duelist is them incinerated.

Later, Mikage fights Utena as the final Black Rose duelist, using a saber reminiscent of the Sword of Dios. Upon his loss, Mikage learns that truth of his past, and it is implied that "Mamiya" was actually Anthy assuming his form as part of Akio's plan. Mikage leaves the school, and the timeline returns to its normal flow; all the events of the arc wiped from everyone's minds.

In the manga, Mikage tries to duel Utena, saying that he will kill both Utena and Anthy. It's revealed that he chooses to duel in order to bring back Mamiya, who died in the fire that destroyed the Nemuro Memorial Hall. Mikage dies when the building collapses.

Mikage does not appear in the movie.

Kanae Ohtori (鳳 香苗 Ōtori Kanae?)

Akio's fiancée, daughter of the school's Trustee Chairman. She is unnerved by Anthy, who deliberately distances herself from Kanae. When Kanae enters the Black Rose interview, she reveals that she finds Anthy to be creepy and intolerable. Receiving the ring from the D13 casket, Kanae is consumed by her distrust for Anthy, driving her Black Rose duel with Utena, starting the cycle of the Black Rose duels.

In the Final Saga of the manga, Kanae becomes a "Body Without Soul"; she doesn't move or speak and is always with Akio.

Kanae only appears briefly in the Utena movie. She is seen dancing with Akio and later appears grieving over his body when it is discovered in the rose garden.

Kozue Kaoru (薫 梢 Kaoru Kozue?)
  • Enoki Films's name: Chris
  • Voice: Chieko Honda / Roxanne Beck
  • Sword: Miki's Épée
  • Drive to Duel: To make sure that Miki is absolutely hers.

Miki's twin sister, Kozue feels shadowed by her brother's talents and reacts by sleeping with many different men. She's extremely possessive of Miki to the point where she physically hurts anyone who tries to hurt or "steal" him. She feels overshadowed by his talent and dirtied by comparison with him. Kozue resents Miki's affection for Anthy Himemiya and is prone to "acting out" to grab her brother's attention, most notably by exercising loose sexual morals. Like Nanami, Kozue also seems to have an extreme brother complex. She is very protective of Miki and is the reason that he does not have a girlfriend (despite the affection of many of his schoolmates).

Kozue considers herself a "wild animal", wanting to be freed from adult rules and restrictions (in reality, she is resentful of her father's remarrying).

In Adolescence of Utena she is shown as being very possessive of Miki, even holding a razor to his throat and calling him a traitor when he refuses to divulge details of his personal affairs to her. A car with Kozue's name is also seen briefly, though the director merely states that she became a car for "the same reason as Utena" and does not elaborate.

In the manga, Kozue's character differs drastically from her anime and movie counterparts. She is merely overprotective of her brother, and does not act out to get his attention. She is hurt deeply when she sees him trying to kiss Utena in her sleep, and believes that Miki has betrayed their bond. She is led into the dueling arena by Anthy and is trapped in a glass coffin floating in the air, which is what leads Miki to duel Utena. They reconcile upon Miki's defeat, when Kozue is freed.

Shiori Takatsuki (高槻 枝織 Takatsuki Shiori?)

Shiori is the catalyst for Juri's current broken state of mind. She simultaneously idolizes Juri for her brilliance and despises her for it. Her extreme lack of self-worth is the reason for the rocky relationship between the two, and it reaches a breaking point when Ruka re-enters Ohtori academy.

Juri's childhood friend, Shiori left the school after stealing the man she believed to be Juri's boyfriend in order to feel more powerful than her, leaving Juri devastated. Contrary to Shiori's initial beliefs, however, Juri is hurt because Shiori is the one she was in love with. Shiori is in some ways an innocent character, in denial of her true feelings of admiration for Juri. Due to her inferiority complex, her attitude towards Juri is often downright sadistic (as her schemes are often designed to hurt Juri for no reason other than to see her suffer) and at the same time masochistic (as Shiori hurts herself every time she hurts Juri). Upon discovering Juri's love for her, Shiori becomes a Black Rose Duelist and pulls her dueling sword from Juri.

In the movie, her role as an antagonist becomes much greater by manipulating Juri into dueling Utena. She is also shown as having been in love with Touga and therefore considers both Utena and Juri to be rivals for his affections. She also is a very horrid obstacle in Utena's path. In the end she attempts to thwart Utena's role in becoming a prince, as she believes Utena is the main reason Touga does not love her the way she wants him to.

Mitsuru Tsuwabuki (石路 美蔓 Tsuwabuki Mitsuru?)
  • Enoki Films's name: Mitch
  • Voice: Akiko Yajima / Ted Lewis
  • Sword: Nanami's Scimitar and Dagger
  • Drive to Duel: To become an adult.

Nanami's most devoted lackey, a fourth-grade student. He is obsessed with serving Nanami, and wishes to be her adored "brother". He is extremely confused about love, sex, and adulthood in general. His fruitless attempts to experiment lead to his transformation into a Black Rose Duelist.

Tsuwabuki does not appear in the movie.
Wakaba Shinohara (篠原 若葉 Shinohara Wakaba?)
  • Enoki Films's name: Wanda
  • Voice: Yuka Imai / Roxanne Beck
  • Sword: Saionji's katana
  • Drive to Duel: To become special and destroy those who are already special.

Wakaba is the most outwardly cheerful person in the series and is Utena's best friend, but she feels surrounded by "special" people and doesn't know how to become special herself. She is a co-dependent person who's only happy when she takes care of people because she doesn't feel like she has any other talents.

In the first episode ("The Rose Bride") she refers to Utena as her "boyfriend." Utena first dueled Saionji after he publicly posted a love letter that Wakaba gave to him in order to humiliate her. During the Black Rose Saga, it is revealed that she was harboring Saionji after his expulsion from school. When he returns due to his obsession with Anthy, she feels betrayed and seeks Mikage. Taking revenge, she pulls Saionji's katana out of his body to duel Utena.

In the movie, Wakaba appears only briefly. In her first scene, she gives Utena a tour of Ohtori Academy. Towards the end of the movie, she is shown as being transformed into a Jeep-like automobile and transporting the Student council members to rescue Anthy. (The movie makes a further pun on Wakaba's name by displaying a 'wakaba mark' — the green and yellow chevron that is used in Japan to signify a car being operated by a novice driver — on the back of the car.) Despite her initial interest in Utena, she is later seen with another boy, who looks similar to her friend Tatsuya from the anime. Ikuhara suggested that this boy was supposed to represent that Wakaba was living a "normal" life in Ohtori as opposed to the world of the Duelists and revolution.

In the manga, Wakaba's role is basically the same, except her last name is Fujihara instead of Shinohara.


Keiko Sonoda

Keiko Sonoda (苑田 茎子 Sonoda Keiko?)

Keiko is one of Nanami's sidekicks, who follow her only because she has a crush on Touga. Her jealousy, though as simple as Nanami's, is strong enough for Mikage to take advantage of her mind.

Keiko is Nanami's best friend. Like many other girls at the school, she has a secret obsession with Touga. Keiko is in love with him and wishes only to be with him. She is also very insecure and has low self-esteem. However, she knows that Nanami's clout and Touga's rank makes it impossible to even approach him. She is tossed out of Nanami's circle after she shares an umbrella with Touga, and becomes a Black Rose Duelist. Later on, she becomes one of Touga's many girlfriends upon learning that he and Nanami are not actually related, so she lets Nanami know exactly what she thinks of her. Later, Nanami beats up Keiko, Aiko, and Yuuko, and they are seen following her once again. In the series finale, all three are seen together again without Nanami.

Keiko does not appear in the movie.

Minor characters

Dios (ディオス Diosu?)

The enigmatic "prince" from Utena's childhood. Dios's name, which means "Godlike" in Greek, as well as his presentation in the anime, suggest that he is to be considered Utena's guardian angel. In the manga, Utena nicknames him "Mr. Licky-Lick" because of how he licked off her tears when she was sad. During most of the duels, it is shown that his spirit enters Utena's body and aids her. This is an indication that Dios may have been a skilled swordsman before his imprisonment.

Despite his limited screen time, Dios is a central figure in the anime and is at the center of the plot. Dios was created when Anthy imprisoned the Prince, splitting him into two parts (the other of which is Akio). However, it is not known whether it was a physical separation or if Dios exists only as a spirit.

During the anime, Dios is seen repeatedly providing assistance to Utena; whether this is part of Akio's plans or Dios' own will is uncertain. At the end of the series, it can be seen either way; he is either giving up on Utena, or he is actually goading her to go on. This is open for much debate.

Chuchu (チュチュ Chuchu?)

Anthy's pet (whom she will only refer to as friend, but may be more properly described as a familiar). He is a small marmoset who acts as comedic relief. However, he also acts as an omen of bad fortune in certain episodes. He dresses similar to Akio, with a yellow-striped red tie and a single gold earring because Anthy appears to be enthralled by Akio and Chuchu wants to please Anthy.

ChuChu is drawn much furrier by Chiho Saito in the manga than he is drawn in the anime, the anime itself making him look more like a mouse than a monkey.

Shadow Girls (影絵少女 Kagee Shōjo?)

Three girls (known as A-Ko, B-Ko, and C-Ko), seen only in silhouette, who spend about thirty seconds per episode energetically commentating on its events in symbolic allegory. Their antics provide both comic relief and insight into the show's plot. While they function much like a Greek chorus, their primary influence is shadow puppetry. A-Ko and B-Ko appeared during season one, but C-Ko became the sole Shadow Girl during season 2. All three girls appear in the third season.

They are frequently shown traveling in a spaceship shaped like a flying saucer. Ikuhara mentioned once that the three girls are actually aliens from planet Kashira, masquerading as humans to observe and study sentient life in our planet.

In episode 34, it is suggested that they are members of the school's drama club as well. In that episode, A-Ko and B-Ko act out a version of the story behind the series, suggesting that they may know about the nature of Akio and Anthy and their reason for the duels.

The movie reuses C-Ko and introduces two new Shadow Girls, E-Ko and F-Ko. The movie also introduces "Shadow Girl Central" (whose computers use KageOS), a studio where dozens of Shadow Girls act as announcers and help monitor the final race.

At the conclusion of Adolescence of Utena, all of the shadow girls in the "Shadow Girl Central" turn into straw dolls once the two heroines reach the outside world. The nametags on the straw dolls of E-ko and F-ko bear the names Anthy Himemiya and Utena Tenjou.

Tatsuya Kazami (Kazami Tatsuya)

Tatsuya is a childhood friend of Wakaba's. When they were little, she recruited him as her "Onion Prince" to protect her from the taunts of her classmates. As he's grown older, he's come to regard Wakaba with affection, but she has since turned her attentions to her new "Prince", Saionji. Tatsuya is the only character who goes through Mikage's confessional and is rejected as a duelist because his heart is "too pure" to be converted.

Mari Hozumi (Hozumi Mari)

Mari is a classmate of Tsuwabuki's, who tries to act as his common sense. She seems slightly jealous of his attentions to Nanami — and interestingly, vice versa.

Chigusa Sanjouin (三条院 千種 Sanjōin Chigusa?)
  • Sega Saturn character Only
  • Voice: Maya Okamoto
  • Rose Color: Blue

Chigusa is the antagonist for the main character (an unnamed one) in the Utena game for the Sega Saturn. She is an elegant girl who is very much like Utena in some ways, being boyish-looking and an athlete. Unlike her, however, Chigusa has a manipulative personality, much like that of Kozue or to an extent Akio. The game is changed with every choice (or friendship) the player makes, giving different endings and duels. This is measured by something called "Heart's Nobility": becoming a friend of Chigusa causes the Nobility to be lost, and if the player upsets Chigusa, Nobility is gained.

Mamiya Chida

The Indian boy who Mikage wants to replace Anthy with, similar in appearance to Anthy, Akio, and Dios. Mamiya is the younger brother of Tokiko Chida, a woman employed by the Ohtori Academy board, whom Mikage had become infatuated with back when he was Professor Nemuro. Mamiya was born with a mysterious, life-threatening illness, to which Tokiko hoped that the mysterious project Nemuro and the one hundred boys were working on could cure. Mikage became more driven to complete the project, also hoping that it could cure Mamiya.

At first, it was believed that Mamiya was the one who set fire to Nemuro Memorial Hall so the gates to the Dueling Arena could open, and years later Mamiya and Mikage would start sending out the Black Rose Duelists to challenge Utena, Mamiya breeding the black roses used to warp their ideal candidates. However, other than Akio and Tokio, Mamiya's existence is known to no one else other than the Black Rose Duelists, though they have no memory of him once the black rose is destroyed. Once the final black rose had been given to Mikage, it was revealed that the real Mamiya had actually died years ago, and that the "Mamiya" Mikage had been living with for all these years was an illusion Akio created while altering Mikage's memories of how the actual Mamiya looked like. Once Mikage disappeared, it was revealed that the fake Mamiya might have possibly been Anthy.

In the manga, though his sister is absent, Mamiya's role is similar as Mikage's drive. However, instead of being Akio's illusion, "Mamiya" is a figment on Mikage's imagination as the real one died in the fire that destroyed Nemuro Memorial Hall.


A manga only character, he only appears in the prologue. Kaido is Utena's best friend and classmate who also harbors romantic feelings for her. He defends her choice of uniform, saying it looks good on her, and follows her when she takes unusual routes from school to home. When Utena reveals her belief in "Mr. Licky-Lick" (Dios) based on her childhood experience and mysterious post cards she's received in the mail, Kaido doesn't believe her and sets out to disprove Dios's existence.

At first, he argues that the postcards were sent by Utena's aunt to comfort her. However, after Utena falls into the river to rescue a child, Kaido sees a manifestation of Dios for himself. He then reveals the secret in the postcards: when assembled, the pictures on each of them form Ohtori Academy. It is thanks to Kaido's research that Utena transfers to Ohtori.

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