Revolutionary Girl Utena ‒ Episode 7

Original Source

Utena’s characters are all dysfunctional. And they all try to hide away that damaged part of themselves. In order to hide that damaged part of yourself, it takes strength. In this world, there are many people who are lacking for something but don’t know what it is and can still continue to live. However, people who think “I can’t continue this way,” can become duelists. The duels at Ohtori Academy were created for that purpose, for those who have the intense will to bury that part of themselves.

Takuya Igarashi (aka Jugo Kazayama), “Art of Utena” artbook

While that quote provides an excellent illustration of Utena’s timeless power (and the thrust of this episode’s ideas about Juri’s “strength”), not everything about the show has aged so gracefully. It could be argued that everything about episode 7 revolves around its ending twist, which may have been mind-blowing in 1997 (thanks to some great misdirection in the build-up), but might seem downright trite or obvious nowadays. Even if new viewers somehow managed to avoid the spoiler that Juri is gay after twenty years, they probably would have been able to guess the reveal before it landed, because anime these days from