The Rose Bride

The Rose Bride is an anime episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena that was released on 04/02/1997
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Plot Summary

The episode opens with a story about a young princess. The princess’s parents have both died, leaving her lonely and sad. Before her appears a prince on a white horse. He wraps her in a rose scented embrace and tells her not to cry. He gives her a rose ring and tells her it will lead her to him. Then he rides off. The princess admires the prince so much, she vows to become a prince herself.

A girl named Wakaba waits for someone to meet her outside Ohtori Academy. When asked who she’s waiting on, Wakaba says she’s meeting her boyfriend. The other girls tease her saying “she” (the boyfriend) ditched Wakaba and left the dorm early. Wakaba angrily storms off to find her friend.

A girl, Utena Tenjou, wearing a boy’s uniform walks into the school. She is immediately confronted by a teacher and scolded for not wearing a proper girl’s uniform. Utena points out that there is no rule saying girls are not allowed to wear boy’s uniforms.

After a basketball game, Utena walks by a conservatory. She smells the scent of roses and wonders why it makes her think of her past. She looks down at the rose ring on her finger as if looking for an answer. She sees a girl come out of the conservatory. Then a man with long, green hair shows up and begins to yell at her. He hits her multiple times across the face before being stopped by another man with long, red hair.

Wakaba sneaks up and jumps on Utena’s back. Wakaba recognizes the green haired man to be Saionji. Utena adds though she didn’t know him, she knew the other man as Touga Kiryuu--student council president. Wakaba adds that Saionji is vice president of the student council and the girl is Anthy Himemiya. Utena asks if Anthy and Saionj are dating. Wakaba insists they are not revealing her crush on Saionji. She teases Utena saying, Utena will be her only true love.

Saionji is called to a meeting before the student council. They criticize his treatment of Anthy or “The Bride” as she is called. Though Saionji is currently engaged to “The Bride” he is not allowed to treat her as he pleases. The council exists because of a group called “The End of the World,” and Saionji is warned that the group will not tolerate his behavior. Saionji tells the council to mind their own business and challenges any one of the council to duel him from the bride as according to the rules of the rose seal. Touga warns that a new duelist will appear to challenge him, however Saionji laughs at the idea.

Utena and Wakaba lay on the grass together looking at Utena’s ring. Wakaba says the crest on it looks exactly like the school’s crest. Utena tells Wakaba that a prince on a white horse gave her the ring, saying it would lead her to him. Wakaba replies it reminds her of when her mother used to tell her she was the princess of the Onion Kingdom.

As the girls walk back into the school, they see a crowd of boys gathered around the bulletien board. A love letter sent to Saionji is tacked to the board and everyone is reading it aloud. Utena angrily tears down the letter, yelling at the boys. She sees Wakaba in tears and realizes the letter was written by her friend. Utena seeks out Saionji in the kendo practice room. She accuses him of putting up the letter which he admits to. Utena angrily picks up a kendo sword and challenges Saionji to a duel after school. Saionji agrees and tells her to meet him in the dueling arena in the forest behind the school.

After school, Utena walks into the forest carrying a kendo sword. She approaches a large gate with elaborate sculpting that appears locked. She wonders how to open it. She experimentally pulls a lever; a drop of water from a pool inside or behind the gate hits the crest on Utena’s ring. The gate opens revealing a long, spiral staircase. Utena climbs the stairs. She reaches a platform at a top and notices a shining castle floating in the sky.

Utena asks what the castle is, and Saionji replies it’s mirage. He says he is surprised to see a person not on the student council wears a rose seal. Utena is confused until Saionji shows her his ring--it looks exactly like the one she wears. Anthy appears wearing a beautiful, red princess dress. She carries two roses, one green and the other white. She pins the green rose to the chest of Saionji’s uniform and the white rose to Utena’s. Anthy tells Utena when the rose is cut off her chest, she loses the duel. She wishes Utena good luck, and Saionji strikes her for it. Utena asks Anthy why she takes his ill treatment. Anthy replies that because Saionji is the current champion Duelist she must do whatever he orders. Utena states though she doesn’t understand everything that’s going on, she will win the duel to protect Anthy.

Anthy begins to glow, and Saionji pulls out a sword from her chest asking for the power to revolutionize the world. The fight begins. Saionji mocks Utena for behaving like a prince attempting to rescue a damsel in distress. He cuts her wooden sword apart. Saionji tells her that she is foolish to challenge the Sword of Dios with a wooden sword; he is surprised Utena knows nothing about the sword. The two duelists rush each other. Utena emerges with her rose intact. She managed to cut off Saionji’s rose with the remaining stub of her sword. Touga watches the fight from a distance and says Utena has lit a fire in his heart.

After the duel, Utena walks back to her dorm and reflects on the day’s events. She sees Anthy waiting for her. Anthy says she is the Rose Bride and now belongs to Utena. The two walk toward the dorm together.

Sub vs. Dub Differences

The mispronunciation of Utena Tenjou's last name as "Ten-joo" instead of "Ten-joe" starts from this episode to Episode 12 making the error last for an entire story arc.

Characters & Voice Actors

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Utena Tenjou ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Tomoko Kawakami ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Rachael Lillis ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Anthy Himemiya ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Yuriko Fuchizaki ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Touga Kiryuu ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Crispin Freeman ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Takehito Koyasu ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Saionji Kyouichi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Takeshi Kusao ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Wakaba Shinohara ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Yuka Imai ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Shadow Girls ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Maria Kawamura ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Satomi Kōrogi ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Kumiko Watanabe ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)

Credits

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Takahiro Tanaka Key Animator Key animator and Animation director

Locations

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Concepts

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Objects

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