Mark Watches ‘Revolutionary Girl Utena’: Episode 19

In the nineteenth episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena, I FELL FOR IT SO HARD. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Utena.

I suspect y’all knew I’d fall for this. BRAVO, YOU WERE RIGHT.

  • This was SUCH a good episode, y’all. The constant exploration of all the side characters? Incredible. And Wakaba, who has been a constant presence in Utena’s life, deserved to have her own story told. AND WHAT A STORY THAT IS
  • Again, there are common themes present in “The Song of the Fallen Kingdom” that tie in with other plots and character motifs. Wakaba and Tatsuya are obsessed in some sense, but they never go to quite to the same lengths as other students. Instead, this is a story about unrequited love turning into something else – with EXTREMELY SHOCKING RESULTS.
  • “The Song of the Fallen Kingdom” breaks a lot of patterns. The curtain sequence at the beginning does not open on Utena’s past with her prince. Instead, Wakaba is shown with her prince, hinting at her own fairy tale to come. Back when Wakaba was a child, she was teased relentlessly, but her friend Tatsuya protected her. She referred to him as her Onion Prince. (I think that this wasn’t the first time we’ve heard this, yes? I could swear that Wakaba mentioned her Onion Prince before, but I could just be confusing him with Davos LOL.) And so, the great misdirect that is this episode is set in stone, and I FELL FOR IT COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY.
  • Seriously, everything pointed towards Wakaba’s and Tatsuya’s unrequited love for one another, which was already a twist on a theme we’d seen before. I believed that Utena’s conversation with Akio was the key to this story, since it suggested that what Tatsuya and Wakaba really needed to do was just discover what was truly in their hearts. (Incidentally, that’s still the case, and I am bewildered by how that bit of foreshadowing still applies, EXCEPT IT’S FOR WAKABA AND I CAN’T BELIEVE I FELL FOR THIS.)
  • The thing is, so much of the conflict in “The Song of the Fallen Kingdom” revolves around miscommunication. Tatsuya confuses Wakaba by sending that love letter to Utena, despite that the only reason he’s doing this is so that he can be closer to Wakaba. And we’re meant to assume that Wakaba’s love for Tatsuya is rooted in his role as the “prince” in her past. So that whole scene where Tatsuya arrives to be officially introduced to Utena a second time is a HORRIBLE MESS, and it’s because everyone is hiding their true intentions.
  • I did appreciate that this episode portrayed Utena’s actions as slightly flawed, too. She thought she knew what was in Wakaba’s heart, but her mischaracterization of Wakaba’s feelings actually set up Tatsuya for a horrible disappointment. She was so certain that Tatsuya was the prince that Wakaba loved that she basically sent him after Wakaba.
  • OH GOD. How is she going to react when she finds out the truth?
  • More on that in just a bit, I swear. It’s much clearer to me how Mikage’s Seminar works in the context of the Ohtori Academy. After Tatsuya discovers that he is definitively not the prince in Wakaba’s heart, he heads for the Seminar, which acts as a sort of word-of-mouth counseling service. If that’s the case, then it makes a lot of sense. Mikage is looking to exploit the emotional vulnerabilities of the students at the school, and using counseling as a front will provide him with the most applicable subjects. Which is immensely disturbing, since the kids seeking help are already extremely messed up as it is.
  • Because Tatsuya’s interrogation does NOT follow the pattern of past ones. As he admits to his heartbreak and his desire to do right by Wakaba, Mikage REJECTS HIM AS A DUELIST BECAUSE HE IS ACTUALLY A GOOD PERSON. Which totally changes my understanding of this place! I just assumed that Mikage could manipulate anyone he wanted and use them, but this highly suggests that if a person has good intentions or a good heart, the Black Rose will not work on them.
  • But this was nothing compared to the reveal of who Wakaba’s prince actually was.
  • HOW
  • HOW????

The video for “The Song of the Fallen Kingdom” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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