The Utena Tarot.

Utena Characters

Welome to the homepage for my "Utena Tarot" project.

What is this all about? So basically, there's this awesome shoujo/yuri anime called Revolutionary Girl Utena, and I'm basically insane about it. I'm too lazy to write a summary, so I'll get AI to do it for me.

ME: Good afternoon, ChatGPT. Could you please write a short description and summary of the anime "Revolutionary Girl Utena" for me?

CHATGPT: Good afternoon! Sure, I'd be happy to provide a brief description and summary of "Revolutionary Girl Utena.""Revolutionary Girl Utena" is a surreal and thought-provoking anime that combines elements of fairy tales, romantic drama, and action. It was created by Kunihiko Ikuhara and first aired in 1997.

The story follows Utena Tenjou, a teenage girl who was deeply affected by a prince she met in her childhood. Inspired by the prince's chivalry, she decides to become a prince herself and to fight against the oppression of women. To achieve this, she attends Ohtori Academy, a mysterious and elite school, where she becomes involved in a series of duels to win the Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya. The Rose Bride is said to possess the power to revolutionize the world, and the winner of the duels will gain the right to possess her.As Utena fights her way through the duels, she learns more about the other participants, including their motivations and secrets. She also becomes increasingly entangled with Anthy, who is more than just a passive prize. Together, Utena and Anthy challenge the status quo and confront the dark forces that control Ohtori Academy.

"Revolutionary Girl Utena" is known for its symbolism, subversion of gender roles, and exploration of themes such as identity, trauma, and power. It has been praised for its imaginative storytelling, distinctive art style, and memorable characters. Overall, it's a unique and compelling anime that has influenced many subsequent works in the genre.

Thanks, labor exploitation machine!

There are 39 episodes of Utena, and they center on the "rules of the rose seal," the 21 duels that will grant the champion the power to revolutionize the world. Interestingly, there are 22 cards in the major arcana of the Tarot. There are also 16 "court cards," four for each of the four suits. 22+16 = 38... I got to thinking about how to merge these two hyperfixations of mine and I realized that if I included the movie as the last major arcana card, then one could map the sequence and "story" of the tarot onto Utena. It ended up corresponding much better than I thought, so in this series of posts I'm going to try and connect the symbolic worlds of Utena and Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot. This will be pretty much inaccessible to someone who hasn't seen Utena, but could hopefully provide intros to tarot symbolism to those who have seen the show.

Tarot Cards.

There's lots of interesting quirks, like how all the fire court cards are on episodes about the Prince / Akio, the sword court cards all falling on Nanami episodes, and how all 3 recap episodes are water cards. The synchronicities between the major arcana and the duels are where things really shine, though. There's so much to dig into here, so just have a look through the index of posts below!


01 - The Rose Bride - THE FOOL.


Raven's Tarot Site. Source of Tarot Explanation Images. Sicknasty tarot reference, source for quotations and correspondences. The Utena Fansite.