Revolutionary Girl Utena Sword and Its Significance
Shoujo Kakumei Utena or Revolutionary Girl Utena, as it’s known in English, was one of the big magical girl animes of the 80s to 2000s, putting it right up there with the likes of Sailor Moon in terms of influence. The Japanese anime and manga series centered around a young girl named Utena who would wield a mystical sword in her mission to look for her prince, without knowing that she has the power to revolutionize the world.
Understanding the Swords and Duelists of Revolutionary Girl Utena
Revolutionary Girl Utena is a fantasy themed mahou shoujo series that is often described as a messed up take on a fairy tale. Created by artist Kunihiko Ikuhara, the franchise centered on Utena Tenjou who is given a ring by a prince from Ohtori Academy.
This fuels her desire to become a prince herself, despite being the only aspiring female prince in the series. When she enters the academy, she’s plunged into a world of sword duels against the Student Council, a mysterious group of students who pull the strings of this small world together with the chairman, Akio Ohtori.
Utena proves that she’s a skilled dueler, cutting past her competition to become the fiancee of Anthy Himemiya, a South Asian girl said to have the power to revolutionize the world. This is implied to be due to her connections to the “End of the World”, the person behind the dueling system of Ohtori Academy, and her ability to summon the Sword of Dios for Utena.
Aside from magical swords, other fencing swords and kendo swords appear in the series. Due to its European inspirations, though, it’s mostly fencing swords that get air time.
The Sword of Dios and Its Wielders
The Sword of Dios is a rapier style blade that can be obtained from the Rose Bride by winners of the Ohtori Academy sword fights. Once princes prove their worthiness, they are betrothed to the Rose Bride. The winning princes can then pull the Sword of Dios out of the Rose Bride’s chest. This is shown in the anime, manga, and the feature length film Adolescence of Utena.
The wielders of the Sword of Dios count protecting the Rose Bride among their responsibilities. During the Black Rose arc, Utena fights to defend Anthy from the schemes of Souji Mikage who plans to kill her and make his friend Mamiya the new Rose Bride.
Like Juri Arisugawa, Ruka Tsuchiya was said to have been a captain of the fencing team and a member of the Student Council. He is one of the most mysterious characters in the show. However, Anthy knows him as she used to be his Rose Bride before he left the school under mysterious circumstances.
A counterpart to Ruka, Kyouichi is the captain of the kendo team who continues to compete with the other princes for Anthy’s hand as he believes she will give him the emotional fulfillment he wants and suit his fantasies about her.
Utena Tenjou is the only female prince of the series and the only one who forms a real emotional connection with Anthy. Because of their friendship and relationship that follows romantic tropes, they seem to have the only real love story in the show, at least, to the extent that it allows for one given its setting.
Touga Kiryuu is the student council president who wants to fit the ideals of a chivalrous prince but is constantly exhibiting manipulative behavior that proves otherwise. He later gives up pursuing the power that comes with having the Rose Bride in favor of true empathy for Utena who he realizes he’s in love with.
Choosing a Sword of Dios Replica
The Sword of Dios makes a fantastic collector’s piece or cosplay item because of its roots in a classic anime with a strong influence over the mahou shoujo genre. Buying one isn’t that complicated as long as you keep these pointers in mind.
- Mass Produced vs. Custom Made
Replica makers are generally quite diligent with making swords that accurately portray the one from the shows and games they choose. However, some swords are best bought from custom made sword makers perhaps because they require more detail and customization or because they aren’t readily available.
That said, mass produced swords are generally the best for cosplay and display use because of stricter quality control and standardization across units.
- Steel vs. Wood vs. Plastic vs. Foam
Most Sword of Dios replicas make use of plastic or acrylic to create the rose pommel and steel, plastic, or wood for the rest of the blade. Due to the sword’s fine details, foam isn’t the best material to buy it in. Stainless steel, plastic, and wood would allow for more details to be made on the replica.
- Your maximum budget
More often than not, budget is the deciding factor for what your sword will look like. While most replicas tend to be well made, higher end items naturally have better materials and more detailed hardware. This is ultimately a matter of taste and your choices, though if you’re planning to build a collection of anime swords, we recommend higher end items.
The Sword of Dios from Revolutionary Girl Utena has a simple design with a key feature, a rose pommel, that sets it apart from all the other fencing swords on the series. Because of the show’s influence on anime culture, it’s a valuable collector’s piece for anyone interested in starting an anime sword collection.