My first exposure to this series was actually it's music. Before I had ever seen one episode of it I already had all of the OST's. So how did that happen? Beats me. It's fairly simplistic. As far as a choral rock orchestra goes. I love the music. Then again my taste in music skews from the norm. It is anime music for starters.
Revolutionary Girl Utena falls squarely into the shoujo category. Bishie's everywhere, big eyed girls, flowers everywhere. so, hey, I watched the whole thing. Normally, I would stay away from this kind of shoujo. I tend to lean more towards the comedic type: Skip Beat, Lovely Complex, etc. But the powers that be told me to watch this. I was pretty much blown away. And if you think Evangelion had a lot of symbolism, I laugh at your ineptittude. HAHAHAHAHA. Seriously, though, everything is a symbol in this show. Everything. Except for maybe the shirt flying open thing. Whcih sadly, only happens to the guys. We do get a few naked girls here and there, but it only ends in rage. Well, it's not really even the point of the show, just an aside really. This is shoujo afterall.
Despite all the twists and fighting, and overall non-crappy drama. It still has many other standard cliches that plague shoujo and all anime really. Repetition. Fight, win, get the girl. Literally in this case. As she is the prize and is necesarry to open the gates to the end of the world. And reused scenes, in particular this one:
and this one:
Notice how it was the same music but a different animation. When you hear that song start, you know it's time for a fight. Utena's wasn't that bad but it was almost evey episode. As epic as the music was even that gets stale after 34 episodes. There's also an annoying little pet. It does however beak away from many other shoujo in that the girls aren't shrinking violets nor are they the chick. They are all incredibly competent and will beat your ass in a fight. Contrast this with the standard anime chick/doormat/useless moeblob. You'd think there'd be more of this, especially in shoujo, anime aimed specifically at girls, but there isn't. One more thing about this show. It subcribes to the all men are bastards ideal. In this case I'll letit slide cause damn, the guys on this show are bastards.