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Revolutionary Girl Utena, Vol. 1: To Till (Revolutionary Girl Utena #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  3,065 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
In the first adventure in the historic series, Utena faces a sword duel, an unwelcome engagement, and a mandate to revolutionize the world!
Paperback, 200 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by VIZ Media LLC (first published January 1997)
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Best Manga Book Ever
155th out of 867 books — 3,253 voters
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Yuri Manga in English
4th out of 107 books — 53 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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The premise is deceptively simple and decidedly shoujo - A young girl, distraught by the death of her parents is kissed by a traveling prince and given a ring, told that if she never loses that noble heart of hers it may one day lead her to him. So impressed is she by him, that the little girl vows to become a prince herself one day.

But is that really such a good idea?

Before I continue on with this review (and for the sake of convenience and in regard to this manga's rather short five volume len
I'm so glad I read this. I've seen a bit of Utena and I like it, but it's really weird. Probably the weirdest anime I've ever watched - and I've watched Sex Pistols - but it's also really fascinating and even though the fact that nothing is ever explained is infuriating, it always keeps me coming back.

Maybe it's because I knew what to expect, but this was less weird and less confusing than the first few episodes of the anime. I'm so glad I got this for my birthday (thanks Sylwia! xx) and I'm loo
Amanda Lila
May 31, 2015 Amanda Lila rated it liked it
I like the theme of this manga. A girl who goes against the whole "all girls need a prince to protect them" thing and decides to be her own prince and save herself. That had to be good, right?! But there are a lot of things that are unclear and bizarre to me. Maybe they get explained better in the other volumes, which I'm not sure I will continue.
Benji Young
Jul 15, 2015 Benji Young rated it really liked it
I admit, my reasons for loving Utena so much are very similar to my reasons for loving Mulan. As a trans, non-binary person, she gave me someone I could kind of relate to. It was imperfect, and it wasn't 100%, but I could see just a bit of myself in her character, and when I was a preteen exploring my identity I needed that. Utena breaks the gender binary. She wants to be a prince, she prefers to wear the boy's uniform in school, she generally dresses in drag, and she still embraces the parts of ...more
Apr 28, 2015 L.A. rated it liked it
When Utena's parents are killed, she decides she doesn't want to live either and throws herself into a river. She's saved by a mysterious man who urges her to grow up strong and noble and Utena, dazzled by the experience, complies...especially since the man promises to return someday.

Kind of hard to avoid being shaped by an experience like that, especially since Utena receives a letter once a year that smells of roses, and is sealed with a rose seal. Trying to solve the mystery leads her to a my
Jul 29, 2011 Lina rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
I've always heard good things about Revolutionary Girl Utena the anime and so I was interested in reading the original source material in the manga. In Volume One we are introduced to the character of Utena, who wants to be a Prince, because when she was a child a prince saved her and inspired to be a noble protector of those who needed it. You would think the concept might come off as sexist, but Utena is very much feminine, she just engages in activities that are considered masculine. She does ...more
Kelly Lynn Thomas
Unfortunately, my library has the first 3 Utena volumes in the old-school flipped artwork layout. A page was also ripped out of this volume, but neither thing, I think, really impacted my enjoyment of the first volume. I'm fairly used to the flipped artwork thing, as it was impossible to find manga in its original, Japanese format in the early 2000s when anime started to really find its American audience (and when I got into it as a brand new teenager).

As a self-professed otaku in my teen years,
Jul 14, 2015 Samrat added it
A+ message but not really my style. The dialogue is a little simplistic/lost in translation.
Jan 28, 2013 Marumero rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, manga, mindfuck, utena
There is absolutely no way I could love Utena less no matter what version, possible reading of the story or pairing of the charaters because making it gender irrelevant made this story unexplicably infinite and possible in almost every form, fashion and idea.

Tho, the "legitimate plotline" does come as a surprise :D
Jan 14, 2012 yoksan rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up, manga, wtf
I'm normally a fan of Saitoh Chiho. Been in love with her works since I was in high school. This one, however, left me with a strange feeling. I don't particularly like the plotline, I don't sympathize with the heroine. Overall I don't enjoy it much.

I gave up on the remaining volumes.
Jul 30, 2009 Bianka rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga-read
Five volumes of amazingness. This is a must read for ANYBODY who can handle a little bit of strangeness and coolness all rolled in to one. If you liked the anime, this was a thousand times better. But good luck finding it to read, it's super rare.
Feb 08, 2010 Shelby added it
Beautiful artwork and a plot full of mystique. :-D If you dig pretty boys and headstrong gals, roses, swords, and weird little animals, just read it.
Genevra Littlejohn
Feb 29, 2008 Genevra Littlejohn rated it really liked it
Pretty. Mostly fluff, like most shojo, but lyrically metaphorical, and the titular character is strong and fierce.
Jul 28, 2015 Bentgaidin rated it it was amazing
This manga is excellent. Admittedly, I'm not exactly unbiased -- the anime made a profound impression on me when I watched (and rewatched, and rewatched...) it, and this first volume is similar enough to really bring that back as well. There are some differences, of course, and I understand that there are more as the series continues, but it's still a very powerful story of nobility and friendship and growing up, and it's really killing me that my budget won't let me just run out and complete th ...more
Revolutionary Girl Utena vol. 1. I simply love this manga with my whole heart! It's nothing but beautiful.

Utena Tenjou is a young teenager whose parents died when she was little. Consumed by grief, a hansom prince approached her one day and cheered her up by telling her never to lose her strength and noble heart. He gave her a ring, and Utena was so inspired and taken by him, she now wants to become a prince herself.
Receiving a letter every year from her prince, one in particular leads Utena t
Aug 21, 2015 Lissette rated it liked it
When Utena learns that her parents have died, she throws herself in a river, hoping to drown herself and her grief. A man whom she believes to be a handsome prince rescues her and tells her to grow up strong and noble. Inspired, Utena decides to become a prince herself, wanting to save others as she herself was once saved. But when Utena enters a new school, she finds herself caught up in a dangerous game of swords, power, and possession. If Utena can manage to hold on to her noble spirit, she m ...more
Sep 11, 2010 Tenoko1 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
I dearly love this series. The original story consist of five volumes, plus one extra that is a metaphor(?) or alternate for the original series, maybe?

Anyway, the story starts by telling of this girl who wishes to live and act in a 'princely' manner. To be brave and valiant, just and good, rather than fit into the role of the princess where she feels you are dependant on others and helpless. What sparks this decision is after the death of her parents as a child, she is wandering the streets in
Years ago, after reading very positive reviews of this manga on Amazon, I bought it from there.

While I had trouble getting into the anime version of 'Revolutionary Girl Utena', in my opinion the manga flows more naturally and further focuses on a straightforward and heartfelt story structure. Not really heavily reliant on symbolism, it takes its time developing other necessary aspects. For instance, I know more about the protagonist Utena in reading the first manga volume than I did in viewing 2
Oct 02, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it
Considering the I've watched the Anime first, the Manga stands alone. For those unfamiliar with the plot, Utena's parents had died, so she wanders aimlessly around the streets trying to find her happiness aka parents. She accidentally falls into a ditch at the side of the road to be saved by a prince. This prince gives her a signet ring foreshadowing her future encounters with him. So amazed by his nobility, she herself wants to become a prince.

I was surprised at the Manga's small length. Despi
Feb 05, 2016 Babsidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 15, 2009 Eden rated it it was amazing
Utena's parents died when she was young and she has lived with her aunt ever since. She is kind of a tomboy and she is looking for her prince. The prince from her childhood that saved her. She has thought of him ever since then. But, was it real? Or was it a dream? One day she gets a letter, the same letter that she has gotten every year for the last seven years. It has the scent of roses, but the letter is a little different this time. It says "This year, we will meet."
She decides her prince mu
It's good, I just liked the anime better so I might be biased. Juri's straightwashing really rubbed me the wrong way though. I know that it wasn't "technically" straightwashing, since it was being produced at the same time as the anime, but still. Anyway, Saitō clearly didn't understand what the anime was doing, because tons of stuff that the anime rips apart and analyzes are played straight here. A lot of the subtext is removed, and the adaptation suffers for it.
But at the end of the day, it's
May 30, 2014 Elyse rated it really liked it
I read this series ages ago in high school, but it's been so long I don't really remember them all that well. I've been on a manga kick recently and decided they were worth a re-read.

While the prologue was quite long (and therefore a little off putting), I understand how necessary it is to lay the foundation for Utena's character. Once we finally got to the meat of the story with Utena at the Academy, it flew by all too quickly. There was not enough of it to satisfy me and I'm itching to get my
Aug 10, 2009 Starbubbles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
i saw the movie years ago, which was freakishly good, and slightly confusing. i couldn't tell if i was to read into it symbolically or just as it was. but the manga is fairly straight forward. no possible hidden message for me to try to decipher. well, at least not yet anyway.

"to till" was an extremely appropriate title for book one. the series is set up nicely, much like preparing the soil for the future crop to be planted in it. i can't wait to see how this evolves and see where the inspirati
Kristy Buzbee
Oct 26, 2008 Kristy Buzbee rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
I've been meaning to read this one for a while (especially since Alan told me how much the title amused him), and it was interesting. The prologue was crap though - it was either done way earlier than the first chapters or way after as an intro, but I was reading the prologue like "wow this is really stupid." But once ch. 1 started, I got pretty into it. The concept is interesting, and she's just gotten into the World's End and the duels and stuff, trying to figure out why all this psycho stuff ...more
Jan 02, 2016 Ashley rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, manga, own
I first read Revolutionary Girl Utena when I was in high school. I remembered it being epic. I remembered it being somewhat sweet. I didn't however, remember it to feel quite as unfulfilling as it did. Don't get me wrong, there was something inherently interesting about the series. It was the strange treatment of some of the characters that left me longing for closure. Volume opens with Utena and we see how off the beaten path she strays. We are introduced to a number of characters, many of whom ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Zoe rated it it was amazing
rosalind williamson
still not sure how to rate manga, but i'm excited to read the rest of this series. seems like a great subversion of gender roles. also, happy about utena and athy being hella gay, though slavery isn't exactly... awesome...

wondering if i should watch the anime. i've heard it's better than the manga and apparently it's all up on hulu?
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I had already seen the movie and big chunks of the TV series before reading this; I grabbed it somewhat impulsively at the library. Those of you who have seen the movie know ... it's kind of ... strange. So, it turns out, is the manga version of the movie. But oddly, it's easier to read than the regular manga. Probably because the regular manga is trying to be somewhat linear, and that just emphasizes the oddness of the storyline in a somewhat jarring way.
Mar 25, 2013 okei added it
My first experience of manga, which surprised me for two reasons: 1) manga is not in colour. 2) manga reads from right to left. Despite being black and white, unlike Tintin for instance, still it's well-drawn and a cool story. Unfortunately though, it's not really self-contained because it's the first in a series, and leaves you in suspense for what happens next.
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Other Books in the Series

Revolutionary Girl Utena (5 books)
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena, Vol. 2: To Plant
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena, Vol. 3: To Sprout
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena, Vol. 4: To Bud
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena, Vol. 5: To Blossom

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“I want to be......A prince......Not a Princess!
I don't want to be protected! When I'm a prince I'll do the protecting!”
“Man or woman......It doesn't matter! One of strength......And nobility......Is always a prince.” 5 likes
More quotes…