GeekNights Presents: Utena
Episode one - Pay Attention - throws the viewer right into the thick of it: unintroduced characters, inscrutable motivations, secret forests, and floating castles all! There's little to analyze with just this to go on (without spoiling), so we point out a number of directions of inquiry for the viewer. The best thing you can do to better understand this show is to pay attention.
Shoujo Kakumei Utena
We at GeekNights reviewed Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena) many years ago. It's a fantastic, A-level anime that has stood the test of time: something every anime fan should watch at least once.
Utena is a complex show with a complex story, nevermind the imagery, allegory, music, and everything else that makes it a staggeringly difficult work to grok with fullness. Thus, rather than attempt to cram all of that into a single, mind-shattering episode of GeekNights, Rym and Scott have decided to analyse the show, episode-by-episode, for the entirety of its three seasons (39 episodes).
Consider this a sort of "viewer's companion." Nothing will be spoiled at any point beyond what would have been seen if you were following along. Watch each episode after you've seen the relevant episode of Utena.
Makoto Shinkai (新海 誠) appeared at the last "New York Anime Festival" (within the New York Comic Con) in 2011 for a screening of his new movie "Children Who Chase Lost Voices" (星を追う子ども), as well as an interview and Q&A.
Here is the directed portion of the interview conducted by NYAF/NYCC. Translation not directed at the audience was cut.
As an interesting side note, we (GeekNights) had not intended to video this event. While press, we assumed that plenty of other people would have their equipment on-hand. Upon arrival, however, we discovered that there was almost no press presence. I couldn't let this wonderful interview exist solely in the form of fan cameras from the audience, so I turned up maximum image stabilization and stood for the full event at the side of the room holding the camera as steady as possible.
The room was noisy, and there was a great deal of background noise from outside the room. I removed as much as possible.
The moral? If you're a journalist at a convention, carry your tripod and shotgun mic even if you expect any video to be redundant. ;^)