Trial by Juri: Revolutionary Girl Utena and Believing in God v. Believing in Yourself

Seven episodes into Revolutionary Girl Utena, and it seems like the series still hasn’t begun to show it’s depth.  I expected to know more about the Rose Bride and the world revolution by this point.  But as with Mawaru Penguindrum, though only the most analytical found meaning early on in the series, I was (and am) discovering some ideas I think are worth exploring.

In the episode featuring Juri’s duel with Utena, the idea of miracles plays a significant role.  The characters’ definition of a miracle is a little different from my own, focusing more on an event that seems to be more than coincidence rather than a happening that breaks the laws that govern the universe.  That difference was brought up in my small group meeting several weeks ago, when we discussed events in our own lives that we might consider miracles.

Revolutionary Girl Utena Juri
Art by みきろんてぃる國吉

In that small group meeting, I shared the idea that in my prayer life, I’ve unintentionally drifted away from asking miracles, or at least asking for blessings out of my control, of God.  As I pray, I share with God, and as I do so, I’m often convicted of things I should do in my own life.  As such, if there’s a spectrum, my prayer life has moved away from asking great things of God to simply sharing and figuring God wants me to do things on my own.

There’s a value in the latter idea.  The Christian life isn’t just inward; it’s outward as well, as we physically bring God’s love to others through our actions.

But there’s a danger in thinking primarily in those terms.  We can become like Juri, lacking belief – she in miracles and we in the power of God.  We Christians must remember that God chooses to partner with us, though He doesn’t need us to do His work.  He’ll do quite fine on his own.

The other day, I took a minute to reflect upon what I used to pray about.  My prayers have changed a lot, though I feel like my life hasn’t.  What I came to realize is that many of my “dire prayers” have been answered – and yes, some miraculously.

It’s helped me remember that so much of my life it out of my hands.  And that’s fine – I wouldn’t want it any other way.


2 thoughts on “Trial by Juri: Revolutionary Girl Utena and Believing in God v. Believing in Yourself

  1. Aha, the thing about Utena is that the actual plot remains mostly a mystery until about the last third of the show. The rest of the show is more about character development, and it does utilize a lot of the concepts (such as revolutionizing the world) in the abstract sense of what such an opportunity means to the characters and how it motivates them, but concrete details don’t come in bulk until much later.

    1. I was just recently told that after I watch volume 2 of Right Stuf’s release, I’ll be heavily anticipating the final volume (3). I’m looking forward to seeing where it all goes!

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