I remember being introduced to Utena through music videos and wondering what it was about. After music videos, I think the second most likely way for me to get into a new anime is through TVtropes, followed by recommendations by friends — I prefer discovering things on my own, though, so the time it takes for me to get to series recommended by a friend is somewhat … longer.

I first watched Utena on VHS tapes I borrowed from a friend when I was a senior in high school. It was pretty cool and pretty weird when I saw it, but it was one of those shows I grew to like more over time. I didn’t see the movie or read the manga for years (until a few years ago, actually), but the series stuck with me all along, and every now and again, I’d discover something new about it that I enjoyed.

Earlier this year, I received the series soundtrack as a gift from a friend, which I listened to obsessively for a couple months, interspersed with Imogen Heap and eventually giving way to Emilie Autumn, who I discovered in the beginning of summer. I took a break from the soundtrack over the summer, but it’s starting to reestablish its place on my playlist.

For me, the whole body of work is one of those multipurpose things I can either watch, read, or listen to when I want a brain tease, or even when I just want to relax, which is rare for me. Utena is my hero, I want to cosplay as her someday. Now I just need to find an Anthy.