My childhood obsession with Sailor Moon is only rivaled by my young-adult obsession with Shojo Kakumei Utena (Girl’s Revolution Utena). Postmodern symbolism, avant garde OST, and gender-bending critique aside, Utena always caught my attention because it was so damn cool to look at.
To put things up front, Utena is bigger inspiration for non-domestic things (that will be a long post for another day). All the same, I love that their universe is so beautiful and stylized like an old vintage shojo manga. There are roses everywhere, roses roses roses, and cleverly stylized with clean, negative space so that it isn’t so overwhelmingly fussy. Instead, we have a strangely feminine world with a touch of darkness, all in curvilinear lines.
In the same vein, the girls live in a luxurious boarding school called Ohtori Academy that is all gilt and marble white buildings. This is Utena’s dorm. Because of the shenanigans of, well, it is complicated to explain but in any case, she lives in this dorm building with only her roommate Anthy.
I first saw Utena as a freshman in college, watching stacks of creaky VHS tapes in my own 2 girl dorm room. My dorm room was…not like this. I was obsessed with that heavy and ornate wood furniture. I wanted a roll-top desk so badly. I wanted a big open space in the center for a low table where I could drink tea.
But the thing is, I would never actually model my room after anything in the Utena universe. It is too heavy, too strange, and too…well, unused. Utena is not a show that dwells on the day to day and Utena as a character is not really shown studying, cooking/eating, etc. We DO spend lots of time outdoors (for another post) but we don’t spend much time in their dorm room for anything other than drinking tea and having disturbing conversations.
Speaking of that. What IS inspirational though was the TEA.
They are always having tea! In beautiful tea cups!
So much that creative vendors have designed their own Utena tea blends and they sold official Utena tea sets.
It got me into the habit of always having tea at my desk and never snacking at my desk. I am forever lurking on blogs like this and searching for the perfect tea set.