Revolutionary Girl Utena is the best the known work of Chiho Saito (with Be Papas) in the U.S. This highly controversial anime had a total of 39 episodes, the first 13 of which have been released in the U.S. by the Software Sculptors label of Central Park Media.

Chiho Saito first debuted in 1982 with her short story, Ken to Mademoiselle (“The Sword and the Mademoiselle.”)

She has also come out with many other mangas since then. Here is a short list of a few:

Hokona ni Purple (“A Hint of Purple”)
3 volumes
January 1986-May 1987

Koibito-Tachi no Basho (“The Place of Lovers”)
2 volumes
March 1986-April 1987

Aoringo Meikyu (“Green Apple Maze”)
3 volumes
November 1986-April 1987

Hi o Tojite Ai (“Sunset Love”)
Chiho Saito Masterpieces
Volume 1
July 1987

Hoshi o Tsumu Donna (“Pluck the Stars, Donna”)
2 volumes
October 1987-December 1987

KoYo In no Runpappa (“Runpappa Lamb Seal”)
Chiho Saito Masterpieces
Volume 2
August 1988

Etoile Girl
Chiho Saito Masterpieces
Volume 3
Demember 1988

Tenshi no Tattoo (“The Angel Tattoo”)
2 volumes
July 1989-September 1989

Saito Chiho no Manga Academia (“Chiho Saito’s Manga Academy”)
February 1990

Opera Za de Mattete (“Wait for Me at the Opera”)
Chihi Saito Masterpieces
Volume 5

Basilis no Musume (“Daughter of Basilis”)
4 volumes
May 1998-May 1999

And many, many others.

For more information about Revolutionary Girl Utena, see Adolescence of Utena.

Chiho Saito's Utena manga is considered vastly inferior to the anime for a number of reasons.

Whereas the anime, created by Be-PAPAS, is a display of bizarre symbolism and amazing character development, Miss Saito's manga starts off with Utena at a regular high school with a best friend who has a crush on her. In other words, it's disturbingly traditional shoujo fair, and half of the first volume is spent before Utena arrives at Ohtori Academy.

A good example of how this affects the plot is found in one of the main characters, Miki. In the anime, the tension between Miki and his twin Kozue, who wants to have an incestual relationship with him, builds throughout the series. Miki, however, falls in love with Anthy... largely because she reminds him of who Kozue used to be. The delicate irony of this situation is a pleasure to watch unfold.

In the manga, however, Miki likes Utena and keeps stealing kisses from her when she's asleep; Kozue gets jealous and then she is kidnapped; Miki and Utena have to fight each other as a result. The reasoning here is clunky and while it makes for a good shoujo read, it isn't up to the standards set by Be-PAPAS.

In her defense, however, Miss Saito began the manga at roughly the same time as the anime began, and she was told very little about the director's vision for the series. I assume this is why her story varies so much from its vastly more mature counterpart. Saito's art is also very beautiful and worth looking at despite the inconsistencies with the series.

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