When I saw the final episodes of Utena, I was dumbfounded. It was absolutely incredible. However, after I watched the ending, I noticed something very interesting. There are incredible similarities between Mikage and Utena, and Mamiya and Anthy. More than just their physical similarities. Their storylines are a mirror. Mikage goes through the same thing that Utena does, just slightly altered. The following are all theories that I considered when I saw the final episode. You may agree or disagree with them, but please do not yell at me saying "You're wrong!!!!" etc. etc. These are my opinions so don't give me crap about it please.

The Prince- Utena was without hope and wanted to die. Her prince inspired her to go on. He gave her the strength to continue. Mikage also had a "prince", not in the literal sense, though. The person that changed his life was Tokiko. Before he met her, he had no interest in anything, he loved no one. He fell in love with her, and she gave him the motivation he needed to continue.

The Rose Bride- Utena and Mikage both have their rose "brides". They are the reason that Utena and Mikage participate in the fight for eternity. Utena wishes to free Anthy, and Mikage desires to grasp eternity for Mamiya's sake. Also, both their Rose brides are involved in manipulating them. Anthy knew all along of Akio's plans. Mamiya also knew of Akio's plans and even pretended to be someone that Mikage cared for dearly. Not only that, Mamiya and Anthy are the same person.

The Past- Utena and Mikage both have their former selves. Utena was a grieving child with no desire to live, Mikage was Professor Nemuro with noone whom he loved. The past is what drives both of them forward through life.

The Final Duel-In both cases, Mikage and Utena both had to fight against their prince. Akio was the one to save Utena when she was a child, and he was her final opponent in the duels. Mikage's final duel was against Utena, however through hallucinations or who knows what, he had come to view her as Tokiko, the very person who had given him a reason to participate in the search for eternity.

The Final Outcome- Both Utena and Mikage lose their final duel. Utena is betrayed by Anthy, Mikage is betrayed by Mamiya. In the end, they both leave the academy. Both are "forgotten" and life returns in the academy returns to normal operation. However there is one difference between the two, because Utena actually did revolutionize the world, even though she nor Akio had thought she did.

So after seeing the Black Rose saga, one might ask: Why was it included? If everything goes back to normal, and nothing is remembered, then what was the point? The Black Rose saga is basically a mirror for the ending of the series. At the end of the series, Akio wants to start the duels over from the beginning. This is what happened to Mikage. After he left, Utena was the one to fight for revolution. When Utena leaves, Akio searches for others to fight for revolution. There are differences in these two scenarios of course, but the mirror is undeniable. There are many more similarities that I will include later. If you have anything to add to this, please submit your ideas to me. I'd love to hear what you have to say. Believe me, there's more similarities than just these.