The Black Rose Saga of Utena begins on episode 14. This portion of the series brings a dramatic change. Things become darker and more serious. Utena now has two new adversaries, Mikage Souji and Chida Mamiya. However, Utena does not actually meet Mikage til the saga is nearly over. Mikage is an enemy within the shadows, prefering to use unsuspecting people as his pawns. But, is he really in control of everything? He'd like to think so, however there's more to it than that, as you will see as you read the material on this site. However, this section is just a basic overview of the saga so you can understand what the heck I'm talking about. =)
Okay here goes. Mikage Souji is a senior at Ohtori academy and runs the Mikage Seminar. Their base of operation is Nemuro Memorial Hall. It is a rumor that some time ago, there was a tragic fire here, which took the lives of 100 male students attending the academy. Mikage and Mamiya wish to acquire the power of Dios for themselves, and to make Mamiya the rose "bride" (Mamiya's a boy, by the way. He even corrects Mikage saying: "I AM a boy!"). So anyway, in order to do this, they have to defeat Utena, and kill Anthy. So they use the Mikage Seminar, which is supposed to be a place where people go to talk if they have problems, as a front for finding people who show promise as a duelist. They use the power of Mamiya's black roses to manipulate and control their minds, making them challenge Utena to a duel. They first use Ohtori Kanae, but when that attempt fails, they decide to change tactics. They decide to use the power of the student council members, but since they have all been defeated, they have a different way of doing things. In order to forge a stronger duellist, they draw each council member's "spirit sword" from their chest, and combine it with their own inner power. "What the heck does she mean by spirit sword", you ask? Well, what I mean is this. The black rose duellist draws a sword out of their chest (kinda like when Utena draws the sword of Dios from Anthy, only with this it's pretty painful). Within this sword, comes all their fencing skill, giving the duellist the power to put up a good fight. Still confused? Sorry, it's kinda hard to explain.
Next on my agenda is the duel arena. It undergoes a drastic change during the Black Rose Saga. No longer is it just an empty floor in which they fight. The arena is lined with rows of desks, and on the floor there are red outlines of human bodies (you know like when the police investigate a murder scene in movies they always have the outlines of the body). These desks and outlines represent the 100 boys that were killed in the fire at Nemuro Hall. On top of the desks in each duel, is an item of significance to that specific Black Rose Duellist.
When a person comes to Nemuro Hall they are interviewed in a confession elevator. If they qualify, the elevator goes all the way to the bottom, to a secret room where Mikage and Mamiya are waiting. Here we find a kind of morgue. There are coffins within the walls where the 100 dead boys, who happened to be duellists, are "sleeping", as Mikage puts it. They all had a rose signet ring, however, when the wearer of these rings dies, it turns black. Mikage reaches in the coffin and gives the ring to the new duellist. When that duellist fails, the coffin is thrown into a fire and cremated. Afterwards, the duellist has no recollection of what has happened, and goes back to being their normal selves.