I love love love the friendship between Utena and Wakaba throughout the show. I also like that Wakaba doesn’t fade away, and isn’t forgotten; she’s seen in the final episode of the series, after all, and in quite a few episodes in between.
There are people who say, “Why can’t Utena and Anthy just be friends? Why do they have to be lovers? Can’t we just have a great close female friendship?” and I call bullshit on that, because we already do, and it’s right here. Wakaba and Utena are best friends. They are physical, they are affectionate, they joke a lot, they are touchy, they are sometimes violent with one another, but it is done out of pure love for one another.