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HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#1 | Back to Top10-29-2006 11:46:04 AM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4694

Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

This is a thread about Shiori, to discuss why you like her, or why you think she is the spawn of Satan.

In order to keep this thread a reasonable length, I was only able to write the most basic idea of why I think Shiori is the way she is. Since I’ve been aspiring to write an essay about her for several months now, if I had my way, I’d go through episode 17, tearing it up word for word, and pointing out every single symbol. Also, I should mention that this is not a thread about the movie. Originally, I hated Shiori just as much as the next person, all because I confused the movie with the series.

To many, Shiori is sadistic and evil, and that's all there is to it. We rarely get to see things from Shiori’s point of view, making it difficult to understand just what it is that makes her the way she is. We see their past through Juri’s eyes, and by the time that we hear her side of the story, the damage is done. My views on Shiori differ slightly from the way most people see her. For one thing, I believe that she suffers almost as much as Juri. While some people would probably kill to grow up with a best friend like Juri, I don’t think that their friendship was as glamorous as it sounds.

Juri is, as Akio put it, one who is chosen for a “special destiny.” She is seemingly perfect in every way, and her only weakness is something that Shiori is completely unaware of. When Shiori stated that Juri was, “talented, beautiful, and popular with everyone,” she was referring to when she and Juri had been friends. As we see in episode 16, there are times when Juri really stands out in a crowd, making even someone like Nanami go unnoticed. While Juri was such an amazing person, Shiori was only a normal girl. She grew up having everything about herself compared to Juri. Think of how the media affects girls in our society. They’re exposed to images of perfection that are impossible to live up to, and so they’re left with low self-esteem, and often make desperate and unhealthy attempts to do anything they can to live up to those standards.

Early on in episode 17, Shiori says, “We were more than childhood friends. Juri-san and I really grew up together. Juri-san was always so wonderful... So strong, so imposing... She always protected me. Juri-san was my only friend. She was the only person I could ever depend on with all my heart. But now I don’t deserve any of that.” As she says, she really did care about Juri, and that was the problem. She thought that the only person she ever really cared about felt nothing but pity for her, because she couldn’t understand why someone as amazing as Juri would want to hang around someone as “plain and useless,” as her for any reason other than pity.

In short, Shiori was living a miserable life in Juri’s shadow. In episode 7, you can even see how sad her expression looks. The first picture we see of her is a play off of the current day Juri’s expression. Had the picture inside of her locket been taken only seconds sooner, Shiori would have looked very sad in that picture, which is especially noticeable when compared to the expressions of Juri and that boy. Around Juri, however, she always had a smile on her face. Juri is the same way, as we see at the end of episode 17.

It’s unlikely that Shiori even realized just how much stealing that boy from Juri would hurt her. Keep in mind that in Shiori’s eyes, Juri is strong, and would probably just shrug off something like this. Who would have guessed that three years later, Juri would still be suffering? What Shiori did was her own desperate attempt to do whatever she could to put herself on the same ground as Juri. By stealing that boy, she set herself as the better choice in the eyes of someone that Juri really cared about, and let her finally beat Juri at something. “Even though I’m no match for you at anything, at least my feelings for him are...” You can hear the desperation in her voice as she says this. By stealing him, she also established hate between the two of them. By making Juri hate her, this prevented her from feeling any pity for her. It isn’t very often that you feel any pity for someone you hate.


So, what’s your opinion on Shiori? Is she an evil to rival End of the World, or simply human? What are your views on her motives, related symbolism, nicknames, her duel song, and anything else you can think of?

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#2 | Back to Top10-29-2006 12:07:01 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I don't have a lot of sympathy for Shiori, but I don't think she's evil.  I think "warped" would be a better word than "evil."  "I can't stand that my only friend pities me.  I just know she's going to disappear one day.  I know!  I'll hurt her so much that she'll hate me instead!  Then she'll be thinking about me all the time!  Truly, that will be much better!"

I think your timeline and argument are pretty good.  But I think you're inconsistent here:

Razara wrote:

It’s unlikely that Shiori even realized just how much stealing that boy from Juri would hurt her. Keep in mind that in Shiori’s eyes, Juri is strong, and would probably just shrug off something like this. Who would have guessed that three years later, Juri would still be suffering? . . . By stealing him, she also established hate between the two of them. By making Juri hate her, this prevented her from feeling any pity for her. It isn’t very often that you feel any pity for someone you hate.

Shiori's idealized Juri -- talented, beautiful, self-confident -- would never hate a good friend for hurting her a little.  Shiori knew, or at least hoped, that stealing the boy would hurt Juri a lot.  She knows that Juri's still hurting, and she likes it; she shows nothing but delight that Juri always wears a locket that bears (she thinks) a picture of the nameless boy.  She goes out of her way to make sure Juri stays hurt, as her behavior toward Ruka in the third season attests.  And of course, the catalyst for her trip to Nemuro Memorial Hall is the sudden revelation that oh noes Juri does not hate her!  (Or at least, not for the reasons she thought.)  She doesn't even have the common humanity to feel guilty about any of this.  I think she feels guilty over not feeling guilty, but that's about all I can say for her.  "Warped" is the right word.

Last edited by satyreyes (10-29-2006 12:14:15 PM)

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#3 | Back to Top10-29-2006 01:02:01 PM

Arki
Dark Whisperer
From: Croatia
Registered: 10-28-2006
Posts: 1121

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

The problem is that I have only recently finished watching the whole series of SKU, so I haven't had time to give any thoughts on Shiori that go beyond the superficial level. As far as the superficial goes, I'm guessing most of her evil could be explained through some insecurities and twisted sense of thinking. Correct me if I'm wrong, but she doesn't seem like much of a manipulator, in a certain sense of the word. I'll elaborate:

Sure, she does hurt Juri by stealing the people she thought were very important to her, but I don't get the impression that Shiori spends her free time sitting in a dark room, plotting & searching for Juri's weak spots, all the while cackling evily with her girlish voice. The two opertunities to steal Juri's boys sorta conveniently fell in front of her. Because it is Ruka who comes to Shiori and asks her if she was the one who polished 'his' sword. What I want to say is, that she doesn't search for ways to hurt Juri, but when an opertunity shows up, she takes it. I'm sure that's not very commendable, but it doesn't seem as bad as Akio who I'm guessing had everything planned out for the next three months.

"Ah, okay. So Ruka will come back and help Shiori hurt Juri. Ruka will die... Mmm-hmm... More angst for Juri... What haven't I sorted yet? Lets see... Ah yes, then there's the Nanami rejecting Touga thing. I'll have to comfort him after that..."

As for my own opinnion of Shiori, I love her. She might be a person I would never want to meet in person, but I'm looking this from a very specific perspective. Juri is such an inocent person, but is hurting a lot due to her own feelings. Who gets those feelings kicking? Shiori. Just consider how much of a less noble and interesting character would Juri be without a Shiori to torment her. She'd probably end up messing around with either Ruka or Touga (: manga referance).

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#4 | Back to Top10-29-2006 01:25:34 PM

Etrangere
Rose Smilee
From: Paris
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 134
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I think people are harsher to Shiori because her kind of "badness" is much more human. Evil on a grand(iloquent) scale doesn't feel real. It's something that belongs to big drama and tragedy, it's cool to watch from afar, and make for a good show.

Shiori is real. Her pettiness, her jealousy, her confused malice is real. We've "known her" as kids in a way that supernaturaly seductive manwhores (I can't take Akio seriously, I'm sorry I can't, metaphore for quite a real evil that he is >_>)

The way you ask the question is, of course, a false dichotomy. And I've always found that questionning the morality of fictionnal characters led to nowhere emot-smile
Shiori is an interesting character, well built, with many layers, and that brings good plot. As such I like her emot-keke

Last edited by Etrangere (10-29-2006 01:26:09 PM)


Yes. You shouldn't be suspicious of Anthy. Her big brother is your watching. There is no war in Ba Sing Se. ~ Dalbun

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#5 | Back to Top10-29-2006 01:36:58 PM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4694

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

satyreyes wrote:

I don't have a lot of sympathy for Shiori, but I don't think she's evil.  I think "warped" would be a better word than "evil."  "I can't stand that my only friend pities me.  I just know she's going to disappear one day.  I know!  I'll hurt her so much that she'll hate me instead!  Then she'll be thinking about me all the time!  Truly, that will be much better!"

I think your timeline and argument are pretty good.  But I think you're inconsistent here:

(I'm sorry for not editing this post sooner, but I messed up my explanation so badly that I didn't even want to think about it.)
Yes, Shiori did know that this would hurt Juri a lot, I only doubt how much she thought that it would hurt her. Three years, for goodness sake. It's not that only someone as strong as Juri would have strugged it off by now, but anyone in their right mind.  To see someone obsess over unrequited love for that long, you'd assume that the person they're longing for must be a really amazing person, wouldn't you? To think that the thought of not being with her has kept her like this for all these years.

As for her not feeling any guilt, I think she does feel guilty, but that she wasn't expecting to feel that way. Guilt is another one of those human emotions that get the better of us. She says to Juri that she feels no regret about what she did, yet we later hear her say that what she did made her feel more miserable than before. Even as she laughs at the idea of seeing Juri alone and miserable, she doesn't sound truly happy.

As for her using Ruka to keep Juri down... (I'm copying this from what I said in another thread.)

I don't think that Shiori was dating Ruka just to hurt Juri. Perhaps if it had really been Ruka's sword that she was trying to polish, but by the end of the episode we can put two and two together to realize that she was really there for Juri's sword. (Common sense can also tell us that that wasn't her motive. Yes, she did steal a boy from Juri three years ago, but it also left her feeling worse than before. Not to mention the fact that she was wrong about who she thought Juri loved, so I doubt she’s going to jump to the same conclusion just because Juri was glaring at Ruka.) Shiori seems to see Ruka as a replacement for Juri, since Juri as so kindly greeted her return by ignoring her, she's trying to move on with her life just as Juri is. This is why she puts so much emphasis on loving only him, because that's what she's trying to convince herself. (I should mention that this love that I speak of is perhaps not quite the same as Juri's love for her.)

We know all too well that Ruka's intentions were to turn Juri away from her feelings for Shiori, yet it seems as though he does the same thing to Shiori. In the sword scene, keeping in mind that it was really Juri's sword, Shiori averts her gaze from Ruka, and only glances at the sword until he says that he thought she was polishing his sword. Once he finally gets her to look at him, he places his hand on her cheek, keeping her from looking away from him. However, she looks away from him anyway, and at the sword, so he directs her gaze back at him and kisses her. And after this, we seeing a spinning white rose, which symbolizes the prince.

This behavior of looking away from Ruka continues throughout the episode. Until the car scene, she never looks directly at him. Her eyes are either closed, or she's looking elsewhere. And when she's with him by the fountain, she looks away from him with a regretful look in Juri's direction. Once she spends the night with Ruka, she is able to look away from Juri and only at him, as we see in the car ride.

The reason why Shiori hurt her left eye in the car crash is because it was through her left eye that she kept gazing at Juri. We see her left eye covered again when Juri comes to visit her. "Juri, so it's you. What do you want?" "Shiori..." "Did you come to laugh at me? You must be really happy right now!" "I would never--" "You really are pathetic! Did you expect me to come crying to you, begging for help? Well too bad, I'm not going to do what you expect!" At first glance, it looks as though Juri is trying to open the door, but is kept from doing so by the chain. Upon closer examination, we see that it is Shiori. Her hand is on the doorknob, twisting it, as though trying to open the door, but the chain keeps her from doing so, giving the impression that she is trapped just as Juri is. The assumptions of Juri laughing at her seem to be a fear of what Juri might do, and expecting her to come crying to Juri, begging for help is what she's afraid of letting herself do.

Basically, Shiori saw Ruka as her prince, and he broke her heart. She acted so dramatically when he left her because now she had lost both Juri and him, and so she was left with nothing.

Last edited by Razara (11-01-2006 06:47:28 PM)

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#6 | Back to Top10-29-2006 03:03:09 PM

Ivy-chan
Unfulfilled Juror
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 232

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Shiori is a very interesting and very complicated character, just like the rest of the cast in this anime. It's never good to take a superficial glance at either the main or secondary characters in this show, because all of them have layers of complexity. Shiori is not 'evil', but she is cruel, small-minded, and petty. She is also insecure, indecisive, fragile, and most likely a romantic at heart. Her good qualities are vastly overshadowed by her flaws and her clumsiness. As others have stated before, she's a very real character. Her flaws are almost viscerally familiar, because her emotions and her mindset are things we have either encountered commonly in high school, or have undergone on a personal level. She's repulsive to the audience because of the nature of her flaws, the shallow and self-centered desire to hurt her friend in order to bring herself higher, the way she rejoices in Juri's suffering when she sees the locket. These are negative feelings that people are repulsed by in themselves, because they are very low emotions. She has no confidence or charisma, no qualities to admire or desire. She's entirely a miserable version of our juvenile selves.

She definitely has an inferiority complex, and it twists and warps her thoughts and actions. She is suffering, she feels unimportant and inferior, and so the solution to this lack of equality in her relationship with Juri is to bring her friend down to her level. Although she could have attempted to better herself, find a talent, find a counselor to help her lack of self worth, and talk to Juri about how she felt, she chose to make her friend suffer. Shiori seems to choose 'strong friends', like Ruka and Juri, so presumably she likes someone to look up to. It's rather masochistic of her, seeing that the end result is another load of self loathing. She's self destructive, both pushing away help by seeing it as condescension and mockery, and placing herself in a position where she feels insecure and inferior.

She doesn't do anything overtly positive or kind in the series, so we don't have much proof of any good side. What we have are glimpses oftrue signs of remorse and pain. When she leans out the window and speaks to Utena and Anthy about her nostalgic memories of Juri, I believe she really means it when she says she doesn't deserve Juri's friendship any more. I'm not sure how much guilt she feels over what she's done. When we see her staring after Juri when she leaves her with the dying bird, her expression is downcast, but it could easily be regret and disappointment that her plan didn't work andthat it was all for nothing, rathen than the sadness she could feel at Juri rejecting her overtures. I believe that on a very real level she wants Juri back as a friend, but she'd lead herself back into that destructive pattern she began when she attempted to steal Juri's love from her. In 'Thorns of Death', we see that she still takes a small amount of pleasure in her actions. When she says: 'You'll never forgive me for that, will you?' the expression on her face is almost pleased, the tone in her voice has a hint of triumph. Although she feels that what she did was dirty and contemptable, I don't believe she has any pity for Juri or any notion of what it means to have hurt her that deeply. She focused more on what those actions meant to her as a person, and not on the consequences it had on either the best friend she hurt or the boy she ruthlessly used.

This may be why the Ruka incident let her soften toward Juri enough to make another overture at the end of the episode- waiting for her and following her down the path. Did she find out about Ruka's death and want someone to talk to about it, or did she realize how similar the manipulation Ruka played on her was to what she did to the nameless fencer she stole from Juri? At this point at the end of the series, they're both tentatively reaching out to each other once again. We don't know what happened afterwards, presumably she simply walked with Juri and had a short discussion, but this was the first time Shiori actively sought Juri out after her arrival to the school. As for Juri, there was never any question of her feeling for Shiori. The shattering of the locket, however, in my opinion, signifies the destruction of the ideal image of her former best friend, the person she desired who never really was. She is now ready to see Shiori as she really is, and not as Juri idealistically remembers her.

Post-revolution, we see Juri calling out for the next member of the fencing team to step forward, and out comes Shiori. This is a huge turning point for the character: for me, it shows that Shiori has at least put aside some of her huge misconceptions about both Juri and the way to strengthen herself. She is not trying to be important by dating men who are important to Juri, she is not trying to 'steal' something away from her former best friend. At this point, she is meeting Juri as a fellow fencer, and she is willing to learn from her. This signifies some acceptance of their relationship as it stands, and the desire for growth. Shiori is trying to improve herself by her own means, and is setting herself up for a position of 'inferiority'. (Pupil to master, not equal to equal. Not just yet.) She seems confident, more self-assured, and less like the girl crouching in the shadows. Just before this scene, we see her watching Juri play badminton, and her hand is clutching the same place Juri usually kept her locket. This could be seen as a reversal of roles, now Shiori longs for Juri.

We can't be sure how far she's come from the desperate girl she was before. Certainly there's room for her to become stronger, more self-assured. Granted, she is still yearning to be 'more like Juri', she still feels inferior. She continues to attempt equality by emulating Juri. But there seems to be less of a vicious nature to that now, and more of a genuine yearning to better herself.


If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.
-Isaac Newton

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#7 | Back to Top10-29-2006 03:13:33 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
Website

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I don't think anyone in the series is evil, Akio included. There are varying degrees of selfishness and moral bankruptcy, but evil is a harsh word to throw around about characters so carefully portrayed as human. That said, Shiori is far less deserving of her bad reputation than Akio is, but she's easier for most of us to hate. We sympathize with Shiori (even if we don't want to say so), and if we don't sympathize, she still tells a story we've seen from close quarters. Akio? Well not so much, how often have you been ruthlessly manipulated and seduced by your school's dean? (Not enough.) How often do you nearly kill yourself helping people only to find the world turns against you when you stop-oh wait...some of you should relate to that but don't because it involves Akio. emot-wink

This may be a stupid question on account of me not having watched the episodes in a while...but do we immediately rule out Ruka as being the same boy Shiori seduces before? I don't recall the conversation exactly proving they'd only met for the first time in the gym...


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#8 | Back to Top10-29-2006 03:31:43 PM

Rosemary Bats
Mikage Mistruster
From: Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 62

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Giovanna wrote:

This may be a stupid question on account of me not having watched the episodes in a while...but do we immediately rule out Ruka as being the same boy Shiori seduces before? I don't recall the conversation exactly proving they'd only met for the first time in the gym...

I think we have to rule that out. Their character designs are completely different for one, and secondly, Shiori and the first boy she seduced broke up on what we are to assume "bad terms." If Ruka was that boy and he saw Shiori at his locker the way he did, he'd be more angry than curious.


WARNING: Rabid fangirl and well of useless trivia; wielder of endless random theories; pervy fancier of all things Anthy and/or Chigusa.
-I have the honor of playing Tenjou Utena on LJ's wonderful UTENA_RPG.-

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#9 | Back to Top10-29-2006 03:35:39 PM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4694

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Very well said. That is an amazing interpretation.

I think that Shiori saw dragging Juri down with her as her only option, because she thought that being Juri's equal would be impossible. No matter how much she tried to improve herself, she thought could never be Juri's equal. This makes me think of Wakaba's elevator scene. "No matter how hard I love, or how much I study, all I'll ever be is a face in the crowd. Special people may as well live in another world!"

I sometimes wonder how things could have gone differently in their past relationship. If Juri had told her how she felt, would she have gained more self-confidence knowing that Juri cared about her? Could both of their wishes of equality and love have been fulfilled?

Giovanna wrote:

This may be a stupid question on account of me not having watched the episodes in a while...but do we immediately rule out Ruka as being the same boy Shiori seduces before? I don't recall the conversation exactly proving they'd only met for the first time in the gym...

They have different color hair, and they have different voice actors. Also, Juri was better with a sword than that boy, so it's unlikely. However, that is an interesting thing to consider, and it easy to assume, especially since we never learn that boy's name. It could be "Ruka," for all we know. Of course, the lack of a name could also relate to the lack of importance he has in Juri's eyes.

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#10 | Back to Top10-29-2006 03:42:32 PM

Fluffy
New Student
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 9

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Aaalso, on the matter of Ruka =/= boy Shiori ran off with, he seems pretty set in his etc-love Juri ZAP Shiori ways, and so I really doubt he would have gone off with Shiori, especially as there's the strong implication that used!boy would have known that she was distracting him from Juri in some way and figured it out afterwards and and and Juri seemed to quite like him as a friend or think they were all happy together PLUS Ruka has this air of superiority and detachment which would I think drop if he had been that obviously involved.

PERSONALLY. I think Ruka's an oooold Ohtori student who didn't age and didn't age while there and knows the game et cetera and then his death is actually a matter of finally growing, letting go, and finding he's physically NINE HUNDRED. And kinda dying. In a cute way. But that's both crack and off-topic.

Shiori is...insecure and bitter, basically. If Juri hadn't been kind of hung up on her and giving her slack she might actually have turned out better, as in best-case scenario being: "hey Shiori I'm ACTUALLY INTO YOU" "lafjougahfu!!!?!?!!?" "...." "that - explains a lot! right! I WILL USE YOU NOW" and some kind of SUPER JURI FAITO against this. Everything out in the open would probably have helped.

Also, she IS a romantic, and, well, she is the kind of embodiment of what makes the Million Swords of Hatred and stuff like that. The one problem Juri can't solve for her is that she's inferior to her, and so...

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#11 | Back to Top10-29-2006 04:45:41 PM

Ger
Rose Smilee
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 139
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Fluffy wrote:

PERSONALLY. I think Ruka's an oooold Ohtori student who didn't age and didn't age while there and knows the game et cetera and then his death is actually a matter of finally growing, letting go, and finding he's physically NINE HUNDRED. And kinda dying. In a cute way. But that's both crack and off-topic.

Well not so crack. Look at Mikage emot-tongue

In my years of watching Utena I've gone from not liking Shiori to actually understanding somewhat where she's coming from. I think in part a lot of that comes from my desire to understand Ruka's actions, since he's one of my favorites. In order to understand him, I had to understand Juri, and with that comes needing to understand Shiori.

I think a lot of people have said what I've always thought about her - that Shiori is a "real" person and thus at once closer to "our level" than Touga, Saionji, Juri, Miki et al. I doubt any of us were high school green-haired kendo masters with rich best friends and thousands of adoring fans (and if you were, I run screaming XD). But we all know or knew people like Shiori, Wakaba, Kozue, or Tsuwabuki when we were growing up. So many books and films have been made about "growing up" during your school years, and if childhood and high school weren't some of the most angst-filled and dramatic years of anyone's life, I doubt writers and filmmakers would focus on it as much as they do. Personally, out of the "normal" students, I find I identify the most with Tsuwabuki and his longing to be an adult, but there is also some of each of the Black Rose duellists inside of me. I think that's what makes the Black Rose duels so doubly cruel - you can watch them and think "I'd never be like this person," but look a little deeper (XD) and I think all of us will find that we ARE, to some extent.

Shiori may be warped, but at the same time she's still in high school, and high school is a growing period. Juri isn't perfect either, as Shiori finds out. I'd like to think that post-revolution, the two of them grow to be good friends again.

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#12 | Back to Top10-30-2006 03:21:44 AM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I'm a Juri fanboy. I adore her, even as it feels weird to etc-wankdude about a lesbian character. As such, it would be a natural response to hate Shiori. But I don't hate her at all, even though I still want to.

I appreciate Shiori for hurting Juri, because Juri's pain makes her a character that I can identify with, which makes me more like Shiori as well because it's Juri's pain that makes me, as the viewer, happy.

This is pretty typical SKU, I think. It's disguising itself as a shoujo anime about a girl who wants to become like the prince who saved her long ago, and instead is so chock-full of symbolism and other literary goodies that we as fans are still discussing it years after it ended.

And as to Fluffy's theory about Ruka... that sounds like a fanfic in the working.


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#13 | Back to Top10-30-2006 10:04:25 AM

Nariel
Miki Molester
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 32

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Fluffy wrote:

PERSONALLY. I think Ruka's an oooold Ohtori student who didn't age and didn't age while there and knows the game et cetera and then his death is actually a matter of finally growing, letting go, and finding he's physically NINE HUNDRED. And kinda dying. In a cute way. But that's both crack and off-topic.

So Juri gets kissed by a nine-hundred year old guy. And possibly has sex with him. Poor Juri.


The ruler of the universe has spoken.

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#14 | Back to Top11-03-2006 06:09:41 PM

Shance
Miki Molester
From: Ottawa, Canada
Registered: 10-29-2006
Posts: 32

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I like Shiori because I can relate to her.  I can not say I would do what she did, but I know I'm capable of it.  I know I have that side.  She's human.

I always thought of her as the quiet girl in high school who never was very popular, never had the best clothes, and was always below someone else.   

Really, I think that Wakaba and Shiori are as close as we get in Utena to "ordinary girls".

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#15 | Back to Top11-05-2006 07:58:27 AM

Hinotori
The Notable Death Mantis
From: Soviet Ohiostan
Registered: 10-23-2006
Posts: 1333

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I'm not just a Juri fangirl. I see so many paralelles between myself and Juri (from appearance to attitude to history with girls) I'm pretty sure I piddled myself a little when I first watched the series.

I always assumed that the whole thing was a bad situation. It appeared to me that while Shiori is manipulative, events just placed themselves in a way where she ended up causing Juri the most hurt even if that wasn't entirely her desire. What we see is Juri in pain and we automatically assume that the pain felt on Juri's end is equal to the malice on Shiori's, and that's exacerbated by the fact that Juri has the upper hand on just about everyone else in the series.


(Note, this is all coming from the point of view of someone who hasn't seen the series the entire way through in about a year. I'm working on rewatching it, though.)


Hinotori made this post, and then went back and changed it later. Such is life.


It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

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#16 | Back to Top11-17-2006 11:15:03 AM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
Website

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Shiori is simply one of the greatest characters anime has ever offered me. She is my favorite character of SKU, and of all anime.

Many see Shiori as this evil girl who does nothing but bring pain and misery. To be a Shiori fan, you have to understand her flaws. I relate to Shiori more than anyone, because she is HUMAN. She is the embodiment of everything you don't want to admit about yourself. She's insecure and paranoid, jealous and afraid. She's every teenage girl you will ever meet. And I accept everything she's done.

But that doesn't mean it's logical to assume that Shiori supporters hate Juri. Not true. When I bought the first DVD of Shoujo Kakumei Utena, Juri was my favorite character. I still love her deeply. But I can relate to Shiori much more. We all have a time where we live in someone else's shadow. We've all had "power" go to our head. We've all felt resentment towards someone who can be what we cannot. In hating Shiori, you are hating all that makes you human.

One thing that really bothers me is when fans of only the "good guys" try to accuse every other character of doing such horrible injustices to the world. I'm not try to bash, nothing of the sort, I'm just pointing out. I've had Anthy fans say Shiori hurt Juri, but Anthy stabbed Utena. Touga fans have called Shiori a traitor, but Touga works with Akio, and deceives every single character far worse than Shiori did. Utena fans have even called Shiori a slut for sleeping with Ruka, but Ruka was Shiori's boyfriend at the time, while Utena slept with Akio even though she was well aware that he was engaged. I have nothing at all against Utena, Anthy, or Touga; I'm simply trying to show that all characters have flaws, and trying to bash Shiori for them while ignoring them in everyone else is just ignorant.

Last edited by dollface (12-07-2009 05:57:18 PM)


ah, man does not exist; ah, within the darkness; ah, the sound of the waves

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#17 | Back to Top11-17-2006 01:27:25 PM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

There's a quote I read in a book once that's from a completely unrelated situation but I think it sums up most Utena fans' attitude towards Shiori quite nicely: "We hate you because you're real." If I had grown up in the shadow of someone who'd outshone me in everything, made me feel like a pity friend even though I wasn't, and then it turned out he'd been in love with me the whole time (but too ashamed to tell me) I have to say that Shiori's behavior isn't unrealistic at all. Maybe a little over the top, but I've known real people who have done far worse things. I think that most of the Shiori-haters can't stand her because she reminds them of things they'd rather not acknowledge in themselves.

Hell, that's why I don't like Saionji, but that's for another thread.


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#18 | Back to Top11-17-2006 01:58:36 PM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

ShatteredMirror wrote:

If I had grown up in the shadow of someone who'd outshone me in everything, made me feel like a pity friend even though I wasn't, and then it turned out he'd been in love with me the whole time (but too ashamed to tell me) I have to say that Shiori's behavior isn't unrealistic at all.

This is exactly the way I feel about Shiori. I think she's quite justified in how messed up she is over Juri. Neither one of them can deal with the feelings they have for each other but Shiori is neurotic about it only because Juri is MORE neurotic about it.

dollface wrote:

I've had Anthy fans say Shiori hurt Juri, but Anthy tried to KILL Utena.

I don't agree that Anthy intended to kill Utena. She gave her a painful stabbing very much away from vital organs. I think she was trying to save Utena from the swords that would have struck Utena had she beaten Akio in the duel and freed Anthy. However, Utena did it anyway. Anyway, we discussed this on another thread already. Sorry, off topic.

My main experience with Utena fandom has been on this forum and I'm happy to say that I don't see much character bashing going on here. I think it's obvious that the "evil" characters have just as much appeal to most Utena fans as our title hero. I love the complexity of all the characters.

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#19 | Back to Top11-17-2006 06:43:35 PM

brian
Atlantean Singer
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 588

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I largely agree with the last few postings. I have seen for myself what a horror Shioris can be for the people around them. But they are not evil. They simply are trapped in deep holes that are largely NOT of their own making and cannot find their own way out and will not accept effective help from others (although often demanding that others enable them).

I found it very inspiring when Shiori (after the revolution) discovered that she could admire and emulate Juri without losing her sense of self.  One major disappointment with the movie is that she is not granted this deliverance but instead just crashes.

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#20 | Back to Top11-17-2006 07:15:30 PM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
Website

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Dani wrote:

My main experience with Utena fandom has been on this forum and I'm happy to say that I don't see much character bashing going on here. I think it's obvious that the "evil" characters have just as much appeal to most Utena fans as our title hero. I love the complexity of all the characters.

The only SKU character bashing I have seen usually occurs in fanfiction.

This forum has a number of members who have a fondness for the darker characters which is not surprising since the head of this forum has a major fixation on the darkest character of them all, Akio.

The only worthwhile reason a character should be bashed is if their existance would ruin the story.

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#21 | Back to Top11-17-2006 08:34:29 PM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4694

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I've seen a lot of character bashing on other forums, so I'm glad that there isn't any here. I only hope that no one makes a thread discussing least favorite characters. A war would abrupt in our quiet little community. emot-gonk

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#22 | Back to Top11-17-2006 08:43:53 PM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Razara wrote:

I've seen a lot of character bashing on other forums, so I'm glad that there isn't any here. I only hope that no one makes a thread discussing least favorite characters. A war would abrupt in our quiet little community. emot-gonk

But I think everyone would have to pick the frog. emot-keke

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#23 | Back to Top11-17-2006 08:51:53 PM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
Website

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Razara wrote:

I've seen a lot of character bashing on other forums, so I'm glad that there isn't any here. I only hope that no one makes a thread discussing least favorite characters. A war would abrupt in our quiet little community. emot-gonk

Its hard to say for certain if that particular topic would bring out the worst in the forum members or not but while there are SKU characters I am not a big fan of (Saionji, Kozue and Shiori),emot-confused I feel no special need to bash them as they still are a worthwhile addition to the SKU story, its just that they haven't captured my imagination the same way that characters I used to hate but now love (Nanami and Anthy)etc-love or the ones that I just like as much.

I believe that people gravitate towards characters that stirs something inside themselves most.emot-keke

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#24 | Back to Top11-18-2006 01:14:11 AM

ShatteredMirror
Yaoi Pet #1
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 8858

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I hope a war never happens. A thread over least favorite characters could be interesting if it's handled well. The discussions on this forum have led me to think more about characters that I disliked initially, like Shiori. Of course, I disliked Shiori because her relationship with Juri reminded me of a relationship that I had with someone, who used the knowledge that I loved her to hurt me, and while I still don't like Shiori per se I see her as an important part of the story.


Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.

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#25 | Back to Top11-19-2006 04:54:51 PM

A Day Without Me
Still Drunk in the Morning?
From: in the tulip garden!
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 1584

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

To quote from the introduction thread:

ShatteredMirror wrote:

Because you like Series Juri so much more than Manga Juri I'm interested in hearing your opinion on Shiori, since she plays such a big part in making Series Juri interesting.

I suppose its interesting that I don't hold an utter hatred for Shiori as much as many Juri fans do. I'm not crazy about Shiori, but I do see where she's coming from, and to a very small extent I can understand it since I've personally had a very slightly similar relationship with someone as she has with Juri. I think she's a very flawed character as opposed to an outright bad person. I would also say she's a bit immature - I do find it a bit hard to remember that she's the same age as Juri since her behavior is so much more petty than Juri's is.

But, yes, Shiori certainly isn't evil - immature, yes, flawed, yes, but not evil.


"I'm bringing paxil back. (Yup)
My HMO might just pick up the tab. (Yup)
I got the tremors and I need a nap. (Yup)
I gave my rent check to them Pfizer cats."

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