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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

#26 | Back to Top11-22-2006 01:22:43 AM

ShatteredMirror
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From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: 10-22-2006
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

A Day Without Me wrote:

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.

Shiori is really what makes Series Juri who she is. But it is hard to think of her as the same age as Juri - or rather, it's hard to think of Juri as the same age as Shiori, because Juri doesn't act like a typical sixteen-year-old, while Shiori does. It's easy to forget that Akio is the only non-peripheral character who's over eighteen.

Last edited by ShatteredMirror (11-22-2006 01:23:03 AM)


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#27 | Back to Top11-22-2006 10:37:14 AM

Razara
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From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Juri is very mature for her age, whereas Shiori is immature, or rather, innocent and naive. There is a lot of emphasis on her innocence, but this is Utena, and so of course this term has a much deeper meaning.

Shiori's innocence relates to how she is innocent and unaware that Juri has feelings for her. "You are just like Ganymede, the boy of the constellation Aquarius. Innocent and pure. But such innocence can hurt other people. Be careful." This innocence is cruel to Juri, because it keeps her from realizing her feelings.

Then again, could anyone have ever really guessed Juri's feelings? The way that episode seven is set up is interesting, because it leads us to believe that Juri was in love with that boy, and that she hated Shiori for stealing him from her. The first time we watch that episode, until the moment we see who is really inside the locket, we're led to believe exactly what Shiori believed. Despite that, I still come across people who insult her for not realizing Juri's feelings for her.

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#28 | Back to Top11-22-2006 04:56:01 PM

Ragnarok
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Razara wrote:

Then again, could anyone have ever really guessed Juri's feelings?

Ruka did, presumably. (Mikage may have as well.)

I doubt Shiori ever could realize the truth because of how she views Juri. When Juri says she was never in love with the boy, Shiori doesn't know what to think. She can't see herself as equal to Juri, so the thought of being the object of Juri's affections just couldn't occur to her. An objective person given the same amount of information that Shiori has may well be able to put it all together.


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#29 | Back to Top11-22-2006 08:15:10 PM

brian
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Registered: 10-22-2006
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I just re-watched ep. 7 and want to say a few words in praise of Shiori's courage. In that episode Juri meets Utena at night. She walks up to Utena and starts to almost caress her. For a moment Juri looks like a child-molester. Suddenly she violently attacks Utena.

Shiori would need a fair amount of physical courage to "steal the boyfriend" of a volatile person like that  -- who can terrify teachers with a glare.

Many episodes later, when Shiori has hit rock bottom, Juri visits her, but she turns Juri away even though she has been utterly humiliated. Shiori is not without pride or courage.

Last edited by brian (11-22-2006 08:16:09 PM)

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#30 | Back to Top11-22-2006 08:33:02 PM

Nessy
Sunlit Gardener (Prelude)
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

brian wrote:

I just re-watched ep. 7 and want to say a few words in praise of Shiori's courage. In that episode Juri meets Utena at night. She walks up to Utena and starts to almost caress her. For a moment Juri looks like a child-molester. Suddenly she violently attacks Utena.

Shiori would need a fair amount of physical courage to "steal the boyfriend" of a volatile person like that  -- who can terrify teachers with a glare.

It's possible that Juri didn't turn into that person until her falling out with Shiori, however.

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#31 | Back to Top11-22-2006 11:31:29 PM

ShatteredMirror
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From: Sacramento, CA
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I'm kind of with Nessy on this one. We don't really know much about the younger Juri but she seemed much more mild and idealistic - it was the pain caused by the break with Shiori that really seems to define her personality since she's built herself around trying to bury the pain in activity after activity. As for her being a child molester, she's only two years older than Utena...

The setup for episode 7 is pretty much set up to make it look like Juri was in love with the nameless boy - at least, it appears to be trying to convey that message. I saw it for what it was, but I probably wouldn't have if I'd gone in without any background knowledge of who Juri was as a character.


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#32 | Back to Top11-23-2006 01:03:58 PM

dollface
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

A few posts back, I probably saw the best word to describe Shiori[other than Innocently Cruel]:
Petty.

Shiori stole that boy because of jealousy, and in an attempt to be superior. In order to prove her worth, she dropped down to a very petty level, trying to steal something away that you never truly wanted. I do not say this to bash Shiori, she is by far my favorite character. I say this because she is flawed. She is frail. She is broken. She is your REAL teenage girl.

I believe that Juri was far kinder and more trusting when she and Shiori were still good friends. The betrayal and heartbreak is what made her so cold, though at moments, we can see Juri acting her age. In the episode of Shiori's duel, Juri is in the rose garden, holding her locket, and she says [about Shiori] "Yes...I hate you...". This scene always left such an impression on me. In that moment, Juri doesn't seem like the bitter, untouchable goddess of a woman, but rather the heartbroken girl she is, just trying to convinnce HERSELF of her love.

I believe the love/hate of Juri and Shiori is by far the most complex relationship in the show. And anyone who knows SKU knows that's saying a lot.


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#33 | Back to Top11-23-2006 02:45:57 PM

Giovanna
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

ShatteredMirror wrote:

I'm kind of with Nessy on this one. We don't really know much about the younger Juri but she seemed much more mild and idealistic - it was the pain caused by the break with Shiori that really seems to define her personality since she's built herself around trying to bury the pain in activity after activity.

I agree, but I think Shiori was at least partially aware later on that Ruka might fall into the range of 'not to be fucked around with', given his closeness to Juri right from the outset. (Besides she must have known who Ruka was if she was around Juri that much before...)

Ultimately I don't think she'd have behaved any differently given how volatile the Juri we know is. Shiori seemed to be very, very well aware of how Juri treated her differently than everyone else. She didn't quite grasp why, but I think she knew she could cut Juri any which way she liked and Juri would only take it.

This is suddenly reminding me to watch more Brother, Dear Brother.


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#34 | Back to Top11-23-2006 08:54:47 PM

ShatteredMirror
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

dollface wrote:

I believe that Juri was far kinder and more trusting when she and Shiori were still good friends. The betrayal and heartbreak is what made her so cold, though at moments, we can see Juri acting her age. In the episode of Shiori's duel, Juri is in the rose garden, holding her locket, and she says [about Shiori] "Yes...I hate you...". This scene always left such an impression on me. In that moment, Juri doesn't seem like the bitter, untouchable goddess of a woman, but rather the heartbroken girl she is, just trying to convinnce HERSELF of her love.

This is one of the few times in the series that Juri really does act like an ordinary teenager. It's hard to tell if she's trying to convince herself that she hates Shiori or if she's just saying it because she feels she should.


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#35 | Back to Top11-23-2006 10:15:05 PM

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

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I think that Juri was always solemn, mature, and somewhat expressionless. Even in scenes that show Shiori and Juri in their friendship years, with no visible rifts, she shows little enthusiasm or energetic youthfulness. She's composed. When the boy gives her a compliment, she smiles and says: Thank you', but it's not a 'Thank you!' like Utena would make. It's quiet and reserved. I don't believe she was ever particularly trusting or able to open herself to others, hence Shiori's comment about believing in miracles so that her feelings would reach others. she must have been imposing and aggressive even as a child, because Shiori also mentione that she was strong, cool, and always protected her. I think the qualities that were already there were honed, so to speak: sharpened and given a bitter edge.


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#36 | Back to Top11-23-2006 11:56:59 PM

ShatteredMirror
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From: Sacramento, CA
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

You know, the typical teenage drama would have had Shiori falling for Juri and having her feelings not returned, not the other way around.


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

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#37 | Back to Top11-24-2006 08:41:50 PM

dollface
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From: North Carolina
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

ShatteredMirror wrote:

You know, the typical teenage drama would have had Shiori falling for Juri and having her feelings not returned, not the other way around.

True. But since when is anything in Utena typical? emot-biggrin

Last edited by dollface (12-07-2009 05:59:05 PM)


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

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#38 | Back to Top11-24-2006 11:49:41 PM

ShatteredMirror
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From: Sacramento, CA
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Precisely why Utena is so cool. Because it's atypical it's somehow more real, even if the situation is no more likely to happen.


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

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#39 | Back to Top11-30-2006 10:03:04 AM

Personal_IceQueen
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

One thing I've always thought about , even if Shiori were to say "I Love you Juri, be with me!" ..Juri could at this point be so accustomed to her own sadness that she would be malcontent and it might not make a difference anyway.

I just think that Shiori as others have said) is your typical teenage girl : innocent to a fault and self-absorbed to a fault. As teenagers you think the world is yours for the taking - rarely do they give as so much an after thought that for a second it's not about them and what they want (or expect).


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#40 | Back to Top11-30-2006 08:43:27 PM

ShatteredMirror
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From: Sacramento, CA
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Posts: 8858

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Personal_IceQueen wrote:

One thing I've always thought about , even if Shiori were to say "I Love you Juri, be with me!" ..Juri could at this point be so accustomed to her own sadness that she would be malcontent and it might not make a difference anyway.

I just think that Shiori as others have said) is your typical teenage girl : innocent to a fault and self-absorbed to a fault. As teenagers you think the world is yours for the taking - rarely do they give as so much an after thought that for a second it's not about them and what they want (or expect).

If Juri and Shiori did somehow get together without having changed a great deal, Juri would probably ruin things by constantly expecting something to go wrong. After the series, who knows. After the Revolution, things started to change. But that's the subject for another thread.


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

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#41 | Back to Top12-07-2006 03:43:01 AM

Ran
New Student
Registered: 12-07-2006
Posts: 1

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I think probably the best insight as to what's going on in Shiori's head comes from her session in Mikage's elevator. Where most of the black rose duelists start with a single subject and become more and more vehement about it Shiori on the other hand keeps on waving wildly back and forth and contradicting herself. She's always hated Juri... no, Juri was her best friend but she knew that the only reason she ever hung around with her was that Juri secretly pitied her so she'd show her she wasn't someone to be pitied!... only running off with her best friend's supposed boyfriend made her feel even more worthless about herself and... but now she knows she's won because she was the person that Juri secretly loved all along!... No! How could Juri possibly look at her that?!...

Shiori's problems are that she doesn't know what she really wants, her self image is basically "worthless", and that she actually does have a conscience. She'd rather be hated than pitied so she tries to hurt Juri because if she can hurt Juri that means she's on the same level as her, right? Only she has enough of a conscience that her efforts to drag Juri down end up making her feel even worse about herself (Remember that Shiori didn't even find out that Juri never loved him until after she'd returned to Ohtori).

Likewise, Ruka's really just Shiori trying Plan A one more time after she sees Juri and Ruka talking and decides that "Okay, this must really be the guy". I don't think Shiori ever really loved Ruka, being with him was simply a way for her to elevate herself up to Juri's level. Juri's attempt to try and warn her about Ruka simply reinforces how valuable he must really be to her, even during their date she's watching Juri watching her out of the corner of her eye, and when Ruka tosses her aside without the faintest bit of regret (he tells her that he was lying to her from the very beginning and compliments her on her own acting) her entire world goes to hell. Especially when Juri turns up again to pity her and let her step back into her shadow.

Like with her reactions to finding out the truth about Juri's locket in the elevator. At one moment she's smugly purring about "All this time Juri was looking longingly at me from a distance? That's the real Juri? How pitiful" to "How could she possibly look at me like that?". I don't think it was homophobic shock (She certainly doesn't have any problem with using her knowledge of Juri's love to torment her after she's gotten her black rose) so much as it was shock that Juri could be in love with _her_.

On the other hand, I do think too many people give Juri a free pass here. She fixates on Shiori's "believe in a miracle and they'll know how you feel" words, investing them with far more meaning than they could have ever possibly been intended to have, and her miracle isn't just for Shiori to feel the same way she does about her but for her to have the courage she doesn't and to actually _say something_ about it.

So... yeah. In case you haven't guessed, the Shiori-Juri-Ruka love triangle is one of my favorite threads in the series.

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#42 | Back to Top12-07-2006 01:10:50 PM

Razara
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From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4693

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Ran wrote:

On the other hand, I do think too many people give Juri a free pass here. She fixates on Shiori's "believe in a miracle and they'll know how you feel" words, investing them with far more meaning than they could have ever possibly been intended to have, and her miracle isn't just for Shiori to feel the same way she does about her but for her to have the courage she doesn't and to actually _say something_ about it.

If I'm not mistaken, "believe in miracles," means to believe that her feelings will be returned. Juri does not believe in miracles, but she yearns for them. In other words, she does not believe that her feelings will be returned, but she yearns for them to be. Whenever the subject of miracles comes up, that's what it that really means.

"There is no such thing as miracles." Juri lost her faith when Shiori stole that boy from her. She lost any hope she might of had that her feelings would be returned, though perhaps she never had any faith at all.

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#43 | Back to Top12-07-2006 05:19:38 PM

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

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Great posting Ran. Like others, I wonder if Shiori could have done anything that would have truly satisfied Juri's desires. I suspect that even if she had tried, their relationship would have ended up like Saionji/Anthy or Akio/Anthy.
I also wonder why Shiori says, "Why do you look at me like that?"
a. She is disgusted by Juri's orientation, but that seems unlikely here (although that is implied in the movie).
b. She is disgusted at being Juri's Rose Bride.
c. She is disgusted at being anyone's Rose Bride.
d. She is disgusted at not being a Rose Bride. (Misleading job description)
e. Juri looks at her with condescension.
f. Juri makes her feel like a witch and she is tired of the guilt.
g. Juri totally hides her feelings, and she is fed up with the mask.

It may well be that Shiori herself does not really know.

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#44 | Back to Top12-07-2006 06:06:31 PM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4693

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

As a symbolism-whore, I can't help but notice that as she says this, she's looking down on her picture which has been discarded into a corner, and when Mikage comes in, she is sitting in the corner where the locket was. It was this scene that first made me aware of the symbolism of looking "down" on her, as we see throughout the episode. Before she asks why Juri looked at her that way, she says, "It's not use! It's still no use!" Which makes it sound as though she doesn't think that she hasn't actually surpassed Juri. Perhaps the question running through her mind was why Juri felt the need to keep her inside that locket? Was she ashamed of loving her? And if so, then has she truly surpassed her if she is so pathetic that Juri is a shamed of loving her? If she was truly satisfied with how Juri saw her, she wouldn't have taken the Black Rose in order to destroy the part of herself that lived miserably in Juri's shadows, and it was those words that brought her to the bottom.

Shiori's elevator scene has some of the most interesting symbolism out of any of the other elevator scenes. During the first part, the butterfly still has its wings, which makes me think that this part is more so what she would like to believe. She would rather think that she did it simply because she hated Juri, rather than because she felt inferior. When Mikage says the usual, "Deeper. Go deeper," Shiori looks up into her own reflection. Utena is the only other character who looks into her reflection, and the picture itself relates strongly to her duel song. After she says, "It's not that!" The lighting in the elevator darkens.

When she opens the locket, water trails down her hand like tears... I can't help but wonder what that locket means to Shiori. We all know that it's what constrains Juri, so why is it that when that locket shattered during Juri's duel, Shiori was set free as well? When that locket broke, her chair finally faced away from Ruka's direction to face Juri's. Did the locket constrain her as well?

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#45 | Back to Top12-07-2006 08:39:02 PM

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

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Wait, I must nitpick! Nanami looked into her reflection as well! *flees*


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

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#46 | Back to Top12-07-2006 09:08:22 PM

Ragnarok
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From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Nanami was in Mikage's elevator? emot-aaa


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#47 | Back to Top12-07-2006 09:10:17 PM

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

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

No, but she has looked at her reflection at some point in the series. I might have misread her comment as 'no one but Shiori and Utena look at their reflections in the entirety of the series' rather than 'no one but Utena and Shiori look at their reflections in Mikage's elevator', but to be fair, I don't count movie incarnations in a series discussion. emot-wink


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

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#48 | Back to Top12-07-2006 09:15:02 PM

Ragnarok
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Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Utena spends a bit of time in the black rose elevator before her duel with Akio.

Not that it's the real elevator from Nemuro Memorial Hall, because that's all rubble. But was the elevator ever in that building? Maybe it was in Akio's tower the whole time.


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#49 | Back to Top12-07-2006 09:23:01 PM

Xu Yuan
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 189

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

Actually I always looked at that scene as Akio paying homage to Mikage he does this subtly twice. Once by using his elevator and by using the classroom duel setting. This may be an awkward show of thanks to Mikage. Or as the essay may have just been a way to Utena, she's going to die. But the elevator, was a room of convincing and letting go of feelings, though he didn't keep the illusion up long.


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#50 | Back to Top12-07-2006 10:06:10 PM

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

Re: Shiori: Pure Evil, Or Misunderstood?

I think a lot of people chalk Shiori's bad reaction to finding out about Juri's feelings to homophobic shock and that's one of the things they can't stand about her but I agree that it's not that, I think it's more complicated. It's a combination of the I was wrong about her/what does that say about me that I misjudged her like that/I must be a horrible person/what does that say about her if she loves me and I'm horrible/if she's so pathetic to love such a horrible person I must have been right/but I wasn't right


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

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