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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 Top12-29-2007 06:00:23 PM

ArsenicForBreakfast
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From: The Destination of Your Fate
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Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Okay, after re-watching the last two episodes of the Black Rose arc, I think I'm more confused that the first time I watched it.  This is definately the most cryptic arc in my opinion, not because of the weird symbolism, but becuase I'm having difficulty discerning "what's actually going on" from "Mikage's memories" (but then, isn't everyone in this arc)  So I have a few questions about the things I found more confusing, and seeing what kind of ideas you all have about them.

To begin with, why did Nemuro burn down the research laboratory?  He's incredibly vague about his/Mamiya's motivation for doing this, but seems to insinuate it was some kind of nesesscary "sacrifice".  Although, I think him seeing Akio getting all hanky-panky with Tokiko was a catalyst.  Maybe he wanted to destroy his peers in order to assure he'd be the one to obtain eternity, or just to get back at Akio for moving in on the only person he's affectionate towards.

Also, Nemuro makes several comments during those scenes about, "the door to enternity" being opened from the school. Do you think he's talking about the dueling arena, or that in the future a duelist will open the door, or somthing else entirely?  Bu he seems to insinuate that the research made it possible for them to open the door to the arena. But if the arena was sealed before that, where would that put Akio and Anthy in the scheme of things?  Surely the arena was their own creation, or something they had control over...right?  I'm incredibly confused about these two points, and wanted to see what you all think of it.

One more thought: how do you interperet the glass box in the elevator, with the cocoon, butterfly, and leaf?  The first two make sense; when someone rides down the elevator, they gradually let their true feelings out into the open, emerging from a self imposed prison.  Where does the leaf play into that, though?  Just another random thought...emot-tongue


I'm a fan of pessimism: if you maintain the lowest expectations possible, they'll always be met or exceeded.

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#2 | Back to Top12-29-2007 09:49:19 PM

Ragnarok
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From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

ArsenicForBreakfast wrote:

To begin with, why did Nemuro burn down the research laboratory?  He's incredibly vague about his/Mamiya's motivation for doing this, but seems to insinuate it was some kind of nesesscary "sacrifice".  Although, I think him seeing Akio getting all hanky-panky with Tokiko was a catalyst.  Maybe he wanted to destroy his peers in order to assure he'd be the one to obtain eternity, or just to get back at Akio for moving in on the only person he's affectionate towards.

It seems that Akio is responsible for the concept of burning down the laboratory. Nemuro is working on his equations when he first meets Akio, who gives him sealed envelope.

Episode 22 wrote:

Akio:  That is the first step toward the power to revolutionize the world.
Akio:  That will set everything in motion.
Nemuro:  Ridiculous... How could anyone even execute such a plan?!

As you say, he doesn't go through with it until after 'catching' Akio and Tokiko. The series deals with the concept that miracles can occur, but they must be fuelled by sacrifice. In order to open the path to eternity/the power of Dios, the sacrifice of one hundred duelists were required.

ArsenicForBreakfast wrote:

Also, Nemuro makes several comments during those scenes about, "the door to enternity" being opened from the school. Do you think he's talking about the dueling arena, or that in the future a duelist will open the door, or somthing else entirely?  Bu he seems to insinuate that the research made it possible for them to open the door to the arena. But if the arena was sealed before that, where would that put Akio and Anthy in the scheme of things?  Surely the arena was their own creation, or something they had control over...right?  I'm incredibly confused about these two points, and wanted to see what you all think of it.

This is why I think (and I may be alone in this) that Nemuro and the other researchers were the ones who created Akio's projector. Even though it mostly deals in illusions, the projector also acts as a link to the door behind which eternity dwells/the power of Dios/Anthy's coffin. The arena and the castle itself just seem to be convenient images for Akio to motivate the duelists, they both appear before Nemuro sets the fire. It's possible that the 'real' power of the projector couldn't manifest until the sacrifice was made. The series shows that Akio believes (on some level) that the power of Dios can be gained through the duel of Revolution, so even if he and Anthy can reach the door without the arena, they can't and/or won't open it without a prince's sword which must be forged through the duels.

ArsenicForBreakfast wrote:

One more thought: how do you interperet the glass box in the elevator, with the cocoon, butterfly, and leaf?  The first two make sense; when someone rides down the elevator, they gradually let their true feelings out into the open, emerging from a self imposed prison.  Where does the leaf play into that, though?  Just another random thought...emot-tongue

It's actually four images: Butterfly -> Cocoon -> Caterpillar -> Leaf (with eggs) which represents the elevator's occupant falling deeper into their own psyche and regressing to their most basic, primal emotions. It's specifically a reversal of growing; counter to Akio's method of turning duelists into (false) adults, Mikage makes the Black Rose Duelists by tapping into their base desires, the childish concept that if you don't like someone: kill them.

But you don't take my word for it! emot-smile


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#3 | Back to Top12-29-2007 10:46:19 PM

allegoriest
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From: Cloudcuckooland
Registered: 10-16-2006
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

As for Mikage burning the hall down...

At that point in time, he'd been doing everything for Tokiko, but she betrayed him in a sense, and he decided he didn't need to do these things to make her happy anymore.
When Utena showed up, he probably thought it was her crawling back to him.

(Also: Tokiko = slut)


I think it would make perfect sense if Nemuro and his boys made the projector.


I basically thought the same thing about the chrysalis and such, they were devolving into evil, violent and spiteful black rose duelists. (As opposed to beautiful nobleish butterflies)
(I was going to say something about their inability to reason as part of a degenerating thing, but then I quickly thought of Keiko all HEY, NANAMI'S REALLY THE BAD ONE, so... maybe not.)
Perhaps Mikage sort of evolved instead, since he was a real duelist.




I think the sacrifice thing is one of those reason I like to assume that Utena died. She revolutionized Anthy's world, and in my mind, she was the sacrifice for that to happen.
(semi-related off topic. Ending that now.)
(I like parenthesis.)


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#4 | Back to Top12-29-2007 10:53:15 PM

Giovanna
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From: Edmonton, AB
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Eggs on the leaf? Is that shown or are you just assuming? I'd never thought of that, it makes a glorious ton of sense though. etc-love The BRS is definitely the most symbolism-heavy arc. I wonder if not in part to illustrate things in the time constraint of the episodes when what was involved showed such a dynamic range. The symbolism could be said in some way to make up for that a lot of the BRS episodes could have been illustrated by three or four episodes of development.


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#5 | Back to Top12-29-2007 11:03:36 PM

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

Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w96/RazaraNi/Eggs.jpg

Unfortunately, though the Black Rose Saga is my territory, Mikage certainly isn't, so I can't answer any of these questions.

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#6 | Back to Top12-29-2007 11:31:51 PM

Giovanna
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From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Nice. See how observant I am about my own damn caps. emot-rolleyes


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
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#7 | Back to Top12-29-2007 11:36:17 PM

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

Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Giovanna wrote:

Nice. See how observant I am about my own damn caps. emot-rolleyes

It wasn't until the fifty billionth time of rewatching the Black Rose Saga that I noticed them. Ikuhara might have been better of presenting the eggs in a more noticeable fashion, rather than little tiny dots on a leaf that are difficult to notice. (Or maybe that's symbolic, too...)

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#8 | Back to Top12-29-2007 11:51:45 PM

Ashnod
La poétesse revolutionnaire
From: Missouri, United States
Registered: 03-01-2007
Posts: 1243
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Ragnarok wrote:

ArsenicForBreakfast wrote:

Also, Nemuro makes several comments during those scenes about, "the door to enternity" being opened from the school. Do you think he's talking about the dueling arena, or that in the future a duelist will open the door, or somthing else entirely?  Bu he seems to insinuate that the research made it possible for them to open the door to the arena. But if the arena was sealed before that, where would that put Akio and Anthy in the scheme of things?  Surely the arena was their own creation, or something they had control over...right?  I'm incredibly confused about these two points, and wanted to see what you all think of it.

This is why I think (and I may be alone in this) that Nemuro and the other researchers were the ones who created Akio's projector. Even though it mostly deals in illusions, the projector also acts as a link to the door behind which eternity dwells/the power of Dios/Anthy's coffin. The arena and the castle itself just seem to be convenient images for Akio to motivate the duelists, they both appear before Nemuro sets the fire. It's possible that the 'real' power of the projector couldn't manifest until the sacrifice was made. The series shows that Akio believes (on some level) that the power of Dios can be gained through the duel of Revolution, so even if he and Anthy can reach the door without the arena, they can't and/or won't open it without a prince's sword which must be forged through the duels.

I tend to disagree with this - if only because without the projector itself, Akio really can't use the "arena" or the "Castle" as illusions for the 100 Duelists.  In the voiceover by the 100 Duelists, they state the door to the Dueling Arena has been opened - I take this as a very literal thing rather than a symbolic statement or a deception on Akio's part. There is strong evidence in the series that all of the duels actually took part in the arena, with only the final duel taking place in the planetarium (and even that is up for debate). Akio himself states repeatedly about the "value of this room" rather than the projector itself - I don't think the power of the projector extends beyond the planetarium. And now I'm rambling.

I think the doorway to the Arena, and the steps needed to open it, were something that had to be done before any of the Duels could take place.  I also think that even though Akio has set everything in motion, that there are rules even he needs to adhere to in order for any of the "revolution" power to manifest, just as there are rules keeping Dios sealed away and preventing Anthy from simply walking away from being the Rose Bride. I keep intending to write up an essay on this, and keep putting it off. emot-frown

Like you, I might be alone in my opinion, but mine is that the projector itself is nothing more than a smokescreen - that much of what occurs in Episode 38 is deception on his part and not honesty at all. But much of that is admittedly based on the fact that the series contradicts itself repeatedly between what is symbolic and what is meant to be literal - it's hard to make any concrete statements about what is happening at Ohtori and what Akio can and cannot do as a result.


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#9 | Back to Top12-30-2007 12:15:45 AM

Yasha
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From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Razara wrote:

Giovanna wrote:

Nice. See how observant I am about my own damn caps. emot-rolleyes

It wasn't until the fifty billionth time of rewatching the Black Rose Saga that I noticed them. Ikuhara might have been better of presenting the eggs in a more noticeable fashion, rather than little tiny dots on a leaf that are difficult to notice. (Or maybe that's symbolic, too...)

I dunno... On first sight, I thought they were pins holding the leaf where it was. It could be either, it's really too hard to tell.

Eggs is more fun anyways.


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#10 | Back to Top12-30-2007 06:14:01 AM

ArsenicForBreakfast
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Wow...I got the butterfly thing totally backwards (way to go me!)  I always thought the dots on the leaf were drops of water, not eggs, but the later is much more interesting!

Riding the train of thought on the dueling arena; I wonder if there might be more than one, and if they might have been "planted" by Akio and Anthy over a long period of time(since we know the two of the have been around for a good long while) to cultivate until the time when they were needed.  Perhaps Nemuro's burning the lab was the method of "finalizing" that particular arena so Akio could use it for his devices, in much the same way that Anthy's sacrifice in taking the Million swords of Hate made it possible for Akio to approach the door to revolution.  In any case, I doubt Anthy and Akio have been chillin' in the woods outside Ohtori since Dios was sealed, so it would make sense for there to be other arenas somewhere else.  And if some special sacrifice had to be made, it'd be impossible for anyone to intrude on them before the time was right.  Note that I have no canon evidence for this, it's just my overactive imagination at work. <----damn, I am making a fanfic about this

BTW thanks for the interesting ideas, guys.  Anthying that helps me understand the mind fuck that is the Black Rose Arc is mucho appreciated.


I'm a fan of pessimism: if you maintain the lowest expectations possible, they'll always be met or exceeded.

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#11 | Back to Top12-30-2007 03:14:23 PM

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

Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Yasha wrote:

I dunno... On first sight, I thought they were pins holding the leaf where it was. It could be either, it's really too hard to tell.

That's a good point. I never thought that they might be pins... Come to think of it, I don't really even know what caterpillar eggs look like... Both work well, but the concept of it just being a leaf with pins puts in a different perspective, especially if the leaf is being pinned down. The caterpillar eats the leaf in order to grow into a beautiful butterfly, and the leaf is helpless to do anything about it, especially if it pinned down like that.

It's kind of hard to say whether the black rose duelist, or the student council member is the butterfly. The bottom point that the black rose duelist hits could either mean that they feel as though they're a leaf that only exists for the caterpillar to grow into a beautiful butterfly, or that the bottom point is the point in which they would even desire to devour their friend if it was for the sake of their own growth.

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#12 | Back to Top12-30-2007 04:16:06 PM

allegoriest
Delicious Duellist
From: Cloudcuckooland
Registered: 10-16-2006
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

http://images.google.com/images?q=butte … amp;tab=wi


Unfancy link to google images with butterfly eggs.


Mikage stopped at a Chrysalis, right?
I imagine all the other duelists would probably be there too, since the butterfly is so wonderful and beautiful.
The black rose students get dragged down from being something beautiful to being raging maniacs.
(Like most the normal students can be seen as happy, normal people. Especially Wakaba at the beginning of her episode.)
All of the other duelists have yet to go to be beautiful happy people, like Juri giving up Shiori and the like.

Mikage started off as unstable and (in my own opinion) became more collected, at least as much as other duelists when he decided to challenge Utena. I think that after, when he discovered the real Mamiya, had he existed or anything, he'd have been a butterfly.



(I myself think that being just like everyone else is fantastic. This makes me biased.
Note though that everyone seems to be happy EXCEPT the special people.)


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#13 | Back to Top12-31-2007 09:25:15 AM

Baka Kakumei Reanna
Atlantean Singer
From: Wisconsin
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Posts: 572
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

As for the projector in the planetarium, I did assume that all duels had actually taken place there, but now that someone actually suggested that that may not be the case, it seems readily obvious, especially given events that take place around, but not in the arena, and things that have happened there that don't seem congruous with Akio's plans.

It's discussions like this that makes Utena one of my favorite anime, even when I usually stay away from the darker stuff.


We see things not as they are, we see things as we are.

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#14 | Back to Top12-31-2007 05:44:50 PM

Ragnarok
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From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

I totally messed up Levar's quote at the end of my first post, how sad. emot-frown

Whether or not the duels all took place in Akio's room, the dueling arena that we see throughout the series is an impossibility; structurally it would collapse. The castle itself shows that, regardless of the duel's location, the projector is always involved in the duels. I don't personally believe the projector is itself the pinnacle of Ohtori, in the end it's just another tool of Akio's. That said, it is a very useful and powerful tool; one which transcends the abilities of any real world equivalent.

Though I have to wonder, are there other theories on what Nemuro and the 100 duelists were working on? Or what their breakthrough was which opened the door to the arena for them.


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#15 | Back to Top01-02-2008 01:49:35 PM

Baka Kakumei Reanna
Atlantean Singer
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 07-31-2007
Posts: 572
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Well, if we can have one thing that transcends possibility, why not other things? Because of the nature of the show, I never really bothered to question the architectural impossibility of the duel arena.


We see things not as they are, we see things as we are.

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#16 | Back to Top01-02-2008 04:36:10 PM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Symbolism and The laws of Physics tend not to work together too well, so trying to ground the show in too much reality will only cause you to rip your hair out. school-freudschool-sherlockschool-eng101

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#17 | Back to Top01-02-2008 07:09:09 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Some questions concerning the BR Saga

Well, yes that's true. But the projector makes for a nice explanation in that it can make any number of bizarre things appear to exist. I think that the arena is supposed to specifically be impossible in order to reflect that it's just an illusion.


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