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Gougai! Gougai!

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 Top01-03-2008 11:55:41 PM

Jellineck
Wondrous Sexual Eggplant.
From: Under your bed
Registered: 08-02-2007
Posts: 894

Anthy and Kanae

Just another less elaborated interaction in the series that I've wondered about. Anthy is many things to many people in the series, but only with Kanae does she ever become outright aggressive. Even towards Saionji, her main weapon was her casual indifference and dark intent concealed behind a passively sweet smile. But her dynamic with Kanae is different. Towards Kanae, she's downright sadistic. For example: the Black Rose saga. Kanae is the first victim, and she is brought there by Anthy. Her fate with Mikage is different from the others. As far as we can assume, Mamiya does not stalk up behind the others and plunge a rose into their hearts. And if it happens, it isn't shown or hinted at.

Through Mamiya, we see a very different aspect of Anthy, perhaps one she could only filter through her facade. Here we can see more of the witch. Teasing, seductive, a bit mysterious, and a whole lot more overtly sadistic. True, this is probably so because it's what Mikage desired and required to remain within his illusion. But as with Kanae, it's perhaps yet another glance into Anthy's real feelings. The other evidence of this is Anthy's outright torment of Kanae: smiling at her to maximum effect, openly dashing any attempts at affection, and finally that odd little part at the end with her helping her brother to feed the apple. It doesn't seem to line up with the rest of her actions. Mostly, she would be content to let people believe what they want up until the point it was no longer useful.

So. Theories. Why the apparent aggression against Kanae? Was it over jealousy towards Akio's engagement? But then, it doesn't seem to make too much sense since Kanae is the only one who Akio outright neglects, and she doesn't seem to bear any ill will towards Touga, who claims a lot more of Akio's time and attention. Or is he exempt from her possessiveness because he's a male? Gender roles and male entitlement are very important in Utena. My personal theory is quite simple. Anthy needs a place to vent her concealed aggression and suffering. Kanae is weak-willed, insecure, and desperate for Anthy's affection. Thus, the perfect target.


"You said you would do anything for me, right Mamiya?" Mikage purred as he slithered close. "Yes that's right" Mamiya said with a rosey blush. Mikage's smile was evil and cinister as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a banana. "Eeny meeny myny moo. I wonder where my banana will go?" - The Forbidden Passions of Nemuro

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#2 | Back to Top01-04-2008 03:28:17 AM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
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Re: Anthy and Kanae

Anthy is everything to her brother, except his official wife. It's the one thing she can never do for him. That might explain why she hates Kanae, no matter how Kanae is abused. It's even possible that that's why Akio neglects Kanae, to avoid setting Anthy off.


"The devil want me as is, but god he want more."
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#3 | Back to Top01-04-2008 05:18:24 AM

Ren
New Student
From: Virginia
Registered: 01-01-2008
Posts: 5

Re: Anthy and Kanae

I agree with Stormcrow, though I'd also add that Kanae is pretty much the epitome of the Utena princess. Sweet, submissive, obedient, feminine, pretty, well-to-do. She is, as Akio's fiancee, pretty much supposed to be his princess, and she lives up to that very well.

I think Anthy not only resents her for her relationship as 'princess' to Akio, but also as how damned well she fulfills that role. Kanae is the thing Anthy was never able to be and is kind of a reminder of the indirect reason of why Anthy and Akio are the way they are.

On another note, I think Anthy's indifference to Saionji hurts him more than her being cruel ever could.

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#4 | Back to Top01-04-2008 05:57:35 AM

ArsenicForBreakfast
Pathtracer
From: The Destination of Your Fate
Registered: 10-14-2007
Posts: 340
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Re: Anthy and Kanae

Stormcrow wrote:

Anthy is everything to her brother, except his official wife. It's the one thing she can never do for him. That might explain why she hates Kanae, no matter how Kanae is abused. It's even possible that that's why Akio neglects Kanae, to avoid setting Anthy off.

Which kind of relates back to her predicament when Akio was Dios.  She couldn't be one of the Princesses her brother protected, so she lashed out at them in the most hurtful way possible, by cutting them off from the prince.    I think her relationship with Kanae is a less extreme version of that.

As far as Anthy's actions as Mamiya are concerned, this has always kind of confused me.  But I think you may have a point about her being more voilent towards Kanae than the other duelists.  Just beofre Mamiya stabs her with the rose, he has a pretty sadistic expression on his face, doesn't he?  I'd always just assumed that because Kanae had no ties to the dueling game or anyone involved (unlike the other BR duelists), they had to go about "recruiting" her a little differently, but I have to admit your theory is prety neat.


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

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#5 | Back to Top01-04-2008 08:49:43 PM

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

Re: Anthy and Kanae

It may also be that she hates Kanae for being what she herself once was or was trying to become.  It would be analogous to the antagonism Juri shows to Utena for reminding her of a past self she is trying to forget. She may even be trying to rescue  Kanae -- giving her a dope slap to discourage her from following the same path; much like the violence with which Juri tried to snatch Utena's ring.

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#6 | Back to Top08-01-2008 01:12:54 AM

Eryn Cerise
Rose Smilee
From: Alberta, Canada
Registered: 07-27-2008
Posts: 123
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Re: Anthy and Kanae

Jellineck wrote:

Her fate with Mikage is different from the others. As far as we can assume, Mamiya does not stalk up behind the others and plunge a rose into their hearts. And if it happens, it isn't shown or hinted at.

Actually, I always assumed that the other BRDs underwent a similar treatment in that basement, but that it wasn't shown due to time constraints. The pace for any given BRS episode moves at a quick enough clip as it is without having to spend time explaining the "hallowed ground," picking a coffin/morgue drawer, taking out a ring, having Mamiya give a creepy speech, plunging a black rose into a person's chest, and then putting the ring on the new duelist's finger. It makes much more sense to show that introductory process once in the first BRS episode, and then have the process simply implied in all subsequent episodes (i.e.: the revealing of the black rose and signet when the duelist confronts the person she/he is to take a sword from). Thus, while I can assume that Anthy-as-Mamiya very likely would have enjoyed what she did to Kanae in Mikage's basement, I don't think that assumption should be derived simply from the fact that Kanae's treatment is the only one explicitly shown on-screen. It's easy enough to come to that conclusion just based on what we have already determined about her previous (and future) behaviour around Kanae.

In regards to the main topic of the thread: I always thought that perhaps the motive for Anthy's smiling malice toward Kanae had something to do with the fact that Kanae would soon be a part of her "family." For her entire life, Dios/Akio has essentially been the only family Anthy has ever had. Whether you think she loves, love/hates, or hates-but-can't-help-clinging-to Akio by the time the series rolls around, it doesn't change the fact that suddenly having an "older sister" introduced into this long-standing intimate dynamic is likely going to be the cause of great unrest for Anthy. In a twisted sense, she might even see Kanae as being another "sister" for Akio. And the implications of what being Akio's sister seems to imply have been covered extensively on IRG at this point. emot-gonk

Thus, Anthy may see Kanae as being unworthy of this position in their little "family," even if Kanae has a snowball's chance in an overused metaphor of being even 0.0000001% as important to Akio as Anthy is. Refusing to call Kanae "sister" if that is the case takes on a slightly different light.

Not saying that the points about Kanae being the "princess of Ohtori" are wrong if the family dynamic is right, by the way. In fact, it's probably more likely that the family thing is more of an addition to all the points stated above, rather than an alternative motivation.

Last edited by Eryn Cerise (08-01-2008 01:16:38 AM)

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#7 | Back to Top09-16-2008 09:15:40 AM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416
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Re: Anthy and Kanae

Great thread by Jelli, intriguing analysis by all.

Eryn wrote: In regards to the main topic of the thread: I always thought that perhaps the motive for Anthy's smiling malice toward Kanae had something to do with the fact that Kanae would soon be a part of her "family." For her entire life, Dios/Akio has essentially been the only family Anthy has ever had. Whether you think she loves, love/hates, or hates-but-can't-help-clinging-to Akio by the time the series rolls around, it doesn't change the fact that suddenly having an "older sister" introduced into this long-standing intimate dynamic is likely going to be the cause of great unrest for Anthy. In a twisted sense, she might even see Kanae as being another "sister" for Akio. And the implications of what being Akio's sister seems to imply have been covered extensively on IRG at this point. emot-gonk

Wow I love this point. Great insight.
Now for my insight, and my argument.

On Anthy for a sec:
She seems to get off on doing/saying what will disturb a person the most. Being that she (somehow) knows everybody's deepest darkest secret, she pretty much always does something subtle to highlight that secret.
Kinda like she's saying: "Ha ha! Yo' SO dirty..."
If you can imagine Anthy saying that. school-devil

What is Kanae's deepest darkest secret?
Is it that *gasp* she always wears a scarf, because Akio is a vampire who SUCKS her blood?! (hey, it's late here)
Is it that she hasn't got a thought in her pretty little blonde head?!
Is it that she only owns one dress?!
Is it that her mother's screwing her fiance?! Oh wait...she doesn't know that... (Does she?! Imagine if she did!)

Nope, her deepest secret is not that dark.
She loves Akio. I mean desperately loves him.
Support 1: Her reaction to his disinterest in her later in the series.
Support 2: What else is there in her life? Nothing interesting, and certainly nothing dark...being that she only gets a tiny role in a series that loves to showcase twisted people.

But wait...that's not a secret. Everybody knows she loves her fiance, as a good little wife-to-be should.

What motivated her into the black rose duel? Was it not her deepest darkest secret?! (maniacal laughter)
Yes! That's right. KANAE HATES ANTHY. Spread the word! etc-wankgirl
She is guilt-ridden that she can't win the love of darling-Akio's little sister.
She is so passive that she can't do anything overt about it, except be nicer and nicer, to no avail!
She hates Anthy's subtle coldness to her...she thinks (correctly? Heh heh) that Anthy is an alien!

So what am I saying here?
Basically Kanae did not have a deep dark secret to hide from Anthy and be tormented over.
So Anthy gave her one.
Support 1: If Kanae had any other secret/motivation, she would have pulled a sword out of its chest, just like every other self-respecting black rose duelist did!
Imagined Anthy voice: "Nothing personal Kanae-san...it's just what I do. Mess with people's heads. And I like it too."

So in this line of reasoning, Anthy has no special hatred for Kanae (who doesn't give a stuff that she's marrying Akio...I mean, how did he get to be the deputy chairman back in Mikage's time? Prob married the chairman's daughter back then too, whoever that was. And prob f'ed their mother too!)
SO

Jelli wrote: So. Theories. Why the apparent aggression against Kanae?

Theory: Because Anthy had to personally take the trouble to turn Kanae into a black rose duelist. (No doubt at Akio's request, so he could get a bit of peace and quiet for his...nocturnal activities)
I hope that didn't put Anthy out too much...

Last edited by sharnii (09-16-2008 09:21:15 AM)

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