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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 Top11-01-2006 10:09:18 PM

Rampala
Wakaba Wrangler
From: Bennington, VT
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 14
Website

Anthy and Nanami

A friend of mine is doing a project related to incest, so of course Utena came up.  Specifically, we spoke about Anthy and Akio versus Nanami and Touga and... I began to see Anthy and Nanami's relationship in a light I never have before.

We all know that Nanami can't stand Anthy because everyone is always more interested in Anthy than her, Touga included.  Before this evening, I would've said that Anthy can't stand Nanami either and enjoys torturing her, especially with various animals.  (The episode with the snails, the mongoose and the octopus; High Curried Trip with the elephants; Nanami's cowbell troubles; Nanami's egg, etc.) Is Anthy just playing Nanami's own game, only much slyer? I think that's part of it, that Nanami is cruel to Anthy and Anthy is cruel right back.  But when you put Anthy and Akio's relationship next to Nanami and Touga's... everything becomes illuminated.

That is, people don't really get angry with other people, they get angry when other people remind them of themselves.  With Nanami's intense adoration of her older brother, Anthy must see some of herself in Nanami.  I think this is a large part of what fuels Anthy's cruelty towards Nanami, watching Nanami slowly head down Anthy's own path.  But I think part of it is, secretly, Anthy doesn't want Nanami to repeat her own mistake.  I don't think Anthy had much hand in Nanami's moving into the tower, that was probably all Touga/Akio as part of furthering the duels, but I think Anthy did see it as an opportunity.  On some level, perhaps Anthy wanted Nanami to see what she and Akio had become.  And, if that's the case, it did work.  Nanami never looked at Touga the same way again...

Maybe it's just me, though.
...any thoughts?

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#2 | Back to Top11-02-2006 12:54:38 AM

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

Re: Anthy and Nanami

Rampala wrote:

Maybe it's just me, though.
...any thoughts?

No it's not just you, as a belated Nanami fan, (I hated her before I was able to watch the series for myself) I noticed that there was something deeper behind the usual 'popular girl picking on the strange girl' thing going on.  One theory I had flitting about inside my head that Nanami might very well be what Anthy used to be like before she turned Dios into Akio.

As hard as it is to imagine Anthy acting anything like Nanami, especially with her brother now, I believe back when she was actually a real teenager and not some immortal posing as a teenager (That would make for another interesting thread), she wanted to be with her beloved Dios so much that it hurts but Dios was always going around doing all his good deeds and saving other girls instead of her and as time went on, the combined effects of Dios's failing health and Anthy's resentment over not being his special princess drove her to in this case witchcraft and I believe you know the rest.

Edit: I was considering starting a thread just like this one, but you beat me to it! (Groovy) emot-aaa

Last edited by Tamago (11-02-2006 12:58:52 AM)


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#3 | Back to Top11-02-2006 05:11:04 AM

Joku_Krypfto
Saionji Slapper
From: Finland
Registered: 10-27-2006
Posts: 21

Re: Anthy and Nanami

Nope, it's definitely not just you. There was this one bit of dialogue in episode 27, "Nanami's Egg", that I don't think makes any sense at all unless viewed through this interpretation:

Anthy:  Utena-sama. Do you believe in reincarnation?
Utena:  Hmmm. I dunno.
Anthy:  They say that an elephant, at the end of its lifespan, parts from the herd and dies in solitude.
Utena:  Maybe it doesn't want to make its children sad, and dies alone so no one can say anything.
Anthy:  From parent to child...hearts being passed on eternally.
Utena:  I see. I guess bequeathing one's heart to one's descendants could be called a form of reincarnation.
Utena:  Why are we talking about this?


Originality is nothing.
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#4 | Back to Top11-02-2006 06:32:37 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8730
Website

Re: Anthy and Nanami

Rampala wrote:

On some level, perhaps Anthy wanted Nanami to see what she and Akio had become.  And, if that's the case, it did work.  Nanami never looked at Touga the same way again...

For some reason this immediately reminded me of Fight Club. She wanted to destroy something beautiful. I think there is definitely a lot of identifying the past for Anthy when she sees Nanami, even jealousy for the folly of youth. Wasn't it nicer to love her brother, flaws and all? But I wonder if the jealousy doesn't run deeper than that. Touga isn't a great guy, and he's certainly no prince. However, he's far closer to it than Akio is, and there is some stifled potential for goodness in him. At the very least, one can imagine there would be a point where Touga will protect and help his sister. Combined with Nanami's intense devotion, but the fact that they haven't fallen off the deep end into depraved sex, maybe Anthy's a little jealous because she can see just the slightest spark of what could be in a pretty decent relationship between two siblings. Nanami's devotion might not be entirely in vain. Ultimately, Nanami is in a similar position but not nearly as bad off as Anthy. There's a sliver of hope there, and I wonder if Anthy doesn't find it grates on her.

Aside from that, for all Anthy's involvement with Nanami, she doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about Touga. I wonder which of them she preferred, him or his hostile friend. Touga essentially ignores her when he's the victor, which to some would be worse than Saionji's abuses, but Anthy seems to likewise have very little opinion of Touga. Perhaps the almost hopeful view she has of his relationship with his sister breaks down too much when she thinks too carefully about him; in that case, she wants to keep up the jealousy she feels, and it becomes a rare instance of her betraying her own hopes a little bit.

Rambling, don't mind me. Great thread topic. emot-smile


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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#5 | Back to Top11-02-2006 06:56:12 AM

Ger
Rose Smilee
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 139
Website

Re: Anthy and Nanami

Giovanna wrote:

Aside from that, for all Anthy's involvement with Nanami, she doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about Touga. I wonder which of them she preferred, him or his hostile friend. Touga essentially ignores her when he's the victor, which to some would be worse than Saionji's abuses, but Anthy seems to likewise have very little opinion of Touga. Perhaps the almost hopeful view she has of his relationship with his sister breaks down too much when she thinks too carefully about him; in that case, she wants to keep up the jealousy she feels, and it becomes a rare instance of her betraying her own hopes a little bit.

I don't think it's that Anthy doesn't have an opinion of Touga, necessarily...most of it might just be that she knows that Touga is in good with her precious brother, and there's not much that she can do about it at the moment. Touga's been walking a fine line - being in the "good graces" of Akio so to speak, and so does have some sort of hold over Anthy, I think, even if it's just "I know about you and your brother ha ha ha"

Saionji on the other hand - I think he amuses Anthy. That episode when Touga challenges Utena to one last duel always amuses me, when Saionji flops down on Anthy's lap and she looks at him with this bemused expression, as if saying "oook...."

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#6 | Back to Top11-02-2006 07:32:03 AM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Anthy and Nanami

I suspect that Anthy's first deeds were to some extent meant to get back at Nanami, but at least the egg episode was different. It very clearly and deliberately seemed to teach Nanami a lesson. It seems to me that Anthy developed a some level of affection on her, as the series progressed. It may relate to the apparently similar brother-relationships of the two, but it might just as well be something else, like her na´ve innocence or her lowly place in the invisible hierarchy of the Duelists.

As hard as it is to imagine Anthy acting anything like Nanami, especially with her brother now, I believe back when she was actually a real teenager and not some immortal posing as a teenager

It seems to me that Anthy is still a teenager, just like Akio is still in his mid-twenties. They may have been that way for aeons, for all we know, but mentally or physically they don't seem very different from their respective ages. "In this garden we call the Academy no-one can become an adult", or something in those lines - I don't remember the exact quote. There is a subtle difference in looking like a teenager for millenia and being a teenager that long.


Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!

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#7 | Back to Top11-02-2006 10:14:41 PM

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

Re: Anthy and Nanami

Here are two pictures that support this thread. It's likely that both of these girls don't  really understand what they are doing, and I'll bet neither one of their brothers do at that point. Dios because he is too noble and Touga, well, I am not so sure. Although both girls are being semi-innocent, they are unknowingly corrupting their brothers and asking to be used by them.

http://www.ohtori.nu/gallery/maison/Couple07.jpg

http://www.ohtori.nu/gallery/revelation … ap0164.jpg

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#8 | Back to Top11-02-2006 11:56:49 PM

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

Re: Anthy and Nanami

This is really interesting... I wondered about Nanami and Anthy and how they were constantly at odds because it did seem to be more than just the typical strange vs. popular girls... espeically since as the series progressed Nanami developed a kind of depth that I didn't expect her to.


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

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#9 | Back to Top11-03-2006 08:00:47 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8730
Website

Re: Anthy and Nanami

Ger wrote:

Saionji on the other hand - I think he amuses Anthy. That episode when Touga challenges Utena to one last duel always amuses me, when Saionji flops down on Anthy's lap and she looks at him with this bemused expression, as if saying "oook...."

I've always figured that was a concerted effort to appear to be encroaching on Utena's territory, antagonizing her into action. Any more than that and you have to start considering Saionji making a last ditch effort for even the slightest illusion of intimacy. emot-frown

Lightice wrote:

It seems to me that Anthy is still a teenager, just like Akio is still in his mid-twenties. They may have been that way for aeons, for all we know, but mentally or physically they don't seem very different from their respective ages. "In this garden we call the Academy no-one can become an adult", or something in those lines - I don't remember the exact quote. There is a subtle difference in looking like a teenager for millenia and being a teenager that long.

That would line up with the manga, where he says he's in the university. I actually place Akio as much older, but I don't deal with a lot of people in their twenties, and I know bunches and bunches of people in their forties that are similarly faithless and often nearly as selfishly infantile. Anthy also acts like an older woman that's just kinda gone bitchy. But that's the perspective I work from so that's what's familiar to me.

But this raises the question...is Nanami actually her age? Time is awfully funky in that school, she could have spent a decade in the same grade. I've wondered this before because it's seemed to me that the characters are young but their mental problems are highly developed, as if they've had much, much longer for those problems to sink in and take hold. Still, on any scale, Anthy's far older, and can look at Nanami and see where she was, or might have been, or could have been had her brother not been Akio.

brian wrote:

Here are two pictures that support this thread. It's likely that both of these girls don't  really understand what they are doing, and I'll bet neither one of their brothers do at that point. Dios because he is too noble and Touga, well, I am not so sure. Although both girls are being semi-innocent, they are unknowingly corrupting their brothers and asking to be used by them.

That's an interesting point, but given there are pictures that suggest Juri and Miki are an item...

I'd say three out of four of those characters are in the dark as to what they're doing. I think Touga knows. He's grinning too much not to.


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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#10 | Back to Top11-03-2006 09:58:07 PM

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

Re: Anthy and Nanami

Well, in the movie, Juri does propose to Miki. Don't automatically assume she's kidding. But that's a different topic.

Please excuse the following half-baked pop psych.

When girls are growing up they practice flirting and the first male they practice on is Daddy. Responsible Daddies play the game properly, but if they fail in some fashion or other they can supposedly do varying degrees of damage to a girl.

Nanami and Anthy appear not to have fathers so they were practising on their big brothers.  Their big brothers failed. In Akio's case that is a huge understatement. In the manga Akio said, "She offered me everything and I took it."

I don't like to villanize Anthy but one could easily see her taking it upon herself to lure/inflame/punish/enlighten/warn every girl she sees who has an unhealthy brother-fixation.

Last edited by brian (11-03-2006 09:58:37 PM)

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#11 | Back to Top11-04-2006 01:16:50 AM

_ J _
Manly and Buxom = Manxome
From: Edmonton
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 318

Re: Anthy and Nanami

brian wrote:

When girls are growing up they practice flirting and the first male they practice on is Daddy. Responsible Daddies play the game properly, but if they fail in some fashion or other they can supposedly do varying degrees of damage to a girl.

Nanami and Anthy appear not to have fathers so they were practising on their big brothers.  Their big brothers failed. In Akio's case that is a huge understatement. In the manga Akio said, "She offered me everything and I took it."

I don't think that Nanami had any real control as far as Touga is concerned.  Even after she eventually rebuffed him, (late in the series, although I don't remember which episode.) she still didn't have any meausre of equal footing.  The type of flirting behaviour you are describing usually involves the girl having a measure of "power" in the relationship. 

Anthy, on the other hand, is as involved in the relationship with Akio as he is with her.  Though they have vastly different methods of dealing with their mutual confinement, they both realize that they are trapped with each other, and the only games they play are for thier own amusement.

  Akio or Touga know EXACTLY what their respective sisters intend.  Why else would Touga play his sister like a samisen?  Anthy doesn't flirt with her brother in public.  Nanami is openly adoring of "onii-sama".  Akio kept his relationship with his sister secret, Touga did not.  Akio actually had sex with his sister, Touga did not.  Anthy was quiet and reserved about everything, including what her and Akio were up to.  She couldn't even tell her best friend.  This doesn't sound like a young girl experimenting.  This sounds, to me, like one of two very seperate things.  Either a young, abused girl who is terrified of being found out to be "dirty"(and I don't think this applies to Anthy at all) or a cunning, manipulative woman, who is doing this because it suits her.  There could be some debate as to exactly how it suits her, but that is a seperate discussion.

Everyone, from the shadowplay girls, to Tatsuya and Mrs. Ohtori (not Gio sadly) couldn't help but hear Nanami's piercing voice scream "Onii-Sama"( etc-wankgirl ) about twice a second.

Neither of them unknowingly corrupted their brother.


I will always be here to listen, the question is, whether or not you can hear...

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#12 | Back to Top11-04-2006 12:15:30 PM

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

Re: Anthy and Nanami

Nuts, I'm not explaining myself clearly. I am talking about this Anthy:
http://www.ohtori.nu/gallery/revelation … ap0164.jpg
A much younger person. (BTW how old is she in that shot?)
I doubt that she ever deliberately tried to seduce anyone in the beginning. She was desperate to save Dios and did not think things through when she placed herself in Akio's power. I doubt that her relationship with Akio was ever truly consensual except inasmuch as she did sell herself to him of her own free will. But that's not the same thing as consensuality or true willingness.

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#13 | Back to Top11-04-2006 03:57:59 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8730
Website

Re: Anthy and Nanami

_ J _ wrote:

Anthy, on the other hand, is as involved in the relationship with Akio as he is with her.  Though they have vastly different methods of dealing with their mutual confinement, they both realize that they are trapped with each other, and the only games they play are for thier own amusement.

Wow we agree a whole bunch on that. I define pretty much all events in the series as part of these games, though.

_ J _ wrote:

Neither of them unknowingly corrupted their brother.

This, however, I'm not so sure about. Before the sex, Anthy sealed her brother away and got a bunch of stabby for it, but I find it very hard to believe she understood the repercussions this would have for him. As for the sex...I wonder about that. It's as easy, perhaps easier, to assume there are actually relatively innocent origins to their naughty Saturday nights. I would go so far as to say that part of the venom and viciousness in the sexual quarter of things comes from how it's been warped over time. It's a nasty ugly power play now, but maybe it was originally an attempt to find closeness or intimacy, or perhaps Anthy consented to satisfy a need neither of them understood at the time.

Even in this we could continue the Anthy/Nanami parallel. I don't think originally Anthy quite understood what they were doing, and Nanami was completely in the dark about it. Perhaps they both loved their brothers in ways they shouldn't have, at a time in their lives when they didn't understand what was wrong. Anthy found out, but perhaps also, right at that moment, had something like the prince she remembered. Nanami's image of her brother is almost completely cracked when her chance comes up, and she already understands too well the nature of her interest and it revolted by it.


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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#14 | Back to Top05-21-2009 12:58:21 AM

SexingTouga24/7/365
is on a BOAT!
Registered: 12-10-2006
Posts: 2267

Re: Anthy and Nanami

I was thinking about Utena and happened to wonder about the similarities between Anthy and Nanami. From what I read above y'all have covered the  brother worship aspect.
I was thinking that they are great foils for each other, especially in the area of power.
Anthy even in claiming her power is surrendering/summoning it to others. She is arguably one of the most powerful people in Utena. However she is very much in the background only a few know that she is important. In fact, I would be willing to bet that only a few people at the school know who she is.
Contrast, Nanami who most of the school knows due to her being loud and having fans/minions. Her minions trail her and carry out acts in her name. Also, somehow she got to fill in as club President because she was his sister (WTF) She claims she is important and has power but, besides being Touga's sister /sort of a bully. In fact, her only power is that she is a duelist.
That is all I can think about Anthy and Nanami claims to power...all other thoughts welcome.


"If all the world is a stage and all the people players"...then I demand a less shitty part or the ability to get off of the stage. Slowly my sanity slides, slipping, swirling, spiraling...Save Me I need Sleep...Shattering Soon. school-devil "RukaxTouga equals the Fourth of July" MY patriotic celebration...FUCK ME TOUGA AND RUKA NOW!! etc-wankgirl etc-wankdude

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#15 | Back to Top05-21-2009 11:26:46 AM

Nights1stStar
Ballgoer
From: Clawing Out of Her Coffin
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 157

Re: Anthy and Nanami

brian wrote:

Please excuse the following half-baked pop psych.

When girls are growing up they practice flirting and the first male they practice on is Daddy. Responsible Daddies play the game properly, but if they fail in some fashion or other they can supposedly do varying degrees of damage to a girl.

...wow, that is most definitely pop psych. Most psychologists today consider the Oedipus/Electra Complex to be one of the less valid psychological theories, if one of the more infamous ones. Even Freud's two disciples Carl Jung and Erik Erikson didn't buy into all the sexual theories Freud did. Erik Erikson, the most prominent Neo-Freudian, considered his seven stages of emotional and cognitive development more revelant than Freud's five psychosexual stages. And Carl Jung so disagreed with some of Freud's ideas that he rejected most of Freud's psycoanalysis and founded Analytical Psychology in its place. (And yes, I've taken Psychology classes. Yay, academic digressions!)

For good reason, too. Freud's sex-based psychoanalysis had two failings: First, it assumes all children sexually pursue their parents, unconsciously or otherwise. Pedophiles love to hear this stuff because they interpret it as justification for their crimes. Second, it has no way of distinguishing childhood sexual motives from emotional and cognitive ones. Brian, if you saw an eight-year-old girl happily talking with her father, would you automatically assume that she was attempting to flirt? Would you be able to prove it? Do you have a perfectly systematic way of discerning the girls with sexual motives from the ones who are just happy to talk to Dad? No one does, and that's why modern (trustworthy) psychologists downplay sexual psychoanalysis. Because attributing sexual motives to problems actually unrelated to sex is damaging to psychological patients. Imagine you're a depressed teenager who often fights with his/her parents about something non-sexual, such as school. If a therapist said that the reason you're so emotional is that you're secretly in love with one/both of your parents, then the therapist wouldn't be helping you. If anything, he/she'd just be adding more trauma.

That's why I don't assume Anthy loved pre-Akio Dios in a romantic sense. Because you see no concrete proof in series Anthy (movie Anthy is a different story), that she did, and seeing sex when it isn't there isn't productive. Nanami, definitely loved Touga in ''that way''.  Her sneaking into the bathroom to watch Touga shower was a pretty blatant hint...but hopefully, none of us would be naive enough to think that Anthy truly loves Akio, not when Akio continuously leaves her to be stabbed by a million swords. That's why I don't believe Anthy torments Nanami because she sees a similar image of herself in Nanami. Anthy only pretends to sexually love her brother because she's afraid that the world outside Ohtori would be even worse than life as Akio's pincushion, but Nanami's the real deal, and Anthy resents that Nanami is actively and happily playing the part that Anthy desperately wants to shed.

Last edited by Nights1stStar (05-21-2009 11:27:59 AM)


"To copulate is to enter another...and the artist never emerges from herself."
-Charles Bauldelaire

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#16 | Back to Top05-21-2009 12:18:17 PM

Nights1stStar
Ballgoer
From: Clawing Out of Her Coffin
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 157

Re: Anthy and Nanami

An afterthought: I also think it'll be overestimating Anthy's benevolence to assume that she wants to "teach" Anthy any lessons out of goodwill. Nanami's single-minded devotion to a brother who manipulates and uses her is definitely harmful, and her Akio arc duel and its build-up finally shows her how unhealthy it is, but if Anthy did participate in teaching Nanami to be less co-dependent, it was because she wanted to demolish Nanami by showing her just how tiny and fragile of an eggshell she's living in. And Anthy's right. Nanami's world before her Akio arc duel was tiny and fragile, but Anthy brutally shows this to Nanami because she views Nanami as a selfish child who thinks she can mow down everyone including Anthy, who gets in the way of her narrow-minded wants. Thus, Anthy spends the series dying to show her otherwise, and ultimately does.

Keep in mind that Anthy's position as Rose Bride requires her to be unsympathetic with the Duelists. If Anthy's going to work with Akio to manipulate, torment, and sometimes ruin a Duelist's life, then it won't do for her to like the Duelist's too much, and so she doesn't. Also, Anthy is constantly pierced by a million swords. Thus, she views the other Duelists as ineffectual children because for all their earthly troubles, ("My brother doesn't love me anymore!" "I'm not special enough!") most of them don't hold a candle to hers. The one exception is Utena: Tenjou Utena was the single altruistic idealist in a world of realists, cynicists, criminals, and people who just don't give a damn. Whether or not this was ultimately a good thing is up for debate, but only Utena had the right kind of personality to lift Anthy out of her paranoia, cynicism, and learned helplessness, because people true selflessness is rare. For most of the series, however, Nanami was the opposite of selfless. She wanted a man all to herself, and did everything to keep him to herself, but clingy, jealous girls (and guys) are all too common, and Anthy's seen years of them. And besides loving a brother rather than a boyfriend, what's there to distinguish early-series Nanami from all the other clingy, jealous girls out there? At least, that's what Anthy thinks. And because she views Nanami as "just another fly in the swarm", she can't be moved to help her.


"To copulate is to enter another...and the artist never emerges from herself."
-Charles Bauldelaire

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#17 | Back to Top05-21-2009 04:08:58 PM

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

Re: Anthy and Nanami

Whenever any theory related to Freud gets refuted it fills me with delight. Refute away!

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#18 | Back to Top05-21-2009 07:39:46 PM

Nights1stStar
Ballgoer
From: Clawing Out of Her Coffin
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 157

Re: Anthy and Nanami

brian wrote:

Whenever any theory related to Freud gets refuted it fills me with delight. Refute away!

Thank you! emot-dance


"To copulate is to enter another...and the artist never emerges from herself."
-Charles Bauldelaire

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