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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 Top07-04-2008 12:16:08 AM

Mishi
Pained Growlithe
From: Montreal
Registered: 04-11-2008
Posts: 528

The memories of the black rose duellists

I've been rewatching the Utena series, and I just finished the Black Rose arc. And there's a question that's been bugging me for a long time now. Well, actually, it's many questions.

How much of that arc actually affects the rest of the series? How much do the various characters remember about anything? For instance, when Mikage disappeared, Nemuro Hall had never been rebuilt, and does Utena remember nothing to do with those duels? Does she remember the duels, but not Mikage?

Then there are the Black Rose duelists. After they lose, they apparently forget all about the duel. But how much of the circumstances leading to the duel do they remember? If the duels didn't really solve anything, then are all these characters walking around with so much unresolved anger in them?

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#2 | Back to Top07-04-2008 03:05:27 AM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Mishi wrote:

I've been rewatching the Utena series, and I just finished the Black Rose arc. And there's a question that's been bugging me for a long time now. Well, actually, it's many questions.

How much of that arc actually affects the rest of the series? How much do the various characters remember about anything? For instance, when Mikage disappeared, Nemuro Hall had never been rebuilt, and does Utena remember nothing to do with those duels? Does she remember the duels, but not Mikage?

Then there are the Black Rose duelists. After they lose, they apparently forget all about the duel. But how much of the circumstances leading to the duel do they remember? If the duels didn't really solve anything, then are all these characters walking around with so much unresolved anger in them?

...oh, dear, this is my favourite part of the series and yet I am too tired to do a discussion justice tonight. emot-redface But I have to throw my hat into the ring before anyone else does, because I etc-love the Black Rose Arc. I really do. And my opinion is that everything of it is forgotten. Why is that, and why would Akio waste time and energy on putting Utena through this gauntlet it he allows her (and everyone else) to forget it?

It's simply because it is a gauntlet. He was fucking with her, to put it bluntly. He wanted to see how her heart and sword would stand up to other battles, and he was also testing the mettle of the student council while he was at it. Save for Kanae, each duellist pulled a sword that was not their own to use and challenged Utena with it. And what was Utena doing, if not the same thing? Admittedly, the sword she used was given to her with apparent consent, but then Anthy does what she is told. And we gather that from her actions as the false!Mamiya throughout the same arc. Yet, Utena, using a borrowed sword, still remains pure of heart enough to defeat the swords of the seitokai as wielded by those close to them. She proves she can use the sword of Dios righteously, and this says something about the state of her own soul-sword (if that's the term one wants to use). It is immediately after this arc that she is forced to use her own sword, which despite Akio's "emot-gonk" face at the disappearance of the sword, is what I think he wanted. Anthy took the sword back, and it's probably because Akio told her too. He now needed to see what Utena would do with her own sword, because THAT was the sword he needed to break the Rose Gate.

...and that's gone off topic a bit, but basically? Akio needed the duels to happen to test Utena's worth, but the fallout from them was awkward enough it was easier to suppress the memory and let it go. GOD FORBID PEOPLE SHOULD LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES. Which is one of the over-arching themes of the series, particularly in regards to Akio himself. It's also a sad commentary on what may have happened to Utena had she failed, as Nemuro was obviously kept around as part of a gauntlet, and disposed of when his use was over.


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

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#3 | Back to Top07-04-2008 09:11:24 AM

Mishi
Pained Growlithe
From: Montreal
Registered: 04-11-2008
Posts: 528

Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

But, I mean, look at the Seitokai. The Black Rose Duellists forget all about the kinky swordplay, but the Seitokai didn't. And there's not just that: I always found it really weird that straight after Keiko's duel, Nanami forgave her for moving in on her brother. That doesn't sound very Nanami-ish, and it wasn't even HER sword Keiko pulled.

Maybe her attitude changed after Tsuwabuki pulled her weapons out of her, and not just in regards to him. >_>

HOW MUCH DO THOSE BLACK ROSE DUELISTS REMEMBER, FUCK.

I haven't gotten to the next Shiori episode yet, and that's what's really bugging me.

I forget if she still knows about Juri's true feelings or not, and it's driving me insane. And I forget exactly what happened in those episodes, except for Ruka being a manipulative asshole. I thought I 'got' Shiori until I rewatched her Black Rose Duel, and especially her elevator scene. Now I'm just more confused than ever.

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#4 | Back to Top07-04-2008 09:32:31 AM

NajiMinkin
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From: The Incredible Edible Egg
Registered: 06-23-2007
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Mishi wrote:

I haven't gotten to the next Shiori episode yet, and that's what's really bugging me.

I forget if she still knows about Juri's true feelings or not, and it's driving me insane. And I forget exactly what happened in those episodes, except for Ruka being a manipulative asshole. I thought I 'got' Shiori until I rewatched her Black Rose Duel, and especially her elevator scene. Now I'm just more confused than ever.

She doesn't consciously acknowledge any memories of such and I'm tempted to say that she doesn't have any. I think her actions reflect that she believes it's the situation with the brown haired boy all over again, maybe. Very big maybe, though.

No, if Shiori knew of Juri's feelings, she wouldn't think that Juri was going to laugh at her after she got dumped by Ruka. She'd think Juri was going to try and pick her up or something like that. That Juri was some sick freak that thought Shiori would come crawling back to her after all that. But guess what, Juri? She's not that pathetic. She's got at least some dignity left. Get lost!

It's all very ambiguous though. Ikuhara likes to watch us squirm like this.


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#5 | Back to Top07-04-2008 09:46:20 AM

Mishi
Pained Growlithe
From: Montreal
Registered: 04-11-2008
Posts: 528

Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

emot-gonkemot-gonk Does she every find out again? I'm remembering it very clearly now. Shiori's elevator scene, where at the end she says she's so happy she has such power over Juri, and then throws the locket away and grabs her head and yells in such distress that it's still not enough.

Yep, I'm still completely confused.

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#6 | Back to Top07-04-2008 11:52:34 AM

Mishi
Pained Growlithe
From: Montreal
Registered: 04-11-2008
Posts: 528

Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Clarice wrote:

...oh, dear, this is my favourite part of the series and yet I am too tired to do a discussion justice tonight. emot-redface But I have to throw my hat into the ring before anyone else does, because I etc-love the Black Rose Arc. I really do. And my opinion is that everything of it is forgotten.

Yes, but what is everything?

Obviously, Utena remembers meeting Akio and Kanae, so she can't have forgotten absolutely everything that went on during that time, and Wakaba, for instance, got over Saionji and started crushing over Akio. If she'd been hoping all the time from when she first wrote that love-letter to the time Saionji showed up on her doorstep, she'd go on hoping, wouldn't she, if she had forgotten everything that happened during the Black Rose arc...

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#7 | Back to Top07-04-2008 12:03:24 PM

Giovanna
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From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Well let's see...the parties commented on, as I recall, were Kanae and Keiko. Anthy says Kanae remembers nothing when Utena asks about her, and then Utena asks about how Keiko can remain friends with Nanami with all that gunk inside. She evidently learned from Kanae's case that people forget the whole thing entirely afterwards, and Keiko's behavior certainly reflects that. It's made pretty obvious none of the characters consciously remember being duelists, but it's almost never what's going on on the surface that counts, right?

Serieswise, the need for the BRS was obvious: these characters played roles in the Akio Arc that would have made no sense without the development you get from that arc, nevermind it also bought time to develop other things, like Akio's relationship with Utena, in a non-rushed fashion.

The use of the BRS duels for Akio? I would argue there's one takehome message the BRS duelists get from their time in the arena. A subconscious message, but a powerful one. After their duels, or more specifically, after drawing the swords from the Seitokai, they learn they have power over them. There remains a subconscious impulse, faith, trust, whatever you want to call it that tells them they hold more sway over these people than they thought, and that has several uses for Akio. First, in the case of Kozue and Shiori, it prepares them for what they do in the Akio Arc, as Rose Brides. It gave them an underlying sense of control over Miki and Juri that became the nudge they needed to worm their way into that position. The balls to seduce Ruka, the cockiness to aim as high as a figure that could actually get to Miki. Though Keiko was never a Rose Bride, the sense of power she gained taking Touga's sword, which naturally for her was as much power over Nanami, gave her the extra nerve she needed to jump into Touga's arms when she had the chance. She was so browbeat and under control in the first arc that you have to wonder if she'd have been so willing back then. Then there's Tsuwabuki and Wakaba. You could argue in Wakaba's case the duel may have served simply to sever her interest in Saionji so Akio could scoop her up later and use her as a dangling carrot for Utena. (hah...speaking of carrots...) I'm actually more inclined to wonder in those two cases if they weren't afterthoughts or opportunities that presented themselves that Mikage took and Akio just didn't give a shit about, or let go on because of how convenient a screening process this would be for future duelists.

After all, of the whole group, Tsuwabuki and Wakaba would show the most potential that way. Kozue? Shiori? Their mental states rely far too much on the influence Miki and Juri have. This is why they're central to what's said in the elevator. Keiko? She's a little typical. Unrequited lust does not a good duelist make. But Tsuwabuki and Wakaba both have threads of their elevator discussions that are quite apart from their main influences, Nanami and Anthy/Saionji. Tsuwabuki's drive is that he wants to grow up, and Nanami is just the target he uses to magnify that. Wakaba's feelings are steeped in a fear of being ordinary, unable to compete, but her reaction isn't to cower, it's violence. There's no lack of people Akio can dump in front of her that she'll feel frustrated by her inferiority to. Hell, he could do that himself and have a nice over the top violent Vice Pr-...oh. Irony.

(Notice Kanae didn't get any internal power boost. She really is totally helpless. emot-rolleyes)

As for Mikage's role in all this, it makes you wonder who is functionally going to take up his seat when he's gone. Mikage only did what made sense, to target people close to the student council, and Akio seemed fine with letting things autopilot this way. It's reasonable to assume there's another of Mikage's sort lined up. Or perhaps the 100 duelists are all Mikages. emot-aaa

Here's me talking out my ass waiting for Sleeping Beauty to get out of bed so we can buy some damn fans. The heat in Edmonton is wuss compared to Miami, but the apartment lacks A/C. Which sucks balls. emot-mad


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#8 | Back to Top07-04-2008 01:59:28 PM

MissMocha
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From: Tallahassee, Fl
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 4632

Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

It's reasonable to assume there's another of Mikage's sort lined up. Or perhaps the 100 duelists are all Mikages.

Now, that's a spooky thought. Are they the dead students, or is each one some sort of fractured piece of the memory that used to be Nemuro? Chilling. I don't think Akio would ever just throw away such a perfectly useable program as Mikage. It's really effective, especially how easy it is to manipulate him with Anthy's aid.

I'm of the opinion that the duellists don't remember the duels, per se. I think they remember them in an abstract form, as a sort of emotional relief -it's not always easy to remember things that you did or said, even from an hour ago. I always think it's sort of an ending-to-Good-Omens sort of thing, wherein the characters remember that something huge, and life shattering and totally world altering happened the other day, but...well...they're a bit fuzzy on the details.


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And the glances you took, took hold of you and demanded that you stay
And sunk in their teeth, bit your heart and released
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#9 | Back to Top07-04-2008 05:06:46 PM

Ragnarok
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From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

MissMocha wrote:

I don't think Akio would ever just throw away such a perfectly useable program as Mikage. It's really effective, especially how easy it is to manipulate him with Anthy's aid.

I agree with that thought, but on the other hand it doesn't seem to be supported by the series itself. Specifically, Akio tells Mikage that he's graduated (or depending on the translation he has no choice but to graduate) which within the symbology of the series signifies the end of Mikage's time at Ohtori. Can Akio just call Mikage up after Utena's  failed (by Akio's presumption) revolution and say "Come on back!" to negate this? At the end of episode 39 we see that Nemuro Memorial Hall is still a burnt out ruin.

Incidentally, since the Black Rose Arc ends with a mind wipe, why bother to send Mikage away at all? No one pays him any attention in the first arc of the series, wherein the viewer doesn't know he exists. Utena's not going to remember him, all Akio has to do is keep Mikage from interferring by having "Mamiya" tell him not to.

On a meta level; Mikage is visually another version of Utena and that fact makes up a lot of his character. Whether it's Akio's design or Ikuhara's, Mikage performs his role specifically due to who the protagonist is. Once Utena's gone, or rather once Utena's grown beyond the Black Rose duels, Mikage has no further use. This can even extend to the Student Council; was Touga and Saionji's meeting with Utena in her coffin a total coincidence? Would any of the council members have fulfilled their roles so well against a Champion other than Utena?

Ah, but anyway. I'm of the mind that the Black Rose Duellists don't remember any event that Mikage had a hand in. But that doesn't mean those events didn't happen, obviously they did. Saionji returns to Ohtori; but once Mikage ceases to exist, the circumstances of his return become even blurrier. Shiori doesn't remember finding Juri's locket. Kozue doesn't remember Anthy coming across her bending over Miki. Wakaba does remember Saionji staying with her, she doesn't quite recall the circumstances of his departure.

There's nothing concrete enough within the series to prove who remembers what, especially given that memories in Ohtori tend to be vague at the best of times.


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#10 | Back to Top07-04-2008 06:00:46 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Ragnarok wrote:

Ah, but anyway. I'm of the mind that the Black Rose Duellists don't remember any event that Mikage had a hand in. But that doesn't mean those events didn't happen, obviously they did. Saionji returns to Ohtori; but once Mikage ceases to exist, the circumstances of his return become even blurrier. Shiori doesn't remember finding Juri's locket. Kozue doesn't remember Anthy coming across her bending over Miki. Wakaba does remember Saionji staying with her, she doesn't quite recall the circumstances of his departure.

There's nothing concrete enough within the series to prove who remembers what, especially given that memories in Ohtori tend to be vague at the best of times.

Ah, yes, I like this thought. emot-smile It makes it easier to come up with an answer for Mishi's question of how they could forget EVERYTHING, due to the fact Utena needs to remember Akio and Kanae, and the influences on relationships between Nanami and Keiko, then Juri and Shiori. Tokiko makes the comment that no-one grows up in this garden...oh, wait, that was Akio. She just said it was sad that Nemuro was the same as he had been years before. Which leads to the obvious question of how long has anyone been at Ohtori? For all we know, Juri and the rest have been there for almost as long as Mikage himself. Note the fact Saionji does not leave when he is expelled -- is this JUST because Akio is using him for a pawn, or because he literally has nowhere else to go? His time has moved on without him, so to speak? And is that why Nemuro is graduated -- because Akio doesn't have the strength to keep him static any longer, now that he has seen the truth of what happened to Mamiya?

Akio is fucking with people's minds. Obviously this is easy for him within the limitations of the school grounds, but I think even there his powers have limits. Once the duellist breaks the shell, so to speak, reinstating that suppression of inconvenient memory and motivation may be not worth the energy expenditure. I think Akio has limits to his powers of persuasion, and this may be an example of that. He has the ability to wave the magical "selective memory" wand over people's minds, but only in ways beneficial to his plans and possibly his own survival. If that makes any sense. I'm pulling this out of my ass, in case you couldn't tell. emot-tongue


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

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#11 | Back to Top07-04-2008 07:39:58 PM

Raven Nightshade
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From: Louisiana
Registered: 12-17-2006
Posts: 2916

Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Well, I agree with what everyone's said so far. I just wanted to spam yet another Black Rose thread with my theory that the whole Arc was also intended as an audition/training ground for a new batch of Duelists. The only real evidence I can back this with is the fact that Miki is passing his stopwatch on to Tsuwabuki in episode 39, and even then it's circumstantial at best.


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#12 | Back to Top07-04-2008 07:49:22 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Raven Nightshade wrote:

Well, I agree with what everyone's said so far. I just wanted to spam yet another Black Rose thread with my theory that the whole Arc was also intended as an audition/training ground for a new batch of Duelists. The only real evidence I can back this with is the fact that Miki is passing his stopwatch on to Tsuwabuki in episode 39, and even then it's circumstantial at best.

I like your theory and wish to subscribe to its newsletter. school-devil In all seriousness, and this harks back to what I was saying above you, in that Akio's an opportunist at heart. Though he's doing one thing -- tempering Utena's steel, so to speak -- I would guess he'd use the opportunity to do other things simultaneously. (Great, now I have the urge to listen to the Pet Shop Boys with Opportunities. Stupid brain tangents...)


It takes forty-seven New Zealanders eight months to make just one batch of 42 Below Vodka. ...luckily, that leaves one of us free to be Prime Minister.

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#13 | Back to Top07-05-2008 11:29:50 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

What strikes me as oddest about the duelists' memories is that some of them experience a catharsis and others don't.  Wakaba leaves the Black Rose Saga with her crush on Saionji broken and her issues with not being special apparently resolved, at least partially.  By contrast, Kozue remains just as much of a slut, and for the same reasons as before; none of her neuroses have obviously disappeared, nor does she treat Miki any differently.

So why does Wakaba remember enough, at least on a subconscious level, to have grown through her experiences, while Kozue doesn't?  I'm not sure I can do better than Gio in explaining this, but I can expand on a point she made.  She suggested that what lingers after the Black Rose duels is the duelist's sense of power over the one whose sword they used.  Kozue would find this power intoxicating, since power over Miki is exactly what she wants; it makes sense that pulling his sword out of his chest would incentivize her to keep doing what she's doing, since it's obviously working.  On the other hand, it's not obvious that Wakaba wants power over Saionji.  She wants to be needed, but that's not the same as wanting power, and it's a tough sell that the sword symbolizes being needed.  No, Wakaba wants to feel owned, special; she'd have been happier if Saionji had pulled the sword out of her.  Maybe pulling the sword out of him made her lose interest in him.  She didn't want the kind of power over him that it symbolized.  Even if she doesn't remember the incident itself, she remembers the sour interpersonal dynamic that led to it, and that's why she loses her crush.

Does that make any sense?

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#14 | Back to Top07-05-2008 12:39:37 PM

Ragnarok
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From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

It does make sense. For the sake of exploring differences involving Wakaba: She's the only one who has her rose cut by the soul sword she wields.


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#15 | Back to Top07-05-2008 12:56:27 PM

NajiMinkin
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From: The Incredible Edible Egg
Registered: 06-23-2007
Posts: 2537

Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Ragnarok wrote:

It does make sense. For the sake of exploring differences involving Wakaba: She's the only one who has her rose cut by the soul sword she wields.

I'd never thought about that before. Looking at that metaphorically (kinda), it could also help explain how she severed ties with Saionji so easily. It probably contributes to her being the only one who cried and really had a wake up call before she passed out too.

See?! Wakaba IS special! She just doesn't know it.

Perhaps the "memory" of the Black Rose Duels was wiped out, but there was still some sense of recognition, a subconscious imprint in another part of the brain. Like they suffered a head injury that wiped out their long term memory, but still remembered to be afraid of heights thanks to their unharmed amygdala.


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#16 | Back to Top07-05-2008 01:06:37 PM

Stormcrow
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From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

I'm on the minority I suppose...I actually don't believe they lose their memories to the extent that they even claim. It seems to me that they do remember something, and that the memory is traumatic to them. Clearly, they don't remember EXACTLY what happened, but then, who knows how things looked from their perspectives. Maybe they saw something different from what we saw. I'm drawn to this opinion by my belief that Mikage tells the truth to Utena, and all of the black rose duelists come to him of their own free will and duel of their own free will. We've seen how Anthy can make things appear to be other than how they are, and she WAS helping Mikage...perhaps the black rose duelists saw things as if they were in some kind of dream?

Along the same lines, this leads me to the very satisfying opinion that Kozue's skill at the piano is not at all a trick. That she really was as good as Miki before, but tricked herself into thinking otherwise.

Even in SKU, I tend to prefer to avoid supernatural explanations for things if I can explain them otherwise. emot-tongue


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#17 | Back to Top07-05-2008 01:26:46 PM

Ragnarok
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From: Canada
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Stormcrow wrote:

Along the same lines, this leads me to the very satisfying opinion that Kozue's skill at the piano is not at all a trick. That she really was as good as Miki before, but tricked herself into thinking otherwise.

That makes sense either way though, right? If it's the soul sword that gives the Black Rose Duellists the skills of the Student Council (I don't know how to word that less awkwardly); Kozue is playing the piano before she draws out Miki's sword.


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#18 | Back to Top07-05-2008 05:17:26 PM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Stormcrow wrote:

Along the same lines, this leads me to the very satisfying opinion that Kozue's skill at the piano is not at all a trick. That she really was as good as Miki before, but tricked herself into thinking otherwise.

Even in SKU, I tend to prefer to avoid supernatural explanations for things if I can explain them otherwise. emot-tongue

It's starting to sound like they all have post traumatic stress disorder -- which is probably quite a legitimate explanation, come to think of it. If you'd prefer not to remember something and nobody forces you to, then why would you? Except maybe through unconscious means, such as dreams. And I don't think we ever see anyone on SKU dreaming. Which may be slightly odd in and of itself, given the dream-like quality of Ohtori itself.

I think it's entirely possible Kozue could play the piano, and simply psyched herself out because Miki was much better at it than she was; it might give some insight into why she wants to control him because to some degree, he has always controlled her. She does everything for him, after all, and it's a kind of passive control that would understandably drive an aggressive personality like Kozue nuts. The effortlessness of it all! (I think Saionji has similar issues, although they're expressed differently because of personality disparities between the two.) However, there is always going to be a supernatural thread running through the series. There just may be less of it than is first apparent. I mean, there's the curry thing, for starters. You could explain a kangaroo, but ELEPHANTS? Ha. Still, back with the Black Roses, I would wonder otherwise how people who apparently never duel or swordfight otherwise manage to mimic the skill and stance of the person who held the sword originally. Is it JUST the sword, or do any of them actually have hidden skill? We all know Shiori joins the fencing club later. Kozue has never been shown to swordfight, but does she know Miki's skill because she watches him so much? Hmm...the possibilities!

I also really like the Wakaba idea -- I didn't realise the rose thing. etc-love


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#19 | Back to Top07-05-2008 05:50:28 PM

Stormcrow
Magical Flying Moron
From: Los Angeles
Registered: 04-24-2007
Posts: 5971
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Well, pulling a sword from someone's chest is hard to justify without appeal to the supernatural, so I can't really get around it here. Since the sword-pulling kind of HAS to be seen as supernatural, I have no qualms with transfer of skill going along with it. Or memory for that matter...there's a thought. How much of the duelists' persona is taken on by the black rose duelists? Kanae fights for herself (why can she fight? I mean, she's not a complete pushover...), but how much of Kozue is it that Utena is fighting and how much is Miki? Is it possible that she is showing a bit of Miki's suppressed ego when she's fighting? I don't really see it that way, but I find it an interesting thought, especially in the case of Wakaba...who is indeed a somewhat unique situation.

PTSD is a fine explanation for the suppression of memory, and it's not hard to see how the duels could be traumatic for the black rose duelists. Anthy as Mamiya says something about the black rose becoming their heart if I recall correctly, and they all have it cut off of them. Besides, they all were definitely trying to kill someone, which is a horrible thing to experience for any well-socialized person. Easy to see how they would be pretty badly shaken.


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#20 | Back to Top07-05-2008 07:04:17 PM

NajiMinkin
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

I think it's specifically things related to and caused by Mikage that were forgotten. Anything other than that was fine.

That doesn't necessarily explain why Shiori forgot Juri's feelings or how Keiko forgave Nanami, but Mikage definitely triggered Wakaba and Mitsuru's meltdowns. But if you look between the lines and think, "how did that locket find its way to Shiori's room?" The answer is obvious*: it was Mikage. We've seen him sneak into young girl's dorms before (Wakaba's to see Saionji). And I don't think either Keiko or Nanami would need an outside source to have them become BFFs again. Have you paid attention to any 13 year old girls lately? They're crazy.

So, in my humble opinion, for whatever reason, Mikage-ish things were forgotten. Whether it's PTSD or that Akio and Anthy managed to fold the fifth dimension into the sixth or whatever and rewrite time.

SKU is really one huge case of PSTD, especially in the case of the movie. Everyone has somebody who's died on them. It's like it's all a weird insane asylum designed by people who believe giving them a fake universe to live in is more therapeutic than reality. Now I want to watch the King of Hearts.

*Take note that up until about an hour ago, I was convinced a bird had dropped it there emot-redface -- obvious is an exaggeration on my part.


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#21 | Back to Top07-05-2008 08:14:21 PM

OnionPrince
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

I was always kinda dissapointed by the rather unexplained memory loss after the duels. Just think of the drama and character development we would have gotten if the Black Rose duelists remembered everything!

Also, can someone clarify something for me? If Utena (and everyone else) forgot about Mikage at the end of the arc, did she also forget about the individual duels themselves? If so, it really smacks of the "it was all just a dream" sort of handwaving and rather takes away what she learned by confronting those duelists.

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#22 | Back to Top07-06-2008 02:03:00 PM

Giovanna
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

NajiMinkin wrote:

Ragnarok wrote:

It does make sense. For the sake of exploring differences involving Wakaba: She's the only one who has her rose cut by the soul sword she wields.

I'd never thought about that before. Looking at that metaphorically (kinda), it could also help explain how she severed ties with Saionji so easily. It probably contributes to her being the only one who cried and really had a wake up call before she passed out too.

Oh god. emot-aaa My brain just exploded with yummy analytical goodness. What an appropriate metaphor for the relationship those two could have had. Wakaba wanted to help Saionji, wanted to be needed, and when she has that, she finds the situation gives her more power over him than she wants. Trying to help him only got her a control she couldn't handle, and when she gets his sword, which she'd never wanted, what happens? It, Saionji, cuts her down. And if the sword didn't give it away, he does shortly after, abandoning her that tried to help him. The sword made the point a little more violently in Utena's hands, but the message was clear: Saionji didn't want her help.

emot-frown

OnionPrince wrote:

Also, can someone clarify something for me? If Utena (and everyone else) forgot about Mikage at the end of the arc, did she also forget about the individual duels themselves? If so, it really smacks of the "it was all just a dream" sort of handwaving and rather takes away what she learned by confronting those duelists.

Actually I'm rusty on this one...is it ever made explicit either way that Utena remembers or forgets the duels? I got the impression she remembered them in part, but her memory is hazy where it would concern using the information to any great degree. Her short term memory is obviously not the best anyway, since she stares at Akio's car in episode 30 in a confusion trying to remember where she's seen it. emot-rolleyes


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#23 | Back to Top07-06-2008 03:09:55 PM

Ragnarok
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Probably the most explicit it gets, and not even then, is Akio's line at the very end of the arc to Anthy. "But now, he doesn't exist in this academy. No, never has he from the beginning. In the same way as you haven't." Which depends a whole lot on how you interpret it.

The way I interpret it is similar to how Terry Pratchett describes certain impossible things in the Disc World series. I can't do a direct quote, but it goes along the lines of: "On the wall of the cave was a painting. The painting had been there for hundreds of years. But it hadn't been there for hundreds of years yesterday." Of course in Mikage's case, it's the reverse. He'd never existed at Ohtori, ever; but he had existed there for decades yesterday. If Mikage doesn't exist, then no one can remember anything he was involved in, which would be all the Black Rose Duels, the events leading to them and the fallout afterwards. Despite the fact that it'd all just happend and the physical evidence like Saionji's return are evident.

This does depend on Akio speaking about Anthy's version of Mamiya as "the same way you haven't" rather then, for example, Anthy herself.


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#24 | Back to Top07-06-2008 06:43:36 PM

Yasha
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Ragnarok wrote:

This does depend on Akio speaking about Anthy's version of Mamiya as "the same way you haven't" rather then, for example, Anthy herself.

I'm trying to figure out how it changes your position if he is referring to Anthy there. You can argue that technically, Anthy doesn't exist there either-- she exists in her coffin, and what we see is a projection of her self. If this is the case, Mikage enters that double-state of being-and-not-being, affecting things without truly being present, his 'self' at Ohtori while the rest of him resides elsewhere-- very probably in one of those hundred coffins.

Yes, there are holes, like 'where are the coffins located', but it's still an interesting thought to ponder. I think that given enough time and thought, you could 'prove' that Nemuro died in the fire he set when he became Mikage-- which again throws him into the position of being-and-not-being, in that at the moment of Mikage's birth, he also died.


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#25 | Back to Top07-06-2008 07:49:43 PM

Clarice
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Re: The memories of the black rose duellists

Yasha wrote:

Yes, there are holes, like 'where are the coffins located', but it's still an interesting thought to ponder. I think that given enough time and thought, you could 'prove' that Nemuro died in the fire he set when he became Mikage-- which again throws him into the position of being-and-not-being, in that at the moment of Mikage's birth, he also died.

...oh crap, he's Schrodinger's cat? school-devil


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