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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 Top11-08-2006 12:13:00 AM

Sevelle
Yaoi Pet #2
From: Virginia the Great
Registered: 11-07-2006
Posts: 1615

Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

I've been watching the show for ages now, fascinated by the stories and art; but it recently popped into my mind "What about the school . . . ?"

Let me explain.

Akio is the acting chairmen, so obviously he wasn't the beginning (Or was he.) The school was started by the Ohtori's, hence forth the family line (Kanae being the youngest presumably.) running the school. The headmaster is out on sick leave, his wife sleeping with her adopted son, and the daughter just running around with issues with the purple haired witch.

Well that is the basic story of the school the creators show us, but my question is "Which came first: the school or Akio?" Akio runs the duels, and it seems he has been doing this for a very long time. Did this daddy long legs arrive around the time Nemoru did? (And if he did why haven't the Ohtori Family noticed that he hasn't aged?) Or did he arrive before?

It really hurts my brains on how Akio get's away with the duels at the school. Is the school just another illusion of his? I don't know . . . and I wouldn't care, but yeah . . .

B L A S T !


sometimes you make me feel
like Iím living at the edge of the world
"it's just the way I smile"
you said

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#2 | Back to Top11-08-2006 03:10:10 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

I've always thought that Nemuro and his crew were the first attempt at Ohtori. This has nothing to do with any hints or implications in the show itself, mind. The way I've tried to figure out the time line is as follows:

- Anthy seals away Dios (or his power, etc.) and gets impaled.
- Dios/Akio goes about the world or a journey into his own mental playground and developes into the awesome bastard we love in the series.
- Akio decides to regain the power of Dios.
- To this end he recruits the one hundred duelists of what will become Nemuro Memorial Hall as well as Professor Nemuro himself to create his reality altering projector.
- The events shown in the final two episodes of the Black Rose arc concerning Nemuro meeting Mamiya and Tokiko(Is that right?) during which the projector is completed (The castle appearing in the sky, the first duels in which Nemuro is undefeated.) and leads to Mamiya dying, Nemuro burning down the hall and becoming Mikage.
- Around this same time Utena's parents die, Touga and Saionji practice with their swords, etc. etc.
- Akio sets into motion events to build Ohtori Acadamy around Nemuro Memorial Hall, likely without appearing from behind the scenes himself. The Ohtori family builds the acadamy without coming into direct contact with Akio.
- The school runs semi-normally for an unspecified amount of time.
- The student council members attend the school along with Anthy. Akio slides his way into Kanae's pants/the Ohtori family.
- Kanae's father grows ill mysteriously and Akio becomes acting chairman of Ohtori. He sets up the student council complete with the duels and Anthy as the rose bride via his rose sealed letters.
- Utena is lead to Ohtori Acadamy via her signet ring and her promise.


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#3 | Back to Top11-08-2006 09:05:48 PM

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

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

You know, I like the timeline, but there's something I noticed rewatching Qualification's of a duelist... thouygh it might just be me, but without pictures, i'd sound... quite mad, so I'll wait till I have them.

Last edited by Xu Yuan (11-09-2006 03:37:03 AM)


Please check out the MTG Utena Set Progress we have made at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?id=o … 103070805#

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#4 | Back to Top11-08-2006 10:14:45 PM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

I like the timeline but I've been re-watching the series lately and I think there is evidence for slight differences:


- Anthy seals away Dios (or his power, etc.) and gets impaled.
- Dios/Akio goes about the world or a journey into his own mental playground and developes into the awesome bastard we love in the series.
- Akio decides to regain the power of Dios.
Perhaps these two are interchangable? As he tries to get his power back, he develops a "whaever it takes" approach which corrupts him and causes him to put his sister in sexual slavery.
When the 100 duelists are shown, they are dressed in Ohtori boy uniforms which suggests the school is already up and running. I submit that Akio was looking for a brilliant person to create his projector. He finds Nemuro, a student at Ohtori, and manipulates this brilliant boy into working for him. How he does this, with or without the Ohtori family's help, we're not sure since Kanae doesn't seem to know that Akio doesn't age but I bet the mother knows or at least the sliced apples know. If mom knows, then, sheesh, Kanae just might be Akio's daughter (I smell a fanfic).
- To this end he recruits the one hundred duelists of what will become Nemuro Memorial Hall as well as Professor Nemuro himself to create his reality altering projector.
- The events shown in the final two episodes of the Black Rose arc concerning Nemuro meeting Mamiya and Tokiko(Is that right?) during which the projector is completed (The castle appearing in the sky, the first duels in which Nemuro is undefeated.) and leads to Mamiya dying, Nemuro burning down the hall and becoming Mikage.
Older present-day Tokiko says to Akio that 20 years have passed since Mamiya died. Utena is 14 so the burning of Nemuro Memorial Hall would have happened 6 years before she was born. Her parents died when she was seven? eight? So Dios appears to Utena 13-14 years after the burning of Nemuro Memorial Hall. This fact seems to indicate that Akio and Dios are truly split entities at this point with Dios wandering the earth looking for someone to save Anthy and with Akio staying in one place pushing Ohtori students into dueling hoping that one of them has the traits that Dios is also looking for.
- Utena's parents die, Touga and Saionji practice with their swords, etc. etc.
- The school runs semi-normally for an unspecified amount of time.
- The student council members attend the school along with Anthy.
-Kanae comes of age and Akio cements his hold on Ohtori Academy by getting engaged to her.
- Kanae's father grows ill mysteriously and Akio becomes acting chairman of Ohtori. He sets up the student council complete with the duels and Anthy as the rose bride via his rose sealed letters.
- Utena is lead to Ohtori Acadamy via her signet ring and her promise.
Utena seems to have been at Ohtori for awhile before getting sucked into the duels. She knows Wakaba, Touga, etc. She's not a new student so why would Akio delay getting her into everything unless it took him awhile to realize that someone he didn't know had a ring? If he and Dios are separate beings, then he might not have known that Dios had given her the ring.

There could be more evidence that I'm just not remembering right now.

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#5 | Back to Top11-08-2006 10:16:06 PM

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

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

I've yet to come up with a better theory than that.


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

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#6 | Back to Top11-09-2006 03:23:26 AM

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

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

There are some things I'm in disagreement with. mainly because my view of the characters is somewhat different. There are also some things in the series, itself that don't correlate with your explanation, though.

Dani wrote:

- Dios/Akio goes about the world or a journey into his own mental playground and developes into the awesome bastard we love in the series.
- Akio decides to regain the power of Dios.
Perhaps these two are interchangable? As he tries to get his power back, he develops a "whaever it takes" approach which corrupts him and causes him to put his sister in sexual slavery.

I would say that the process of corruption was two-sided and possibly both Anthy and Akio were encouraging each other to go further. I just don't like Anthy being considered a passive victim. She had a very active part in starting Dios' fall from grace. I believe it took some time before the power-balance between the two was tipped for Akio's favour.

When the 100 duelists are shown, they are dressed in Ohtori boy uniforms which suggests the school is already up and running. I submit that Akio was looking for a brilliant person to create his projector. He finds Nemuro, a student at Ohtori, and manipulates this brilliant boy into working for him. How he does this, with or without the Ohtori family's help, we're not sure since Kanae doesn't seem to know that Akio doesn't age but I bet the mother knows or at least the sliced apples know. If mom knows, then, sheesh, Kanae just might be Akio's daughter (I smell a fanfic).
- To this end he recruits the one hundred duelists of what will become Nemuro Memorial Hall as well as Professor Nemuro himself to create his reality altering projector.

I can't seem to think of the projector as Nemuro's creation - it's too close to Akio's own being. And if that were the case, Nemuro should have been aware, at least to some extent, that he can be manipulated with the device. I'm not sure what was Nemuro's function in the game, though - perhaps he was there to upgrade the event, somehow. The difference between one hundred duellists in the past and seven in the present implies that the game evolved somehow. It's just as unclear why the hundred duellists had to die. Nemuro seems to believe that it was a neccecary action in grasping eternity, but it's never explained, just how. It's possible that the whole event was orchestrated by Akio just to bind Nemuro permanently in his power.

- The events shown in the final two episodes of the Black Rose arc concerning Nemuro meeting Mamiya and Tokiko(Is that right?) during which the projector is completed (The castle appearing in the sky, the first duels in which Nemuro is undefeated.) and leads to Mamiya dying, Nemuro burning down the hall and becoming Mikage.

But Nemuro never duelled. At least he claimed to have no interest in duelling and nothing implies he ever did. When his interest did spark, he didn't grab a sword, but a torch.

Older present-day Tokiko says to Akio that 20 years have passed since Mamiya died.

Did she? I don't think that the number of years was ever mentioned, at least in the Japanese dub. Just that a long time had passed.

Utena is 14 so the burning of Nemuro Memorial Hall would have happened 6 years before she was born. Her parents died when she was seven? eight? So Dios appears to Utena 13-14 years after the burning of Nemuro Memorial Hall. This fact seems to indicate that Akio and Dios are truly split entities at this point with Dios wandering the earth looking for someone to save Anthy and with Akio staying in one place pushing Ohtori students into dueling hoping that one of them has the traits that Dios is also looking for.

This is something I can't believe. If Dios was a separate entity, why would he play straight into Akio's side? Remember that only a completely unexpected turn at the end of the Duel Called Revolution did Akio's plan break down. I'm more inclined to believe that "Dios" was Akio himself, just taking his old guise. If his sister can change gender, I wouldn't put it past him to change his age. And he already essentially stated that he (Anthy's prince) had become the Ends of the World. The whole event seems manipulated, anyhow. Three coffins and nobody in the funreal questioning the extra one? And Akio seems to remember what happened, perfectly.

As far as I can tell, Dios is dead as a doornail - or rather, he's Akio and what was princely in him is dead. What comes down from the Castle is a part of his power, not the person himself. And in the last episode, he seemed an expression of Akio's will, once again. Essentially all he did was to discourage Utena from going further. And as he sat in the merry'go'round, his voice suddenly changed into Akio's voice.

Utena seems to have been at Ohtori for awhile before getting sucked into the duels. She knows Wakaba, Touga, etc. She's not a new student so why would Akio delay getting her into everything unless it took him awhile to realize that someone he didn't know had a ring? If he and Dios are separate beings, then he might not have known that Dios had given her the ring.

But he knew, well enough - we see him giving Utena flashbacks of the event, more than once and downright telling what happened there, in the end. It appears that Utena spent the previous year in the school untroubled by strange events. Possibly Akio just didn't deem her ready - there is a rathert major difference between ages 13 and 14. Or possibly the stage wasn't ready yet - not all the right people would have been in the Student Council or even in the school, itself and the number of the duels would have fallen short.

Well, that is my view of the events, anyhow. I'll see if I can do some coherent speculation beyond disagreeing with yours, later on. I think of Akio and Anthy as abstract personifications, turned into humans, rather than merely immortal human beings and Dios as a symbol of something that has been lost, rather than an active entity, or a real character during the series.

I remember how in some fanfic, the founding of Ohtori was explained rather interestingly - that there'd have been a giant tsunami that destroyed everything in the area, save for small grove that was to be the Duelling Forest. Then the place would have been dedicated as a Shinto shrine and everything else starting from there. I find the idea of incorporeal Akio riding to Japan on top of, or as part of the giant wave and settling as the kami of the shrine, building up his influence as aesthetically appealing. But that was ofcourse just a fanfic and I can't even remember, which one.


Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!

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#7 | Back to Top11-09-2006 06:54:10 PM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Hmm, okay, I just re-watched Episodes 22 & 23 and the final episode to get this straight in my mind. A lot of this was riffing off of Rangarok's timeline which I didn't edit too carefully.

Lightice wrote:

I would say that the process of corruption was two-sided and possibly both Anthy and Akio were encouraging each other to go further. I just don't like Anthy being considered a passive victim. She had a very active part in starting Dios' fall from grace. I believe it took some time before the power-balance between the two was tipped for Akio's favour.

Yes I would totally agree that their corruption went hand in hand. I did not mean to imply that Anthy was passive in that. I'm sure it was her decision to offer herself to Akio but to offer herself to duellists? That might have been Akio's idea to make her the tangible aspect of "gaining eternity" for the duellists. Also while she is with them, she can observe them and give him psychological insights on how to manipulate them.

I can't seem to think of the projector as Nemuro's creation - it's too close to Akio's own being. And if that were the case, Nemuro should have been aware, at least to some extent, that he can be manipulated with the device. I'm not sure what was Nemuro's function in the game, though - perhaps he was there to upgrade the event, somehow. The difference between one hundred duellists in the past and seven in the present implies that the game evolved somehow. It's just as unclear why the hundred duellists had to die. Nemuro seems to believe that it was a neccecary action in grasping eternity, but it's never explained, just how. It's possible that the whole event was orchestrated by Akio just to bind Nemuro permanently in his power.

Paying more careful attention to the conversation Mikage has with one of the students working on the project, I'm convinced they are working on the duelling arena, the pathway and the circular stairway. There is even the briefest of still shots of the students planting trees for the duelling forest. So you are probably right that he doesn't know about the projector. I've always kinda gone with the fairy tale magic aspect that the 100 duellists died as a sacrifice for the power necessary for all the magic that happens at Ohtori (maybe that came from Mikage's comment about the animals that died for the fuel we use). At the very least, their deaths covered up the knowledge of the origin of the arena. It can seem more magical if the duellist is not aware of its scientific beginnings.

But Nemuro never duelled. At least he claimed to have no interest in duelling and nothing implies he ever did. When his interest did spark, he didn't grab a sword, but a torch.

This was Ragnarok's idea but I tried to find something to dispute/support it. In one flashback (with the long banquet table), two duellists are talking and they comment that they are going to "move on without" Prof Nemuro and "that man" (Akio I assume) wants it that way. They make a comment that someone will "beat him" sometime anyway. So who are they talking about here? Why talk about Nemuro being beaten if he wasn't duelling? Or maybe they assume he will duel but the duelling hasn't started? And then cut to Mamiya asking Mikage why he won't duel. I agree that it doesn't seem like he ever actually duels but that everyone probably expected him to. His duelling was a long time comin'.

Did she? I don't think that the number of years was ever mentioned, at least in the Japanese dub. Just that a long time had passed.

You're right. I checked and she never actually said that. I hadn't watched that part in awhile. Older Tokiko looks about 40 but she could be 50-ish too. I guess I assumed she was around 18-20 at the time of the fire, but it's all speculation on my part. Mikage says during the duel when he realizes Mamiya is dead that he hasn't seen Mamiya for "decades". Based on the fact that Tokiko does not look terribly old in present day, the events could not be more that thirtysome years ago, I would think.

This is something I can't believe. If Dios was a separate entity, why would he play straight into Akio's side? Remember that only a completely unexpected turn at the end of the Duel Called Revolution did Akio's plan break down. I'm more inclined to believe that "Dios" was Akio himself, just taking his old guise. If his sister can change gender, I wouldn't put it past him to change his age. And he already essentially stated that he (Anthy's prince) had become the Ends of the World. The whole event seems manipulated, anyhow. Three coffins and nobody in the funreal questioning the extra one? And Akio seems to remember what happened, perfectly.

As far as I can tell, Dios is dead as a doornail - or rather, he's Akio and what was princely in him is dead. What comes down from the Castle is a part of his power, not the person himself. And in the last episode, he seemed an expression of Akio's will, once again. Essentially all he did was to discourage Utena from going further. And as he sat in the merry'go'round, his voice suddenly changed into Akio's voice.

Dios' actions in the merry go round scene seem to be a contentious subject among fans. We tackled it in another thread. I agree that Dios is not a person. I think he's a spirit or Akio's inner child or whatever...some magical, fairy tale version of Akio's old goodness. And everything that happens with Dios in the arena with Utena is totally Anthy, I think, and not Dios. That said, I think during the merry go round scene, figment Dios is not following Akio's agenda. He is trying some major reverse psychology on Utena because he WANTS her to get up. He is not saying those things to beat her down but to make her failure so repugnant to her that she gets up and fights. This is in line with other times when Utena is down. She sinks to her lowest point and then she hates it. So she rallies and fights back. When she decides to get up, he waits next to Akio to see what she will do. When she tells Akio to shut up, Dios gets on his horse and leaves. An idea I like that has been suggested on this board is that Dios is in Utena's imagination at this point. That she uses her memory of him for a little "what would Dios say here" inspiration. He would tell me that I'm not a prince, that I'm a failure because that's the way I feel right now. The result is the same. She can't stand that so she gets up.

Now, I do wonder about his voice turning into Akio's at that line "is my decision". The subtitles are very clear on that. If he is in Utena's mind there, then she might be associating him with Akio and pulling the two of them together in her mind. This would be her final letting go of her prince. Here's my prince telling me what to do again but my prince is Akio and I have to face that. Am I going to stand for it? No way.

I'm still not sure what I think about Dios giving Utena the ring. Akio does take credit for the event. I'll have to mull that over some more. Thanks for the thoughts. I love dissecting this stuff although my eyes are kinda blurry now.

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#8 | Back to Top11-09-2006 07:19:19 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Dani wrote:

When the 100 duelists are shown, they are dressed in Ohtori boy uniforms which suggests the school is already up and running.

They're dressed in uniforms similar to what the boys of Ohtori wear. It's certainly possible Ohtori Accadamy was already around, but before it was Nemuro Memorial Hall the building could easily have served as a school itself. We don't see enough of the 100 duelsts to know where they're attending classes, if they are doing so at all.

Lightice wrote:

I can't seem to think of the projector as Nemuro's creation - it's too close to Akio's own being. And if that were the case, Nemuro should have been aware, at least to some extent, that he can be manipulated with the device.

I wouldn't say Nemuro built the projector from scratch. When he first gets to work he only has a vague idea of what he's creating. "It sounds like we're building a perpetual motion machine." I think Nemuro's brilliance was used to further Akio's own grandiose designs which culminate into the projector. Akio knew what he wanted, it was the finer details that he needed assistence on working out. As smart as he is considered to be, Nemuro can only get so far with conventional thinking and Akio has to give him a taste of immortality to bump him up to the next level and finish his part in the projector's creation.

Lightice wrote:

Ragnarok wrote:

- The events shown in the final two episodes of the Black Rose arc concerning Nemuro meeting Mamiya and Tokiko(Is that right?) during which the projector is completed (The castle appearing in the sky, the first duels in which Nemuro is undefeated.) and leads to Mamiya dying, Nemuro burning down the hall and becoming Mikage.

But Nemuro never duelled. At least he claimed to have no interest in duelling and nothing implies he ever did. When his interest did spark, he didn't grab a sword, but a torch.

That's absolutely true, I somehow always remember there being a line indicating Nemuro did duel. I looked it up, it's said by one (or several) of the 100 duelists:

"The road to the duel arena is now open. At last, that is about to begin. And now, Professor Nemuro's duty is finished. From now on, carrying on without him is probably what you-know-who plans on. Surely even he'll lose to someone. We can just leave him by the wayside. Well then, let's open the champagne. "

You-know-who is Akio of course. Possibly "even he'll lose to someone." is about Akio as well, though it's doubtful since they're all contracted to him. But if they're talking about Nemuro, what do they mean? I take it to mean that Nemuro has been dueling without losing, as Utena later does. (Because I can't settle for only a dozen parallels between the two characters, there must be more!) I am very curious as to other interpretations of that bit.

Of course, immediately following that scene is the exchange between Nemuro and Mamiya:

Mamiya:  How selfish they are.
Mamiya:  They owe it to you that the castle appeared and the road to the arena opened, right?
Mamiya:  They're all afraid of you.
Mamiya:  They think you may be capable of obtaining eternity.
Nemuro:  I'm not going to do anything like dueling.
Mamiya:  Why not? Aren't you thinking you want the power to revolutionize the world for your very own?
Mamiya:  Knowing eternity exists in that castle?

To my skewed way of viewing it I can pretend that this conversation takes place some time after the previous scene, as such Nemuro has stopped dueling because it doesn't get him where he wants to go. This is also what prompts Nemuro to burn down the building. It's possible that none of the duelists actually dueled under the castle.

Lightice wrote:

Dani wrote:

Older present-day Tokiko says to Akio that 20 years have passed since Mamiya died.

Did she? I don't think that the number of years was ever mentioned, at least in the Japanese dub. Just that a long time had passed.

Both the DVD translation and the translations from duellists.tj are unspecific in the number of years since Mamiya died. Tokiko notes it's been some time simply because Nemuro and Akio haven't aged, while she has. However near the end of his duel, Mikage says something along the lines "How many decades has it been since I saw you last?" or "It's been several decades since I saw you." indicating it's been at least twenty years. Of course we can't count on Mikage having a firm grasp of time.

Dani wrote:

Utena seems to have been at Ohtori for awhile before getting sucked into the duels. She knows Wakaba, Touga, etc.

Well she knew Wakaba anyway. And she's heard of Juri. Wakaba had to tell her who Touga was. Yes, though, Utena's already been at Ohtori for some amount of time before the series starts.

Lightice wrote:

If Dios was a separate entity, why would he play straight into Akio's side? Remember that only a completely unexpected turn at the end of the Duel Called Revolution did Akio's plan break down. I'm more inclined to believe that "Dios" was Akio himself, just taking his old guise. If his sister can change gender, I wouldn't put it past him to change his age. And he already essentially stated that he (Anthy's prince) had become the Ends of the World. The whole event seems manipulated, anyhow. Three coffins and nobody in the funreal questioning the extra one? And Akio seems to remember what happened, perfectly.

The only reason I don't follow this line of thought is why Akio would bother assume the form of Dios at all. It's not as if Utena knew who Dios was when he first appeared and Akio in his princely uniform would as easily suit his purposes as the guise of Dios. If he's planning to meet Utena some years later wouldn't appearing exactly like her prince work better than somewhat like him?  Similarly, why would he tell Utena that Anthy's prince had become Ends of the World? That doesn't help his cause, if the whole thing is a ploy to manipulate Utena it's offhand information he wouldn't need to or want to bring up.

Last edited by Ragnarok (11-09-2006 07:19:56 PM)


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#9 | Back to Top11-10-2006 03:25:49 AM

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

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Ragnarok wrote:

I wouldn't say Nemuro built the projector from scratch. When he first gets to work he only has a vague idea of what he's creating. "It sounds like we're building a perpetual motion machine." I think Nemuro's brilliance was used to further Akio's own grandiose designs which culminate into the projector. Akio knew what he wanted, it was the finer details that he needed assistence on working out. As smart as he is considered to be, Nemuro can only get so far with conventional thinking and Akio has to give him a taste of immortality to bump him up to the next level and finish his part in the projector's creation.

*shrugh*
I've never associated Nemuro with the projector in my mind, so it takes some time to get used to the idea. I always viewed it simply as a metaphor of Akio's will over others', his ability to hide the truth from their eyes.

"The road to the duel arena is now open. At last, that is about to begin. And now, Professor Nemuro's duty is finished. From now on, carrying on without him is probably what you-know-who plans on. Surely even he'll lose to someone. We can just leave him by the wayside. Well then, let's open the champagne. "

You-know-who is Akio of course. Possibly "even he'll lose to someone." is about Akio as well, though it's doubtful since they're all contracted to him. But if they're talking about Nemuro, what do they mean? I take it to mean that Nemuro has been dueling without losing, as Utena later does. (Because I can't settle for only a dozen parallels between the two characters, there must be more!) I am very curious as to other interpretations of that bit.

I've always interpreted this as that everybody is expecting Nemuro to duel and believe that the next step in their Great Work is to get rid of their now useless tool, by the only way allowed by the rules - by defeating him in a duel. Considering the very metaphysical nature of the research, itself, it always seemed more like a Hermetic Great Work, than a proper scientific research, to me, although advanced mathematics apparently played a part in it.

Both the DVD translation and the translations from duellists.tj are unspecific in the number of years since Mamiya died. Tokiko notes it's been some time simply because Nemuro and Akio haven't aged, while she has. However near the end of his duel, Mikage says something along the lines "How many decades has it been since I saw you last?" or "It's been several decades since I saw you." indicating it's been at least twenty years. Of course we can't count on Mikage having a firm grasp of time.

True. I've always been thinking about 20-30 years, myself, but time is so twisted in Ohtori that we can't tell for sure. For all we know, a longer time could have passed in Ohtori, than in the outside world.

Dani wrote:

Well she knew Wakaba anyway. And she's heard of Juri. Wakaba had to tell her who Touga was. Yes, though, Utena's already been at Ohtori for some amount of time before the series starts.

Actually Wakaba had to tell Utena who Saionji was. Utena recognised Touga on her own. One would imagine that you'd recognise the biggest idols of the school when they wear such easily recognisable garb, even if you don't give a damn about them, though. In any case, Wakaba's talk later on at least seems to imply that she and Utena shared a room before. From there I draw my presumption that Utena has just entered the 8th grade and that she spent at least a part of her seventh in Ohtori, as well.

The only reason I don't follow this line of thought is why Akio would bother assume the form of Dios at all. It's not as if Utena knew who Dios was when he first appeared and Akio in his princely uniform would as easily suit his purposes as the guise of Dios.

I think it's an age question. A young and innocent-looking Dios would be more approachable to a little girl than a tall, menacing-looking, long-faced man - remember that at this point Utena wasn't inclined to speak with any adult of her problems.

If he's planning to meet Utena some years later wouldn't appearing exactly like her prince work better than somewhat like him?

No, because his plot was based around the idea that Utena wouldn't find a prince, but become a prince, herself. All her motivation to be a prince would shatter, if she suddenly met the Prince of her dreams. And if that happened, there'd be no new Prince's Sword to take. If you look clearly, you see that many Akio's actions seem to be designed both to encourage Utena's own princeliness, by forcing her independent from the image of her idol.

Similarly, why would he tell Utena that Anthy's prince had become Ends of the World? That doesn't help his cause, if the whole thing is a ploy to manipulate Utena it's offhand information he wouldn't need to or want to bring up.

Well, since young Utena had no idea what the Ends of the World is, but she needs a some sort of reason why the Rose Bride hasn't already been rescued, the truth works just as well. Professional liars like Akio don't waste untruths, when truth serves their purposes, just as well.


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#10 | Back to Top11-10-2006 06:43:47 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Concerning Nemuro building the projector, I don't see why not...I don't think the duels, or even the school, are Akio and Anthy's first attempts at the duelling game. Just the most recent ones. The ease with which Akio takes the 'loss' of the sword at the end suggests it's not the first soul sword he's shattered. However nothing disproves Nemuro building the projector either. If he did, I don't think it's the source of Akio's power any more than a telescope is the source of information; I'm sure Akio was doing just fine manipulating and creating illusions before the projector, and it became a useful tool to him. Something to focus the power and pinpoint it. Perhaps it's what makes Ohtori so thoroughly his, and so maybe it exists just so it can manufacture the illusions while he's busy with other things. Might also be just the metaphor. I've always assumed it's both the metaphor and the focusing device, in that really it does nothing at all for Akio except give him something to focus on, like a monk meditating while staring at a stream.

As for the 100 duelists, I've always assumed they were no more or less appropriate than the batch in the series. They were never what Akio was after, just as the characters in the series are not. They're both the human capital he needed to get to Nemuro and Utena, who worked very different ways. Nemuro wasn't interested in personal relationships with other people, dueling would never have changed him or given him drive, he's too logical. Sacrifice worked better as a concept to him, so Akio gave him something to sacrifice. However for Utena the duels are personal, and nothing Akio wants from her would be accomplished by coaxing her to kill. I've always just assumed they were different manipulative tactics for different people, and I don't think the sacrifice really was necessary to open the arena or anything else. If anything, the evidence of whatever was constructed was what got destroyed. (Had it been a sacrifice, wouldn't it have made more sense to do it in the new arena?)


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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#11 | Back to Top11-10-2006 01:33:59 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Lightice wrote:

For all we know, a longer time could have passed in Ohtori, than in the outside world.

For every hour passed in Ohtori, one day goes by in the real world.

*Cough.* Anyway!

Lightice wrote:

Actually Wakaba had to tell Utena who Saionji was. Utena recognised Touga on her own.

I have got to invest in a better memory. emot-frown

Lightice wrote:

<About Akio posing as Dios.>

That does make a lot of sense. Hmmm...

Giovanna wrote:

I don't think the duels, or even the school, are Akio and Anthy's first attempts at the duelling game. Just the most recent ones. The ease with which Akio takes the 'loss' of the sword at the end suggests it's not the first soul sword he's shattered.

...

As for the 100 duelists, I've always assumed they were no more or less appropriate than the batch in the series. They were never what Akio was after, just as the characters in the series are not. They're both the human capital he needed to get to Nemuro and Utena, who worked very different ways.

Is it possible that Nemuro had a soul sword (Or some equivalent.) which Akio attempted to use to regain the power of Dios? At the end of the series Akio believes Utena has become another sad leftover, which can certainly describe Mikage. And, assuming my memory isn't flawed this one time, Nemuro Memorial Hall is still shown to be destroyed; meaning whatever Akio was planning wouldn't be using it again. (It would be hard to get Mikage back in any event.) Did Akio expect Utena to take up a similar role to Mikage in his next foray?


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#12 | Back to Top11-10-2006 01:57:35 PM

Dani
IRG Messiah
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 361

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Giovanna wrote:

As for the 100 duelists, I've always assumed they were no more or less appropriate than the batch in the series. They were never what Akio was after, just as the characters in the series are not. They're both the human capital he needed to get to Nemuro and Utena, who worked very different ways. Nemuro wasn't interested in personal relationships with other people, dueling would never have changed him or given him drive, he's too logical. Sacrifice worked better as a concept to him, so Akio gave him something to sacrifice. However for Utena the duels are personal, and nothing Akio wants from her would be accomplished by coaxing her to kill. I've always just assumed they were different manipulative tactics for different people, and I don't think the sacrifice really was necessary to open the arena or anything else. If anything, the evidence of whatever was constructed was what got destroyed. (Had it been a sacrifice, wouldn't it have made more sense to do it in the new arena?)

If this is true, then Akio is more evil than I thought, to kill 100 students to destroy a man's life and trap him there. The way I saw it, Akio hands him a request which I assume is the order to burn down the building with the students inside, he refuses, then he sees Akio kissing Tokiko, then he starts the fire and the guilt destroys him. Is that correct? Some folks on this forum believe Akio killed Utena's parents too but I never thought that.

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#13 | Back to Top11-11-2006 02:13:00 AM

Sevelle
Yaoi Pet #2
From: Virginia the Great
Registered: 11-07-2006
Posts: 1615

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Woah- This has gotten deep. Which I kinda see things in a new light.


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#14 | Back to Top11-11-2006 04:55:44 AM

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

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Dani wrote:

If this is true, then Akio is more evil than I thought, to kill 100 students to destroy a man's life and trap him there. The way I saw it, Akio hands him a request which I assume is the order to burn down the building with the students inside, he refuses, then he sees Akio kissing Tokiko, then he starts the fire and the guilt destroys him. Is that correct? Some folks on this forum believe Akio killed Utena's parents too but I never thought that.

Well, while Akio is one of the most non-violent villains in anime history, he still hasn't shown any real compassion towards anyone - it's just that violence would almost never serve his needs and he propably considers himself above such crass methods, as well. As far as I can tell, no code, except perhaps style and some twisted remnant of honour, limits his actions. If killing a hundred people works the best for his manipulations, I don't think that nothing stops him from it.
I'm not entirely against the possibility of that their deaths served some other purpose, as well, but just one would propably be good enough, for him.

Going back to Dios, by the way, there is something I've noticed about him, but forgot to mention: in Utena's flashback, Dios looks like a teenager boy, possibly not older than 13 or 14. When he appears in the last episode, he looks clearly older than Utena, again. Propably around 17 or 18. I think that something about him, whether he's a half-living memory or Akio's illusion, makes him always appear just the right age to appeal to whoever is seeing him.


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#15 | Back to Top11-11-2006 09:13:49 AM

Frau Eva
Voodoo Queen
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 803

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

When referring to Dios, we have to remember that no one should have a better understanding of his power than him. I think it's completely within the spirit of Dios to roam the earth looking for people to save Anthy, whether or not it supposedly serves Akio or not. Dios knows that, with or without a soul sword, the Power will only open up to one truly worthy. Utena proved that by opening it up with no more than determination and a tear. Akio looked shocked, but I'm sure Dios wasn't. Akio will never have it, no matter what he does or obtains. If the spirit of Dios still remains, he wouldn't even have to worry about Akio ever getting it and could just concentrate on finding someone who will eventually save Anthy. Dios would want someone truly worthy to make it up to that point.

Akio is unwittingly helping Dios and any supposed headway he makes into him regaining that power is ultimately useless. Although we would normally think of people playing into Akio's hands, Dios is well beyond his knowledge and influence. I think I remember Anthy having a moment of shock when Utena caused Dios to appear(at least definitely in the movie when the two forms coalesce in Juri's duel).


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#16 | Back to Top11-11-2006 09:22:57 AM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 689

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Lightice wrote:

Going back to Dios, by the way, there is something I've noticed about him, but forgot to mention: in Utena's flashback, Dios looks like a teenager boy, possibly not older than 13 or 14. When he appears in the last episode, he looks clearly older than Utena, again. Propably around 17 or 18. I think that something about him, whether he's a half-living memory or Akio's illusion, makes him always appear just the right age to appeal to whoever is seeing him.

Not really. Dios changes ages during the flashback in episode 34: at first he looks young, and then he becomes older while he's talking about how the prince Anthy loved no longer exists, because he became the Ends of the World. By the end of the scene, he looks around the same age as Akio.

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#17 | Back to Top11-11-2006 09:52:46 AM

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

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Frau Eva wrote:

Akio is unwittingly helping Dios and any supposed headway he makes into him regaining that power is ultimately useless. Although we would normally think of people playing into Akio's hands, Dios is well beyond his knowledge and influence. I think I remember Anthy having a moment of shock when Utena caused Dios to appear(at least definitely in the movie when the two forms coalesce in Juri's duel).

That's just an idea that I dislike, mainly because it essentially goes against what I believe the whole series is about. There isn't supposed to be an all-good prince saving all the maidens, around. Much of the series centers around the loss of such an idol and having him around in incorporeal form diminishes the signifigance of that. Furthermore, by the end of the series it's even questioned whether having or being a prince is a good thing, to begin with - it too easily splits the world into heroes, victims and villains, black and white roles that limit people within their confines. "Girls who can't be princesses must become witches".

I don't think that having a super goody two-shoes character like Dios around serves the story, in any way. He's at his best, when reduced to a memory. Things in Revolutionary Girl Utena deliberately refuse to fit in the classical roles of a fairy tale.

Not really. Dios changes ages during the flashback in episode 34: at first he looks young, and then he becomes older while he's talking about how the prince Anthy loved no longer exists, because he became the Ends of the World. By the end of the scene, he looks around the same age as Akio.

Really? I should see the series again, soon, I think...

Last edited by Lightice (11-11-2006 09:53:26 AM)


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#18 | Back to Top11-11-2006 03:55:16 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Lightice wrote:

[Well, while Akio is one of the most non-violent villains in anime history, he still hasn't shown any real compassion towards anyone - it's just that violence would almost never serve his needs and he propably considers himself above such crass methods, as well.

He does shed tears after Utena's been stabbed. Unless that was just for Anthy's benefit to make sure she kept in line to take the swords of hate.

I do think Akio has some compassion in him, he just doesn't let it stop him. He believes the ends (of the world) justify whatever means are required. Ultimately, any sacrifice which has to be made will become insignificant if he can reshape the world to his ideals. Even with that mentality, it doesn't stop him from being moved by tragedy, must like any person who cries from watching something sad on tv.


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#19 | Back to Top11-12-2006 01:43:33 AM

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

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Gio describes Akio in her shrine as someone who's aware of right and wrong but not limited by it because he never has to answer for his actions, and I think that's a good way to put it. He's moved by something as tragic as Anthy stabbing Utena, but it won't stop him from taking whatever action he deems necessary because he'll never have to answer to anyone but himself, and he's proven himself capable of doing that without any guilt.


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

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#20 | Back to Top11-12-2006 04:44:40 AM

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

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Ragnarok wrote:

He does shed tears after Utena's been stabbed. Unless that was just for Anthy's benefit to make sure she kept in line to take the swords of hate.

I think the whole point of those tears is just to get the sword from her. Remember that both times when he sheds tears, he's made sure that Anthy is looking at him. If there is anything genuine in those tears, it's his own lament for losing something, the power, the nobility, or both - or possibly because of the still existing connection with Anthy, though if that's the case, shedding tears is as much as he's willing to do for her.
Considering how indifferent he's towards Utena immediately afterwards, I just can't believe that he's shedding any tears for her.

I do think Akio has some compassion in him, he just doesn't let it stop him. He believes the ends (of the world) justify whatever means are required. Ultimately, any sacrifice which has to be made will become insignificant if he can reshape the world to his ideals.

Except that the means seem to have become the end, to him. That may have been an apt description of him, when the duelling game was at its start, but in the series he plays the game for its own sake, not to retrieve the power, any more. It'd force him to see himself with all his faults and corruption and he can't bring himself to do it. He doesn't seem slightest bit sorry, or even surprised, when the Prince's Sword breaks. I don't think that he really wants to get through, even though that is the only justification of the game. Anthy's leaving might inspire him for a real attempt, though, but just as well it might not - it depends on whether he can live without her and continue his games. As ShatteredMirror pointed out, there is excellent analysis of him, on this site.


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#21 | Back to Top11-12-2006 05:09:00 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
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Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Whether or not he enjoys the game, I think he has a real interest in gaining that power. He's not overly concerned when Utena's sword breaks because he still has time, he can try again. If he didn't want to go through that door why would he try to open it at all? Unless he gets a rush out of shattering soul swords or something.

After the sword breaks Utena is moving towards the gate. She stumbles and Akio catches her. (Then she shoves him away by the face, but that's beside the point.) If Akio had no compassion, if he was really indifferent to Utena he'd have let her fall. There was no reason to catch her. Anthy was hardly in a position to notice if he did or not.

That said, I wouldn't say his tears were specifically for Utena, more for the situation. That he and Anthy had to resort to stabbing Utena to get the sword.


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#22 | Back to Top11-13-2006 07:41:02 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Ragnarok wrote:

After the sword breaks Utena is moving towards the gate. She stumbles and Akio catches her. (Then she shoves him away by the face, but that's beside the point.) If Akio had no compassion, if he was really indifferent to Utena he'd have let her fall. There was no reason to catch her. Anthy was hardly in a position to notice if he did or not.

I've always juggled a couple different interpretations of that moment. Originally I thought he caught her simply because catching her would get her away from the gate, which would have been more comfortable for him. I still think there was a bit of that there, but also, there must be some of that prince instinct left in him, enough that he'd do the princely thing when it suited him, and it would suit him just then. Aside from that, letting her fall breaks a decorum Akio keeps up on principle for his own ends. He's a dick, but letting Utena fall when he's perfectly able to catch her would be completely classless. I'm sure he was quite indifferent to her suffering and couldn't care less if she dropped dead, but while he is a gigantic bastard, he's not rude. Rudeness would be unbecoming, a force such as himself doesn't need to be reduced to such things.

As for compassion, I do believe there's some of it in Akio. You need compassion to have an understanding of human nature as keen as his. In contrast, there's Mikage, who calculates people as though they were physics problems on a chalkboard, and while his calculations are often accurate, they're flawed the more layered you get with them. They serve his purpose, but there's a distinct point where they break down and become wrong. You can apply Newtonian physics to predict the movement of bodies in space practically, but it's not exact, because you haven't accounted for everything. Akio has enough compassion to work out human nature not just as a calculation but as an intuitive instinct. I don't doubt he's always had something of that instinct as prince, since Dios needed to know instinctually what restaurant would make a princess happy, etc. Akio's honed that for his own purposes, and while there is compassion in him, it only serves his purpose, and has no control whatsoever over his morality. Since Akio sees himself as above humans, his compassion is at best kinda useless for them. Like a cattle rancher will feel compassion for animals he works so closely with, but in the end, he'll still slaughter them and it won't keep him up at night.


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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#23 | Back to Top11-23-2006 12:33:48 AM

Archambeau
Muffy, the Forums Trophy Wife
Registered: 11-20-2006
Posts: 499

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

To return back to the 100 Duellists and Nemuro, I've personally never believed them to be an early attempt, in Ohtori, of obtaining the Prince's sword and the revolutionary power it contains.  Rather, I connect the hundred and the student council into one timeline, one machination.  Nemuro's line about sacrifice (prehistoric creatures for our fuel, and the hundred for his cause) makes me think that the hundred were supposed to be used in death, as catalysts for yet more duels for the top candidate (in this case Utena, but it could have been anyone, which excuses the conflicting timeline of Nemuro's experiments and Utena's childhood -- provided we're adhering to standard notions of time, here) to face, insuring that through her victories her sword becomes all the more princely.  Why shouldn't Akio make Nemuro a prince-grooming tool if he's able, especially when in Nemuro we see such a driven, obsessive, and ultimately delusional person who would be sure to work consistently towards something, no matter how ridiculous, provided he saw himself eventually reaching an attainable end.

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#24 | Back to Top11-23-2006 02:55:08 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

Archambeau wrote:

Why shouldn't Akio make Nemuro a prince-grooming tool if he's able, especially when in Nemuro we see such a driven, obsessive, and ultimately delusional person who would be sure to work consistently towards something, no matter how ridiculous, provided he saw himself eventually reaching an attainable end.

Who better than a natural scientist to accomplish that? It's a flaw of the species. Kinda like Jurassic Park; they get so wrapped up in whether or not they can do something, that they put very little thought into whether it's a good idea to do so. Akio's a philosopher type, and it's never hard for a person like that to take a scientist for a ride.

Wow I didn't actually word it that way on purpose. cool


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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#25 | Back to Top11-23-2006 08:45:23 PM

Archambeau
Muffy, the Forums Trophy Wife
Registered: 11-20-2006
Posts: 499

Re: Ohtori Academy, the Untold Story

It's very fitting that in creating the Black Rose Duelists, a narrowing of perspective is required -- Mikage, the tunnel-visioned "natural scientist," as prototype.  Refine your goals enough and it wouldn't take too much deliberation to decide to do something as bizarre as dueling.

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