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Gougai! Gougai!

HOLY SHIT PEOPLE, IT'S NOT BAD ENOUGH WE'RE GETTING AN UTENA EXHIBITION RIGHT NOW

THEY. ARE. MAKING. A. NEW. MUSICAL. NEXT. YEAR. START LOSING YOUR SHIT RIGHT NOW

#1 | Back to Top11-11-2008 12:39:36 PM

J-Syxx
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The reason Saionji is a dick.

Sorry if this has been discussed before.  But am I the only one who has came to conclusion that Saionji has such a bad attitude becuase after childhood Touga went on to become a man-whore instead of shacking up with him?  This is the conclusion I've draw from the evidence.  His relationships with other characters in the show seem to be either out of ego (Anthy) or convenience (Wakaba); the only one that seems to be of any substance is with Touga which of course later degenerated into resentment. 

Also am I the only one who reads out of the ending of a Menage a Trois between Nanami/Touga/Saionji.

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#2 | Back to Top11-11-2008 01:01:55 PM

OnlyInThisLight
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

There are plenty of brilliant threads filled with Saionji analysis here on IRG that discuss Saionji's motives, personality, and past.  You can find some tidbits in the later pages of Personal Canon, a good deal in Giovanna's Come with me on an Sku Body Language Tour - Meals Included! thread,  even more in Giovanna's Jeolousy and Wanting to Be Saved - Another Saionji Thread By Gio thread.  And if I'm not mistaken there is a little bit in the Symbolism in SKU thread.  All these topics can be found in either Shoujo Kakumei Utena or In Flagrante Delictoemot-wink

Really though, I do not believe that Saionji and Touga had any sort of sexual relations or tensions, even, as children.  The Saionji we see in the series is very naive and despite his manly manly temper, unaware of his own sexuality, or more likely in desperate denial of it, which causes it to fall victim to neglect and ignorance, keeping it childlike and hard to express without shame inside his older body, which leads to frustration and the mixed-up desire for affection, control, reliability, and, though it is buried deep down and he'll never admit it, sex, from Anthy.  Which of course leads only to further frustration and at it's peak, anger and violence from Saionji.

Part of what he feels for Touga, is, of course, jealousy.  He says that Touga has always appeared to be better than him, like he is on some whole different level.  This can be taken in terms of both athletic prowess and status (Kendo and the Student Council) and in terms of sexuality (Touga is sexually aware, unashamed and confident, none of which Saionji can say for himself.)  Part of Saionji wants to be like Touga in this respect, but he tends to see it, like a lot of things, in terms of extremes.  Touga is, at the end of the day, not entirely perfect in Saionji's eyes.  He's sneaky, manipulative, and a complete whore.  Saionji doesn't want to desire things that appear superficial or morally corrupt; that's dirty, shameful and selfish, so he denies his desire for Touga's sexual freedom and reinterprets it as a desire to 'beat' or 'best' Touga in the dueling game by winning Anthy and achieving eternity.  He does not realize, extremist and foolish as he is, that you can be sexually aware and self-confident without being a complete whoring ass about it.

Another part is that he desires friendship from Touga.  All that eternity business, besides a way of competing with Touga, represents this, and boils down to Saionji wanting something that makes him happy....to last.  Touga in the church opened a coffin -symbolic of death, despite Saionji's protests, and later gave  (well, claimed to have given) what Saionji desired so much -eternity- not to his best friend but some little girl who he had never met before that night, and had thusly betrayed and abandoned Saionji.  He felt both the loss of his friend and the loss of his childish dreams of forever in one night.  Over the years Touga's growing and confident sexuality and popularity further widened the rift between them.  Saionji wants both his friendship back with Touga and his assurance that good things last.  He is an extremist in this sense as well; if it can't last forever...if it's only destined to end or leave you...then what's the point of having it at all?

Why does Saionji want or need eternity even before the night in the church?  There is a lot of speculation regarding Saionji's unknown childhood and family life that may account for this.  After Saionji is expelled he leaves the school with only a single bag of items, one so small it appears to only big enough for his katana, his kendo uniform, and his student council uniform.  Instead of returning home, he stays with Wakaba, and accets handouts from her.  This not only implies a lack of money in Saionji's family, but it also points to something a bit more disturbing.  Saionji did not go home.  Why?

All these little clues --including Saionji's feelings of shame and subsequent sexual repression, and his violence and chauvinism--  could paint the picture that Saionji didn't have the most ideal upbringing.  Or least one that lacked, to some degree, affection or consistency.  Maybe his parents divorced and they fought, maybe one of his parents died or left, and he was introduced to a new, physically or verbally abusive or neglectful parent.  Maybe the lack of money implies that his guardians had a hard time making money and were constantly moving to new homes and jobs, forcing Saionji to leave behind friends and memories each time.

In the midst of all this, he meets Touga, who, despite their differences, is his friend.  He's quite possibly the silver lining in Saionji's life, and Saionji is still young enough to hope and to dream that he will remain so, unlike so many other things that he loved or that made him happy.  Touga's betrayal and the sheer trauma that was the church were the last straws.


Any love though or sexual desire for Touga? I don't really believe it to be true, but I won't definitely discount it either.

Last edited by OnlyInThisLight (11-11-2008 01:34:11 PM)

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#3 | Back to Top11-11-2008 02:17:55 PM

Stormcrow
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

Like usual, I pretty much agree with everything OITL said. I would add that Touga's alleged rescue of Utena from her coffin represents to Saionji an accomplishment that he is unable to overcome. Someday he may beat Touga in a kendo match, but how often do you get a chance to bring a girl back from the brink of death like that? So when he gets this extremely unlikely chance to rescue Anthy, and Utena shows him up, we see his violent reaction. And then finally, Touga shows him up AGAIN. Man does it suck to be Saionji. He's fixed his self-esteem on the unattainable.emot-frown


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#4 | Back to Top11-11-2008 03:04:20 PM

End of the Tour
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

He does not realize, extremist and foolish as he is, that you can be sexually aware and self-confident without being a complete whoring ass about it.

In his defense, though, he was at Ohtori Academy.  It's not like he was surrounded by positive sexual role models.

Touga in the church opened a coffin -symbolic of death, despite Saionji's protests, and later gave  (well, claimed to have given) what Saionji desired so much -eternity- not to his best friend but some little girl who he had never met before that night, and had thusly betrayed and abandoned Saionji.

Did Touga really tell Saionji that he had shown the girl something eternal?  The way I remember it (and it has been a while), Touga first realizes that she's asking for something eternal, and that this isn't something either of them can provide, so he tells Saionji as much and convinces him that they should go.  The next morning, when they come back, they see that she's not despairing any more, and Touga concludes (and states) that she must have seen something eternal, but I don't recall him claiming responsibility for this.  (Of course, that may not matter to how Saionji interprets things.)

Why does Saionji want or need eternity even before the night in the church?

I kind of always thought that he got the idea of the importance of eternity from that night, because, unlike Touga, he doesn't immediately realize the gravity of what Utena is asking for.  But I'll admit that this is rather subjective.


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#5 | Back to Top11-11-2008 04:35:06 PM

OnlyInThisLight
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

End of the Tour wrote:

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

He does not realize, extremist and foolish as he is, that you can be sexually aware and self-confident without being a complete whoring ass about it.

In his defense, though, he was at Ohtori Academy.  It's not like he was surrounded by positive sexual role models.

And I don't think (subjective again) that his parents were much to bring up sex in an encouraging, healthy and unbiased light.emot-frown

End of the Tour wrote:

onlyinthislight wrote:

Touga in the church opened a coffin -symbolic of death, despite Saionji's protests, and later gave  (well, claimed to have given) what Saionji desired so much -eternity- not to his best friend but some little girl who he had never met before that night, and had thusly betrayed and abandoned Saionji.

Did Touga really tell Saionji that he had shown the girl something eternal?  The way I remember it (and it has been a while), Touga first realizes that she's asking for something eternal, and that this isn't something either of them can provide, so he tells Saionji as much and convinces him that they should go.  The next morning, when they come back, they see that she's not despairing any more, and Touga concludes (and states) that she must have seen something eternal, but I don't recall him claiming responsibility for this.  (Of course, that may not matter to how Saionji interprets things.)

Well, it's more like Touga was pretty well aware that Saionji thought that he did, and did not see fit to correct him.

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#6 | Back to Top11-11-2008 05:27:25 PM

J-Syxx
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

Really though, I do not believe that Saionji and Touga had any sort of sexual relations or tensions, even, as children.

This is kind of an odd statement to make since Saionji joined in on Touga and Akio's sexual escapades it the last arc of the show.  Of course they don't show it completely, but I'd say it's about as definite as Akio shagging Anthy although it's only (strongly) suggested.  Would the fact that you have a guy/guy threesome with someone indicate you had some kind of sexual relationship or tension?  I'd say yes.  Also there's the fact that Touga used Saionji's heart sword.  I don't really recall that happening between characters where there was no kind of romantic tension going on.  Not that I would necessarily call your interpretation wrong, but you must agree that Ikuhara purposely planted plenty of evidence to suggest other wise.

Last edited by J-Syxx (11-11-2008 05:28:38 PM)

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#7 | Back to Top11-11-2008 06:01:47 PM

satyreyes
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

J-Syxx wrote:

Really though, I do not believe that Saionji and Touga had any sort of sexual relations or tensions, even, as children.

This is kind of an odd statement to make since Saionji joined in on Touga and Akio's sexual escapades it the last arc of the show.  Of course they don't show it completely, but I'd say it's about as definite as Akio shagging Anthy although it's only (strongly) suggested.  Would the fact that you have a guy/guy threesome with someone indicate you had some kind of sexual relationship or tension?  I'd say yes.  Also there's the fact that Touga used Saionji's heart sword.  I don't really recall that happening between characters where there was no kind of romantic tension going on.  Not that I would necessarily call your interpretation wrong, but you must agree that Ikuhara purposely planted plenty of evidence to suggest other wise.

The sword-pulling is not about romantic tension, though; it has much more to do with love-hate relationships.  Take Miki and Kozue, for example.  We kid, but there's not much evidence of sexual tension between the Kaoru twins in the series.  There is, however, abundant evidence of a love-hate relationship.  Similarly, yes, okay, Juri probably lurves Shiori, but that's not why Shiori pulls a sword out of her; it's because there's something about Juri, her seeming perfection, that Shiori wants to own and corrupt at the very same time.  The same goes for every sword duo with the possible exception of Utena and Anthy, who are probably a special case.  The sword as a symbol of a love-hate relationship makes more sense than as a symbol of romantic tension; after all, the sword you pull may represent the other person's soul, but it is still an implement of destruction.

Saionji's relationship with Touga is marked by Saionji's idolatry and resentment -- hence the sword-pulling -- but it's not clear to me that there's much sexual about it.  What's confusing, perhaps, is that Touga manipulates Saionji approximately the same way he manipulates Utena: with a sensuality that says "I know how much you want this" so persuasively that the other person is actually convinced that they do.  But where Utena feels during the close of the first season that she wants love or romance out of her "prince," Saionji on some level simply wants to be Touga, or at least be able to ooze the same self-confidence.  That, I think, is why Saionji ends up taking sultry photos in the planetarium with Touga and Akio; it seems like something a self-confident, sexual, masculine person would do.  (Or to put it another way, turning the photo shoot down once Touga suggested it would make Saionji a pussy in his own mind.)

I don't think Saionji has ever had sex with Touga.  I think we would know if he had, because Saionji would be freaking out the next day over What It Meant and whether he wanted it to happen again.  We certainly wouldn't find him sharing a stationary bike with Touga on the Student Council balcony chatting like old times.  Their relationship, at least on camera, is much closer to the relationship between brothers than between lovers, as we would expect of childhood friends.  Any homoerotic undertones we want to read into it are purely in our own imaginations (though I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Touga, at least, is conscious of those undertones and ready to exploit them at need).

ETA: Also, OITL, fantastic post!

Last edited by satyreyes (11-11-2008 06:11:37 PM)

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#8 | Back to Top11-11-2008 07:30:41 PM

J-Syxx
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

aake Miki and Kozue, for example.  We kid, but there's not much evidence of sexual tension between the Kaoru twins in the series.

I thought the tension was rather obvious.  Whether or not they had sex is probably very debatable (as is the case in most of the relationships in this show), but there are obvious points where Ikuhara was trying to play up the existence of some innate sexual thing going on between them.  If you deny this I would think you are only examinging Utena on a surface level, when the show was designed to be much more suggestive, subtextual, metaphorical, ambiguous, etc. than that.  I would also apply this to the scenes such as Touga and Saionji riding suggestively on a bike with each other, etc. that have caused people to ship them together.  The reason why people deabate this stuff is becuase Ikuahara put all these suggestive scenes into the show on purpose.  He left it to the audience to interpret, but I think saying there's definitively nothing sexual on any level in stuff like Nanami/Touga, Miki/Kozue, or even Touga/Saionji etc. is just taking it a bit too far.  Just my two cents.

That, I think, is why Saionji ends up taking sultry photos in the planetarium with Touga and Akio; it seems like something a self-confident, sexual, masculine person would do.  (Or to put it another way, turning the photo shoot down once Touga suggested it would make Saionji a pussy in his own mind.)

That scene was absolutely homoerotic.  And if it was obvious that it was homoerotic to the audience, it should be obvious to Saionji, as well.  I really see no evidence for your alternative explanation, no offense.  I also think Akio's nature is obviously very sexual, thus letting Touga and Saionji into his schemes would require him exerting something sexual over them.

The sword-pulling is not about romantic tension, though; it has much more to do with love-hate relationships.  Take Miki and Kozue, for example.  We kid, but there's not much evidence of sexual tension between the Kaoru twins in the series.  There is, however, abundant evidence of a love-hate relationship.  Similarly, yes, okay, Juri probably lurves Shiori, but that's not why Shiori pulls a sword out of her; it's because there's something about Juri, her seeming perfection, that Shiori wants to own and corrupt at the very same time.  The same goes for every sword duo with the possible exception of Utena and Anthy, who are probably a special case.  The sword as a symbol of a love-hate relationship makes more sense than as a symbol of romantic tension; after all, the sword you pull may represent the other person's soul, but it is still an implement of destruction.

I would agree with you reading the love-hate relationships into that, but I would note most of those in this show have some kind of suggestive romantic/sexual edge to them.  And just look at how sexually provocative the imagery is animated.  Or the fact that in the Black Rose saga a lot of the characters were gossiping about their swords being pulled like it was sex and acted like they were climaxing when it occurred.  There is definitely more to this than you suggest, I would assume.

Last edited by J-Syxx (11-11-2008 07:32:45 PM)

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#9 | Back to Top11-11-2008 07:35:45 PM

Giovanna
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

The whole situation of him joining Akio and Touga in the planetarium is still one I haven't made up my mind on. I don't think Saionji truly is sexually attracted to Touga, not in the series anyway, and yet I do think he wants to fuck him. That, I suspect, is why he ends up in the planetarium--Akio has the relationship with Touga that Saionji wants, deep down. Namely, he wants to fuck him. Not because he sexually desires him, but because in Saionji's mind, that's the only language Touga understands, the only arena they could battle in where he could, literally, come out on top. And have it mean something.

But then...how wrong is he? Is that not a language Touga understands perfectly well? Saionji's wrong in thinking that's the bottom line and not the symbol. Akio doesn't control Touga because he fucks him, he fucks Touga because he controls him. Saionji has it backwards, but he obviously sees the connection, and envies it. I've always assumed whether he sleeps with Akio and Touga or not, somewhere in his presence in that situation is, on someone's part, a reason for Saionji to see that sort of sexual interaction, that he would identify as what he wants.

It's a somewhat similar case to Nanami, with an opposite reaction. Nanami sees Akio and Anthy together and recognizes it. Did she really want that? Maybe yes, maybe no, but becoming aware of it made her have to deal with it somehow. She dealt by freaking the fuck out. Saionji sees in Akio and Touga a situation he wishes he were in. A power over Touga, who has always had the upper hand. How does Saionji deal with it? Hard to say. That he seems closer, happier with Touga afterward suggests a few possibilities, one of the easier being that yes, he fucks him that night. Another is that simply seeing the situation, even if it's not him in control, shows him Touga's not always in control either, and maybe that's enough to satisfy him. I almost want to say it is, because in so many other situation Saionji seems to want to let go of his own behaviors more than he lets on. Maybe he really wanted an excuse, any excuse, to forgive Touga, even if it's not going to have the graphic satisfaction of getting to top him, sexually or otherwise. Maybe it's enough to know Touga doesn't always win.

In summary, I think Saionji does want to have sex with Touga, but at the same time, you can't say it's a sexual attraction. Weird, I know. emot-kekeemot-keke


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
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#10 | Back to Top11-11-2008 08:28:39 PM

OnlyInThisLight
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

Woah, woah, J-Syxx, satyreyes wasn't denying the show of it's sexuality.  He was only stating that just because things in SKU are painted in a sexual sleaze, doesn't necessarily mean there is always banging going on.  Take Kozue and Miki.  There is strong evidence to support that Kozue has a an attraction to her brother that is sexual, and there is speculation about sexual experimentation between the two as children.  Does this mean that they are having sex with each other during the series, just because Kozue licks his ear while he's sleeping?  satyreyes only meant that there is no sexual tension, with sexual tension meaning, in this case, that they both want to fuck eachother.   It's not so much a tension between these two, it is more like a lingering aftertaste that taints their sibling relationship with guilt.  Or, like for Nanami, an unnamed fear that such a thing is destined to happen as you grow older between people of the opposing gender, even if you're related.  In both cases, through various means, sex has been wrongly mistaken for love.

Sex is prevalent, but sometimes it is more of theme than an actual occurrence in SKU. 

Seeing half-nudity and automatically assuming it means two characters are bonking, and overlooking a character's psychology and the fact that even real things in SKU are sometimes only symbolic --that, I think, is only examining Utena on a surface level.


Giovanna wrote:

In summary, I think Saionji does want to have sex with Touga, but at the same time, you can't say it's a sexual attraction. Weird, I know. emot-kekeemot-keke

That is so fucked up, but makes sense.  I like.


ETA:  Not bad yourself, Sat! emot-wink

Last edited by OnlyInThisLight (11-11-2008 08:30:54 PM)

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#11 | Back to Top11-12-2008 12:00:38 AM

satyreyes
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

J-Syxx wrote:

We kid, but there's not much evidence of sexual tension between the Kaoru twins in the series.

I thought the tension was rather obvious.  Whether or not they had sex is probably very debatable (as is the case in most of the relationships in this show), but there are obvious points where Ikuhara was trying to play up the existence of some innate sexual thing going on between them.

There's a nearby thread that's examining this very question.  In the end, I more or less agree with OITL above; Kozue's view of Miki seems to be sort of proto-sexual, and there may well have been some innocent messing around between them when they were younger, but I don't think Miki sees his sister that way.  Kozue certainly does use sex with other boys to manipulate Miki, but she's not obviously trying to make him lust after her; she's trying to make him ashamed of her, to pollute what Katz called his "sacred spaces" in the other thread -- in short, to make him pay attention to her.  She uses sex because it's easy and because he can't confront her about it.  At least, that's one theory that I think the evidence can bear out.  Could they be screwing on the side?  Sure, but that's clearly crossing the line into fanon.

[Ikuhara] left it to the audience to interpret, but I think saying there's definitively nothing sexual on any level in stuff like Nanami/Touga, Miki/Kozue, or even Touga/Saionji etc. is just taking it a bit too far.  Just my two cents.

Oh, heavens, I agree!  Utena is far too complex a work to say that there is definitely no sexual content in any relationship.  I don't think Utena and Anthy are lesbians, for example, but the potential for that kind of love may very well exist in their relationship, and if you wanted to write a fanfic about one steamy night they shared under the constellation Gemini, I'd read it.  The great thing about this show's characters is that they are human, and as such they are inconsistent and conflicted.  My point here was just that the evidence does not clearly indicate that Touga's next lover will find a green hair on his crotch.

That scene [the photo shoot] was absolutely homoerotic.  And if it was obvious that it was homoerotic to the audience, it should be obvious to Saionji, as well.

Certainly the scene is homoerotic -- though I'm less sure than you are that Saionji realized that.  He is almost as oblivious as Utena in his way.  Regardless, the fact that the scene has homoerotic subtext does not mean that any horizontal inverted mambo took place during or after the shoot.  It's more likely to be SKU's usual deployment of sexuality as a symbol of a corrupt vision of adulthood that stresses power over nobility.  Notice the topic of conversation in this scene: the crusade for world revolution and the exploitation of Utena to achieve that goal.  These are a bunch of debauched adults who have forgotten, or never knew, why revolution is important in the first place.

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#12 | Back to Top11-12-2008 07:13:24 AM

Bluesky
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

Or he could have just been beaten as a child.


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#13 | Back to Top11-12-2008 12:36:42 PM

J-Syxx
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

Woah, woah, J-Syxx, satyreyes wasn't denying the show of it's sexuality.  He was only stating that just because things in SKU are painted in a sexual sleaze, doesn't necessarily mean there is always banging going on.  Take Kozue and Miki.

Yeah I agree with that, but he said sexual tension.  That and banging someone are obviously two different things.  I would also assume Miki doesn't want his sis like that (perhpas if they did mess around, most likely in "the garden" lol, than not any more), but I'm not 100% convinced it's true vice versa.

There is strong evidence to support that Kozue has a an attraction to her brother that is sexual, and there is speculation about sexual experimentation between the two as children.  Does this mean that they are having sex with each other during the series, just because Kozue licks his ear while he's sleeping?  satyreyes only meant that there is no sexual tension, with sexual tension meaning, in this case, that they both want to fuck eachother.   It's not so much a tension between these two, it is more like a lingering aftertaste that taints their sibling relationship with guilt.  Or, like for Nanami, an unnamed fear that such a thing is destined to happen as you grow older between people of the opposing gender, even if you're related.  In both cases, through various means, sex has been wrongly mistaken for love.

Once scene I thought was interesting was when Kouzue went down on Anthy.  I sorta got the impression that she did that because Miki's obviously has the hots for Anthy, and this would be a way of getting to him through her.  Just a thought.

Sex is prevalent, but sometimes it is more of theme than an actual occurrence in SKU.

I agree, but this theme is often left somewhat ambiguous, so there may be more than one explanation in some cases to what actually happened.

Seeing half-nudity and automatically assuming it means two characters are bonking, and overlooking a character's psychology and the fact that even real things in SKU are sometimes only symbolic --that, I think, is only examining Utena on a surface level.

I didn't say you were examining it on a surface level, but if you believed that you would be.  Not talking about you, but most anime fans are like that and don't think subtext exists.  They will only believe something is homosexual when they actually show the characters doing the deed.  For one that isn't even subtext, I met several people who think Kaorin from Azumanga Daioh is straight as an arrow.  It's absolutely ridiculous.

And obviously only reading things by sexy imagery would be kinda dumb, that's why I asked this as a question not stated it as a fact.  Although personally I think you are over psycho-analyzing Saionji a bit. 

Certainly the scene is homoerotic -- though I'm less sure than you are that Saionji realized that.  He is almost as oblivious as Utena in his way.  Regardless, the fact that the scene has homoerotic subtext does not mean that any horizontal inverted mambo took place during or after the shoot.  It's more likely to be SKU's usual deployment of sexuality as a symbol of a corrupt vision of adulthood that stresses power over nobility.  Notice the topic of conversation in this scene: the crusade for world revolution and the exploitation of Utena to achieve that goal.  These are a bunch of debauched adults who have forgotten, or never knew, why revolution is important in the first place.

I don't think I would really call it subtext, it was more like homoerotic text.  If it does have that theme you mention, which I would agree it does, than wouldn't it imply they were doing something sexual?  Also again I see no evidence that Saionji was oblivious.  I just watched this scene again, and he seemed to be a very willing participant and there was really nothing saying he was that clueless.  Perhaps he was reluctant in previous episodes, but at this point I don't think he was.

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#14 | Back to Top11-12-2008 01:09:50 PM

satyreyes
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From: New Orleans, Louisiana
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

J-Syxx wrote:

Although personally I think you are over psycho-analyzing Saionji a bit.

Ha ha, over-psychoanalysis is what we do here.  Get used to it.  emot-tongue

J-Syxx wrote:

satyreyes wrote:

Certainly the scene is homoerotic -- though I'm less sure than you are that Saionji realized that.  He is almost as oblivious as Utena in his way.  Regardless, the fact that the scene has homoerotic subtext does not mean that any horizontal inverted mambo took place during or after the shoot.  It's more likely to be SKU's usual deployment of sexuality as a symbol of a corrupt vision of adulthood that stresses power over nobility. . . .

I don't think I would really call it subtext, it was more like homoerotic text.  If it does have that theme you mention, which I would agree it does, than wouldn't it imply they were doing something sexual?

In the broadest sense, I agree that they were doing something sexual; taking open-shirt pictures in provocative poses is going to have a sexual subtext no matter how you frame it.  But let me get at this from another angle.  Do we have any evidence that Touga is gay?  I know this is a bit of a cockeyed question.  He has sex with Akio, so the presumption would seem to be that Touga likes men.  But Touga clearly has at least one other very powerful reason to have sex with Akio: sex makes him part of the inner circle.  Akio reveals more of his plans to Touga while the two are being intimate than at any other time.  Maybe Touga is enjoying himself and maybe he isn't, but the real reason he's there is not to suck off the Chairman but to suck up to him.  It's about cynically using sex for power.  (Sex is always about power in SKU.)  By the same logic, even if we grant that Saionji knows he's doing something homoerotic at the photo shoot, it doesn't necessarily follow that he's homosexual, that he's attracted to Touga, or that he wishes Touga had shacked up with him.  It's just as likely -- more likely, really, considering how rarely sex has anything to do with sexual attraction in the SKU universe -- that he's following in Touga's footsteps as someone who's learning how to use his sexuality as a weapon.

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#15 | Back to Top11-12-2008 02:03:45 PM

Seitokaichou
Knight of Gates
From: 鳳学園
Registered: 05-20-2008
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

satyreyes wrote:

But let me get at this from another angle.  Do we have any evidence that Touga is gay?  I know this is a bit of a cockeyed question.  He has sex with Akio, so the presumption would seem to be that Touga likes men.  But Touga clearly has at least one other very powerful reason to have sex with Akio: sex makes him part of the inner circle.  Akio reveals more of his plans to Touga while the two are being intimate than at any other time.  Maybe Touga is enjoying himself and maybe he isn't, but the real reason he's there is not to suck off the Chairman but to suck up to him.  It's about cynically using sex for power.  (Sex is always about power in SKU.)

Thank you. What you said up there truly made my day.


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#16 | Back to Top11-12-2008 06:58:48 PM

Etrangere
Rose Smilee
From: Paris
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 134
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

Do we have any evidence that Touga is gay?  I know this is a bit of a cockeyed question.  He has sex with Akio, so the presumption would seem to be that Touga likes men.  But Touga clearly has at least one other very powerful reason to have sex with Akio: sex makes him part of the inner circle.

There are different ways to determine sexual identities - self identity, actual sexual activities, and claimed sexual desire - all of them are problematic, some of them more than others. In any case it's always a social construct. When talking about fictionnal characters, it becomes something of a remote problem since they're not actual person who'd be hurt by our presumption to assign identities to them.
We're never exactly in Touga's head, so we can't really say if he feels sexual desire for men or not. Then again, we can't really say that Utena feels sexual desires for women (she certainly says she doesn't).
So, hmm, I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but... when we see a scene with that kind of homoerotic subtext Touga's involved with, we can decide to read him as bisexual - we're making the construction. Or we could rationalize it away as you did. Both are legitimate interpretations, as long as the scene itself isn't ignored.

I wouldn't say that sex isn't about sexual attraction in the SKUniverse. Sure, it's about power too, but so it is in real life, more often than not (Because power is an integral part of most human relationships in general).


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#17 | Back to Top11-12-2008 07:23:27 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

satyreyes wrote:

Touga not being teh ghey

You know, it would almost cheapen their relationship for Touga to be gay or even openly bisexual. It's so obviously motivated by power rather than lust in either of their parts. Now, I do think Touga is bisexual in a philosophical sense. Contrary to what he tells Nanami in the pursuit of being a raging dick, if you asked him, I think he'd say 'whatever you want to get off with, why not?' In practice I suspect he strongly favors women. In other words, a situation where I don't see him going home at night feeling disgusted because he was touching a man.

Saionji, however, I don't see being so open about that. You can almost hear the voice of his father bellowing 'Don't be a fucking fag.' You know. In Japanese. If anything really gives me a hard time about Saionji's involvement in their happygay photography sessions, it's that. I somehow can't imagine Saionji is as comfortable with homosexuality at this point as Touga is.

Then again maybe he found some relief in seeing being gay actually meant you bent over and let a guy put something in your butt. Again back to his home life but it seems so easy to imagine him hearing he's acting like a little queer because he cried over something or appeared too sensitive. The hard edges on his personality are so false you have to assume he learned to suppress them for some reason. That's one possible answer of many.


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#18 | Back to Top11-12-2008 08:43:59 PM

hollow_rose
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From: Ohio
Registered: 10-26-2008
Posts: 1074

Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

Here's a slightly different take on the Saionji/Touga/ do they want to have sex bit.

The thing that seems most important to Saionji in the series is friendship. It's one of his duel titles and his need for Anthy stems from his friendship/rivalry with Touga.

If he does have sex with Touga during the series (not sure he does, but if he did) it might just be a way to get close to Touga as a friend. As weird as that sounds. But Touga does not seem to relate to people other than through sex; it seems to be the only way he can express himself (possibly because of his own trauma in that area), and Saionji might have felt the only way he could be close to his friend was to have sex with him. But it might not mean the same thing to him that it did to Touga (who might see it as a power trip, having been groomed by Akio to view sex in this way).

Again I'm not even sure one can say if they do have sex. But if they did I think Saionji's friendship would be a main motivation on his side.


20 threads dead so far.

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#19 | Back to Top11-13-2008 02:54:59 AM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

hollow_rose wrote:

Here's a slightly different take on the Saionji/Touga/ do they want to have sex bit.

The thing that seems most important to Saionji in the series is friendship. It's one of his duel titles and his need for Anthy stems from his friendship/rivalry with Touga.

If he does have sex with Touga during the series (not sure he does, but if he did) it might just be a way to get close to Touga as a friend. As weird as that sounds. But Touga does not seem to relate to people other than through sex; it seems to be the only way he can express himself (possibly because of his own trauma in that area), and Saionji might have felt the only way he could be close to his friend was to have sex with him. But it might not mean the same thing to him that it did to Touga (who might see it as a power trip, having been groomed by Akio to view sex in this way).

Again I'm not even sure one can say if they do have sex. But if they did I think Saionji's friendship would be a main motivation on his side.

I'd say you're closest to how I view the relationship, actually -- and though it's been said sex in SKU is about power over others, there's also a very strong thread of sex-as-intimacy running through the show, which is where the problems with the Kozue/Miki, Nanami/Touga, Utena/Anthy, Ruka/Juri, Mikage/Mamiya et al relationships stems from. One of the things about adolescence and growing up is developing "adult" relationships, and it's so often drummed into our skulls that having sex with someone will make some unbreakable bond between the two individuals involved. This is patently untrue, but when you are young and searching for an identity and your place in the world? You have to make that mistake for yourself. So, to some degree I think it really is a matter of searching for a different kind of intimacy, and in regards to Touga it's something Nanami and Saionji have in common. I don't think either of them want to screw him, exactly -- particularly not Nanami -- but it's implied that that is the only way Touga is interested in someone. So, I don't know. I could likely go on for hours about this, because as I said it's echoed and explored a lot in other relationships on the show. Mikage and Mamiya versus Nemuro and Mikage is a prime example, but Kozue and Miki's relationship evolution shows the same thing. It goes from the innocence of a childhood connection to the emotional minefield of an "adult" connection, and the exploration of how this might work is not an easy one.

Of course, I probably made no sense whatsoever because my head hurts. I'm going to go eat a muffin now and shut up.


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#20 | Back to Top11-13-2008 09:08:56 AM

Bluesky
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Registered: 10-25-2008
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

Or he could be autistic.


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#21 | Back to Top11-13-2008 03:23:35 PM

J-Syxx
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Registered: 04-25-2007
Posts: 102

Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

I'd definitely say Touga is canon bi-sexual.  To counter the argument that he does it with Akio for power which may be partially true, there was also the scene where he was obviously hitting on Miki saying he was cuter than his sister right after he banged her.

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#22 | Back to Top11-18-2008 12:18:04 AM

Seitokaichou
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From: 鳳学園
Registered: 05-20-2008
Posts: 2047
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

Regarding Touga's sexuality:

85)     "He isn't gay."

84)     "Did you here me??? He isn't gay."

83)     "Let me make myself perfectly clear here: He is not gay."

82)     "But, hell, he swings both ways."

Quoted from 101 Reasons Why We Love Touga...

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#23 | Back to Top11-18-2008 12:48:32 AM

hollow_rose
Egghead
From: Ohio
Registered: 10-26-2008
Posts: 1074

Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

J-Syxx wrote:

I'd definitely say Touga is canon bi-sexual.  To counter the argument that he does it with Akio for power which may be partially true, there was also the scene where he was obviously hitting on Miki saying he was cuter than his sister right after he banged her.

I definitely think he's bi. He might never call himself that or admit to it but he is such a sexual animal that I don't think he would limit himself to one sex or the other. For him, it's also an important way of expressing himself, as I think I explored above when discussing his relationship to Saionji. And of course, there is the idea that the cast, as adolescents, are all into sexual exploration of all sorts, due to their ages. They're still figuring that sort of thing out.


20 threads dead so far.

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#24 | Back to Top11-18-2008 10:24:09 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6018
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

hollow_rose wrote:

he is such a sexual animal that I don't think he would limit himself to one sex or the other.

This is about exactly how I think of it. He's a hedonist, and he likes the best of everything-- why limit himself to one sex when there's all sorts of other things that he could explore?

Also:

http://www.ohtori.nu/galerie/d/10562-2/Series_ep25_259.jpg

Normally I wouldn't bother to analyze sexual position, as there are a lot of factors involved, but if this was a relationship where Touga was strictly whoring himself for power (no, I don't put it past him) one would expect to see a more traditional, less... err, exuberant.... position for anal sex. Frankly, you'd have to be enjoying it to want to work that hard for it.

I do have the opinion that Touga was hitting on Miki for a specific purpose, but I already wrote an essay about that one so I'll not belabor the point.




Wait, who was this thread about again? emot-confused


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#25 | Back to Top11-19-2008 02:26:13 AM

Seitokaichou
Knight of Gates
From: 鳳学園
Registered: 05-20-2008
Posts: 2047
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Re: The reason Saionji is a dick.

Yasha wrote:

Wait, who was this thread about again? emot-confused

Haha! The title should be edited to - Touga is the dick. Lol.


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