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#1 | Back to Top12-08-2008 10:38:54 PM

New Student
From: California
Registered: 12-03-2008
Posts: 8

Movie- the cars: how you took them and what did you think

i took them as a way to get into the world, a source of freedom
i did not have a phallic idea of them until someone pointed it out to me.
i thought it was cool, and w/o the shadow girls, they should have turned touga or saionji into a car. lol:grin:
i like the idea of the pink mach 6, it was hot.

Cristal Morris, if you can hear me. you are my anthy.



#2 | Back to Top12-09-2008 06:26:43 PM

Registered: 12-08-2008
Posts: 341

Re: Movie- the cars: how you took them and what did you think

Utena turning into a car, she literately becomes the vehicle in which to transport (to free) Anthy away from the twisted world of Ohtori Academy. Of course, this also means Utena the car is in a passive role here. She won't be able to start up unless Anthy inserts the car key (hence the reason I always consider Anthy to be the dominant one in the relationship, just because of the whole inserting concept...) and desires to leave Ohtori Academy for her own sake.

Wakaba's transformation into a 4 wheel drive utility vehicle really tells you about her character. Although not as dashing as Utena's transformation, Wakaba the cat is sturdy and durabile---everything a friend is supposed to stand for.



#3 | Back to Top12-10-2008 11:31:36 AM

Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684

Re: Movie- the cars: how you took them and what did you think

These are mostly reposts from Miki & his amazing Kozue car, reorganized for this thread.

Why Cars?

I think choosing to transform characters into cars was probably the next thing to an arbitrary decision.  Just because it tickled Ikuhara's fancy.  But the car transformation ends up meaning something, and the car becomes an apt metaphor.  If the transformation had been into a dragon, I probably would have thought it was cooler.  If it had been birds or something, I'd have thought it was more poetic.

Why do characters turn into cars?

The one instance we see of someone turning into a car suggests that turning into a car is analogous with dedicating one's whole self to a goal--in Utena's case, change and escape to the "outside world."  This is suggested by the fact that the car wash springs up right after Utena says, "let's go," and by the way she doesn't seem specifically afraid of it--she just repeats her intention to go to the outside world as it sucks her in.

It's not the form of the car that Utena has chosen, it's the fact Utena has chosen, and the fact that Utena is still attempting to go forward when the car wash springs up.  It's the magic of Ohtori, in a way.  Utena has resolved her exact goal and verbalized it--let's go to the outside world.  In the context of leaving Ohtori, Utena becomes the needed transportation.  (It's a major plot point that Anthy has to make her own choice to change her life by leaving Ohtori.  So Utena becomes a vehicle for that change, which, in a way, is what she always is--Utena is something that helps Anthy change her life.  Utena also becomes unable to act on her own--because she gave her "key" to Anthy.  Utena is unable to act at that point not just because she's physically turned in a car that requires a driver, but rather because Anthy can only change if Anthy wants to.  Utena can't actually save Anthy...Anthy has to save herself--this is a major theme in both movie and series.)

It's not my opinion that the characters/student body said to themselves, "I should like to turn into a car for the purpose of either supporting to preventing change in Ohtori."  That would be a fairly odd thing to think.  No one really "chooses" to turn into a car.  They make other choices and those choices are exhibited by whether they turn into a car, what kind of car they turn into, and when that transformation occurs.

Rather, I contend it's a storytelling device.  Because the story has people turning into cars, and because one of the crucial themes of the story is "Are you going to take responsibility for your own life, become an adult, and leave Ohtori?  Or are you going to absolve yourself of any responsibility for your future, stay an adolescent, and remain at Ohtori?" we have these two different teams of cars.  The former team, with their high goals, gets individuality; the latter team, lacking mature identity, loses most of their individuality in their car form.  The former team uses their car form to leave Ohtori, or to assist others leaving Ohtori; the latter team uses their car form to prevent others from bringing change to Ohtori by leaving campus.

Who/what is the car horde?

We know that in the anime the students are basically a hero-worshipping, faceless mob with a hostility toward the Rose Bride.  Ikuhara may be taking a "people suck, but there are some individual persons who don't" sort of attitude toward the student body.

Which leads to the question...If Akio pulled a sword from a faceless student at Ohtori, would it be a unique sword like the ones drawn from the Duellists, or would it be a sword identical to the swords of human hatred?  I'm guessing the latter.  The cars are similar.  For the Duellists, and for any other character who has a desire to grow up and leave Ohtori (like Wakaba), their car form is unique to them.  For the "faceless masses" of the student body, who live satisfied with the unchanging Ohtori, their car form is one of the black car swarm.

Once the "race" begins, it's like armageddon for Ohtori, and everyone is on a side, will they or no.  Your average student at Ohtori would be unaware of Ohtori's true nature, or why they were there.  But if assume that Ohtori's nature applies to everyone on campus, the other students are also there because they aren't ready to let go of something in their past and/or grow up.  Ohtori, as it is, is a place of safety from the challenges of wide world outside.  Most of the students don't want to see that reality, take responsibility for their lives, and let go of their baggage.  Utena and Anthy represent a threat to the safety of their ignorance; so I feel the student body is the horde (or part of it).  But this only happens because it's such a huge event in Ohtori-history.

But that's a pet theory.  Overall, the swarm of black cars are similar to swords of hate or the black rose duellists in the series.  They are the hostility of humanity at large.

Cars as Swords of Hate

The cars are the movie's version of the million swords of human hatred.  The swords are part of each person, symbolic of the hatred within that person (you hear them whisper, "Witch, cursed witch").  From what we see in the movie, by contrast, the cars are the whole of a person.  The swords seek to punish Anthy for "sealing Dios" by assaulting her.  The cars attack Anthy as well, but the context of their appearance and actions implies that they are attempting to punish Anthy by keeping her from leaving Ohtori.

That is why I put the cars on two teams: the Duellists' team, which seeks to assist Anthy in reaching the outside world (and expresses an intent to join her there someday), and the Swarm, which seeks to prevent Anthy from reaching the outside world (and, in contrast, want to remain 'living corpses' in Ohtori forever).

In the Duellists' "hearts", there is a desire for revolution/freedom from Ohtori.  In the Swarm's "hearts", there is a desire for stasis/to remain in Ohtori.  The Duellists are individuals, important characters we know.  The Swarm is also necessarily made up of individuals, some of whom we know (like Shiori and Kozue).  And I feel that it does consist partially of the student body at Ohtori. 

But even if you don't think the student body has anything to do with it, the swords and the cars generally symbolize the hostility of the groupthinking humanity-at-large...  "everyone else".

Cars as Black Rose Duellists

The Black Rose is not an unsuitable comparison to the horde.  The elevator ride is a ride into their own subconscious minds.  They do seem to be under some degree of control, but they open the door to that control willingly.  I could go further into the psychology of that, but basically they are being manipulated based on feelings that they already had inside them.  The manipulation is closer to total mind control than for the Student Council part because the Black Rose duellists aren't ready to be real, conscious duellists.  But their repressed feelings are powerful.  Most of the students at Ohtori must have repressed feelings--fears, etc. that could theoretically be used to transform them into Black Rose Duellists.

Or cars.  What is in someone's subconscious mind when they transform guides their transformation.  The unique characters with good intentions have one experience while the "faceless masses" turn into "faceless masses" as cars.

Why mob Anthy/Utena?

In the series, when we see the swords, it seems like they are saying... 'humanity' has in their hearts a fear of living without Dios...a tendency toward mob-mentality...a reflex to blame their plight on a scapegoat (Anthy, ostracized as a scarlet woman).  I would go so far as to say that 'humanity' assaults those that challenge their comfortable habits.  That's why the swords punish Anthy in the first place.  That's also why they awaken anew at the sight of the (new) Prince's sword.  Not only is the Prince above the "common man" (inciting jealousy), but the swords don't want any revolution.  Replace swords with cars here, and I think it all still applies.

Last edited by rhyaniwyn (12-10-2008 11:54:25 AM)



#4 | Back to Top10-16-2012 06:04:58 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2791

Re: Movie- the cars: how you took them and what did you think

They're a machine, phallic, tricked out, and but they don't need someone in the driver's seat. That last bit I like as much as the fact Utena lets Anthy ride (natch) and steer (ooh! the bravery).

Nobody gives the Kozue and Wakaba transformations the credit and Shiori has to insist she get some props for it.

Yeah, I think that's on purpose.

My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.



#5 | Back to Top10-16-2012 10:02:59 AM

Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1325

Re: Movie- the cars: how you took them and what did you think


After watching the movie, I cannot help but think that TV series' "main" Akio car is actually Mrs. Ohtori (thus making her the major character that she totally deserves to be), and the multiple minor Akio cars distracting Utena in the arena are all members of the doomed Ohtori Clan existing under Akio's control.

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