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Gougai! Gougai!

GUYS GUYS I JUST UPLOADED THE 1997 UTENA MUSICAL IN HIGH DEFINITION straight from the Japanese Blu-rays! i am now very tired goodnight

Also, our Secret Santa is going on! Come join in the fun!

#26 | Back to Top01-13-2009 06:20:44 PM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

Oh man, this discussion is painful for me to read. I want to contribute (so much!) but since I go on to say a lot of jumped-up-analysis about the million swords in my fic Roses Grow, I can't give away my secrets here. school-devil

I might post some of my random thoughts here after about 5 more chapters have been made public. emot-aaa In the meantime - great ideas everybody. I'm enjoying all your thoughts (and this thread gives me chills to read...)

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#27 | Back to Top01-16-2009 05:33:35 PM

pojypojy
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From: Italy
Registered: 01-05-2009
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

Just a wild thought that occurred to me while rewatching episode 37 and particularly this scene. Has it ever been debated why this is the only instance where we have Anthy in pain because of the swords, except from when those scenes we actually *see* the swords? It struck me as somewhat odd, and the only explanation I could come up with was that she was getting too far away from Ohtori during the car ride. This is probably... obvious?, but I'd still love to hear what you think about that scene.

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#28 | Back to Top01-16-2009 08:20:05 PM

Itsuke
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Registered: 12-08-2008
Posts: 341

Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

pojypojy: The swords do not have to be a physical presence. I think their attacks against Anthy come in wave. When they do attack, we as viewers do not necessarily have to see them (well, actually we do for a split second in that particular scene)

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#29 | Back to Top01-16-2009 09:43:50 PM

StarlightArcher
Miki Molester
From: Texas
Registered: 12-06-2006
Posts: 30

Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

I generally imagined that reaction of Anthy's as a representation of the kind of continuous pain Anthy experiences as the Rose Bride. Both the physical pain of the continuous impalement (http://www.ohtori.nu/galerie/v/series/e … 8.jpg.html) And the pain of the emotional abuse as well.


Why yes, I am made of Fabulous!

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#30 | Back to Top01-16-2009 10:03:42 PM

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

Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

This thread has been really helpful for me, since I'm in a RP that deals with a lot of these "Rose Bride" issues. It's been good to see what others think about it, so I'm not always the one trying to interpret things in my own head all the time. Thanks everyone for the input.


20 threads dead so far.

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#31 | Back to Top01-17-2009 08:09:45 AM

pojypojy
Miki Molester
From: Italy
Registered: 01-05-2009
Posts: 33
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

Itsuke wrote:

pojypojy: The swords do not have to be a physical presence. I think their attacks against Anthy come in wave. When they do attack, we as viewers do not necessarily have to see them (well, actually we do for a split second in that particular scene)

*scratches chin* that's not exactly what I meant (and that should teach me not to post at 3 AM, lol); what struck me as worth noticing is the fact that the scene took place in Akio's car, and you get the feeling (*I* got the feeling, at least) that Akio got Anthy there on purpose, because he knew it would affect her (more than usual?). It's presented more as a deliberate choice on Akio's part rather than an "and besides Anthy is getting through this, too". I think it's interesting that we get to see her pain in a situation where the duelists seem to have the ultimate epiphany - on the road towards the Ends of the world. Idk, I wonder if Anthy being caged in Ohtori (= a closed, predictable world with rules that, albeit cruel, she's acquainted with) also means she's somewhat protected; as if during the car ride Akio was telling her, "see, you think you're having a hard time being around me, but if you ever tried to get out of this, you're just not going to handle it."

I guess I just can't help but interpreting Utena's main theme as ultimately similar to that of Evangelion *coughcoughonlymuchbettercoughcough* - the choice between being safe in the world you already know, no matter how it's doing you no good, and go outside and face the unknown, but finally free to be yourself. emot-dance

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#32 | Back to Top01-17-2009 03:05:48 PM

Ragnarok
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From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

pojypojy wrote:

I guess I just can't help but interpreting Utena's main theme as ultimately similar to that of Evangelion *coughcoughonlymuchbettercoughcough* - the choice between being safe in the world you already know, no matter how it's doing you no good, and go outside and face the unknown, but finally free to be yourself. emot-dance

Yes, I think so too. Since you bring up the duellist's experiences in Akio's car, it fits together quite well. When the seitokai are taken on his drives they're given a taste of adult life. They don't become genuine adults, just as Akio himself is not genuine despite having the trappings of an adult, rather they're artificially matured while the child-based drives continue to fuel their actions. For Anthy it could be Akio's way (or giving him the benefit of the doubt, the series' way) of showing how she cannot leave Ohtori/become an adult without experiencing an increase in her already eternal torture. Of course, when she does finally choose to leave at the end of the series, it's not as Akio's type of adult nor with any of that pain.


http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r9/RagnarokIII/spyschool.jpg

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#33 | Back to Top01-18-2009 02:17:30 AM

pojypojy
Miki Molester
From: Italy
Registered: 01-05-2009
Posts: 33
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

Ragnarok wrote:

They don't become genuine adults, just as Akio himself is not genuine despite having the trappings of an adult

I agree. I think Akio's flawed logic re:adulthood is clear in the last things he tells Mikage:

Akio:  I exploited the illusion you cherished in your memory so much that you even halted your own time.
Akio:  The period where you hid the possibility in your heart, not growing up, was useful.
Akio:  However, that's all over.
Akio:  From now on, the path before you is not prepared.
Akio:  You, graduate now.

There's  a double layer to Akio's words, IMO - he clearly defines Mikage's inability to move on as an exploitable weakness, but at the same time, he kicks him out of Ohtori as if it was a punishment. "Sorry, high school is over. Sucks to be you." So... yeah, Akio has his own brand of Peter Pan syndrome :-D school-devil

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#34 | Back to Top11-14-2009 06:27:36 AM

minervana
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Registered: 10-10-2009
Posts: 246

Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

Ragnarok wrote:

My thoughts on that would be the sword of Dios draws the swords in, when Anthy's coffin is opened she ceases to be punished for sealing Dios away and ceases to contain the power of Dios within herself. This itself causes Anthy and her coffin to plunge away, they no longer have any support on their own to stay floating against reality. Utena in that moment becomes (as close to being) a prince (as possible) within the nature of the show or in the estimate of the swords. So they go for her first and, unsatisfied (either with an uneternal target or one that slips away) they wreck up the place. And then where do they go?

I think Ragnarok unlocked the key to the series here. If Utena became a prince, she would have been slaughtered by reality. Not because a prince is "too good for this world," it's just an unobtainable ideal. It requires a childish denial of human nature, and of what's really noble in humanity, which turns one's attempts to help into a greater harm--for the rescued and the rescuer. The only way to become a prince is to retreat into fantasy, or to fail by the standards of an ever expanding, ever more demanding clientele.

The swords head for Utena because they're disturbed, and they crave a scapegoat. They want everything to be "just like it was back then," forever and ever, without change. But Utena is an imperfect vessel for their hatred. She's not a prince, because princes can't exist. With nowhere to go, with no "safe outlet" to pin all their problems on, the swords destroy the whole charade. This is why it's key that Utena says "I failed...Sorry For being just a make-believe prince...forgive me..." because if she succeeded by her own standards, the cycle of victimhood, martyrdom and self-deception would have continued ad infinitum. She failed at fantasy, and thus won reality, as has been put better by others.

It's also impossible to "save" another person. Yes, Utena was instrumental in Anthy's emancipation. But Anthy had to free herself. You can connect with another person, love them, help them no matter what, even die for them. But you cannot save them; at best you can unlock their cage. Whether they leave it is not up to you.

There's an excellent essay by George Orwell called Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool. I only mention it because it contains this paragraph:

George Orwell wrote:

First of all, therefore, there is the vulgar, common-sense moral drawn by the Fool: ‘Don't relinquish power, don't give away your lands.’ But there is also another moral. Shakespeare never utters it in so many words, and it does not very much matter whether he was fully aware of it. It is contained in the story, which, after all, he made up, or altered to suit his purposes. It is: ‘Give away your lands if you want to, but don't expect to gain happiness by doing so. Probably you won't gain happiness. If you live for others, you must live for others, and not as a roundabout way of getting an advantage for yourself.

Akio embodies the "vulgar, common-sense moral." Utena partially embodies the other moral. When she opens Anthy's coffin, she's not trying to gain eternity, or miracles, or the power to revolutionize the world. She's not using Anthy as a roundabout means to her own ends; she's just trying to rescue Anthy, and finally meet her.

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#35 | Back to Top09-22-2013 08:49:32 AM

Zigzagzoom94
Wakaba Wrangler
From: United Kingdom
Registered: 05-25-2013
Posts: 15

Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

StarlightArcher wrote:

From the limited images the series provides, the prince doesn't appear to be target. Only once do the swords turn against a "prince" and her true achievement of "prince-ness" is widely debated. The true target of the swords appears to be the Rose Bride. So was the prince ever in danger from the swords? The mob attacked Anthy after it condemned her a witch. Why did they have swords at all? To destroy the overworked savior of all princesses? That seems to run counter to what they pleaded of Dios. I find it hard to believe the swords were ever intended for the prince. Not then and not during the series.

It isn't till Utena opens the coffin and reveals Anthy that they turn toward her. Why? Yes the swords represent hatred, but more likely they represent fear. Fear of change, fear (like many of the characters have) of life beyond the status-quo. Fear seems to be as equal a motivator in the series as any other emotion. Negative emotions such as jealousy, hatred, malice have their origins in fear.

So, what is the ultimate (and original) purpose of the swords? Who is their true target?

Well when the villagers came after Prince Dios to get him to help their daughters the reason they were carrying weapons was presumably to threaten Dios into complying. Sure, when they thought Dios was sealed away forever they attacked Anthy as revenge, but Akio's claim that the Hundred Swords would come after the prince still feels a bit fishy to me; it's possible that the angry villagers would accidentally kill Dios when he doesn't/can't go with them to save their daughters. Basically I can see why the swords would want to go after Anthy but not why they would attack who they perceive as a prince. The only possible reason I could think of would be that humanity now resents their sealed-away prince, having had to live without a prince to sort out all their problems for them. But anyway, my point is I think it's much more likely that Akio is incorrect when he says the swords will come after a prince. He might just be afraid of the swords because he doesn't know what they'll do without an Anthy to be their puncushion, and the real reason they specifically attack Utena was because she took the witch away from them, rather than because of the princeliness of her actions.

Of course this all assumes the swords are an independent body that is in some way defined by the attitudes of the villagers/humanity as a whole. Personally I really like the interpretation that the Hundred Swords are purely a metaphor for the suffering Anthy goes through as the Rose Bride, the suffering she makes herself go through because she thinks she deserves it and because she's spent so much time staying in this self-destructive relationship with Akio that she doesn't even see leaving Ohtori as an option (she may have been so traumatised by the villagers' attack that she honestly thinks that the outside world would be worse than the suffering she suffers now, the suffering that she's familiar with and has deadened herself to by putting on the part of an "emotionless doll"). This also means that when Akio says "I'm not the reason you're in pain, the world is" it's an even bigger case of bullshit; the fact that Anthy has to see what her beloved Dios has become and even sleep with him in an ironic perversion of her previous love is probably one of the biggest sources of suffering in her life!

Where does this leave the swords in the final episode? Well it's entirely possible they're manifested by Anthy's magic to act out her internal self-flaggelation. Given their destruction of the arena doesn't leave any lasting damage on the tower or the planetarium projector, I wouldn't even be surprised if the swords we're an illusion from Akio's projector (I like the idea that the pursuit of the Power of Dios is just something Akio and Anthy have made up and possibly even convinced themselves is real, but i'd have to put some more thought into this theory to flesh it out more).

Given this interpretation, it is interesting that Anthy's emotional torture is characterised as being stabbed by countless swords. You could see it as a reversal of her role in the duels where the champion pulls the Sword of Dios out of her, possibly hundreds of champions over the history of the dueling game treating her like a doll or a prize and having no real regard for her as a person. (I'm not even going to comment on all the Freudian imagery emot-biggrin )

Some people have suggested before that after the end of the show Utena is left being continually impaled by the Hundred Swords instead of Anthy and I actually think that fits in quite well with the idea of the swords being a metaphor for emotional pain. I'll have to check the exact order of events in the final episode but i'm pretty sure that the swords don't immediately attack Utena, they do it at the same time she says "I really...couldn't become a Prince.  I'm sorry, Himemiya. Sorry for ending up just a make-believe Prince...forgive me." She may have gained some degree of awareness that acting like a princess doesn't really help Anthy, she still thinks that she's failed in her attempts at rescue because she wasn't able get Anthy out of her coffin. If Utena was still at Ohtori academy this disappointment and pain over her own failure may well have been represented by shots of Utena bing impaled by swords, to go along with all the knife throwing and trains and inexplicale baseball games and other visual metaphors. But since the real world outside Ohtori has a lot less surreal imagery, all we would see would be Utena sitting in a building somewhere brooding and thinking "I wasn't able to save her".

(You guys don't mind me thread necro-ing, right? Sorry if I just repeated stuff that's already been said before but this thread gave me loads of new ideas I hadn't considered before emot-smile )


Sokka: Can your fortune telling explain that?! (points to volcano eruption)
Villager: Can your science explain why it rains?
Sokka: Yes! Yes it can!
~Avatar S01e14

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#36 | Back to Top09-23-2013 12:52:12 AM

satyreyes
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From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

Zigzagzoom94 wrote:

Fantastic ideas.

Thank you for this!  I agree with your feeling about why the villagers had weapons: they're moral cowards who planned to threaten Dios until he did the work that they ought to have been doing for themselves (with their own perfectly good swords).  While I can't prove it, I also like the idea that the "swords of humanity's hatred" in the finale might be created, sustained, and directed by Anthy's guilt rather than by anything the villagers intended.  If so, Akio may or may not understand this.  Even Anthy may or may not understand this.  (My guess would be that Anthy understands and Akio understands partially, but it's just intuition.)

Some people have suggested before that after the end of the show Utena is left being continually impaled by the Hundred Swords instead of Anthy and I actually think that fits in quite well with the idea of the swords being a metaphor for emotional pain. I'll have to check the exact order of events in the final episode but i'm pretty sure that the swords don't immediately attack Utena, they do it at the same time she says "I really...couldn't become a Prince.  I'm sorry, Himemiya. Sorry for ending up just a make-believe Prince...forgive me." She may have gained some degree of awareness that acting like a princess doesn't really help Anthy, she still thinks that she's failed in her attempts at rescue because she wasn't able get Anthy out of her coffin. If Utena was still at Ohtori academy this disappointment and pain over her own failure may well have been represented by shots of Utena bing impaled by swords, to go along with all the knife throwing and trains and inexplicale baseball games and other visual metaphors. But since the real world outside Ohtori has a lot less surreal imagery, all we would see would be Utena sitting in a building somewhere brooding and thinking "I wasn't able to save her".

Mmm hmm, the idea that Utena becomes the next Rose Bride (or at least the next person to be haunted by the swords) is one that gets tossed around sometimes.  There is undeniably a symmetry between Anthy protecting Dios and getting impaled for it, and Utena protecting Anthy and getting impaled for it.  On the other hand, there's also an antisymmetry.  Anthy protects Dios by imprisoning him, while Utena protects Anthy by liberating her (or, more precisely, helping her liberate herself).  Slightly more fundamentally, Anthy protects Dios by disempowering him, while Utena protects Anthy by empowering her.  So it seems a little odd to me that Anthy and Utena would share the same fate. 

You might say, "But satyreyes, you wicked genius, you've forgotten that Utena thinks she failed to help Anthy.  Utena could harbor guilt over that, the same way Anthy harbored guilt over what happened to Dios."  To that I would say, thank you, but I'm not a genius; and also, maybe that's right.  The situations leading to Utena's and Anthy's guilt are quite different, but it's true that both characters assume and accept a great deal of responsibility -- more than is healthy -- for the fate of another person, one whom they then fail or think they fail.  To me, though, it has to be decisive that Anthy actually did fail to protect Dios, and in fact created the circumstances that led to his corruption, while Utena did not fail Anthy at all.  That has to count for something, because it's not much of a revolution if everything ends up the same with a few of the names changed.  (Though Ambrose Bierce does define "revolution" as "an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.")

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#37 | Back to Top09-23-2013 02:10:17 AM

Kita-Ysabell
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Registered: 11-18-2012
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

I was just thinking about this a while ago, and... well, my copy of Damien still hasn't shown up, so I can't look up an exact quote, but there was something during the reinterpretation of Cain and Abel about how ordinary people dislike those who are exceptional.  Cain was somehow exceptional, so people made a story about him having killed his own brother.  Which he also did, because this is Damien and nothing can be not fucked up.

It reminds me of how Akio says that the Swords "stir at the sight of the Prince's sword"-- the prince is someone exceptional, and therefore, despised.  In fact, it's possible that even as the people depended on Dios when he was the Prince, they hunted him-- that mob sure did look well-armed, and they were quick enough to anger-- much like how people today idolize celebrities, but also revel in their downfall.


"Et in Arcadio ego..."

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#38 | Back to Top09-25-2013 01:01:12 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

I see it's time for that 'Did Utena get infested by Hate Swords at the end?' debate again emot-dance

Utena thinks she failed to help Anthy.  Utena could harbor guilt over that, the same way Anthy harbored guilt over what happened to Dios. <SKIP> The situations leading to Utena's and Anthy's guilt are quite different, but it's true that both characters assume and accept a great deal of responsibility -- more than is healthy -- for the fate of another person, one whom they then fail or think they fail.

I totally agree with this part, and I think the story sets it up such that the audience would understand this.

As always, the creators' viewpoints can often give hints as to what they intend for their stories. 

I know SKU is a team effort, but Ikuhara is a major force behind it.  And he had the following to say on the topic of 'sacrifice':

Taken from http://natori-umi.tumblr.com/post/23541 … h-kunihiko

Mawaru Penguindrum Guide Book - Interview with Kunihiko Ikuhara (director)

Q: An essential part is that you not only abstract your depictions, but also use them in a symbol-like way. That’s what “Penguindrum” is really made of, right?
A: I thought… of Yuri’s past as having nuances of a girl who’s fallen into a love that’s not good for her. Like the story of a girl who is being made dependent on her boyfriend who hits her. Even if you warn her “you’re being tricked by that guy,” she won’t listen. The man is sneaky and skillfully controls the girl’s mind. To open the girl’s eyes, her friends need to sacrifice themselves. <Skip>

I think it is safe to say that the show intends to portray Utena’s ending as one of her having made a sacrifice to save Anthy.  As for how much of a sacrifice did she made  - did she or did she not get infested by swords – is one up to open interpretation.  Textual evidence – that with the Hate Swords rushing her while she laid broken and weak from her perceived failure – suggests that Utena does in fact get infested.  The way Anthy gets separated from Utena at the end of the Duel - and that she had to stay behind in Ohtori for weeks afterwards, instead of leaving at once - hints at how Utena' initial post-show situation is likely as dire as it is out of Double A's control.   By the time Anthy does leave Ohtori, it's like already a month of separation between the girls, during which Utena is no doubt much weakened from her misconception-stemmed sense of failure.  Just how well can such a person stand up the Hate Swords – which surround her disappearance in the TV canon? 

Of course, SKU’s ending is an open one.  But, sword-infestation or not, I think it is safe to say that Utena will remain in a bad state until she gets reunited with Anthy, who presumably knows how to deal with the Victor’s situation.  Will it take 10 years as Ep 37 hints at?  Who can say?

That has to count for something, because it's not much of a revolution if everything ends up the same with a few of the names changed.

As Anthy said near the end: “Now is my turn to come to you.  Wait for me, Utena!”  I’m assuming that to mean she has an idea of what to do to rescue Utena and finally break the cycle/destroy the swords?  This, again, is but one out of many valid possibilities, of course.

And, in the case of Ikuhara’s other work Penguindum, everything actually ends up worse for the protagonists, as the outcome went from

a) the Takakura brothers losing Himari to death, and keeping her in their memories as they both live on

to

b) Himari losing the Takakura brothers to Fate, and forgetting them as she alone lives on.


(PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 4 as of Oct 31, 2017) / (SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 43 as of Sep 08, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#39 | Back to Top09-27-2013 09:43:22 PM

zevrem
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

The people were angry because they'd been "deprived" of their prince, the strongman they had come to depend on and on whom they'd projected all their desires and fears. If Anthy hadn't taken the fall for her brother, then they would have blamed him for not being strong enough to fulfill their wishes and destroyed him.

When people are unable to get what they want by more "legitimate" means, they naturally turn to violence as a last resort. According to Umberto Eco, fascism attracts people whose ambitions have been frustrated and turn to mass movements as a result of the conflict between their overweening ambition and their sense of helplessness. Since mindless destruction is the only thing that can be efficiently implemented on a mass scale, the movement inevitably devolves into doing just that regardless of its original intentions.

The swords, to me, basically represent the psychology of fascism. The problems of the people are manifold and varied and impossible to simplify to the point that they can be solved by wide, sweeping, "mass-produced" solutions, and so when the Fuhrer or the collective inevitably fails them, they respond in the most frightened and primitive way possible.


The real purpose of elections is to make the people hate each other more than they hate their government.

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#40 | Back to Top09-28-2013 08:06:42 AM

zevrem
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Posts: 387

Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

More precisely, the swords represent a vague but personalized fear that has crystallized into a focused but impersonal anger and resolve that is completely alienated from the original intent. When this occurs on a large scale, you get fascism.


The real purpose of elections is to make the people hate each other more than they hate their government.

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#41 | Back to Top09-28-2013 08:22:11 AM

zevrem
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Posts: 387

Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

And I think the fact that the swords are very fine, aristocratic-looking swords is a good piece of symbolism. Basically, pretty much everybody who gravitates towards Dios does so out of a desire to BECOME Dios, or at least his princess. Every man wants to be King, but obviously, if everyone were King, then there would be no peasants, and therefore nobody would be King. The system gets overloaded at the top, and it collapses, and when it collapses, the rabble needs somebody to blame.

This is also partly inspired by this article, which I encourage you all to read.


The real purpose of elections is to make the people hate each other more than they hate their government.

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#42 | Back to Top09-28-2013 07:35:47 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2789

Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

zevrem wrote:

And I think the fact that the swords are very fine, aristocratic-looking swords is a good piece of symbolism. Basically, pretty much everybody who gravitates towards Dios does so out of a desire to BECOME Dios, or at least his princess. Every man wants to be King, but obviously, if everyone were King, then there would be no peasants, and therefore nobody would be King. The system gets overloaded at the top, and it collapses, and when it collapses, the rabble needs somebody to blame.

This is accurate to a degree, but overlooks that the system is a) rigged, b) artificial, and c) self-destructive anyway.

It also shortchanges the various characters we see pursuing the power of Dios, primarily due to their youth. These aren't adults representing an adult world or adult perspective, but children with a child's perspective, a teenager's perspective and one raised in a bubble of a world, at that. The only people feeling horribly persecuted in this situation are two people with severely arrested adolescence who can, as we see, walk away and choose not to because choosing not to would require them to act autonomously, be responsible, be genuinely vulnerable, and to have to grow up.

The fanciness of the tools of Akio and Anthy's persecution is the same frilliness of Shiori's car-form. If Shiori's going to be a car, she's damned well going to be a very pretty car. If Anthy's going to get stuck like a pincushion, she's going to be persecuted by the best of things. Akio wouldn't get stabbed by cheap knives, he's not going to get poisoned out of a Sprite can.

This isn't fascism, but aristocracy, and while fascism can hinge on an aristocracy, aristocracy does not require fascism. It's not even real aristocracy; it's always a child's view of aristocracy, a teen perspective of a world where adults can do whatever they want in some mysterious fashion and things were better when the teen for four or five because they didn't know and they had more toys.


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

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#43 | Back to Top09-28-2013 07:54:56 PM

zevrem
Banned
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

This is accurate to a degree, but overlooks that the system is a) rigged, b) artificial, and c) self-destructive anyway.

I don't see how this contradicts anything I said.

This isn't fascism, but aristocracy, and while fascism can hinge on an aristocracy, aristocracy does not require fascism. It's not even real aristocracy; it's always a child's view of aristocracy, a teen perspective of a world where adults can do whatever they want in some mysterious fashion and things were better when the teen for four or five because they didn't know and they had more toys.

Fascism kind of IS a child's perspective on aristocracy. Brownshirts see only the glory of "their" culture at its simplest and most brutish. They think their culture's magical and completely detached from material things and the need for caution.

One thing that a lot of people don't know is that the Nazis and the military HATED each other. The Nazi Party actually banned military personnel from joining it, and the military publicly criticized the very poorly conceived foreign and economic policies of the party. The Nazis loved to talk about the Will to Power and "discipline" and "hierarchy," but the organization that they pretended to worship would have loved to see their Fuhrer die.


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#44 | Back to Top09-28-2013 08:15:21 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

zevrem wrote:

Fascism kind of IS a child's perspective on aristocracy. Brownshirts see only the glory of "their" culture at its simplest and most brutish. They think their culture's magical and completely detached from material things and the need for caution.

There has never been a fascist government made up of children. Fascism is very much an adult arrangement. And, no, on the whole, I don't think you can say that fascists see "only the glory of 'their' culture at its simplest and most brutish" or that fascists, or those under a fascist government, inherently "think their culture's magical and completely detached from material things or the need for caution." Italian fascism, just as an example, exhibited caution on several fronts and had quite an interaction with and appreciation of "material things."

Further, I see little evidence that Anthy or Akio (or Dios) promote any extensive sense of strength in unity with the youth in their bubble-world. Self-supremacy is encouraged, a drive to individual authority and control (that is always, ultimately, dependent on those three who are two (or one)). The persecution Anthy and Akio receive is never even presented in any way that its decidedly not their own paranoia or masochism. "People want my good stuff! They hate me because they're jealous and I'm special! My sibling is special and people want to take them away from me!"

It's understandable when it's teenage jealousy, because Miki is young, Nanami is a little girl, but with ancient entities who are either a special kind of human or nonhuman things mimicking human traits? It becomes different, because they may not be able to grow out of it. But it isn't appreciably fascist.


zevrem wrote:

One thing that a lot of people don't know is that the Nazis and the military HATED each other. The Nazi Party actually banned military personnel from joining it, and the military publicly criticized the very poorly conceived foreign and economic policies of the party. The Nazis loved to talk about the Will to Power and "discipline" and "hierarchy," but the organization that they pretended to worship would have loved to see their Fuhrer die.

That's painting an awful lot of people with a very wide brush all at once. And, while all who lived or served under the banner of Nazi were not the worst of the Nazis, still, they were Nazis or serving as such. "The military" was not a uniform entity, nor is any military ever such, and while some in the military did plot assassinations of Hitler and others, while some armed forces did disagree with this policy or that, the militaries as a whole performed a role, having no agenda as a whole but diktat. Individuals are not groups, but groups are made of individuals. To choose one person out of an organization to exemplify it rather than another of equal or similar standing doesn't really prove anything about the organization itself.


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#45 | Back to Top09-28-2013 08:30:24 PM

zevrem
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

There has never been a fascist government made up of children. Fascism is very much an adult arrangement. And, no, on the whole, I don't think you can say that fascists see "only the glory of 'their' culture at its simplest and most brutish" or that fascists, or those under a fascist government, inherently "think their culture's magical and completely detached from material things or the need for caution." Italian fascism, just as an example, exhibited caution on several fronts and had quite an interaction with and appreciation of "material things."

I never said that they were "made up of children," but they generally make an unusually strong effort to reach out to the youth. It's a "young man's" ideology, one that's suited for those who like fighting and fiery speeches. And they have an appreciation of material and economic concerns the same way that a cargo cult has an appreciation of aerodynamics.

That's painting an awful lot of people with a very wide brush all at once. And, while all who lived or served under the banner of Nazi were not the worst of the Nazis, still, they were Nazis or serving as such. "The military" was not a uniform entity, nor is any military ever such, and while some in the military did plot assassinations of Hitler and others, while some armed forces did disagree with this policy or that, the militaries as a whole performed a role, having no agenda as a whole but diktat. Individuals are not groups, but groups are made of individuals. To choose one person out of an organization to exemplify it rather than another of equal or similar standing doesn't really prove anything about the organization itself.

I'm not painting with a "broad" brush. The Nazi party proper was a very clannish organization that was dedicated to extracting as much wealth as possible from the German population, and they had rules explicitly prohibiting military personnel from joining. It was a system built almost entirely on patronage and manufactured exclusivity. They had outreach organizations and mouthpieces, sure, but the actual party itself was tightly knit.

My point is that they made little attempt to actually understand the things that they claimed to venerate and looked at all things in terms of very broad, almost spiritual generalities.

Read "Vampire Economy" by Gunter Reimann. It's an account of the Reich during WWII from the perspective of business. It's both very unromantic and devoid of the standard moralistic condemnations that every good American student is taught.


The real purpose of elections is to make the people hate each other more than they hate their government.

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#46 | Back to Top09-28-2013 08:58:53 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

zevrem wrote:

I never said that they were "made up of children," but they generally make an unusually strong effort to reach out to the youth.

You said it "IS a child's perspective." It's not. It's a set of systems all the major of which were developed and instituted by adults. None of which reached out to "the youth" appreciably more than any other form of government does.


zevrem wrote:

It's a "young man's" ideology, one that's suited for those who like fighting and fiery speeches. And they have an appreciation of material and economic concerns the same way that a cargo cult has an appreciation of aerodynamics.

Okeh, this is more of the infantilizing that I think is doing a disservice to the reality of fascist governments and, for that matter, to cargo cults or cargo-cultish behavior. When a society has a new technology introduced to it, they can, indeed, appreciate it and even learn the workings of it. This has been happening all through human history.

zevrem wrote:

I'm not painting with a "broad" brush.

Wide brush. I didn't mistype.

And, yes, you are. And in ways that don't apply to the topic on hand, except, seemingly, to get in barbs like your "a lot of people don't know" or "good American student" that literally go nowhere except to suggest you've got some inside track, much akin to your correction of my adjective above.


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#47 | Back to Top09-30-2013 12:30:50 PM

zevrem
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Posts: 387

Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

You said it "IS a child's perspective." It's not. It's a set of systems all the major of which were developed and instituted by adults. None of which reached out to "the youth" appreciably more than any other form of government does.

Those institutions were built by adults, true, but fascism attempted to simplify them to the point that they could be incorporated into one giant monolithic "state."

And on the "fascism not reaching out to the youth" thing, the Hitler Youth had more than 2 million members. That's in a country with less than a third of the population of the modern US.

Okeh, this is more of the infantilizing that I think is doing a disservice to the reality of fascist governments and, for that matter, to cargo cults or cargo-cultish behavior. When a society has a new technology introduced to it, they can, indeed, appreciate it and even learn the workings of it. This has been happening all through human history.

The military warned against going to war for various economic reasons, and the Nazis ignored their warnings. Seriously, please read that book, or at least Chapter 12.

Wide brush. I didn't mistype.

I pointed to a specific policy that the Nazis had banning military personnel from joining inner Nazi Party proper. This is an unmistakable indicator of animosity between the Nazi Party and the army.


The real purpose of elections is to make the people hate each other more than they hate their government.

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#48 | Back to Top09-30-2013 12:37:47 PM

satyreyes
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From: New Orleans, Louisiana
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

DD, zevrem, does it seem to either of you like this discussion is getting a bit far afield from the nature of the million swords?  Unless we think that the swords literally represent Nazis, internal Third Reich politics don't seem particularly germane to the symbolism of the swords.  Please make your case for why this is relevant or move the discussion to GD.

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#49 | Back to Top09-30-2013 12:52:41 PM

zevrem
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

I started by likening the million swords of ressentiment to the psychology of fascism, and then it diverged from there.


The real purpose of elections is to make the people hate each other more than they hate their government.

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#50 | Back to Top09-30-2013 08:15:30 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Registered: 04-09-2007
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Re: The Million Swords & Their True Nature

I probably took it too far afield. Sorry all.

To pull it back a bit, I want to reiterate that, at least as of my last watching, it still seems awful self-induced to me, not external. Possibly, that's just because no one else is there. Maybe I'm projecting, because "it's all those jealous angry rabble out there!" seems, to me, a very narcissistic and aristocratic response, not something backed by any evidence in the series. Alien, unclean rabble with all their faces and their hate, not like the precious, insular thing that is Anthy/Akio (or Anthy/Utena, or Miki...). The sea of excuse around a private island of desperate sands and phantom palm trees.

(I need to finish my rewatch. Maybe I'll change my mind. emot-rolleyes)


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