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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 Top03-02-2009 08:15:01 PM

Aelanie
Black Rosarian
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 377

The (Fake) Prince and I: A conversation with myself about Movie Akio.

The (Fake) Prince and I: A self-examination on Movie Akio.

Q. So what's up with Movie Akio?
A. He is, first and most simply, Anthy's dead older brother. He was the prince...except that he wasn't. The Rose Prince of the fairytale never actually existed, but Akio was once Anthy's false prince.

Q. That sucks a bit, doesn't it? Akio, actually the prince?
A. Well see, the point is that he was a false prince. Even though he occupied the "position" of the prince, it was fake. He never deserved to hold that position because he was never really the prince. It was only because of Anthy's "magic".

Q. What is the nature of that "magic"?
A. To me Anthy's "magic" means her love for, and belief in, Akio as her prince. She had such feelings for him, such beliefs in him, until he stabbed her. That was when her magic "wore off", because her feelings for Akio couldn't sustain him in that false role any longer. That's when the "prince" died.

Q. Then what is the "Rose Prince"?
A. The Rose Prince is the false princehood that Akio possessed in Anthy's heart, and in the world of Ohtori. A real Rose Prince never actually existed.

Q. Do Movie Akio and Series Akio have the same origin?
A. No, and this is extremely important. Movie Akio is NOT the result of Dios being sealed. Dios does not exist in the movie continuity. Series Akio is the husk of Dios, the leftovers of humanity from Dios being sealed away by Anthy. As I said, Movie Akio was never the Rose Prince. There never was a Rose Prince to begin with. Akio was always Akio.

Q. Are Dios from the series, and the Rose Prince from the movie, the same thing?
A. No. They represent the same ideals, but Dios truly existed at one point, and he STILL exists as a phantom who is attempting to guide Utena, although his ability to influence things is limited. Dios does not exist in the movie. That name is never mentioned, either in reference to the Prince, or the Sword. The Rose Prince of the movie never actually existed as a person. According to Akio's story over the phone, the Rose Prince was only such because of Anthy's "magic", and when that "magic" faded, the Rose Prince returned to being what he really was, the Lord of the Flies.

Q. Although it's a bit off-topic, do you want to rant a little about the Sword of Dios?
A. I certainly do. The sword Anthy offers Utena in the movie is NOT the Sword of Dios. Dios doesn't exist in the movie storyline. It is the Sword of the Prince, which is only a concept in the movie, not a person. But it's also important to remember that, after Anthy starts drawing the sword from Utena in the series, it's not the Sword of Dios either. It's Utena's soul sword, and before you ask why it looks identical, there are two reasons. One, because Utena's spirit embodies the same nobility and ideals that Dios embodied, and two, because it would allow them to reuse sword animation sequences more easily.

Q. Getting back on topic, what does being the "Lord of the Flies" mean?
A. There are three ways to interpret that.
#1. "Lord of the Flies" is one possible translation of Beelzebub, an ancient Hebrew deity that has since been conflated with Satan. This points to Akio as being a figurative "devil".
#2. The Japanese phrase used in this case is "Hae no Ou". "Hae" is a term for "fly" as an insect, but it can also be used as a derogatory term for "a person of no worth". This reading suggests Akio is a profoundly worthless person...a reading that won't meet with much argument I think.
#3. This third interpretation is the most complex and interesting. In the "Lord of the Flies" novel by William Golding, the Lord of the Flies does not actually exist. It is a vision or hallucination in the mind of a boy, one that represents not an external threat or evil, but the evil and primal fear inherent in human nature. This reading of the conversation highlights that Akio never existed as the prince. He is simply a representation of inner human evil, as well as the fear Anthy has of leaving the bounded space of Ohtori.

Q. So Movie Akio represents human evil? What about Series Akio's representation of an "adult"?
A. Those are completely different. Movie Akio does not represent adulthood or the adult world at all. He represents the notion that imperfect people can be idolized by the innocent to be better than they really are.

Q. I thought you just said he represented human evil. Now he also represents misplaced admiration?
A. That too. Surely you can't argue that, if Anthy saw Akio as her prince (and both her statements and Ikuhara's statements support this), that idolization on her part was badly misplaced. THAT is the "magic" that "wore off".

Q. But when exactly did it wear off? Under what circumstances?
A. See, this is where relying on the series continuity to fill in the gaps is dangerous. If you were simply drawing on the series to do that, you would assume that the "origin fairytale" that is being told during Touga's phonecall with Akio is just a retelling of the sealing of Dios by Anthy as it was in the series. But that would be a mistake. The origin fairytale of the movie is referring to what happened between Akio and Anthy just before his death.

Q. That doesn't answer the question. Given your preferred reading, what were the circumstances of the "magic" "wearing off"?
A. The moment Akio stabs Anthy, and her scar appears in silhouette as she screams...that's the moment Anthy's illusions of Akio as a kind and brotherly "prince" were shattered. That caused the "magic", her love for and belief in Akio as the prince, to vanish. This is the figurative "death of the prince", and it also led to Akio's literal death, as he was unable to maintain his sense of self-worth and identity without her support.

Q. Did Anthy love Akio?
A. In the movie, yes. I can't explain her behavior any other way. She allows Akio to have his way with her body, and even after her complicity is revealed to him, she attempts to reassure him that she does not mind.

Q. She didn't love him in the series?
A. Of course not! In the series, Anthy despises Akio as the husk of Dios. But as much as she loathes him, she also pities him, and feels herself responsible for what he's become. So she allows him to do as he pleases, even to the point of enabling his actions. But enough about that bastard.

Q. After Anthy's complicity is revealed to Movie Akio, he begins raving about the Key he cannot find. What is the nature of that Key?
A. The Key represents one's own strength of character and sense of self-worth. These were snuffed out for him when Anthy reveals her complicity in his violation of her.

Q. But he didn't have "the Key" even before that. When he is dancing with Kanae, he talks about not having the Key to his car. What about that?
A. Well, notice what he does instead. Instead of taking his own car, he takes a taxi. In other words, someone ELSE is moving him forward, buoying him up. That person is Anthy. Her belief in him is what allows him to "get around", even without his own sense of self-worth. That's why he's so nonchalant about not having his own key. He doesn't need it at that point.

Q. But then he suddenly does need it?
A. Of course. When he realizes Anthy knows what he really is and what he's really doing, her love and belief, her "magic", can't sustain him any longer. Suddenly, desperately, he begins looking for his "Key", his own inner worth and character. He was nonchalant about not having it before. He didn't need it as long as Anthy was propping his self-identity up, but now that he needs it he can't find it, and self-destructs.

Q. So according to Touga, this is when Anthy became the Rose Bride, is that correct?
A. Yes. After Akio's death, Anthy became the Rose Bride and began orchestrating the duel game.

Q. Touga proves that, in Ohtori, the dead can still have influence. Utena received her Rose Crest from Akio's grave, and its possible that all the duelists aquired it in this fashion. (That would also explain Touga leading Utena to that spot on purpose so that she could receive one.) Isn't it possible then that Akio is the one behind the duel game, even though he is dead?
A. On the surface, that appears to be fair reasoning. However, it would not make sense, because the stated purpose of the duel game is for Anthy to find her true prince, as opposed to her brother, who was a false prince. This goal only makes sense if Anthy is the one running the show.

Q. Assume for a moment that it is dead Akio who is orchestrating the duels. What would be the purpose?
A. It just can't be assumed. It would rely on Anthy's cooperation in the farce, just as it does in the series, and that's not happening since she's looking for a new, real prince. Akio is in the past for Anthy. Remember, she buried him. It's a similar situation to Utena and Touga.

Q. Then what's the significance of Utena receiving her ring from Akio's grave?
A. Akio's grave is the grave of the false prince. Anthy buried him there; she built the grave, and she planted the roses. The site is symbolic of her desire to find her true prince. Naturally it reacted to Utena's spirit and "high goals", and gifted her with the ring. Although I said earlier that it's possible all the duelists receive it this way in the movie, I don't believe that. It seems obvious this method of obtaining the ring is supposed to be special, and unique to Utena.

Q. And that's why Anthy is so surprised that Utena has one?
A. That's right. Utena was never "chosen" as a duelist. She just shows up, and inexplicably already has a ring and knows what it's called. It's natural for Anthy to be surprised, but she is also extremely intrigued, and that intrigue quickly gives way to a dizzying hope that Utena is finally the one she's been waiting for. She was right of course, but this is off the topic.

Q. So, could you give a final summation?
A. Akio is Anthy's dead older brother. Once, he filled the role of "prince" in Anthy's world, which is the world of Ohtori. Her love and belief in him is the "magic" that allowed him to hold that position despite not deserving it because he is drugging and raping her.

When Akio realizes that Anthy knows the truth and is allowing him to do it, her feelings can no longer sustain his already tenuous psyche, and he shatters. Mentally, begins desperately seeking for his own self-worth and self-identity, but when he cannot find it, he stabs Anthy and commits suicide. This is both the figurative death of the false "prince", and Akio's literal death.

After that, Anthy buries Akio, the false prince. She creates the duel game to search for a new prince, her true prince.

EDIT: Changed my mind about a few things. <_< >_>

Last edited by Aelanie (04-02-2009 09:46:24 PM)

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#2 | Back to Top03-03-2009 02:33:00 PM

BalamiyaVardihi
High Tripper
From: New Jersey
Registered: 12-16-2007
Posts: 243

Re: The (Fake) Prince and I: A conversation with myself about Movie Akio.

This is beautifully written, and has cleared up many things I have wondered about the movie.


Twirling round with this familiar parabol
Spinning, weaving round each new experience.
Recognize this as a holy gift and
Celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing

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#3 | Back to Top03-03-2009 03:45:03 PM

Aelanie
Black Rosarian
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 377

Re: The (Fake) Prince and I: A conversation with myself about Movie Akio.

Thank you! I'm glad it was helpful to you. It was helpful to me too. emot-keke

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#4 | Back to Top03-09-2009 05:30:22 PM

Hanayome
Miki Molester
Registered: 08-28-2008
Posts: 35

Re: The (Fake) Prince and I: A conversation with myself about Movie Akio.

Your conversations made me understand nearly the whole movie:dance:thanks!

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#5 | Back to Top03-09-2009 05:43:46 PM

Aelanie
Black Rosarian
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 377

Re: The (Fake) Prince and I: A conversation with myself about Movie Akio.

I'm glad to hear it. emot-biggrin

I'm working on two more for Movie Utena and Movie Anthy. Please look forward to them soon. emot-keke

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#6 | Back to Top03-09-2009 07:02:34 PM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
Website

Re: The (Fake) Prince and I: A conversation with myself about Movie Akio.

I especially like the 'key' analogy.

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#7 | Back to Top03-11-2009 05:39:58 PM

Setsuna
Tragedian
Registered: 02-25-2009
Posts: 1370

Re: The (Fake) Prince and I: A conversation with myself about Movie Akio.

now i can actually love and understand the movie. i love it even more now!

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#8 | Back to Top03-11-2009 07:02:25 PM

brian
Atlantean Singer
Registered: 10-22-2006
Posts: 588

Re: The (Fake) Prince and I: A conversation with myself about Movie Akio.

You missed one. For your consideration:

Q. Why does Anthy try to snatch the ring from Utena?

A. Because she does not believe a girl can be a Prince.
A. She's already taken a liking to her and doesn't want her to get involved in the duels.
A. She knows the ring came from Akio's grave and doesn't want to re-awaken old memories.

Last edited by brian (03-11-2009 07:03:02 PM)

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#9 | Back to Top03-11-2009 07:20:01 PM

Baka Kakumei Reanna
Atlantean Singer
From: Wisconsin
Registered: 07-31-2007
Posts: 572
Website

Re: The (Fake) Prince and I: A conversation with myself about Movie Akio.

Ooh, very nice. It actually pointed out a couple things about the movie that I missed.


We see things not as they are, we see things as we are.

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#10 | Back to Top03-11-2009 08:05:06 PM

Aelanie
Black Rosarian
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 377

Re: The (Fake) Prince and I: A conversation with myself about Movie Akio.

brian wrote:

You missed one. For your consideration:

Q. Why does Anthy try to snatch the ring from Utena?

A. Because she does not believe a girl can be a Prince.
A. She's already taken a liking to her and doesn't want her to get involved in the duels.
A. She knows the ring came from Akio's grave and doesn't want to re-awaken old memories.

None of the above.

I never interpreted it that Anthy was actually trying to take the ring away from Utena. It's important to know when not to read too much into every little thing. Anthy tries to grab Utena's hand because she is startled that Utena has a ring, and it's a sort of impulsive "Hey, let me see that!" action.  I wouldn't try to attach any greater meaning than that.

The first one is most certainly not true. Again, this isn't the series. Movie Anthy never shows the slightest evidence of such a belief, and she begins hoping Utena is the one almost immediately, as she sees Utena's spirit in the duel with Saionji.

I do think Anthy was trying to protect Utena by attempting to reason with Saionji (as useless as that was), but only because Utena seems very uninformed and ill-prepared for what she's wandered into. However, Utena quickly shows just how prepared she is, and Anthy decides that Utena is the one she wants "involved" most of all. I cover this in my upcoming examinations of Utena and Anthy, but Anthy isn't just sitting back and waiting for Utena, she takes active steps throughout the movie to push Utena along the path to becoming her prince. She chooses Utena just as much as Utena chooses her.

It is possible that Anthy knows where Utena might have got it, but that would not concern her. Quite the opposite, if Anthy suspects Utena received the ring from there, it would be cause for hope, and that's what she quickly comes to demonstrate. I'll be talking about this too, but Anthy never shows any feelings of personal guilt or remorse for her brother's death. She knows what he was and is not troubled by unpleasant feelings on his account. As I said above, his grave is symbolic of her having moved on to searching for her true prince.

Long post short, Anthy isn't trying to snatch the ring away from Utena, it's just a startled reaction to Utena having one.

Last edited by Aelanie (03-12-2009 06:47:10 AM)

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