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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 Top04-07-2009 05:54:02 AM

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

The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

(Note: Anthy's backstory in the movie is mainly covered in my examination of Movie Akio. This examination will focus on Anthy's actions and feelings during the movie itself.)

Q. So what's up with Movie Anthy?
A. She is the one orchestrating the duels at Ohtori, and is effectively the ruler of its closed world. Her goal is to find her true prince, in contrast with her dead brother, who was a false prince.

Q. Why is Movie Anthy so different in personality from Series Anthy?
A. It's quite natural. In a way, you could say that Movie Anthy is already much farther on her way to being the person Series Anthy will become. They are the same character, but in very different circumstances. Movie Anthy is an Anthy without the guilt, the helplessness, the sense of responsibility that Series Anthy is burdened with until the end of the show.

Q. Why is that the case?
A. Series Anthy bore both the shame of sealing away her brother and turning him into the husk of human evil that Series Akio is, as well as taking Dios away from all the rest of the world. However, Movie Anthy has no cause for guilt. She loved her brother as her "prince", but when his true self was revealed to her, it shattered her illusions of him being such. He stabbed her and committed suicide, but it is clear that Anthy does not feel responsible for that. She's focused now on the hope of finding her true prince.

Q. She certainly seems much more upbeat, even lighthearted, doesn't she?
A. Perhaps. It might be too much to say she is "enjoying" her current life, but there is no doubt that Ohtori is a very comfortable place for her. She tends to her garden, plays at a normal school life, runs the duel game in the hopes of finding her prince, and "entertains" the winners. However, it's important to realize that Anthy's seemingly extroverted mood around Utena may simply be because of Utena. That is to say, it's a result of her attraction to Utena and her belief that Utena is the one she's been waiting for. Either way though, one thing is for certain: Movie Anthy is a vastly more empowered character. Throughout the movie, she makes choices and takes action in a way that Series Anthy could never have done.

Q. So when does this belief in Utena first show itself?
A. During the duel with Saionji. Anthy is at first startled that Utena has a Rose Crest and knows its name, despite never being given one by her. Remember, Anthy is the one running the duels. Who is this person that just shows up? However, Utena's forthright words after Saionji hits Anthy makes Anthy begin to believe that this strange girl might be the one she's been waiting for.

Q. But even before the duel starts, there's some indication that Anthy is predisposed toward Utena, isn't there?
A. It seems so. From the moment Anthy appears, she's cradling a single pink rose close to her heart. In floriography, the "language of flowers", the pink rose means "grace", or an expression of favor. This single rose is in contrast to the sea of red roses, which while beautiful are all the same. When Saionji appears he's given just one of the many red roses, and Anthy plucks it in a perfunctory, haphazard manner. The meaning is clear: He is nothing special. The single pink rose though, the special rose that Anthy has held close and signifies her favor, she gives to Utena. A clear expression of Utena's specialness, and a clear choice on Anthy's part.

Q. This fledgling belief in Utena is also the reason Anthy offers Utena the Sword of the Prince, isn't it?
A. Yes. Utena is on the verge of being defeated, but Anthy again makes a clear and bold choice to grant Utena her favor. It's notable that while Saionji is the current duel winner, he is not offered the Sword and does not seem aware of its existence. It's possible that Utena is the first person Anthy has ever offered it to, the first person she's believed in enough. This moment sets the first precedent of Anthy "rescuing" Utena, something that happens repeatedly throughout the movie.

Q. With Utena's victory over Saionji, what's Anthy thinking?
A. I believe that Anthy makes a firm decision that Utena is the one that she wants, and as we see in the Bedroom Scene, she begins to pursue Utena with a combination of teasing sensual invitation and earnest emotional appeal. She's not merely waiting around for Utena to become her prince, she takes proactive steps to make it happen by drawing Utena close to her and helping Utena free herself from her past.

Q. Touga is Anthy's rival; they both have their intentions for Utena. How do these two interact with each other?
A. They only directly interact once, during the Pool Scene. As I said in Utena's examination, Touga is attempting here to come between Anthy and Utena. His solicitous manner toward Anthy, and his evocative comments to Utena about what he might have done with Anthy sexually are intended to make Utena jealous, and turn her against Anthy. It works temporarily, although Anthy (being the master of resource as always) turns Utena to her side decisively during the Dance Scene.

Q. But what about Anthy's own behavior? Her manner toward Touga is playful, even comradely. How can that be?
A. Anthy sees Touga for what he is, a ghost of the past that is "haunting" Utena. However, at this point Anthy doesn't recognize what a threat Touga actually is. He is more than just a specter of Utena's lingering feelings. He has plans and weapons that Anthy doesn't yet realize. In any case, her playful manner toward him is not for his benefit, but is directed at Utena. Anthy is confident that she can free Utena from his memory; despite her remaining attachment to Touga, Utena is attracted to Anthy, and Anthy of course sees this. By playing herself off of Touga, who she recognizes as Utena's romantic past, Anthy is teasing Utena, trying to goad her into a release of her pent up feelings. That ambition, which begins here in the Pool Scene, comes to fruition later in the Dance Scene.

Q. How so?
A. As the Dance Scene begins, Anthy intentionally references Touga in order to catalyze a reaction from Utena, which she then turns to her own advantage. Anthy's physical actions mirror what just happened emotionally: just as she "cut open" Utena with Touga's name, causing her clashing feelings to come bursting out, she then cuts open the water pipe, sending the water spraying. This sets the stage for a beautiful and symbolic gift that becomes the turning point in their romance. The beginning of the dance recalls the climax of the TV series so very strongly, but again it is a total reversal. This time it is Anthy who stretches out her hand lovingly to Utena, and Utena who hesitantly accepts it.

Q. How about the Sketch Scene, which happens immediately after the dance?
A. It's very important character and relationship development scene. Utena declares she will not be dueling any more, and removes her ring. However, as she does it, Anthy only smiles wider. Utena continues to impress Anthy with her forthright behavior. Here, though she is now the "engaged", the winner to whom goes the luxury of Anthy's willingness to be used, Utena dismisses it all - dismisses the false grandeur of the duels, the prestige of winning, and her "claim" on Anthy as the victor's spoils. This is princely behavior, and Utena goes even further by trying to draw out Anthy as a person with thoughts and feelings. "Won't you open your heart up to me a little more?" Anthy responds to Utena's request by showing her scar and (as we learn a little later) telling her about the power of miracles which the duelists are competing for.

Q. Regarding the scar itself?
A. It is mostly straightforward. Its presence, in both a literal and figurative sense, represents the "death of the prince" - Anthy's loss of faith in Akio that was discussed in my examination of him. As Utena looks at the paintings, they become a composite of Anthy, but the space where her chest (and the scar) should be is missing. In its place is The Painting.

Q. What about the fact that Anthy's eyes are blindfolded in this composite picture?
A. That simply means that Anthy was blind to her brother's evil until she gained the scar - in other words, when he stabbed her.

Q. You haven't talked about it yet, but what's the significance of The Painting?
A. The Painting has two elements: the figure of a prince in a distant castle, and second, a waterlogged boat. This painting could very well be entitled "Death of the Prince", because that's exactly what these images mean for both Anthy and Utena. It represents Touga just as much as Akio; the waterlogged boat is the symbol of Touga's death, and this painting appears in the foreground during Utena's initial encounter with him at the beginning of the movie.

Q. Getting back to Utena's behavior, it's indeed a stark departure from that of the other duelists, isn't it?
A. It is. The other duelists, Saionji, Miki, and Juri, are all in such a fervor to gain the power they desire. Dreaming dreams of glory and fulfillment, they care nothing for Anthy; Saionji views her as his personal property, Juri is explicitly stated to despise her, and Miki appears to have no opinion of her at all. They have no regard for her wishes or feelings as a human being. The irony is that not only is Anthy the puppetmaster pulling all their strings, but by choosing to disdain her as a mere stepping stone to the power they're so zealously seeking, they stand absolutely no chance of ever attaining it.

Q. How do you mean?
A. Although Anthy claims the duelists can win "eternity, miracles, that which glows" by participating, it is an empty inducement. Anthy is the keeper of that power, and will give it only to the one who shows her the nobility, righteousness, empathy, and compassion that are a prince's badges. In other words, Anthy is testing the duelists, and what better way to test a person than to offer them the power to fulfill their deepest desires, then watch how they behave in order to gain it? This is also the reason Anthy offers herself to the duel winners. What better way to gauge how someone will treat you, than to give them permission to treat you however they want?

Q. But despite being impressed by Utena's behavior in this regard, Anthy still intends to get Utena to duel again, right?
A. Of course. Anthy's plan is to deepen their relationship while also keeping Utena on the path Anthy wants her to walk. In fact, Anthy accomplishes both goals at once. She opens up sincerely and candidly to Utena, and in doing so she gives Utena renewed incentive to duel...one way or another.

Q. One way or another? What do you mean?
A. Anthy is taking a calculated risk here. She knows that although she's made great progress in drawing Utena close to her, Utena's connection to Touga still remains. So, there are two ways Utena might react to being shown this secret, and offered this power.

#1. On the one hand, it might serve to strengthen her bond with Anthy. In compassion and understanding of Anthy's feelings, she could continue to display her nobility by rejoining the duels to safeguard her bond with Anthy, and to protect Anthy from exploitation. This is the path to becoming Anthy's true prince.

#2. On the other hand though, she might - like the other duelists - be tempted to grasp at the power Anthy offers, in order to fulfill a strong desire. Since childhood, Utena has wished that Touga had been a prince to her. Utena might come to envision that power as able to make her own long-cherished wishes a reality. This is the path to nowhere, because again that power can't actually be won, only given by Anthy to the one who becomes her prince.

In short, Anthy is venturing that Utena will choose her over her lingering attachment to Touga.

Q. So Anthy is testing Utena too?
A. Partially, but she is also trying to help Utena. Anthy wants Utena. More than just as a prince, she wants Utena's love and acceptance as a person, and she knows that she is the best thing for Utena too. Anthy trusts that Utena will fulfill her expectations IF Utena can free herself from Touga's emotional baggage. By tempting her in this way, Anthy is fundamentally asking Utena a question: What does she really want? Does she want Touga as her prince, or does she truly want to become a prince herself, for herself, as she claims?

Q. But in the end, Anthy is still tricking Utena in a sense, isn't she?
A. On one level or another, Anthy is "tricking" everyone...except Touga.

Q. Anthy and Touga clash again through the medium of Utena's duel with Juri, correct?
A. Indeed, the Juri duel is the main "battle scene" between them. The ostensible conflict between Utena and Juri is only a facade for the conflict between Anthy and Touga, who is using Shiori as a tool to manipulate Juri and sabotage the duel. At this point, Anthy still isn't aware that what she's attempting to dispel is more than just a ghost of Utena's past, and that lack of understanding proves to be her greatest weakness.

Q. As you said, Anthy got Utena to duel again "one way or another", but which "way" is it? What is Utena's mental state during the duel? Did Anthy's "calculated risk" succeed?
A. Of course. Anthy's gambit paid off beautifully. Until Anthy's revelation, Utena had no real understanding of Anthy's situation. Anthy had always shown nothing but willingness to participate as the Rose Bride, and Utena had no insight into her comfortable but empty existence. Now though, Utena understands the callousness and neglect that Anthy has been subjected to, and that's why, although Utena had renounced the duels and removed her ring in the previous scene, it is now back on her finger, and she duels Juri with a fierce drive. Even as Juri's counteroffensive begins to turn the tables, Utena cries "I can't afford to lose!" in passionate desperation. As she now knows, both her own feelings and Anthy's are at stake.

Q. During this part of the duel, there is a short flashback in which we learn the specifics of Anthy's revelation. The image of Utena and Anthy holding hands that appears briefly during this flashback is highly significant, is it not?
A. Although this image appears and disappears very quickly, it is a definitive statement on how Utena reacted to Anthy's revelation. As before with the dance, this shot very strongly recalls the joined hands at the climax of the TV series, but it is also a contrast. Painstaking visual analysis is not my area of enthusiasm (as should be obvious by now, character examination is), but it's interesting to compare these shots:

In the TV series, their hands are reaching out from across opposite sides of a literal and figurative gulf...their feelings and experiences, while vastly different, are attempting to reach out to each other. In the case of the movie though, Utena and Anthy are situated side by side, their hands not reaching out but bridging comfortably between their reposing bodies. To me, this indicates the unity of their feelings, their burgeoning trust and pleasure in each other, their fundamentally similar pasts (as discussed in my examination of Utena), and Utena's renewed commitment to Anthy, as shown by the fact that she is once again wearing the ring.

Q. But does that image actually take place in a literal sense? Or is it entirely figurative?
A. There's no reason it can't or shouldn't be taken literally. It's not really addressed, but although the Sketch Scene segues abruptly and directly into the Juri Duel, obviously some time had to pass between those two scenes. It could've been hours or days, and who knows what might've happened in that time? Why, Anthy and Utena might've even...mufufu...well, they were naked together, and then holding hands side by side? <fangirl scream> Uh, ignore that please...

Q. Leaving that aside...what's happening as the "battle" progresses?
A. Touga's first major offensive stroke comes out of nowhere, as Juri suddenly taunts Utena with Touga's name and ridicules Utena's feelings, both for him and for her goal of princehood. Juri was handed these weapons by Shiori, who got them directly from Touga. It's here that Anthy first begins to realize she's being actively plotted against; Anthy knows that no one else should know about Touga, and she is noticeably unhappy.

Q. How does Utena react to this?
A. It's not for no reason that Touga hasn't been sighted or referenced around Utena since the beginning of the Dance Scene. Despite how important Touga's memory had been to Utena for so long, Anthy has gradually supplanted him in Utena's mind, to the point that she had temporarily forgotten all about him. To have him - and all the pain and insecurities connected with him - shoved back into her face at this unsuspecting moment by a total stranger is a shocking ambush. Startled, Utena is forced back and beaten down by Juri's unmerciful blade.

Q. What happens then?
A. Something huge. As Utena picks herself up, she has taken on the aspect of the Prince in Anthy's eyes. As Anthy starts forward, amazed, Utena finishes an overconfident Juri with a single stroke. This is the final proof of Utena's answer to Anthy's question, and this is the moment when Anthy knows for certain that Utena is her true prince. It seems like a magnificent victory for both Utena and Anthy, but suddenly Touga makes his next move.

Q. Which is?
A. Which is revealing Anthy's deepest, most private secret: the death of her brother and her involvement in it. Anthy is visibly angered, and this is when she finally perceives the nature of her enemy - Touga - and what he's been after the whole time. Blindsided, she flees to the sanctuary of her garden.

Q. Is there no way Anthy might's seen this coming? Why is this such a blow to her?
A. Again, Anthy initially sees Touga simply as a phantom that is haunting Utena. Anthy did not expect him to be an active independent force with the ability to manipulate others to do his bidding, let alone to strike directly at her with knowledge no one other than she should possess. Anthy is a brilliant strategist, but she didn't anticipate outside interference, especially not a blatant exposure of her intimately cloaked past.  The result is that just when victory is in sight, Anthy is brutally outmaneuvered by an opponent she'd been unable to properly perceive.

Q. How does Anthy feel about Utena in relation to this exposure? Why does Anthy flee from Utena so abruptly?
A. Anthy is afraid of facing Utena's reaction. As I've said, Anthy feels no personal guilt or responsibility toward her role in Akio's death, but to have it revealed to Utena in this brazenly slanted, scandalized fashion is devastating - an enormous emotional crash after the "high" of seeing Utena as the image of the prince. Indeed, at the moment the stroke comes, Anthy is totally at Utena's mercy.

Q. How so?
A. Although Anthy accepted Utena early on as the one she wanted, Anthy also craves Utena's love and acceptance of her. Anthy nurtured Utena, freed her from her lonely resentment, gave her chances to affirm her "high goals", and the more Utena responded to Anthy, the more Anthy came to believe and trust in Utena too. In so doing though, Anthy became vulnerable to a new fear - not that Utena would fail, but that Utena might reject her. This is never more true than at the moment she sees Utena become the prince, and Touga's attack strikes that vulnerability in just the right way and at just the right time.

Q. So in running away, Anthy has given in to that fear?
A. That's right. It's important to remember that Anthy did not perceive Touga as an actual viable choice for Utena to make. Seeing Utena cling to a memory is one thing, but for Utena to become the prince right in front of Anthy's eyes, and then possibly discard her in favor of Touga - now revealed as a tangible rival for Utena's affection - because of her ignoble past? That's a nightmare scenario that Anthy cannot face. However, though Touga presses his advantage and makes one last earnest but misguided appeal to Utena, Utena has (thanks to Anthy) grown strong enough emotionally to bid farewell to her own past. Despite Anthy's fears of rejection, Utena comes to her, and their feelings are finally fully united. That's when something different starts to happen...

Q. In your self-conversation about Movie Akio, you said that the Key is symbolic of a person's inner strength of character and sense of self-worth. In Anthy's hands Utena's ring, the Rose Crest, becomes the Key to the Utena Car. What does this Key mean for Utena and Anthy, in specific terms?
A. This is one of the most complex and multifaceted bits of symbolism in the movie. Really, there are numerous ways to take this scene, and most of them hinge on whether you interpret the Key to belong to Utena or Anthy.

#1. Utena's ring becomes Utena's Key because the ring represents her "high goals", her ideals, and those form her motive power and sense of self-identity.

#2. Utena's ring becomes Anthy's Key because it represents the duels, which were the result of Anthy's drive and will to find her true prince.

#3. Utena herself is Anthy's Key, the motive force from which her resolve to leave Ohtori comes. Anthy's love for Utena, her hope and trust became her own Key.

#4. Anthy herself is Utena's Key. Utena's reason for doing what she does, her driving force is the love she has come to feel for Anthy. Anthy is the driver of the Car, after all.

I could go on; the interplay of the Car, the Key, and the Driver can carry so many different potential meanings.

Q. So what's happening when Anthy has to face the image of Akio at the climax of the movie?
A. Anthy is facing the prospect of leaving Ohtori's comfortably bounded space. The image of her brother, the "Lord of the Flies", is representative of her fear of the unknown, just as in the William Golding novel. However, Anthy once again shows how much her role has changed. It's an incredible departure from the series, where Anthy allows herself to be her brother's empty plaything. Here, she confronts his image completely without remorse. With steel resolve and a pitiless finality, she renounces the "closed world", declares their united will to move forward, and bids the false prince a final farewell. She might also be renouncing certain archtypical roles; this will be discussed in a moment.

Q. But is Akio really there?
A. In writing these examinations, I have tried hard to give both literal and figurative explanations a sense of equal validity. In this case however, I believe Akio's presence is far more figurative than literal. It is not unbelievable that he might be present as an active conscious force; Touga sets a firm precedent for this being a possibility. However, I do not think that Akio, as he appears at the movie's climax, is on the same level as Touga. Again, in the novel, the "Lord of the Flies" does not actually exist. This would seem to suggest that Akio is not actually present here, except as a concept in Anthy's mind. Even if he is present in a more "real" sense, it would seem to be a far more tenuous, ephemeral presence than Touga's was.

Q. What makes you say that?
A. As I said in my examination of her, Utena was still subconsciously holding out for Touga to be her prince. As much as she resented him, as much as she denied that he had been one, she was still wishing it was true. That lingering wish, that buried hope, is responsible for giving Touga the ability to take on an active presence in Ohtori. However, Anthy harbors no such wishes. She recognizes that Akio was a false prince, and does not mourn his death. She mourns for the love and belief in him that she lost, but it's those feelings that she misses, not him personally. The fact that she buried him represents the fact that she has moved on from him, and even when she confronts his image at the climax of the movie, it is as an obstacle and an adversary. Anthy has no attachment to him, and thus there is nothing to bolster his unstable existence, which is completely wiped out when Anthy and Utena "revolutionize" themselves.

Q. Let's assume for a moment that Akio is an active force with plans and goals, like Touga. What would he be after, and in what ways would he be trying to accomplish it?
A. If you wished to interpret his presence in this way, I would say that his goal was simply to keep Anthy in that "closed world" where she would continue to view him as a prince. Of course, she does not actually think of him that way anymore, but even in death Akio is fooling himself that he can be Anthy's prince.

Q. This concept of Akio seeking to keep Anthy in that world also works in a figurative sense though, doesn't it?
A. Yes, now that I think about it. Akio, as the "Lord of the Flies", is an incarnation of fear. It was fear of the outside that kept Anthy within the bounds of Ohtori. So on a highly symbolic level, it could be said that it was her brother, as the symbol of fear, that was holding her back. This is actually visibly depicted, by way of the metallic conveyors that Akio controls, attempting to hold the Utena Car and Anthy from moving any farther forward. However, this sort of reading is a bit too far into the realm of metaphor for my liking. I prefer more basic solutions.

Q. In the examination of Utena, you said that one interpretation of the movie's finale is a rejection of princehood, right?
A. That's right. Utena rejects the princehood that Anthy offers her, and Anthy symbolically rejects the image of her brother, the false prince. The very act of attempting to leave Ohtori represents a rejection of its prince-oriented world. This is only one possible reading, of course.

Q. But you also suggested there was an entirely different, even opposite meaning that could be taken. What was that?
A. That is it not princehood that Utena and Anthy are rejecting, but princesshood. Utena declines Touga's wish to make her his princess, and declines the idea of Anthy becoming her princess. Instead she leads Anthy forward, away from that role, and at the movie's climax Anthy renounces the idea of either Utena or herself being princesses, as the image of Akio calls them. If that's so, there's only one possibility left.

Q. Wait. You mean...?
A. That's right. Anthy also becomes a prince, Utena's prince. They both become princes.

Q. You said before that you had mixed feelings about a renunciation of princehood. How do you feel about this then?
A. I won't deny that I like the idea far better. The idea of them both becoming princes is certainly an interesting one. In a figurative sense it is very much true. They helped each other. They saved each other. That's why they are able to escape together. Anthy, in so many ways throughout the movie, saves Utena just as much as Utena saves her. Even if the movie doesn't explicitly say so, she absolutely became Utena's prince too. That's why, once they enter the Outside World, they do it as equals.

Q. Isn't it possible neither of those is true, though? Isn't it possible that they have rejected both prince and princess as roles, and are in the end only "Anthy" and "Utena"?
A. It's possible, and this reading definitely has its appeal too. In transcending those roles, they free themselves and each other from the framework of princes and princesses. They are Utena and Anthy, united in love, empowered in themselves, and free of everything that might constrain them.

Q. But?
A. Well...That theory will undoubtedly be popular with those who see Utena as a story of growing up and becoming an adult, but to me that isn't the message. To me, the message of Utena is always to take the dreams and aspirations of childhood with you into the adult world, regardless of how foolish and futile others tell you that might be.

So here, I can only reiterate what I said in my examination of Utena. Sometimes, people do need princes, saviors, knights. I don't think anyone will disagree if I say that Anthy and Utena both needed each other. That they were able to love, comfort, and fulfill each other so fully is a glorious, wonderful thing. No matter what roles they may seem to be rejecting, they undeniably became each other's savior, and thus, each other's prince. It is, ultimately, about how "formally" you choose to define that concept.

Q. Final summation?
A. Anthy is nominally enjoying the very comfortable self-imposed prison of Ohtori, while running the duels in the hope of finding a true prince. Utena appears before her, a mysterious girl who already possesses a ring. As she watches Utena's actions and spirit, Anthy becomes hopeful that Utena is the one she has been waiting for. A she works to press Utena forward on the path of the prince, Anthy becomes aware of Touga, a specter of Utena's past that is haunting her, and he intends to interfere with Anthy's plans on a more active level than she initially realizes.

Anthy scores a big victory in the Dance Scene, drawing Utena toward her and away from Touga, and they deepen their trust and relationship in the Sketch Scene. However, Touga (through Shiori) strikes back during the duel with Juri, revealing Anthy's secret and causing her to flee from Utena's possible rejection. However, thanks to Anthy, Utena can bid farewell to Touga, and follows her to the garden where they are fully united. Then some other stuff happens, and Anthy and Utena escape together into the outside world, kissing deeply all the way. etc-love

Q. So you got lazy again, huh?
A. At least this time you did phrase it as a question. school-devil

Q. Is this the end of your character examinations?
A. It was going to be, but in examining Utena and Anthy, more of Touga's motivations and plans came to light, including a few things that were bothering me. So, please look forward to an update of his examination - with more Shiori! But for now...

IT'S FINALLY DONE, THANK HEAVENS! emot-biggrinemot-danceetc-loveetc-wankgirlpoptartetc-loveemot-danceemot-biggrinpoptartetc-wankgirl

Last edited by Aelanie (04-07-2009 06:34:44 AM)

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#2 | Back to Top04-07-2009 12:11:11 PM

The_A_Man
Someday Shiner
From: Canada
Registered: 02-22-2009
Posts: 9107
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Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Wow, I thought I understood the movie, but after reading this I feel like I now understand it.

Thanks for writing this.

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#3 | Back to Top04-07-2009 03:22:01 PM

Prince_of_Stars
Someday Shiner
From: The Hellsing Organization
Registered: 06-12-2008
Posts: 4165
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Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

I swear, you are simply brilliant mate. I always wondered about the Anthy-Touga dynamic.


http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c174/chani_sama/prince-sig.png

Sir Hellsing: Leader of the Feminine Failure Revolution
Faithfully failing at feminine tasks, gender roles, and the conventionality of femininity since 1990.

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#4 | Back to Top04-08-2009 12:51:31 AM

Itsuke
Pathtracer
Registered: 12-08-2008
Posts: 341

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

The long wait for your examination on Movie Anthy is worth it~ It is very well written and insightful. Now I am going to watch the movie again~

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#5 | Back to Top04-08-2009 04:39:30 AM

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

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Thanks for the kind words, y'all. emot-keke

It was really a struggle to finish...not just trying to decide what I really thought, but then trying to streamline it into concise statements that would flow sensibly and naturally to the reader... X_X

Last edited by Aelanie (04-08-2009 04:40:58 AM)

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#6 | Back to Top04-08-2009 05:53:14 AM

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

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

It's brilliant, as all your analysis.emot-keke Great job!

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#7 | Back to Top04-08-2009 06:23:05 PM

Itsuke
Pathtracer
Registered: 12-08-2008
Posts: 341

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Aelanie wrote:

It was really a struggle to finish...not just trying to decide what I really thought, but then trying to streamline it into concise statements that would flow sensibly and naturally to the reader... X_X

Hey, I really understand how you feel. Writing is not easy. It's the same thing for me when I have to submit a 10+ or 20+ page paper. That's the time when I wish I was never born...

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#8 | Back to Top04-10-2009 01:49:48 AM

SleepDebtFairy
Revolutionary
From: Virginia
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 2095

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

This is my favorite so far, probably because I etc-love movie-Anthy and now I do even more. It definitely gives me a new perspective of her. I want to re-watch the movie again now. emot-aaa


"There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keeping on"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/Tushen/cupcake_mini2.gif

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#9 | Back to Top04-10-2009 03:06:12 AM

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

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Hehe. That's great to hear. I love Movie Anthy too. I think it's wonderful that after being such a tragic, tormented, emotionally stunted character in the series, she got the chance to be passionate, dynamic, and willful in the movie. emot-keke

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#10 | Back to Top04-10-2009 06:24:34 PM

PrinceoftheLostEternity
Rose Assignee
From: Castle of Eternal Dark
Registered: 04-06-2009
Posts: 1720

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

O__o.....Wow. I learned some stuff. Y'know, I always kinda saw Anthy's "puppetmaster" ploy. I never really managed to analyze it, though. Heh...


I want your love and I want your revenge, you and me can write a bad romance.

The profile formerly known as Prince... oftheLostEternity... was a shared profile, one of whose users hasn't been around for a while.  The other one is now posting as DiddlyPanda.  Wewt!  emot-biggrin

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#11 | Back to Top04-13-2009 10:56:41 AM

Nights1stStar
Ballgoer
From: Clawing Out of Her Coffin
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 157

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

There's one Q and A I wished you'd added:

Q: What's with the Nanami cow video?
A: In the movie, Nanami is a random schoolgirl unrelated to Touga. If her series personality is any indication, movie Nanami prolly pissed off Anthy one too many times and got turned into a cow as a result. Movie Anthy then made a video of the Nanami-cow suffering for her own amusement. emot-tongue

At least, that's my theory on what happened. Makes the cow video more "scandalous", as the Shadow Girls called it, then it first appeared to be.

Otherwise, though, I LOVE your movie examinations. As a writer, I love essays, but your Q and A format is far more accessible than a normal paper would be. Mind if I copy the format in case I ever write my own RGU essay? emot-keke

Last edited by Nights1stStar (04-13-2009 11:00:14 AM)


"To copulate is to enter another...and the artist never emerges from herself."
-Charles Bauldelaire

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#12 | Back to Top04-13-2009 05:39:28 PM

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

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Mind if I copy the format in case I ever write my own RGU essay?

Sure, go ahead. emot-smile Sometimes the "questions" are nothing but rhetorical ones that allow me to go on at length about one particular subject in an essay-like manner...but they do provide useful breaks between thoughts.

As for Cow Nanami, this is another situation where things shouldn't be over-analyzed. In my opinion, it's a bit of comic relief and a service to the series fans, nothing more.

Last edited by Aelanie (04-13-2009 05:41:38 PM)

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#13 | Back to Top04-15-2009 07:29:05 AM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416
Website

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Again excellent analysis, Aelanie - I found this to be a very enjoyable read. poptart poptart poptart
Nifty title too. emot-tongue

I swear what made it even more interesting is this is not my view of movie Anthy. But I lurve it, and will muse on it to add bits and pieces of it to my always developing "SKU Movie worldview". school-chef

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#14 | Back to Top04-21-2009 02:34:55 AM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416
Website

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Okey the lovely Aelanie asked me about what my "other views" were in a PM, and I have decided to spout forth about them here. school-devil Aelanie, I hope you don't mind, I'm going to use your format with a bit of spin. emot-keke It's such a cool format. emot-redface

The (Less) Benevolent Puppet (with more cleavage)

Q. WTF is the deal with Movie Anthy?
A. The writers wanted to experiment with a role reversal of their 2 leads: namely Utena & Anthy. They also wanted everything to be much more extreme, bright, and obvious (and ironically doing this made everything that much less obvious). Hence:
Series Anthy (Santhy) was insinuated indirectly to be promiscuous, through no fault of her own (rose bride forced to do will of victors + incest)
Movie Anthy (Manthy) is promiscuity in action. And Utena is very turned on by this (wouldn't you be? emot-aaa)

Q. Why does Manthy actually have a personality, in direct contrast with Santhy?
A. The writers want her to show more skin. Also to get some. Besides they don't have time in a feature film for subtle character development and behind the scenes stirrings. The good stuff has to happen, and it has to happen now. Go out and take it with your own lips, Manthy!

Q. But how can Manthy not have Santhy's shame/guilt/sense of responsibility?
A. It is not that she doesn't have these things. It is more that she doesn't have time to wallow in them (it's a movie). There are still clear hints of the above - running away from Utena after Juri's duel, not telling Utena directly about her brother.

Q. She certainly seems much more upbeat, even on drugs wouldn't you say?
A. Heck yeah. Everything about her is perky! Perky! Perky! She's the new Wakaba, only when she leaps at Utena it's not to knock her out the window.

Q. When does her belief in Utena first show itself?
A. Her eyes widen at Utena's defensive words of her to Saionji during their duel (she is crouching in the roses after being hit by Saionji). This is the first time Manthy has been defended in memory. Hmm maybe the cute "pink-haired boy" might be worth rooting for...

Q. But even before the duel starts, there's some indication that Anthy is predisposed toward Utena, isn't there?
A. Sure, Utena gets a pink rose (as Aelanie said). Mostly this is because she has pink hair and the movie is all about the symbolism. Symbolism of? Hmm whatever you would like!

Q. This fledgling belief in Utena is also the reason Anthy offers Utena the Sword of the Prince, isn't it?
A. Well yes, that and the opportunity for a verrrry hawt kissage scene. Leaping, flowing hair, gradual liplock...artistically pretty pretty. It's almost like Manthy is offering Mutena sex, isn't it? And instead she's offering her a burning phallic object while bent over backwards in a bed of roses...

Q. With Utena's victory over Saionji, what's Anthy thinking?
A. How long till bedtime? etc-wankgirl

Q. Touga is Anthy's rival; they both have their intentions for Utena. How do these two interact with each other?
A. They flirt, with each other! Mutena is enraged! (read passionately stirred) Mtouga and Manthy are happy campers. They both want to stir Mutena up, they want it quite a lot.

Q. But what about Anthy's own behavior? Her manner toward Touga is playful, even comradely. How can that be?
A. Manthy is a flirt. Thus she is flirtatious. Plus everything she does and says is designed to stir Mutena up and draw Mutena out. One might say that Manthy wants Mutena bad. Mtouga is just another tool for her. I don't think she registers him as a rival (and he's not in the sense that he's pretty much a plot device. A very pretty plot device straight out of a butterfly-laden cabbage patch).

Q. How so? ("" are quotes from Aelanie)
A. "As the Dance Scene begins, Anthy intentionally references Touga in order to catalyze a reaction from Utena." Hence Touga is a plot device. "Anthy's physical actions mirror what just happened emotionally: just as she "cut open" Utena with Touga's name, causing her clashing feelings to come bursting out, she then cuts open the water pipe, sending the water spraying." More to the point this is simultaneously creepy and evocative of sex. More symbolism for a movie that is bursting at the seems with it (remember symbolism doesn't even have to mean anything! Or it means everything! Moar! MOAR!) "This sets the stage for a beautiful and symbolic gift that becomes the turning point in their romance. The beginning of the dance recalls the climax of the TV series so very strongly, but again it is a total reversal. This time it is Anthy who stretches out her hand lovingly to Utena, and Utena who hesitantly accepts it." What was that? Role reversal? Why yes, a stunning role reversal. Very artistic. Kudos to the writers. Pats on the back all around plus let's make Mutena's hair grow back (gorgeous hair), and let's increase Manthy bust size. Verrry nice.

Q. How about the Sketch Scene, which happens immediately after the dance?
A. I agree it's a pivotal scene. It's basically about creepiness, history, and seduction. Or in other words, 'Mutena, let me now seduce you with my creepy history. Do you want me anyway? What's that? I'm naked and you want me bad? Well do you still want me now that you know we're also being watched by a creepy pedophillac older guy down a long dark tunnel that I myself am the window to? Well...do you?'

Q. Regarding the scar itself?
A. The scar is the same thing as being the 'Sheath of the Sword of Dios' in the anime. It's Manthy showing that she's the rose bride, the doll without a heart. In other words she's been grievously injured by the one she loved the most - she's the ultimate victim on the inside but completely composed outwardly. She shows Mutena her true self. Mutena accepts her. Plus OMFG Manthy has a fucking big scar! And she's a naked silhouette! That semi-naked Mutena is leering, er I mean staring at! OMFG! (Read shock value)

Q. What about the fact that Anthy's eyes are blindfolded in this composite picture?
A. Manthy is blind to what has happened to her and why it has happened. Or maybe it's just more symbolism. Wikidictionary anyone?

Q. You haven't talked about it yet, but what's the significance of The Painting?
A. I totally agree with Aelanie here! Painting = death of prince/dark secrets. Basically there is no such thing as a prince. Not anymore. Or not until cynical battlescarred Utena takes up the mantle (thanks to Manthy's urgings and uh...feminine appeal).

Q. Getting back to Utena's behavior, it's indeed a stark departure from that of the other duelists, isn't it?
A. Well Mutena seems to be the only one who cares about getting to know Manthy. Awww.

Q. Anthy is a puppetmaster?
A. Not so much. She's more like the puppet that keeps moving once the strings are cut. The irony of Movie-Ohtori is that the prince is dead too (instead of just the rose bride), but the play goes on. What justification do I have? None except that Manthy has no clear goal except to resurrect herself a prince (preferably a new model), as seen when she welcomes Mutena to the dueling platform/garden after her successful farewell-in-the-watery-lift to Mtogua. Manthy's just doing what she's always done in the only world she knows. Mutena proves to be more a prince than Manthy ever thought possible with her offer: let's go to a new world! The real world. emot-aaa Let's go there on a rusty go-cart! NUDE!!

Q. In the end, Anthy is tricking Utena in a sense, isn't she?
A. Sure. Manthy is manipulative. So was Santhy you know. It's the main character flaw of the rose bride. And it's what made it so astounding that Mutena could turn around and love her anyway (or else it makes Mutena hopelessly stupid. And/or horny. I vote for astoundingly sweet instead).

"In the TV series, their hands are reaching out from across opposite sides of a literal and figurative gulf...their feelings and experiences, while vastly different, are attempting to reach out to each other. In the case of the movie though, Utena and Anthy are situated side by side, their hands not reaching out but bridging comfortably between their reposing bodies."
To sharnii this indicates: Before we the writers were at pains that this should not be a yuri series (only bee-yoo-tiful friendship), but now we are pains for this to be yuri movie.

Q. But does that image actually take place in a literal sense? Or is it entirely figurative?
A. In a movie such as this everything is literal and figurative and whatever you would like it to be. Pass the weed please.

So in other words what I'm saying is that I don't at this point believe that Manthy's differences from Santhy are much more than artistic choices for reasons outlined above.

But having said that, I really do love this thread's original analysis and think it's excellent work. school-eng101 (Much better than my parody! emot-wink)
In fact I would also love to write a drabble set around your ideas of Manthy, Aelanie, if that's okay with you. And I've never felt inspired to write about the movie before so praises to you. poptart

Last edited by sharnii (04-21-2009 02:37:23 AM)

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#15 | Back to Top04-21-2009 04:25:46 AM

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

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Erm, haha...Wow.

I never personally made notice or comparison of Anthy's breasts vis-a-vis the series... >_>;;

I will only say that I don't agree the movie is supposed to be obvious. If anything, it's much less obvious than the series. It's not that there isn't deep character development happening, on the contrary. It's just that so much is packed into so little imagery, and that's why it comes off as nonsensical to a lot of people.

Before we the writers were at pains that this should not be a yuri series (only bee-yoo-tiful friendship), but now we are pains for this to be yuri movie.

As I've said elsewhere, Ikuhara always intended Utena/Anthy as a romance, but he was forced to underplay his hand because Saito Chiho didn't approve for demographic reasons. Presumably, once Utena the series had been such a smashing success, she stopped worrying about it, and that's why Ikuhara got to do what he wanted with the movie.

Anyway, feel free to write whatever you like, although I hope it won't distract you from updating "Roses Grow". emot-tongue

Last edited by Aelanie (04-21-2009 04:34:53 AM)

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#16 | Back to Top04-22-2009 08:01:02 AM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416
Website

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Aelanie: It's not that there isn't deep character development happening, on the contrary. It's just that so much is packed into so little imagery, and that's why it comes off as nonsensical to a lot of people.

You know that's a very good point, and might well be the truth of it. emot-tongue
And I'd like to say that your analysis was much better backed-up then mine. school-eng101

Yay! I shall proceed with a movie drabble set around some of your ideas then when I have a chance (and credit you of course).
Never fear re it distracting me from Roses Grow, I think about that damn story day and night. Actually it is annoying how it's put about 10 drabbles on hold. I need to find me some balance.

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#17 | Back to Top04-23-2009 04:02:17 PM

Nights1stStar
Ballgoer
From: Clawing Out of Her Coffin
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 157

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Although, like sharnii, I think Be-Papas changed much of the personalities of the RGU characters in the movie due to time constraints, I'm happy that they found believable, reasonable in-story explanations for doing so. Utena isn't just randomly less outgoing and Anthy isn't just randomly less sad; both of them have backgrounds which suit their movie personalities. Is it different and perhaps even more confusing than in the series? Yes. But does it make sense? Of course. cool That's more than I can say for most movie adaptations of books I know. So your parody, sharnii, might actually tie in with Aelanie's analysis. It might not be all BS, after all. poptart


"To copulate is to enter another...and the artist never emerges from herself."
-Charles Bauldelaire

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#18 | Back to Top04-23-2009 04:33:37 PM

Nights1stStar
Ballgoer
From: Clawing Out of Her Coffin
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 157

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Aelanie wrote:

Mind if I copy the format in case I ever write my own RGU essay?

Sure, go ahead. emot-smile Sometimes the "questions" are nothing but rhetorical ones that allow me to go on at length about one particular subject in an essay-like manner...but they do provide useful breaks between thoughts.

As for Cow Nanami, this is another situation where things shouldn't be over-analyzed. In my opinion, it's a bit of comic relief and a service to the series fans, nothing more.

What, no over-analysis in UTENA!? GASP! Where am I going to get my daily dose of fauxlosophlical ramble!? Evangelion isn't subtle enough for me! *Faints and can only be revived by the sound of of the 7th RGU Soundtrack*

Just kidding. emot-redface I do think there are fans who tend to overanalyze other characters, especially the characters that they love. I get the feeling that such fans either want to add depth to characters who really don't have as much (compared to other RGU characters), or that they  insert too much of themselves into those characters in an effort to create someone they could identify with. This tends to happen the most to the Black Rose characters, who get smaller amounts of screentime, but motively ambigious leads like Anthy and Juri are also subject to this treatment.

The thing about Cow Nanami is that it just seems so...fun if the Cow Nanami was once the human Nanami. It's not because I hate Nanami or because I want to see her turned into a cow, (indeed, I hope Anthy turns her back after the movie ends). it's because it feels like an in-joke and shout-out to those who've watched the series. And I  etc-love shout-outs to things I like. It's like in the beginning of the Watchmen movie, where the lesbian Silhouette gets to the nurse before the sailor does, changing the famous WWII ending kiss picture forever, or watching a parody where they mention one of your favorite tv shows. Logically, it's hard to explain why humans enjoy in-jokes so much, but they do. It's as if historial or cross-medium connections are just so fitting.

Last edited by Nights1stStar (04-23-2009 04:50:02 PM)


"To copulate is to enter another...and the artist never emerges from herself."
-Charles Bauldelaire

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#19 | Back to Top04-25-2009 10:01:04 AM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416
Website

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Nights1stStar: So your parody, sharnii, might actually tie in with Aelanie's analysis. It might not be all BS, after all. poptart

*looks excited* How wonderful! emot-biggrin

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#20 | Back to Top01-09-2011 09:43:56 AM

tlrc
New Student
Registered: 01-09-2011
Posts: 4

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Wow! Thanks! My Eng is very suck! but I must reg to say thanks etc-wankgirl
I had seen SKU so many times 10 years ago and I don't understand until now. After read all.. the topic SKU on forum, I think I understand very clearly now

Last edited by tlrc (01-09-2011 09:50:27 PM)

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#21 | Back to Top01-23-2011 11:00:00 AM

CoffinBreaker
Rose Bride
From: Here and Now
Registered: 10-28-2010
Posts: 117

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

emot-aaaemot-aaaemot-aaaemot-aaa

That just about answered every question I've ever had.

The Anthy-Touga dynamic tends to get skimmed over so I'm quite happy to see someone actually looking into it. Personally, I always just thought Anthy was flirting with Touga in the Pool scene to coax a reaction out of her, and that Touga really had no other role in the film other than something Utena had to get rid of. Some of the scenes make a bit more sense now...

(Mind you, I'm probably just being redundant stating what I thought before I read your analysis.)

And it also seems nobody notices Anthy's increase in breast size in the film, though I think applauding your powers of observation might not be warranted in this case emot-rolleyes (Maybe there's a correlation between bust size and promiscuity? emot-tongue)


You don't need to understand Revolutionary Girl Utena to understand it.

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#22 | Back to Top02-03-2011 11:46:51 PM

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

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

I'm glad to hear that it helped you.

If it please you, you can also read my other three self-examinations on Utena, Touga, and Akio, which tie in together with this one. I hope you find them just as useful. emot-keke

Last edited by Aelanie (02-03-2011 11:52:57 PM)

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#23 | Back to Top02-04-2011 03:51:02 PM

utenatea
New Student
Registered: 01-30-2011
Posts: 8

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

LOVE.

you inspire me to improve my abilities in analysis and expression!

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#24 | Back to Top12-13-2011 10:34:52 PM

belucre
New Student
Registered: 12-13-2011
Posts: 1

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

First off, I appreciate the amount of work which went into this analysis, and know that I'm not trying to attack your opinions or anything, simply trying to bring my own perspective to the table. That said, some parts of your interpretations concerning movie!Anthy do rub me the wrong way, so to speak, and I'm curious how you came to your conclusions.

Mainly, it's how you state that Anthy is the one behind all the duels in Ohtori that confuses me. Whether series or movie Anthy, she is still fundamentally Anthy. She's still the deeply unhappy Rose Bride who willingly stays in Ohtori, a method to Akio's ends. As it was in the series, I personally believe Akio is still the one behind everything in Ohtori (particularly, the scene in the very beginning when Akio appears as Dios before a young Utena, mourning Touga's death especially mirrors the scene when manipulates her to be a prince in the series, directly after her parents passing away), and I cannot imagine any motive Anthy would have for running the duels herself. Anthy works with Akio in order to secure the power of Dios; she has no desire for the power of Dios herself, nor does she want a replacement prince. It seems paradoxical for her to actively pursue anything, most of all a prince who is not her beloved Dios, since she stays in Ohtori of her own will, and to change that facet of her changes her entire personality.

Then again, I'm a firm believer that series Anthy and movie Anthy are incredibly similar, although movie Anthy is more forward in her manipulations. She outright flirts and seduces in order to hurt other duelists (namely, Utena and Saionji), instead of a more roundabout manner. Although she can leave Ohtori, she chooses not to out of fear for the outside world which made her a Witch (so again, it baffles me as to why, exactly, she would seek such independence, knowing the consequences) and it drives her to the ultimate despair of attempting to take her own life. Anthy is shown leaving the dormority at night, presumably to go to Akio, who will in turn have sex with her (I don't believe Akio ever truly died in the film; Touga was tangible and conscious, able to influence others even after dying as a child, so Akio can presumably have enough presence to engage in intercourse and continue to run the duels), not because she wants to, but because it's the same cycle as it appears in the series. Directly after, Anthy is shown standing on the very, very edge of the high rose garden, in her bare feet: the last time such a shot was seen, it was before series Anthy attempted to hurl herself off the dormority roof in the series, and I have no doubt movie Anthy was thinking of doing the same thing.

Simply put: I believe movie Anthy and series Anthy are essentially the same, instead of vastly different individuals with separate motives, as you seem to see it, and I'm not sure how your interpretation of the film characterization resembles much from the series. (Unless you believe the two are completely different, in which case, ignore me!) Sorry for the repetition and rambling, it sounded a lot more coherent to me when I was thinking this up.

Last edited by belucre (12-13-2011 10:35:54 PM)

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#25 | Back to Top12-13-2011 11:28:14 PM

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

Re: The (More) Benevolent Puppetmaster: A self-examination on Movie Anthy.

Your view of the movie is too heavily based on the series. They are completely different and meant to be so, except in their overall message.  In particular, Ikuhara states clearly in the movie commentary that his wish was to reverse the roles of Anthy and Utena as they existed in the series, thus making Anthy a positive, active force while Utena became reserved and embittered by her past. As I've said elsewhere:

...some would say that the movie is only [as excellent as I think it is] because of the foundation it stands on - the series. While I certainly believe that seeing the series before the movie is by far the best way to experience Utena, drawing parallels between the two is a dangerous and complicated business, and approaching the movie with a viewpoint too strongly bound to the series is a mistake.

The movie is an entirely different animal, and although at times it seems to encourage its viewers to make contrasts with the series, more often it demands that they forget everything the series ever did. In short, the framework of the movie is completely different, and using details from the series to fill in the blanks is an alluring but unsound tactic.

However, let me be clear: while different in specifics, narrative, and presentation, the series and the movie carry an overall message of great unity. Recognizing both the similarities and the differences in how that message is presented is the key to appreciating the full breadth of what Utena as a franchise has to offer.

Think of it as a pair of eyes. Our two eyes see two different pictures, but those separate viewpoints afford us the invaluable perception of depth. That's the case with Utena the series and Utena the movie. The unique elements the movie introduces to convey that unified message are accented by their disparity to the series; likewise, seeing the differences the movie makes can attract your attention more strongly to the unique methods of the series.

In the movie continuity, Akio is dead, and there never was a Dios. There is no Dios in the movie, at all. There is only the concept of the "Rose Prince", which never in fact existed either. Anthy does want what you call a "replacement prince" (or more accurately, a real true prince, since her dead brother was a phony), and is the one controlling the duels in order to achieve that, as I explain here and in the other of my character analyses, most notably Akio's.

(Assuming you haven't read them, they can be found as follows:)

Akio: http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=1818
Utena: http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=1835
Touga: http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=1819


If you don't see it that way, that is of course perfectly fine, but I'd invite you to think over what I've written with a bit less dependence on the series continuity. Shrug off that unnecessary baggage and discover an entirely new version of Utena, as its creators intended.

Last edited by Aelanie (12-13-2011 11:50:24 PM)

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