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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 Top04-14-2009 08:28:02 PM

The_A_Man
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Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Well since the movie thread was turning into this, Satyreyes suggested someone start this thread, so I will.

Discuss Utena's and Anthy's relationship  in this thread. Did you agree with the way it was portrayed in the TV series? The movie? Any thoughts?

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#2 | Back to Top04-14-2009 10:01:02 PM

Aelanie
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Hmmmm....well, you can gain a general idea of my feelings on the subject by reading my movie exams. However...

As much as I'd like to unleash my ultimate weapon, it's not finished yet...but I will let you know when it's done...please look forward to it...

What am I talking about? That's classified... >_>

Last edited by Aelanie (04-14-2009 11:33:39 PM)

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#3 | Back to Top04-14-2009 10:11:49 PM

Riri-kins
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

I always saw their relationship as something between neverending friendship and savior/saved. Honestly, one of the reasons I love it is because they're one of a handful of female characters that would honestly choose friendship over love any day like Hachi and Nana. I think it's sweet how Utena finally realized she could find another Prince Charming, but Anthy was worth much more.

I don't think they are a couple in the series or manga. Not that I have anything against shojo-ai, but I think romance would be lower on their lists regardless of whether it was with a girl or a guy.

Last edited by Riri-kins (04-16-2009 05:51:22 PM)


Proud Saionji and Mikage fangirl
My Utena fanfiction: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2000115/Riri-kins

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#4 | Back to Top04-14-2009 10:44:09 PM

spoon-san
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Like everything I know about Utena, their relationship is complex.  I don't see them as a couple in the TV series because they aren't though I am a firm believer in them most likely going that direction post-series.  The official art, credits all depict them going that way.  I'm also pretty convinced that Anthy (I'm  talking about the TV series since there's not a whole lot of ambiguity in the movie, tbqh) has feelings for Utena.  I think Utena has feelings for Anthy deep down but she, as we know, is slow, and she is preoccupied with finding the prince without realizing that what she really is looking for is to become the prince herself for Anthy's sake.  Also, some characters such as Juri and Akio seem to suspect there being more to just friendship.  Juri seems to hold the impression that Utena loves her which Utena denies because it's so different from the Ohtori brand of love (if it can even be called love).  Akio, when asking what Anthy is to Utena, Utena (like with Juri) darts around the question in a way that indicates her own uncertainty and her lack of previous thought on the subject.  You might notice the faint blush on her cheeks when she's saying that Anthy is simply very important to her.  Of course, with Akio breathing down her neck, the cause for the blush is ambiguous (I think this was intentional to get the viewer thinking), but as the blush disappears when her attention is being brought to the night where Utena lost it, I am willing to think or at least wanting to think it was in regards to Anthy.  I also believe that Anthy being the Rose Bride and thus hiding her true self (symbolised by the hair and glasses) is a reason for Utena to either not recognize non-platonic feelings for her.  I noticed most depictions of Utena initiating romantic gestures in official pics or else in the anime or in the credits is when Anthy loses the glasses and has her hair down.  I think if it weren't for Anthy playing the role of the Rose Bride, Utena would reciprocate the feelings which I strongly believe Anthy holds.

In any case, the relationship is deep.  I realized that the only times where Utena was actually shown as crying and being beside herself emotionally was when it was in concern over Anthy (childhood memory of being shown 'eternity,' her first and last loss in a duel, the suicide scene, and the rose gate scene).  Whether you want to add sexual implications or not, I see the two as being meant to be a single unit like a married couple.  They seem to complete each other in all of the multi-faceted nature of their bond.

And I personally saw Utena's "You never knew" confession as being an indirect confession of almost unconditional love for the girl and I would be willing to include romantic love there, but obviously I see it that way for my own reasons.  But she says something very deep in that she's saying that the only time she recalls being truly happy in her life was with the time she spent with Anthy.  That says a lot and clearly whatever feelings she had for Akio, Touga, or whoever, would be eclipsed by the love and devotion felt for Anthy.

But to label them as friends or lovers is a mistake, imo.  What they share entitles so many different things that calling them one over the other would not do them justice, I think.

And with how I see the relationship in the TV series, I think it's the best presentation there could be.  I haven't read the manga though I have seen the movie.  While their relationship is more sexualized in the movie, I've made it clear that I don't think the TV series somehow negates the romantic quality.  I prefer it much more than the movie depiction.

Last edited by spoon-san (04-14-2009 11:01:34 PM)

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#5 | Back to Top04-15-2009 05:54:33 AM

Itsuke
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

In the TV series Utena never confessed her true feeling toward Anthy until the last minute, but at the same time I am convinced that Anthy and Utena had gone to first base (I believe what I saw in the second ed). Utena had spent most of her time being confused by Touga and Akio that I think she really neglected Anthy. Poor Anthy, she and Utena could have done so much more. emot-rofl emot-rofl

Last edited by Itsuke (04-15-2009 04:57:48 PM)

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#6 | Back to Top04-15-2009 07:21:08 AM

sharnii
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

spoon-san: I think Utena has feelings for Anthy deep down but she, as we know, is slow, and she is preoccupied with finding the prince without realizing that what she really is looking for is to become the prince herself for Anthy's sake.

Well said! school-eng101

Poor slow Utena. How I love her. school-devil

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#7 | Back to Top04-15-2009 09:58:36 AM

Itsuke
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

spoon-san wrote:

And with how I see the relationship in the TV series, I think it's the best presentation there could be.  I haven't read the manga though I have seen the movie.  While their relationship is more sexualized in the movie, I've made it clear that I don't think the TV series somehow negates the romantic quality.  I prefer it much more than the movie depiction.

I agree, as much as I love the explicit nature of their relationship in the movie, their relationship in the TV series is better depicted.
Subtleness is the key here. Utena never said I love you to Anthy. It's such an overuse phrase that it is devoid of meaning (one can imagine Akio throwing it around to lure in some unsuspected victims). The two never broadcasted their romantic feelings in the loudest possible fashion. In a very SKU fashion, it's hinted at indrectly. Utena's promise about having tea together ten years later is a fine example. Another great Utena quote is what she said before opening the Rose Gate...such moving words.... Utena should have realize this sooner.

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#8 | Back to Top04-15-2009 12:53:04 PM

The_A_Man
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Itsuke wrote:

In the TV series Utena never confessed her true feeling toward Anthy until the last minute, but at the same time I am convinced that Anthy and Utena had gone to first base (I believe what I saw in the second ep).

What did you see in the second episode? I want to know why you feel that way.

Also I was thinking it would be rather cool to have a mini debate over this. Who would win, the people who think Utena and Anthy are in love or the people who think they are just friends?

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#9 | Back to Top04-15-2009 04:57:26 PM

Itsuke
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

The_A_Man wrote:

Itsuke wrote:

In the TV series Utena never confessed her true feeling toward Anthy until the last minute, but at the same time I am convinced that Anthy and Utena had gone to first base (I believe what I saw in the second ep).

What did you see in the second episode? I want to know why you feel that way.

Also I was thinking it would be rather cool to have a mini debate over this. Who would win, the people who think Utena and Anthy are in love or the people who think they are just friends?

oooops, I meant second ED I better go correct my earlier post.

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#10 | Back to Top04-15-2009 05:16:23 PM

Duelist Megu
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From: Calgary, AB
Registered: 12-07-2007
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Itsuke wrote:

spoon-san wrote:

And with how I see the relationship in the TV series, I think it's the best presentation there could be.  I haven't read the manga though I have seen the movie.  While their relationship is more sexualized in the movie, I've made it clear that I don't think the TV series somehow negates the romantic quality.  I prefer it much more than the movie depiction.

I agree, as much as I love the explicit nature of their relationship in the movie, their relationship in the TV series is better depicted.
Subtleness is the key here. Utena never said I love you to Anthy. It's such an overuse phrase that it is devoid of meaning (one can imagine Akio throwing it around to lure in some unsuspected victims). The two never broadcasted their romantic feelings in the loudest possible fashion. In a very SKU fashion, it's hinted at indrectly. Utena's promise about having tea together ten years later is a fine example. Another great Utena quote is what she said before opening the Rose Gate...such moving words.... Utena should have realize this sooner.

Look, correct me if I'm wrong here, but it's my understanding that in a lot of Asian cultures, Japan included, it's fairly uncommon for people, unless they've been together for years or something, to just up and say "I love you".  It's something that gets talked around in just this fashion.  So, while I'm not personally convinced that series Utena and Anthy have anything going on lovewise, I think there's a real argument here in terms of the subtle words exchanged.

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#11 | Back to Top04-15-2009 05:51:10 PM

Itsuke
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Duelist Megu wrote:

Look, correct me if I'm wrong here, but it's my understanding that in a lot of Asian cultures, Japan included, it's fairly uncommon for people, unless they've been together for years or something, to just up and say "I love you".  It's something that gets talked around in just this fashion.  So, while I'm not personally convinced that series Utena and Anthy have anything going on lovewise, I think there's a real argument here in terms of the subtle words exchanged.

No~ I am sure a lot of Asian cultures have opened up and become a bit more relax toward saying I love you to one's current love interest. Watch enough Hong Kong, Japanese, Taiwan and Korean dramas throughout my life and observed others to be dead certain~ And being a Hong Konger myself I think I can have a say in this~ emot-rofl Of course, there are always bottled up folks who won't utter a word of intermacy, but these people can be found in all societies.

Even if you say there's nothing between Anthy and Utena because they never said anything along the line of I love you to each other, don't forget that they often held each other's hands. Their fingers were often intertwined, even in Asian cultures it was quite obvious that mere friends wouldn't hold hands like that, only lovers would~~ emot-rofl

Last edited by Itsuke (04-15-2009 08:28:46 PM)

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#12 | Back to Top04-15-2009 07:17:04 PM

Duelist Megu
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From: Calgary, AB
Registered: 12-07-2007
Posts: 303
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Itsuke wrote:

Duelist Megu wrote:

Look, correct me if I'm wrong here, but it's my understanding that in a lot of Asian cultures, Japan included, it's fairly uncommon for people, unless they've been together for years or something, to just up and say "I love you".  It's something that gets talked around in just this fashion.  So, while I'm not personally convinced that series Utena and Anthy have anything going on lovewise, I think there's a real argument here in terms of the subtle words exchanged.

No~ I am sure a lot of Asian cultures have opened up and become a bit more relax toward saying I love you to one's current love interest. Watch enough Hong Kong, Japanese, Taiwan and Korean dramas throughout my life and observed others to be dead certain~ And being a Hong Konger myself I think I can have a say in this~ emot-rofl Of course, there are always bottled up folks who won't utter a word of intermacy, but these people can be found in all societies.

Even if you say there's nothing between Anthy and Utena because they never said anything along the line of I love you to each other, don't forget that they often held each other's hands. Their fingers were often intertwined, even in Asian cultures it was quite obvious that mere friends would hold hands like that, only lovers would~~ emot-rofl

Second paragraph: That's a fair point, I suppose.  As a male, I perhaps maybe just interpreted that as "girls holding hands is not a big deal", but you're right that it does come off different than everyday platonic girl-handholding.

First paragraph: I'm inclined to take your knowledge of Asian cultures over my own assumptions as you've actually, like, lived there.  That said, the Asian culture I've got the most familiarity with is Hmong, (it's related to my field of study at college) and I know except for the Americanized younger generation, courtship is usually more subtle than "I love you" or whatever.  But that culture's a lot less integrated with the rest of the world compared to high-tech, mass communication societies like the ones you're talking about, and the ones you're talking about are the ones relevant at hand.  So, TL:DR; I suppose I got told.

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#13 | Back to Top04-15-2009 09:44:38 PM

Aelanie
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

All that said though, it's a fact that Japanese society is (or has been) much more reserved than mainland East Asia. The full blast "ai shiteru" isn't often said even in intensely romantic situations, and affection isn't often verbally expressed between family members to the degree that a Western culture might expect.

Indeed, out of all the anime I've seen, the number of times I've heard direct verbal expressions of familial love could probably be counted on a single hand, and when you account for the fact that anime and manga are artificially overdramatic compared to how things are in real life...

So, it's rather the opposite. "I love you" (ai shiteru) in Japanese is not the trite, overused phrase that it is in English. It's far more potent and powerful, simply because it is very seldom used.

Last edited by Aelanie (04-15-2009 09:47:40 PM)

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#14 | Back to Top04-15-2009 10:29:04 PM

Soukougnan
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

/fawns
i love the way their relationship develops and is handled in the series.
i have almost exactly that kind of relationship with a girl i know.

there's a deep, deep sense of friendship there, that pervades everything else, but beyond that is the love, which is completely and wholly innocent. i think that's part of what made Anthy love Utena, was the latter's complete lack of realization that she loved her. i like to think that after the series, Utena came to realize that she was in love with Anthy as well.

eh, i'd ramble more, but i've got something to attend to.


what-- where did i go?

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#15 | Back to Top04-15-2009 10:30:36 PM

Itsuke
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Well, do you believe the most important thing is often left unsaid? This is why Anthy's and Utena's relationship is depicted in such discreet fashion. On the other hand, it could also be the fact that showing two girls in a romantic relationship on Japanese TV wasn't that easy back in the late 90s. Hence, Ikuhara was forced to be discreet in portraying their relationship.

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#16 | Back to Top04-15-2009 10:55:15 PM

SleepDebtFairy
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Series-version Utena and Anthy to me are very platonic but deeply care about each other, yet I see the possibility of becoming romantically involved post-series. In general it doesn't matter to me. I can accept a romantic interpretation of them as much as a platonic interpretation of them and I like them either way. Its very flexible. etc-love


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

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#17 | Back to Top04-16-2009 01:28:08 AM

satyreyes
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

When I first watched the series I kind of assumed Utena and Anthy were romantically involved.  Now I look back and honestly, I kind of wonder where the hell I got that from.

Here's the thing.  Suppose Utena is consciously sexually attracted to Anthy.  This requires us to believe, among other things, that:

- Utena, who is in all other ways an open book, lies to various characters about her feelings throughout the series;
- Utena's heart, which supposedly has room only for her prince, is in fact promiscuous, allowing her to be irresistibly drawn to Touga or Akio at the same time she's attracted to Anthy;
- Utena, while lying in pajamas in bed next to the girl she wants to kiss, makes light conversation just like her conversations with Wakaba;
- late-series Utena, who must be jealous of Akio for getting to sleep with Anthy, nonetheless unhesitatingly goes for him over her.

There are others, too.  I think probably most episodes of the show include some oddity that doesn't make sense if Utena consciously wants Anthy.  I guess some of these things could maybe be explained away, but they require Utena to be an extraordinarily good actress bent on concealing her feelings from everyone, including Anthy.  I find it easier to believe that either Utena's friendship with Anthy is deep and heartfelt but nonsexual, or that Utena is attracted to Anthy but is not conscious of it.  If someone thinks there's evidence in the series that shows that Utena loves Anthy sexually or that the two are in a sexual relationship -- evidence that can't be explained in terms of platonic emotions -- I'd like to hear what it is.

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#18 | Back to Top04-16-2009 02:38:21 AM

Aelanie
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Utena, who is in all other ways an open book, lies to various characters about her feelings throughout the series;

Utena is actually a master of strenuous denial. Self-denial mostly, but if you can lie to yourself, it's easy to lie to others too. emot-tongue

- Utena's heart, which supposedly has room only for her prince, is in fact promiscuous, allowing her to be irresistibly drawn to Touga or Akio at the same time she's attracted to Anthy;

It's "promiscuous" to feel attracted to more than one person at a time? emot-confused Anyway, she never truly wanted the Prince, or Akio for that matter. Utena spends almost the whole series trying to half-heartedly convince herself that that's what she really wants, although of course it isn't, and the whole notion is based upon a distorted impression of her forgotten past anyway.

- Utena, while lying in pajamas in bed next to the girl she wants to kiss, makes light conversation just like her conversations with Wakaba;

"Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts..." school-freud

late-series Utena, who must be jealous of Akio for getting to sleep with Anthy, nonetheless unhesitatingly goes for him over her.

To me that's not what happened. Utena uses Akio there as a means to escape Anthy, who she is actually far more injured by, although she doesn't know why right then.

----

I'm not seriously arguing that Utena realizes, of course. For most of the series, Utena definitely is "unconscious" of the meaning of her feelings toward Anthy, but they were always there under the surface, and my reading is that she finally becomes aware of it during Episode 37. Anthy, on the other hand, is fully conscious of her feelings toward Utena, although they only serve to heighten her misery and sense of helplessness over Utena's planned fate.

More than that I won't say, yet...

If someone thinks there's evidence in the series that shows that Utena loves Anthy sexually or that the two are in a sexual relationship -- evidence that can't be explained in terms of platonic emotions -- I'd like to hear what it is.

2nd ED! emot-tongue But no...although I do think they are both attracted to each other sensually as well as emotionally, I don't really believe anything actually "happens" in that way during the series itself. Still, I do enjoy a very unserious idea that Utena and Anthy slept together in-between the Cantarella Scene (which to me is pretty much a tacit mutual love confession) and the Balcony Scene.

Think about it. Assume that I'm right: the Cantarella Scene is a mutual love confession, and that they both recognize it as such. Then suddenly, they're both in pajamas, and something momentous has happened to make Anthy take a desperate action. Yet Utena is right on her heels, yelling "You're running away?!"

I think it would be quite feasible for them to have slept together, Anthy slips outside afterwards, having made a decision caused by such a big event, but Utena basically challenges her. "You're running away from what we just shared?"

Since this is just an enjoyable fantasy, I won't be airing this in my "ultimate weapon"...I thought it was worth mentioning though. etc-love

Last edited by Aelanie (04-16-2009 05:09:34 AM)

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#19 | Back to Top04-16-2009 10:19:14 AM

Imaginary Bad Bug
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Soukougnan wrote:

there's a deep, deep sense of friendship there, that pervades everything else, but beyond that is the love, which is completely and wholly innocent. i think that's part of what made Anthy love Utena, was the latter's complete lack of realization that she loved her. i like to think that after the series, Utena came to realize that she was in love with Anthy as well.

satyreyes wrote:

I find it easier to believe that either Utena's friendship with Anthy is deep and heartfelt but nonsexual, or that Utena is attracted to Anthy but is not conscious of it.

This is about how I see it as well.  There are plenty of canon (and subtextual) couples in the series, but Utena and Anthy aren't one of them.  Like Soukougnan and satyreyes, I believe that Utena is wholly and completely dedicated to Anthy after the first couple of duels, but the thought never enters her mind that she wants to be with Anthy in the way that romantic couples are together.  It's an extremely deep friendship which transcends concepts like love. Whether they are a couple or not is largely irrelevant due to the way in which Utena is dedicated to Anthy.


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#20 | Back to Top04-16-2009 11:30:50 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Aelanie wrote:

Utena, who is in all other ways an open book, lies to various characters about her feelings throughout the series;

Utena is actually a master of strenuous denial. Self-denial mostly, but if you can lie to yourself, it's easy to lie to others too. emot-tongue

Oh, by all means!  Utena's good at self-denial.  But then she's fooling herself, which means she's carefully keeping herself unconscious of her own feelings.

- Utena's heart, which supposedly has room only for her prince, is in fact promiscuous, allowing her to be irresistibly drawn to Touga or Akio at the same time she's attracted to Anthy;

It's "promiscuous" to feel attracted to more than one person at a time? emot-confused Anyway, she never truly wanted the Prince, or Akio for that matter. Utena spends almost the whole series trying to half-heartedly convince herself that that's what she really wants, although of course it isn't, and the whole notion is based upon a distorted impression of her forgotten past anyway.

Again, I couldn't agree more, but Utena clearly believes (without ever having really thought about it) that she wants the Prince; why else would she behave the way she does toward Touga in episodes 11 and 12?  If she were consciously attracted to Anthy we should expect her to act guiltily towards Anthy, as though she'd been unfaithful to her, but she doesn't, really.

- Utena, while lying in pajamas in bed next to the girl she wants to kiss, makes light conversation just like her conversations with Wakaba;

"Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts..." school-freud

emot-biggrin  The only problem here is that we know from her interactions with Akio is that we know that Utena is really bad at controlling her libido by thinking unsexy thoughts.

late-series Utena, who must be jealous of Akio for getting to sleep with Anthy, nonetheless unhesitatingly goes for him over her.

To me that's not what happened. Utena uses Akio there as a means to escape Anthy, who she is actually far more injured by, although she doesn't know why right then.

I can actually see this being true, but platonically.  Here Utena has been spending the last thirtysome episodes trying to save Anthy and make her free, and now it turns out she's sleeping with her brother.  That must hurt.  The problem is that the even more central conflict in this scene is that Utena has become half-convinced that Akio is a prince, or her prince, or can be her prince, and now it turns out he's sleeping with his sister.  So much for the idea that princes exist in this world.  Confusion and disillusionment follow.  Remember that Utena thinks about throwing away her Rose Seal -- a symbol of her connection to Anthy, yes, but first and foremost a symbol of her connection to her prince.  The ideas are tied together now, but there doesn't need to be anything romantic about Utena's feelings for Anthy for this sequence to be coherent.

My reading is that she finally becomes aware of it during Episode 37. Anthy, on the other hand, is fully conscious of her feelings toward Utena, although they only serve to heighten her misery and sense of helplessness over Utena's planned fate. . . . Think about it. Assume that I'm right: the Cantarella Scene is a mutual love confession, and that they both recognize it as such. Then suddenly, they're both in pajamas, and something momentous has happened to make Anthy take a desperate action. Yet Utena is right on her heels, yelling "You're running away?!"

I think it would be quite feasible for them to have slept together, Anthy slips outside afterwards, having made a decision caused by such a big event, but Utena basically challenges her. "You're running away from what we just shared?"

That strains credulity to me, simply because this is the part of the series where Utena is treating Anthy the most coldly.  I see the Cantaralla Scene as Anthy saying "I deeply, deeply resent you [for pretending to be a prince]" and Utena saying "I deeply resent you too [for sleeping with Akio]."  (They're talking about poisoning each other, which is not how people usually make love confessions.)  Astonishingly, Utena actually makes conscious use of subtext in this scene, the only time to my immediate memory she does so.  I think this scene is a crucial moment for both Utena's self-awareness and Anthy's.  Anthy's first.  Anthy and Akio's plan has worked perfectly -- Utena deeply resents Anthy, no longer believes in princes, and is even debased enough to start using subtext -- and Anthy realizes she can't live with that.  She can't live with destroying Utena's nobility like she destroyed Dios's, because in spite of her resentment she does love Utena (maybe romantically, maybe not).  That's why she attempts suicide.  The significance of the Cantarella Scene to Utena is less dramatic but also crucial.  Utena and Anthy both make a big deal out of how the tea and cookies are delicious, poisoned or otherwise.  To Utena what this means is "all right, I get it.  I resent you, but you're still my friend."

"You're running away?!" is Utena's profound confusion that the Cantarella Scene meant something different to Anthy than it meant to her.  She can't imagine why Anthy would want to jump off the balcony after renewing her friendship with Utena.  Utena's lines afterward are wonderful insight into her psychology and ought to be examined carefully:

Utena:  I...didn't recognize your pain.
Utena:  I didn't realize your suffering.
Utena:  Instead, I just kept on pretending to be the Prince who could save you.
Utena:  I was just being conceited about protecting you.
Utena:  And when I saw you and Akio-san together...I even thought you had betrayed me.
Utena:  When you were suffering so much...when I had said we should save each other...

Utena:  I'M the one who's unfair. I'm the one who's dirty.
Utena:  I'm the one who betrayed you.

The bolded lines are my favorites.  Why did Utena feel Anthy had betrayed her?  Not because Anthy cheated on Utena with Akio.  That wouldn't make any sense, since if U+A are sleeping together then Utena has been cheating on Anthy with Akio too.  Utena says these lines because she's spent this whole time seeing Anthy as a princess and herself as Anthy's prince.  Anthy and Akio's tryst makes Utena feel Anthy has chosen another champion, after all Utena has done for her, and perhaps has turned away from her own redemption, after all Utena's efforts to redeem her.  In this monologue Utena realizes how conceited that was, while simultaneously renewing her commitment to protect Anthy all she can, not because Anthy is Utena's princess but because Anthy is Utena's friend.  If you want to overlay these lines with a romantic subtext you can, but I don't think we need to do so to understand them.

Last edited by satyreyes (04-16-2009 11:39:35 AM)

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#21 | Back to Top04-16-2009 02:09:08 PM

The_A_Man
Someday Shiner
From: Canada
Registered: 02-22-2009
Posts: 9107
Website

Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Well, there is one scene from episode 34 I think proves the Utena has deep (maybe intimate) feelings for Anthy. Here it is:

Akio: It must be hard.

Utena: Hmmm?

Akio: Being with Anthy. I know all about it. It must be tiring, being friends with her for this long.

Utena: *looks down at her hands* N-no, not really. Having her around has really been helpful for me. *smiles*

Akio: *leans in* Oh?

Utena: Himemiya is... She's a very important friend for me.

Akio: *leans back a bit* Important to you how?

Utena: I mean... Well... *looks a bit nervous* She's just important to me. *blushes*

Akio: *leans back in* And what about us? Are we friends, too?

Utena: *eyes shift*

Now I really don't think Utena would be getting so nervous and blushing if her feelings towards Anthy were just those of friendship, but something much deeper. The fact that Akio then asked if they (he and Utena) were friends too, makes me think that he feels that way too, since we all know they he just wants in her pants.

Who knows, maybe Utena's hesitation does mean that she has done something with Anthy already that we don't know about.

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#22 | Back to Top04-16-2009 02:20:48 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

I'd interpret it differently.

Akio: It must be hard.

Utena: Hmmm?

Akio: Being with Anthy. I know all about it. It must be tiring, being friends with her for this long.

Utena: *looks down at her hands* N-no, not really. Having her around has really been helpful for me. *smiles*  [Because I care about her a lot.]

Akio: *leans in* Oh?

Utena: Himemiya is... She's a very important friend for me. [Because I need to be her prince... if that's still possible.]

Akio: *leans back a bit* Important to you how?

Utena: I mean... Well... *looks a bit nervous* She's just important to me. *blushes* [Because without her I'm just a silly little princess.]

Akio: *leans back in* And what about us? Are we friends, too? [I made you my princess a couple nights ago.  That means you're not a prince.]

Utena: *eyes shift* [Maybe you're right.]

I think the conversation is Akio, bastard that he is, bringing out the internal tension that has been present in Utena since Day One: finding a prince versus being a prince.  He's insinuating that you don't get to do both.  Utena's feelings for Akio have made that tension churn for a while by episode 34, but Akio is bringing it to the surface.  Also, below all of that, there's some further subtext.  Before sleeping with Akio, Utena talked to Akio about princes openly.  Now she can't.  She thinks she's betrayed the memory of her prince, which makes Akio's point that much more cutting: you can't be a prince anymore, you've lost your nobility.

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#23 | Back to Top04-16-2009 09:07:52 PM

spoon-san
Someday Shiner
Registered: 03-18-2009
Posts: 3423

Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

I fundamentally disagree on interpretations mainly because they were not even talking about the subject of princes in the first place.  Akio was trying to plant seeds in Utena to think that being around Anthy wasn't so great and that it was a burden.  All Akio is trying to do is to get Utena to accept the idea of being a princess so she'll hand over the sword.  Utena did lose her nobility somewhat for sleeping with Akio as Dios prophesied, but Akio still is the prince Utena was looking for in some sense except that he himself was no longer noble and fell from grace.  I could be wrong but the prince context not once popped into my mind in that conversation.  I saw it as something that clearly went to question Utena's relationship with Anthy at the moment (where they had gone through so much together and now that bond was being tried in many ways as well as being redefined in the same way that Utena is becoming redefined as is Anthy soon to be redefined) and Akio's line where he's teasing Utena's typical fuzzy logic where he asks if him and Utena are 'friends' too, especially since they are clearly having a romantic sort of thing going on without being together but there being a whole lot of sexual tension, nonetheless, I see it as Akio probing to find if his suspicions are correct much like what Juri did some episodes later.  For those characters to even ask those questions makes it plain to me that the creator(s) are purposely trying to add the possibility there though as I said, they are not lovers or anything like that until perhaps post-series so really it is up to the viewer's imagination as with everything really on that show. 

Again, I think they're just friends through the course of the series but to think that they were not intended to be seen in some other light makes no sense to me because otherwise I don't see why the creator(s) of the TV series would have bothered so much to make it seem that way with not merely the art which makes it obvious but with the credits which tend to show another side to what's there except as I've said several times, nothing more than friendship happens through the show. 

And it wouldn't make any sense if anything other than friendship happened.  To me, that would defeat the purpose and implications of having both protagonists freed from Ohtori which is a mind-f*ck academy of the highest degree.  But as I said, once Utena knows the truth and is set free from the life of illusions she was living and sees Anthy for who she is, I think she will become a friend, a lover, and a soul-mate to the girl and vice-versa.  And nothing can be proved to the point of satisfying court of law, but I think my view is totally legit as any other one (though deep down I think I'm right, but whatever).

But no, I think Utena may subconsciously love Anthy in 'that' way.  In fact, when she almost realized who Anthy was (in the context of the past) in the garden, I was like "wait, is she going to kiss her or what is going on?  What is Utena feeling?" and of course I don't even think Utena had any clue what was going on.  Utena doesn't even see Anthy for who she is.  She doesn't even know what is going on.  She learns the truth in the end and I think that's when her goals, feelings, and perception changes completely and I think that opens the door in Utena's heart to accept the idea of being something more than just a friend to the girl.  I think at that point, they become 'everything' to the other, however you want to define 'everything.'

Last edited by spoon-san (04-16-2009 09:14:41 PM)

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#24 | Back to Top04-16-2009 10:03:01 PM

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

Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

That strains credulity to me, simply because this is the part of the series where Utena is treating Anthy the most coldly.  I see the Cantaralla Scene as Anthy saying "I deeply, deeply resent you [for pretending to be a prince]" and Utena saying "I deeply resent you too [for sleeping with Akio]."  (They're talking about poisoning each other, which is not how people usually make love confessions.)

I very much disagree. To me the Cantrarella scene is, in essence, an apology and a warning on both sides.

Anthy is saying, "I've poisoned you with my treachery and deceit. There's still so much you don't know. By revealing my sexual relationship with my brother, I've given you a taste. You need to get away from us before it's too late. Forgive me."

but Utena's response, which surprises Anthy, is thus:

"I've poisoned you with my neglect and vanity. I've taken you for granted and thought only about myself. I'm no better than you, and it's likely I'll only repeat my mistakes. Forgive me."

And together, as they both declare each other's poison "delicious":

"Even if you're poison to me, and even if I'm poison to you, I just can't stop feeling the way I feel about you."

It's not resentment. I don't think Anthy ever resented Utena after Utena proved herself in winning against Touga in the duel "Self". Utena did resent Anthy after she found out about her relationship with Akio, but it was only because she was so wounded by it. Once she figures out her feelings (with Juri's help), all that's left, for both of them, is to ask for forgiveness, and then forgive.

But when Anthy sees that that Utena reciprocates her feelings, she realizes no amount of warning or pushing is going to save Utena from her fate. So, she makes a desperate and, perhaps, futile effort to remove the "anchor" holding Utena in the situation...herself.

That's all I'm saying for now. You'll just have to wait for the rest. >:O

Last edited by Aelanie (04-16-2009 10:12:43 PM)

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#25 | Back to Top04-17-2009 12:04:36 AM

spoon-san
Someday Shiner
Registered: 03-18-2009
Posts: 3423

Re: Utena's and Anthy's Relationship

Another interesting view.

I'm not sure if Anthy didn't feel resentful.  After all, the episode preview commentary on episode 36, Anthy did say that she always held Utena in contempt.  I think that's stretching it but I honestly believe Anthy was feeling some resentment in the fact that Utena was condemning her without understanding anything which she was willing to let go of but it didn't mean that it didn't hurt Anthy any less.  But I don't think Anthy was really trying to be mean by the poison comment.  Utena, though, I think her comment about the tea was meant to kinda say that she was mad at Anthy (and she was obviously very, very pissed that whole episode and yet let on to her anger in very subtle ways in order not to hurt Anthy, so I always saw the comment as a stab, however, I am willing to consider alternative interpretations which I haven't thought of before) and Anthy takes it in stride, acting like it doesn't bother her. Utena, though, by locking fingers and making a promise to still be friends in ten years struck me as a way of also saying that they would move past this and that so far, nothing that went on was enough for Utena to stop wanting to be a companion to Anthy. I think the latter part of forgiveness coupled with the hurt Anthy felt for having the one person who seemed to honestly give a damn about her now look at her in the same angry way that everyone else did was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I do think Anthy intended to take her own life that night.

Last edited by spoon-san (04-17-2009 01:57:08 PM)

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