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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 Top05-07-2009 09:16:09 AM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416
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ChuChu as the Princess

My hopefully provocative title is to highlight the fact that ostensibly Utena first chose to duel to "protect ChuChu". It's not to save the rose bride, no no, it's to save ChuChu from the wrath of Saionji. emot-biggrin

Okay so we all know this is a joke, sure, and the catalyst for a meaningful moment in which Anthy gazes in shock at Utena from across the room, and then actually smiles at the cuteness of the situation. (Sidenote: I always found that smile very sweet and a beginning to a true connection between Utena & Anthy, but some have told me they find it extremely creepy!)

Yet the fact remains. It is helpless little ChuChu who first inspires Utena's princely traits into princely action. ChuChu assumes the role of princess needing saving. school-eng101

I always thought that this is merely Utena's way of almost boyishly not admitting that she wants to stop Anthy being slapped around. Thus I read into it the same motivation to duel as we see upfront in the movie. Rather put-off by the engagement/rose-bride system (which she perceives to be an unjust farce), and maybe even by Anthy's weirdness, Utena ascribes her own motives to wanting to protect an innocent animal.

Of course how could someone acting to protect a helpless and innocent animal (and going so far to do it too) fail to secretly be acting to protect a helpless and innocent girl (Anthy's facade). etc-love

But it occurs to me to wonder does everybody agree with this interpretation? That Utena just can't bring herself to say yet that she's dueling for Anthy's sake?

Is ChuChu really the "princess" whom Utena is first inspired to save?
Or is ChuChu a false princess, standing in for Anthy?

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#2 | Back to Top05-07-2009 09:26:37 AM

Bluesky
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Re: ChuChu as the Princess

Of course it's always possible that ChuChu is Anthy's familiar, making them one and the same.
But down that route...lies mind rape. emot-gonk


/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

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#3 | Back to Top05-07-2009 09:29:17 AM

The_A_Man
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From: Canada
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Re: ChuChu as the Princess

I've always felt like she said this because she didn't want to admit to Anthy that she was really dueling for her. Admitting feeling like that can be rather nerve wrecking at times. Plus there is the fact that she probably didn't like the way Saionji treated Chu-Chu earlier that episode.

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#4 | Back to Top05-07-2009 09:38:23 AM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416
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Re: ChuChu as the Princess

Miss Bluesky: Of course it's always possible that ChuChu is Anthy's familiar, making them one and the same.
But down that route...lies mind rape. emot-gonk

I love that route, I've always loved that route. school-devil
Although ChuChu being Anthy's familiar doesn't make him the same as Anthy I reckon...it just makes him...intimately connected to her. In a very confusing way, depending on what your definition of a familiar is. school-eng101

A_Man: I've always felt like she said this because she didn't want to admit to Anthy that she was really dueling for her.

You managed to say in one sentence what I tried to say in about 10. emot-keke

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#5 | Back to Top05-07-2009 04:04:20 PM

Bluesky
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Re: ChuChu as the Princess

Something else to consider is whether Anthy knows Utena's reason. It's kind of hard to judge by he reaction, because when Anthy smiles it could mean any number of things. I like to think that she sees through the uncaring facade Utena puts on and it pleases her to see how involved she is already, but that's just one interpretation.

About Chuchu being Anthy's familiar, it's like he expresses the things she can't (hostility to Saionji, to take an example). So Utena would be reaching out to Anthy's true self, without even realising.

Or maybe she just has a thing for monkeys. Let's face it, in SKU it could be anything. emot-biggrin


/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

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#6 | Back to Top05-07-2009 04:51:25 PM

Riri-kins
World's End
From: Cloud Nine
Registered: 09-22-2008
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Re: ChuChu as the Princess

I agree that Utena was put off by Anthy's eccentric personality, sharnii. Yeah, she didn't like seeing her abused, but who wouldn't be creeped out by her at first? Maybe Utena just didn't want to be associated with somebody uncool. That's my theory, anyway.


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

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#7 | Back to Top05-09-2009 04:58:20 AM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
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Re: ChuChu as the Princess

Utena seems too nice to care about associating with people because they're cool or not cool. Wakaba her best friend is not one of the "special" people, and she's nice to Mitsuru and, well pretty much anyone who isn't either abusing someone or trying to feel her up. emot-tongue

So I don't think she is reluctant to say she's dueling for Anthy because Anthy is weird and uncool (and Anthy is that heh heh).

But it's a workable theory Riri. Just not one I go in for.

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#8 | Back to Top05-09-2009 09:31:35 AM

Stormcrow
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Re: ChuChu as the Princess

I've always thought that Utena was engaging in a bit of subterfuge here. I think she disapproves of Anthy's complicity in the dueling game, and doesn't want to come right and say that she was protecting Anthy because it makes her a little bit of an accomplice as well. Of course, this is a rather delicate thought for our heroine, so it may be that she didn't understand it herself. On the other hand, there's no way that Anthy could have missed it, so I think she reacts with shock at being subtly told off. The other thing is that if Utena were a poser, she would have made more of an attempt to appear as a prince in the situation, rather than finding an excuse to do the right thing.

And I do agree that this is the beginning of the true connection between the two. I think that Utena did something that Anthy didn't expect and forced her to look a little more closely at her.


"The devil want me as is, but god he want more."
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#9 | Back to Top05-09-2009 11:37:55 AM

spoon-san
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Registered: 03-18-2009
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Re: ChuChu as the Princess

Wait, in response to the OP, does this potentially make Utena a closet-PETA member?

On a more serious note, I agree that Anthy's smile was a happy one and a sincere of a smile she can sorta muster while in Rose Bride mode.

And for canon interpretation, since Utena had a firm resolve to lose the duel, I think she might have been a bit embarrassed for not sticking to the plan and thus made a lame excuse.  Since they were just barely acquainted, I'm sure confessing that she was starting to really care about Anthy would have been something out of her comfort zone.

Last edited by spoon-san (05-09-2009 11:47:04 AM)

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#10 | Back to Top05-09-2009 01:33:38 PM

End of the Tour
Ballgoer
From: The Nowhere Islands
Registered: 09-11-2008
Posts: 143

Re: ChuChu as the Princess

Definitely agreeing with the last two posts.  And also, having just rewatched episode 32, did anyone else notice that, when Utena questions Nanami about dueling again, Nanami threatens ChuChu?  She specifically saying something like "oh, don't you care what happens to him?".

I wonder if that was just a callback for observant viewers, or if it's meant to imply that Nanami is aware of Utena's stated motivation for protecting Anthy.  (Of course, right after dueling Saionji again she duels Miki, who seemed to be perfectly fine with ChuChu.  But I could still see Nanami mocking Utena by bringing it up.)


Sometimes life is about making difficult sandwiches.

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#11 | Back to Top05-11-2009 11:59:16 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
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Re: ChuChu as the Princess

Stormcrow wrote:

I've always thought that Utena was engaging in a bit of subterfuge here. I think she disapproves of Anthy's complicity in the dueling game, and doesn't want to come right and say that she was protecting Anthy because it makes her a little bit of an accomplice as well. Of course, this is a rather delicate thought for our heroine, so it may be that she didn't understand it herself. On the other hand, there's no way that Anthy could have missed it, so I think she reacts with shock at being subtly told off.

I agree.  This is the part of the series where Utena's central conflict with Anthy is that Utena will not accept Anthy's self-characterization as nothing more than the victor's flower.  To say "I dueled to protect you, Anthy" would be to say "you are a helpless flower who needs to be protected," which is exactly the aspect of the duels that bothers Utena so much.  Utena doesn't want to reinforce what she sees as Anthy's weakness.  Chu Chu, on the other hand, is an animal, so there's no implicit dehumanization in dueling to protect him; an animal can't be expected to fight on its own behalf. 

There's some irony here in that Utena does see Anthy as someone who needs protecting.  The difference is that Utena wants to protect Anthy in order to socialize her and regrow her into someone who can stand up for herself at least a little -- that is, pull her out of the dueling game altogether.  (That's why we segue from here into a filler episode where Utena tries to push Anthy into social settings.)  By tying that duel to Chu Chu Utena is trying (in a way that must be utterly transparent to the experienced Rose Bride) to say "you're strong, Anthy, you don't need my help" in a way that's not inconsistent with her success in the duel.  I'm not sure whether Utena intended this small duplicity to be transparent or not, but either way she's not saying the words "you need my help," which is what I think she's really trying to avoid.

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#12 | Back to Top05-11-2009 11:06:27 PM

sharnii
Pharaoh of Phanstuff
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 08-10-2008
Posts: 2416
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Re: ChuChu as the Princess

Stormy: I've always thought that Utena was engaging in a bit of subterfuge here. I think she disapproves of Anthy's complicity in the dueling game, and doesn't want to come right and say that she was protecting Anthy because it makes her a little bit of an accomplice as well.

Fascinating. etc-love I've never thought of that...it is subtle for Utena, but it's also in character. Hmm hmm. I shall think about it and perhaps add it to my own understanding of Utena and characterizing of her in fanfic.

Stormy: And I do agree that this is the beginning of the true connection between the two. I think that Utena did something that Anthy didn't expect and forced her to look a little more closely at her.

I always found it to be a very powerful moment. And a beginning.

spoon: On a more serious note, I agree that Anthy's smile was a happy one and a sincere of a smile she can sorta muster while in Rose Bride mode.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure her creepy smiles are well...creepier. Like the one she does in the bedroom with Akio (after they've put their clothes back on) and you only see his eyes and her mouth. Cree...py.

End: And also, having just rewatched episode 32, did anyone else notice that, when Utena questions Nanami about dueling again, Nanami threatens ChuChu?  She specifically saying something like "oh, don't you care what happens to him?"

Excellent observation. poptart That is so intriguing; and somehow so Nanami.

satyr: By tying that duel to Chu Chu Utena is trying (in a way that must be utterly transparent to the experienced Rose Bride) to say "you're strong, Anthy, you don't need my help" in a way that's not inconsistent with her success in the duel.  I'm not sure whether Utena intended this small duplicity to be transparent or not, but either way she's not saying the words "you need my help," which is what I think she's really trying to avoid.

You explain this very well. Hmm I can see how Utena would be transparent to Anthy (whom I imagine feels a little derisive, and a little bit pleasantly shocked at this point), and her "small hypocrisy" is very typical of her later actions too. Wow, more musing on the character of Utena is in store for me. Something to look forward to.

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#13 | Back to Top05-12-2009 02:19:16 AM

Soukougnan
Black Rosarian
From: home. sort of.
Registered: 01-02-2009
Posts: 373

Re: ChuChu as the Princess

yes


what-- where did i go?

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