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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 Top06-03-2009 03:41:58 PM

Riri-kins
World's End
From: Cloud Nine
Registered: 09-22-2008
Posts: 2346

Shiori and Kozue's Revolutions

It can be argued that Kozue and Shiori are the only non-student council members besides Utena who might have an inkling of what's going on. I say this because they might have remembered being in the dueling arena before as Black Rose Duelists since they didn't react strangely to it when they were Rose Brides. They're obviously special characters with potential for improvement. Heck, Shiori has gotten really confident by the last episode. Yet Kozue, who claims she wants her brother to be happy during their car ride with Akio, shows no character development by the final episode. Why?

Is Shiori emotionally stronger than Kozue? Was Kozue bullshitting when she told her brother she wanted his happiness? Or did the writers just forget about her? Your thoughts?


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

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#2 | Back to Top06-03-2009 07:14:02 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Shiori and Kozue's Revolutions

Well, I guess the obvious answer is that Shiori's relationship with Juri changed.  Shiori found out whose picture is in Juri's locket, Ruka came between them, Utena broke the locket -- in other words, events unraveled the red string of fate a little bit for both Shiori and Juri.  Neither of them is as tied to the other as they were, and they're freer for it.  By contrast, nothing really happens to change Miki and Kozue's relationship.  Neither makes a dramatic discovery about the other twin, Kozue doesn't get a steady boyfriend, no piano or sheet music gets destroyed in a fire.  Inertia is pretty strong at Ohtori (and everywhere, for that matter).  If nothing external changes, nothing internal tends to change, either.

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#3 | Back to Top06-03-2009 08:10:08 PM

dollface
Postmistress Elf of Subtext
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-17-2006
Posts: 5086
Website

Re: Shiori and Kozue's Revolutions

I wrote an essay about Kozue a while ago, and near the end, I gave my opinion on Kozue's revolution. I'm lazy, so I'm just going to cut and paste. emot-smile


It is often said that even after Utena brought the revolution, Kozue didnít seem as though she had changed in the slightest. I must admit, in the very brief moment we see Kozue after the revolution occurred, there doesn't appear to be any major difference. She watches Miki and Mitsuru from the piano bench, leaning against it in a way that implies she really isnít fond of her surroundings, but sheís still comfortable. Her pose suggests how one would behave while visiting a childhood home; nostalgic, yes, but not much more so than any other setting. Her tone of voice also sounds rather distant, almost sarcastic in a way. Overall, she doesnít appear too thrilled to watch Mitsuru and Miki from her standpoint. While Miki may not be falling in love with Mitsuru, he is treating him as a priority, which is the original concept in how he treated Anthy. With a second look at the broader view, however, you may see how much Kozue has grown, almost moreso than any other character. In the entire series, you see Kozue in the music room three times prior to this scene. The first occurs when Kozue is leaving the room in episode 5; itís implied that she has just returned from a rendezvous with Touga. Her second visit comes at the end of the same episode; she is playing the piano (quite poorly) while chatting with another female student. She says that she never had talent, and only played because of a romantic letter she received. Both of these instances make references to Kozueís capricious love life and lack of purity. It shows that Kozue has no shame over the life she leads, and no remorse over the life she had. That is the Kozue most SKU fans know. The unabashed, honest, true Kozue appears in episode 15, her third time seen in the music room. She is playing Hikaru Sasu Niwa, and the sound is breathtaking. This proves that Kozue can indeed play the piano just as well as Miki, but obviously does not care for this relic of her memories anymore. Before the revolution came, the only time Kozue is ever in the music room with Miki is when she draws his sword. That is the pure malice that Kozue retains. Just as she withholds her musical talent, she also hides her dark heart. So, to see Kozue sitting casually in the music room, at the piano no less, is astounding. This means that Kozue has finally become comfortable enough in her relationship with Miki to spend time with him in the very place that had torn them apart. In addition, the fact that she sits far away from Mitsuru and Miki shows that she has lost her possessive demeanor. She is able to let Miki interact with another human being without trying to monopolize his emotions. Utena did not revolutionize the world; she revolutionized the people in it. They were not granted their wishes, but they did gain strength to cope. I feel that Kozue came to terms with her adoration as well as her resentment, and is finally taking a shot at a normal life with Miki.


ah, man does not exist; ah, within the darkness; ah, the sound of the waves

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#4 | Back to Top06-04-2009 11:59:24 AM

Razara
Marionette Mistress
From: Wuzzy Happy Akio Town (What?)
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 4693

Re: Shiori and Kozue's Revolutions

I always thought that it would be really cool if Series-Shiori did have just as much of an idea of what's going on as Movie-Shiori. emot-keke But the issue that there's not much reasoning to back it up. In the movie, Shiori has communications with supernatural beings that provide her with information. In the series, Shiori is Juri's ex-bestfriend from a time before she had even joined the student council. Kozue and Nanami are both likely to know at least a bit more than the average student as to what kind of things go on in the student council because their siblings are involved in it. Shiori, unfortunately, returns to the academy with no connects to any of the higher powers involved in the duels.

Riri-kins wrote:

they didn't react strangely to it when they were Rose Brides.

Shiori's initial behavior at the start of Ruka's duel is so intriguing that it adds a lot to my reasons for adoring that duel. etc-love

While seeing a screenshot of a Rose Bride-clad Shiori smirking in Akio's car gave me the impression that "OMG, the Black Rose Saga must end with Shiori becoming the Rose Bride or something, OMG, OMG, OMG," her expression before the duel starts is less than confident. Ruka is smirking, whereas Shiori looks emotionless. While Ruka talks, she's staring, as it would seem, at Anthy (keep in mind that she knows Anthy), who looks at her with the same empty smirk of disapproval. (She's not smirking at Shiori as she does at Nanami, thankfully.)

What you have to keep in mind is that things have just changed rapidly in Shiori's life, much like they did when Utena first arrived at Ohtori. A few days prior, she was just a normal girl who happened to be a childhood of one of the school idols. Now all the sudden, she's dating the one of the most popular guys in school who took her for a ride in a strange car and told her that they could gain the power to work miracles if they travel up to the clouds to fight in duel all for a girl who mindlessly obeys the winner oh did I mention she'll have to pull a sword out of his chest? That's a lot for someone to take in during such a short period of time, especially if you're not as strong and fearless as Utena is. Speaking of Utena, imagine finding out that the two nice girls that welcomed you when you first arrived a the academy are actually APART of all this madness, as is Juri.

It would only be natural for Shiori to be nervous, hence the reason why she holds out her arm for Ruka to comfort her. After that, all her nervousness vanishes instantly. In other words, as long as she has Ruka around to make her feel safe, she's able to handle the stress of the situation with a reasonable amount of stability.

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#5 | Back to Top06-05-2009 06:34:51 AM

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

Re: Shiori and Kozue's Revolutions

I think the key trait separating the Black Rose duelists from the Student Council is the acquisition of power.

All of the Student Council members and Utena openly gain and wield popularity and power. Utena's the heoric tomboy, Touga's Council President, Juri's Fencing Team Captain, Saionji's Kendo Team Captain, Miki's the school's resident genius, and Nanami's the queen bee. Everyone in school knows their names and they each have their own fan followings. All of them rock at sports and extracurriculars, and some of them are implied to be good students to boot. With their dysfunctions well-hidden, it's generally accepted that the Student Council are smart, likeable people who will grow up to successful futures. And whatever insecurities they have, each Council member takes pride in the polished image they project at school. And they're willing to fight in the Arena for their own revolutions, which tells you something about their motivation levels.

None of the Black Rose duelists show remotely so much drive and power. Kanae, Tsuwabuki, Wakaba, and Keiko desperately want to be loved and have power, but they only try to do so by sucking up to the people they "love" to no avail. They don't have the confidence or the means to actively seize power. Kozue and Shiori, are of course, the exceptions. That's why they play the Dueling game into the third arc when the others are tossed aside. But because they feel they're still 'weaker' than the Council members, Kozue and Shiori unscrupulously manipulate others while the Student Concil wield their power in the open.


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

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#6 | Back to Top06-06-2009 01:11:17 AM

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

Re: Shiori and Kozue's Revolutions

In my understanding of SKU (strange as it is emot-tongue) Shiori and Kozue are the two characters who virtually receive no revolution.

I like to back this up with their reaction to Utena playing squash with Miki & Juri in the quad (when they have their symbolic conversation about being inspired by Utena's actions)...remember they are staring sinisterly from the shadows. Nanami has a conversation with Utena, and Touga and Saionji stare semi-disbelievingly at her as she marches off to do battle, and all those characters also have the "council conversation" reminiscing during the final duel, and showing they have some small hope (which is being crushed) that the world really can be changed. Not so for Kozue or Shiori.

When it comes to Kozue staring at Miki and Mitsuru after Utena is gone, I see this more as evidence of her obsession with Miki and his relationships/attention being unchanged. Not a sign of growth...

Yet Kozue, who claims she wants her brother to be happy during their car ride with Akio, shows no character development by the final episode. Why?

I actually agree re her lack of character development.
That's partly what makes Kozue a fascinating character to me...she's a character who can't receive a revolution because she doesn't really want one. When she claims she wants her brother to be happy she really means she wants him to duel with her, which is indeed what the whole conversation/manipulation is about. And the reason she wants him to duel with her is because she wants to get Anthy out of the picture (the object of his affection), and she wants to do something "together only with him" again that re-proves his loyalty to her.

She says she wants him to be happy, but to Kozue that means she wants him to be happy with her. Always and only with her.

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