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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 Top07-28-2009 08:15:34 PM

Malacoda
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 07-26-2009
Posts: 180

SKU and the Unreliable Narrator

Even though SKU isn't a written work, it does make use of the unreliable narrator. Utena, for example, is rather unreliable when it comes to memories of her prince. That made me think, how reliable are our other "narrators"? How much of the series actually happens the way the viewer sees it? If we wanted to see the series in the most objective lenses, whose point of view would we want to use? What about the least reliable point of view?

Personally, I really don't trust Anthy early on in the series and I'm not sure if Anthy really does imagine seeing Utena sitting across from her in episode 12. In fact, I think Utena, Anthy and Akio have the most unreliable point of view. This makes for an interesting dilemma because most of SKU is told through these character's perspectives.

Of course, there are no facts to prove a character's reliability. I'd just like to see a discussion (and maybe I'll get a few insights on writing first person Anthy emot-biggrin)

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#2 | Back to Top07-28-2009 08:52:08 PM

Like_Autumn
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Registered: 07-18-2007
Posts: 639
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Re: SKU and the Unreliable Narrator

Interesting thoughts. I've always been curious about the silhouetted characters in the flashbacks and wondered if that hinted that perhaps things didn't quite happen the way they remembered. Because in the Saionji and Touga flashbacks you can see them normally, as if only that part was real. I don't know, but it's something to think about.


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#3 | Back to Top07-28-2009 09:21:10 PM

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

Re: SKU and the Unreliable Narrator

Like_Autumn wrote:

Interesting thoughts. I've always been curious about the silhouetted characters in the flashbacks and wondered if that hinted that perhaps things didn't quite happen the way they remembered. Because in the Saionji and Touga flashbacks you can see them normally, as if only that part was real. I don't know, but it's something to think about.

I actually felt that way for some of the flashbacks, especially the prince story and also the story Miki tells as to how Kozue quit piano.  It felt fabricated, to say the least.

As for reliable narrators, I would pick Dios for obvious reasons (he's Dios) and the Shadow Play Girls.  However, I personally don't think any unreliable narrators were meant to be written in the course of the events that we witness as viewers.  But I realize that that is besides the point.

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#4 | Back to Top07-29-2009 01:58:28 AM

Clarice
Well hello, Clarice...
From: New Zealand
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 3102
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Re: SKU and the Unreliable Narrator

It doesn't have to be a written work to have an unreliable narrator -- one of the most famous Japanese movies in the west is "Rashomon," and that movie is built entirely upon the premise that either everyone is lying, or reality differs depending upon the one person perceiving it. Personally, I think it's a bit of both. emot-wink

Last edited by Clarice (07-29-2009 01:59:01 AM)


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#5 | Back to Top07-29-2009 07:02:24 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8731
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Re: SKU and the Unreliable Narrator

I think everyone contributes to that--everyone narrates a little, and no one is reliable. The question is, is it because they're lying, or because they don't know? Anthy, I would say she's far and away the best liar in the show. Boldfaced, straight out lies, both to herself and to others, to the point where she's deceptive more than unreliable. But she has her turns narrating just like everyone else. Maybe more so, since I think you see through her eyes more often than the show explicitly states.

The SPGs strike me as a little of both, and introduce the question of how adult a viewer must be to 'make sense' of the show, which is very demanding that way. You can't be a child and watch the show and know who is reliable, lying, or deceptive. By the same token, if you 'get' too much of it, you're too much of an adult, too skeptical and cynical to live up to the honored innocence the show glorifies.

Morning. emot-gonk


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#6 | Back to Top07-29-2009 07:26:36 AM

Melancholic_Soul
Dancer Romancer
From: VA
Registered: 04-28-2009
Posts: 1513

Re: SKU and the Unreliable Narrator

Like_Autumn wrote:

Interesting thoughts. I've always been curious about the silhouetted characters in the flashbacks and wondered if that hinted that perhaps things didn't quite happen the way they remembered. Because in the Saionji and Touga flashbacks you can see them normally, as if only that part was real. I don't know, but it's something to think about.

That's an interesting point. Something else to add to that is Nanami's memories of Touga. He looks so much different from the other characters' views of an adolescent Touga, yet he is not masked in shadows. There was a panel I attended earlier this year that spoke about the memory themes in Utena. It was proposed that the silhouetted figures represented memories that were too heavilly laden with the remembering person's own ideas/feelings/convictions... of course there's also the whole dance/Nanami's horrid revenge scene, in which Anthy views the people around her as silhouetted figures, similar to that of the people who went after her in the past....

As far as Unreliable Narrators go, I've got to admit just about everyone is pretty unreliable... unless we count Chuchu... I think he knows something... of all the characters in that series he's possibly the most chill... -__- I always thought Saionji might have had a good view point if it weren't for his obssesive tendancies toward Anthy


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#7 | Back to Top07-29-2009 10:00:23 AM

Malacoda
Sunlit Gardener (Finale)
Registered: 07-26-2009
Posts: 180

Re: SKU and the Unreliable Narrator

I'd completely forgotten about those flashbacks and I like the idea the idea you've brought to my attention, Melancholic_Soul. Though, now that I think about, maybe the person who is recalling the memory has forgotten something important about the characters in silhouette. It works for the opening fairytale and the Touga/Saionji flashback though it doesn't work quite as well for Anthy's flashback.

And, Giovanna, I think only Akio and Anthy would lie. All the other characters will misremember events and view the actions of others differently but none of them would be actively deceptive.

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#8 | Back to Top07-29-2009 04:09:48 PM

Anthiena
Egghead
From: ...the space between your ears
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1107

Re: SKU and the Unreliable Narrator

Melancholic_Soul wrote:



As far as Unreliable Narrators go, I've got to admit just about everyone is pretty unreliable... unless we count Chuchu... I think he knows something... of all the characters in that series he's possibly the most chill... -__-

That's true. Of all the characters, Chu Chu is the most straightforward. It's quite bizarre how that works. He's said to be Anthy's true heart (notice how he's never in the duels!) but he never lies. Also notice how the first time Anthy mentions an older brother, Chu Chu is hanging out of the window quite precariously.


I stopped seeking to be sought after. That wasn't being true to myself.
I want to become someone who can exercise power. I want to become a prince. - Ikuni

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