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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 Top10-20-2009 03:35:31 PM

winksniper
Qualified Duellist
From: Under the Cherry Moon
Registered: 09-11-2009
Posts: 764

What happens to Utena in the end?

We've all (hopefully) seen the end of the SKU series, episode #39, at the very end when Anthy's hand slips from Utena's and then all the swords of hate fling back at her.

But what do you think really happened? 

In my opinion, I think she did get hit with those swords and did die, but was somehow reincarnated back into the outside world so that Anthy could find her.  (Yes, I know, that explanation is pretty whacked out but I can't stand the idea of Utena being gone for good.  emot-gonk)

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#2 | Back to Top10-20-2009 04:30:51 PM

Shinolala2
Forum's Favorite Mommy
From: U.S.A.
Registered: 12-04-2008
Posts: 429
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Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

if you think about it in the manga anthy goes out into the real world and finds her. in the anime she leaves ohtori and she pretty much knows that utena was reincatated and she is going to find her so in ten years they can have that tea they promised each other. i so wish there was a after series. i think i will draw it myself sound like a good idea? people story!


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#3 | Back to Top10-20-2009 06:49:35 PM

BalamiyaVardihi
High Tripper
From: New Jersey
Registered: 12-16-2007
Posts: 243

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

I think she achieved moksha, the Hindu word for "release" or "liberation". In Hinduism it means to be liberated from samsara, the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth. In Utena's case, she is liberated from Ohtori, a world based on maya, illusion. She sees the true face of Anthy, and by completing her good works (karma yoga), she is released into the Real World, and begins anew.

Another thing I love about SKU: it's so wonderfully symbolic. And now I want to write an essay comparing Hindu themes with SKU.


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#4 | Back to Top10-20-2009 09:46:42 PM

Tamago
God of Comedy
From: Minami Goushuu
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 14280
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Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

Utena's soul might end up merging with Dios's. emot-confusedschool-freud


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#5 | Back to Top10-21-2009 12:58:00 AM

DerJakob
Miki Molester
From: Eugene, OR
Registered: 10-21-2009
Posts: 31

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

Hey, I'm new to the forum, but an SKU fan for ten years. I've been recently linking it to a lot of my other studies, though this trend began about six years ago, and have found some really fascinating parallels between SKU's main themes/motifs and fin-de-siècle decadence. I suppose this isn't a terrible place to jump into a discussion about it, so here goes...

I was looking at Baudelaire and George's poetry, namely those pieces that concentrate on decadent inwardness, refutation of nature and the world as they are, and the construction of a perfect space. The trend in these poems seems to be the suspension of the subject in an artificial space free of time and natural space. In relation to SKU, I can't help but imagine the entirety of Ohtori Academy as a sort of artificial space in which an attempt is made, like in decadent poetry, to capture and make eternal a perfect moment; to suspend the subject's conscious in the endless bliss of a perfect memory (real or fake). That said, all of the characters at Ohtori are decadent in their own way, seeking to cling to some precious memory and make eternal that which is not only lost, but also a moment that, when isolated, would isolate the subject from the rest of existence. In this sense, all of these subjects are completely out of touch with one another in that they hardly exist around each other; Ohtori is their decadent space.

So what happens to Utena? Her entire existence at Ohtori is constructed around the attempt to capture and (infinitely) relive the moment with her prince. To these ends she desires to rediscover said prince (in the guise of becoming him), but when she realizes that the prince she once loved is dead and that the eternalization (Verewigung, the German is so much prettier) of that moment is impossible, she actually assumes the role of the prince and, like him, "dies." That Ohtori even exists is questionable in this sense. If it is the decadent sphere in which these different characters are attempting to eternalize a moment or artificial reality, then death within the school is simply a sort of liberation from this space and reintroduction into the world. When Utena sacrifices herself for Anthy's sake, it's not that she's actually dying per se, but that this image of her is dying; that she is leaving this space and returning to the world of sensation. Anthy, likewise, lives in an eternal state of suffering for her deed, although I don't think it's crazy to say that the suffering is chosen. In a baroquely grotesque sense, her eternal pleasure (Dios) is also her eternal pain (Akio). Her freedom from this line of thought is partly thanks to Utena, and her recognition of the impotence of this decadence spurns her exit. Where she seeks Utena in the outside world she also seeks a normal existence, and I would say the same about Utena.

So that's my bit. Again, as wondrous as the world of Ohtori is, it's so eerily similar to George's "Algabal" and his "Unterreich" that I can only understand it allegorically. As "real" as Utena and Anthy may be, their images in Ohtori seem to be internal projections (or injections, but I don't want to get Kleinian) in an artifical, psychical realm. This is, of course, only one way to understand the series, which, like any good allegory, is purely expressive and can be interpreted a myriad ways, depending entirely on the background of the person watching it.


"The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the 'state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency, and this will improve our position in the struggle against Fascism."
-Walter Benjamin

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#6 | Back to Top10-21-2009 12:46:52 PM

hollow_rose
Egghead
From: Ohio
Registered: 10-26-2008
Posts: 1074

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

BalamiyaVardihi wrote:

I think she achieved moksha, the Hindu word for "release" or "liberation". In Hinduism it means to be liberated from samsara, the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth. In Utena's case, she is liberated from Ohtori, a world based on maya, illusion. She sees the true face of Anthy, and by completing her good works (karma yoga), she is released into the Real World, and begins anew.

Another thing I love about SKU: it's so wonderfully symbolic. And now I want to write an essay comparing Hindu themes with SKU.

I'd really like to read that.


20 threads dead so far.

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#7 | Back to Top10-21-2009 01:39:53 PM

winksniper
Qualified Duellist
From: Under the Cherry Moon
Registered: 09-11-2009
Posts: 764

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

Ooh, everyone has such good viewpoints, I love this topic.  etc-love

I especially love your response, DerJakob.  That's one damn good way of looking at it.

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#8 | Back to Top10-21-2009 01:48:18 PM

DerJakob
Miki Molester
From: Eugene, OR
Registered: 10-21-2009
Posts: 31

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

winksniper wrote:

I especially love your response, DerJakob.  That's one damn good way of looking at it.

Thanks! I've been looking for a place to discuss ideas. I've been a fan for ten, almost eleven years now, and my studies are beginning to intersect more and more with SKU. I consider the series itself akin to any great literary masterpiece, and would say personally that I think it transcends a lot of canonical works. I absolutely lovelovelove picking apart texts like this, so the more, the better! school-eng101


"The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the 'state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency, and this will improve our position in the struggle against Fascism."
-Walter Benjamin

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#9 | Back to Top10-21-2009 02:29:17 PM

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

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

I'm late in also saying that that was an very interesting way to put the ending of Utena.  Very good. 

And yes, you are wholly correct, in my book, to make such a statement that SKU is a modern masterpiece.  You may or may not have run across the Facebook group entitled something along the lines that if SKU were a book, you would be reading it in college.

It's a modern work but the depths to where it can be analyzed and the amount of allusions that can be made are hard for myself to fathom.  There is just so much with so many layers.  Some things may be trivial, but I expect this is something that I can continue seeing something profound for years to come. I plan to be a very devoted fan for the long run.  Who knows, maybe I will become one to petition for SKU and such modern works of visual text to find a place in the world of academia, but only time will tell.

Last edited by spoon-san (10-21-2009 02:30:28 PM)

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#10 | Back to Top10-13-2010 10:22:44 AM

bazhang
New Student
From: a little glass jar
Registered: 10-13-2010
Posts: 2
Website

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

Uhhh, so. I'm not actually sure about thread necromancy, but I think I remember reading somewhere else on this forum that it's not prohibited, so here goes? ;;

I was just reading Neil Gaiman's 'Endless Nights', and Death's story seems to mirror the world of Ohtori a lot. In the short, an Italian nobleman had somehow sealed a certain place into repeating a day, over and over again. At 3.02pm everyday, a flock of doves flew into the air, disturbed by something though we never know what. The people in there stay eternally young, enclosed in a time/space that never passes, never allows them to age or to know death.

Sounds a lot like Ohtori, though of course minus the obvious repetition (though personally I think it *is* a sort of repetition, given that Akio seems to have more than one 'batch' of duelists), what with the denial of time.

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#11 | Back to Top10-19-2010 12:59:40 AM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6018
Website

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

I'm going to have to reread that! I don't think I ever made the connection! emot-aaa


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#12 | Back to Top05-31-2016 11:15:32 AM

ShiningSanctum1
Touga Topper
Registered: 11-23-2012
Posts: 57

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

I don't think Utena literally died lol. Akio expelled her because she ended up knowing too much about him and Anthy, and that she would have exposed his deeds to everybody. Anthy leaves Ootori in turn because she thought over this and saw that Utena genuinely cared for her, unlike Akio. To make long words short, everyone was precisely in love with the wrong person. She just realized too late. Also, the swords symbolize hate and blame. Remember the swords pierced Anthy the very first time she defended young Akio? The swords aren't literally swords, but they are words of hate. Adults naturally show hate to whoever is trying to question authority. Since Utena got out of her way to pick on Akio in Anthy's place (she tried to expose Akio for what he really is), Akio naturally threw all blame into her direction using his power as an adult... Unfortunately this is how the world works.

Last edited by ShiningSanctum1 (05-31-2016 11:20:29 AM)


Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

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#13 | Back to Top05-31-2016 04:11:53 PM

deeds24
Miki Molester
From: Salisbury, Maryland, USA
Registered: 05-27-2016
Posts: 36

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

If Anthy and Utena become freed from Ohtori Academy, is it only a matter of time before other students leave? I'm trying to remember if any of the other characters express a desire to contact the outside world.

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#14 | Back to Top05-31-2016 10:58:44 PM

zeedikay
Sunlit Gardener (Prelude)
Registered: 02-22-2014
Posts: 170

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

deeds24 wrote:

If Anthy and Utena become freed from Ohtori Academy, is it only a matter of time before other students leave? I'm trying to remember if any of the other characters express a desire to contact the outside world.

Well, if you count "a desire to contact the outside world" as a goal that they want solved that happens to be out there, Nanami would probably be the closest. By virtue of wanting to get curry from possibly fake India.

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#15 | Back to Top05-31-2016 11:26:31 PM

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

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

deeds24 wrote:

If Anthy and Utena become freed from Ohtori Academy, is it only a matter of time before other students leave? I'm trying to remember if any of the other characters express a desire to contact the outside world.

Not in the series. They all seem quite unaware of everything that happened, although visible changes in their lives and relationships remain. It's an open question how much they know or remember, but nothing substantial is shown. However, in the movie they definitely do, and while the movie is a completely seperate, unrelated continuity, in a spiritual way it can be taken as an indicator of what may have eventually happened in the series.

As for me...Utena definitely didn't die. As others have said, the swords are not real swords; they didn't kill Anthy or Akio, and if they were capable of killing anyone, it would be them, the original targets of their hatred. In fact, I'm not convinced the swords ever even struck Utena - if "struck" is even the right word, since that implies a physicality I don't believe in. It might be better to say, she may not have been "contacted" by them. We don't see it happen. For all we know, the swords can't affect anyone but their intended victims, Anthy and Akio.

Or, it may be that they can't affect anyone who does not believe in the Prince. Though in very different ways, Anthy and Akio still believe in the Prince ideal as a thing that did and/or could exist. Utena's final words though, could be taken as a repudiation not only of her own attempt at Princehood, but also as a statement on the impossibility of the ideal as a whole.

A third possibility, one that I always favored, is that despite her statement of failure, Utena did succeed in becoming the Prince. Unconsciously, she performed all the rituals, she opened the Gate to the Power of Revolution, and she used a form of that mysterious, nebulous concept to free Anthy. If we assume that's true, I have doubts whether the swords could even touch her in any way.

A final idea that treats to the swords on a more metaphorical level, is that you have to care about the swords to be hurt by them. You have to accept them, just as we have to take hateful words to heart to be hurt by them. Both Anthy and Akio do, certainly. But Utena never cared much about the opinions of the crowd, and she may have rejected them - in fact, that may be the moment when she departed from Ohtori. It may be that that is the gate between the eternal adolescence of the school (because few people care about and are influenced by outside opinions as adolescents) and the "graduation" to a more self-assured adult viewpoint. People always assume that Utena managed to succeed and depart despite the swords, but her encounter with them may have been the pivotal moment, where she was allowed to leave because of them, and her rejection of them having any meaning to her.

Just a few, highly disorganized thoughts.

Last edited by Aelanie (06-01-2016 04:18:54 AM)

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#16 | Back to Top05-31-2016 11:45:41 PM

deeds24
Miki Molester
From: Salisbury, Maryland, USA
Registered: 05-27-2016
Posts: 36

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

The idea that Utena may never have been in contact with the swords is really interesting. Now all I can think about is when Anthy backstabs Utena. To think of the possibility that Utena was only ever stabbed by Anthy, the scene with the multiple swords becomes more powerful.

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#17 | Back to Top06-01-2016 05:25:40 PM

KissFromARose
Thorn of Death
From: Austin, Tx
Registered: 09-29-2008
Posts: 506

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

When I go through my head cannon, I definitely see a real life wound that Utena suffered from the hands of Anthy. Its pretty brutal to think about, but considering Utena's state as she clawed and crawled her way across the floor, she was bleeding, injured... something *actually* happened to her. Perhaps through the machine that is the fancy planetarium she somehow mentally felt those wounds from the millions of swords, but nothing physically happened to her.

I suspect after Anthy disappeared into the abyss Utena succumbed to her wounds and passed out. Head cannon says, she was shipped from Ohtori to some [outside of Ohtori] hospital to recover...meanwhile, Akio is busily trying to clean up the mess left behind and move everything along. I assume that shock, sadness, confusion riddled Anthy's mind -- hence why the finaly episode doesn't say [the next day...] but instead implies [some time has passed]. She struggled with her decision on what to do, but assisted her brother as she has done always... until finally one day it clicked, the *revolution* took hold and she was free to leave Ohtori because she was ready to leave the pain behind and ...well... grow up

So, back to the original question... what happened to Utena? She is in a hospital from the sword wound given to her by her dear friend (lover, whichever you subscribe to) and probably is suffering from immense mental instability issues trying to decipher what is real and not.

We do get the official artwork of Utena and Anthy having their reunion some time later (though Anthy is still wearing PINK SUIT so i can only assume not too much time past)... So Utena recovered after so long, Anthy left the school to find her, they reunite, and now you can go read whatever happily ever after fanfic you want.


So what about the swords? The swords of hate? What were they? I believe they were only a part of the planetarium machine to control people. Invoke fear to the user of the swords. The "reality" that Utena had to face was that Anthy was this person considered to be evil by the people -- and the swords were thrown at her from the masses -- calling her a witch! how dare Anthy steal their prince from them! What about their daughters?

Every evil curse, hurtful word, and feeling of anger was thrown at her [metaphorically] through these swords. Once Utena decided to fight against this to *?save?* Anthy, she became the focus of these feelings and curses. When the swords chased after Utena, I assume she enveloped the pain and feelings from Anthy....

SOOOOOOO.......

TL;DR
1) Utena really gets stabbed by anthy
2) Utena still tries to save Anthy
3) Swords of Hate are just symbols of the feelings of the masses and hatred towards Anthy
4) Fake Planetarium swords attack Utena but do no harm (physically) but perhaps mentally or emotionally
==HEAD CANNON WARNING==
5) Utena is shipped to hospital outside of Ohtori
6) Anthy tries to figure out who she really is
7) Utena recovers from hospital
8) Some months later Anthy leaves
9) They reunite
10) They probably have a really big cry and hug it out session

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#18 | Back to Top06-01-2016 07:04:13 PM

deeds24
Miki Molester
From: Salisbury, Maryland, USA
Registered: 05-27-2016
Posts: 36

Re: What happens to Utena in the end?

Love the mental and physical consideration of the swords etc-loveetc-loveetc-lovepoptart

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